An A4 lineup is nothing without a wagon, so Audi will use the 2008 Geneva show to introduce the next A4 Avant.
As you might expect, most of the changes happen in the rear with almost everything forward of the B-pillar identical to the A4 sedan. Fifty cubic feet of cargo can be stuffed in through the rear hatch, which gets an optional power open/close function. The load floor is reversible in case you're toting a mess, and a one-touch cover will help you hide it. The new Avant grows almost 5 inches in length, while being about 10% lighter than the previous model.
While European A4 Avant buyers will get a choice of five engines (two gas, three diesel) and U.S.-spec sedans will have four- and six-cylinder gas options, North American wagons will be fitted only with the new four-cylinder. No specifics have yet been shared, but we expect it to be the 2.0-liter version of VW/Audi's 1.8-liter TFSI. That smaller engine (optional on European A4s) features a chain-driven camshaft and variable valve timing, while variable valve lift will be added in the enlarged four-cylinder coming to the States. Direct injection should help the turbocharged motor make slightly more than the outgoing A4's 2.0T (200 hp, 207 lb-ft of torque). Avant buyers will not be able to select the 3.2-liter FSI engine that will be available on A4 sedans.
The 2009 A4 Avant and sedan will go on sale here in the fall of 2008. Feel free to use the intervening months to measure the cubic footage of all your belongings and decide which A4 is right for you.
Click the link below for high-resolution A4 Avant images.