For those who hanker for an off-road crossover but don't want a Q5, Audi offers this: the 2010 A4 Allroad Quattro.
You'll likely remember that `Allroad' nameplate from the original 1999 A6 Allroad Quattro, which mixed a number of off-road parts into an otherwise normal A6 wagon. The A4 Allroad is a similar concoction - it's been raised by 37 mm and widened by 20 mm to increase off-road clearance, while new rocker panels and bumper guards help protect the A4 Allroad from debris.
Three engines will initially be offered with two transmissions. The six-speed manual will be available only with the a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel "TDI" I-4. The new seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission will be available with the both the 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 and a larger 3.0-liter diesel V-6. The 2.0 TDI puts out 168 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque and the 2.0 TFSI puts out similar torque figures and 208 hp. Opting for the top-of-the-line 3.0 TDI yields 237 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque.
Helping the Allroad gain traction off the road is the latest Quattro all-wheel-drive system, which features a standard 40/60 percent front/rear torque split. The revised Quattro system can send up to 85 percent of its power rearward and up to 65 percent to the front wheels. Traction is constantly monitored by the stability program, which includes special "Offroad Detection" technology to monitor surface consistency and adjust the ESP accordingly.
Although it seems the A4 Allroad Quattro is well suited to travel most places, it won't reach North America - after all, that's a prime market for the all-new Q5...