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click above for more spy shots of the 2009 Audi A4 Allroad

Currently, the only vehicle in Audi's lineup that offers a go-anywhere Allroad version is the A6 Avant (wagon), but that will change soon with the addition of a smaller A4 Allroad based on the A4 Avant. Though merely a rumor early last month, an A4 Allroad is all but a lock now thanks to spy photographers who caught a mule testing in snowy Sweden. Yes, what you're looking at is the new A4 sedan, but that's only because Audi has yet to debut an A4 Avant and is using the sedan body for testing. Clearly visible is a raised ride height, grippy snow tires and thick fender flares that appear to do a good job of grabbing snow that's kicked up.

Though Audi traditionally has only ever offered its Allroad lineup in wagon form, we're totally jonesing for a sedan version now after seeing these spy shots. This A4 Allroad mule looks like a sleeper rally car that's ready to jump a drift or plow through a bank of snow at a moment's notice. Perhaps Audi should consider offering an Allroad package for the sedan, as well. We can't imagine it would take much more investment to develop alongside the wagon version.

[Photos: Brenda Priddy & Co.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm tellin ya: those guys who invented the AMC Eagle have to be in tears by now...seeing how many decades they were ahead of the curve.

      This is an Audi copy of the Legacy SUS. It'll have nicer leather, red panel lights, a Bose stereo and doors with window frames.

      Other than that, it will understeer like the nose-heavy truffle hunter it is and make tons of trips to the Audi "spa" for annoyances like burnt out tail lights and faulty seat heaters.
      • 7 Years Ago
      you'll remember that Subaru went this route w/ the Outback SUS (Sport Utility Sedan) back on the Legacy and had marginal success. I think its a great segment and an alternative to poor handling SUVs. We'll see how long it lasts...
      • 7 Years Ago
      other than all wheel drive, what makes it go anywhere?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Audi's are VW's with pedigrees. If you want AWD on your Audi, you will pay more. The Subaru Boxer Diesel is preparing to be released in Europe in a couple of months, and its estimated Highway mileage has been quoted at 40MPG US gallons.

      Audi, Schmaudi.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I bought a Subaru outback in 2006 and it was a big turd and they are saying Audi have issues pleeeeeaaaazzzzzzeeeee!

      I wish I had bought an A3 over it but I got rid of it and got a honda element. No probs yet

        • 7 Years Ago
        So, your one Subaru has trouble, and it negates all sorts of quality ratings and reputations? Subaru has one of the highest long term reliability ratings, and customer loyalty ratings of any company. Quite an acheivement for a company with 1% overall marketshare. I have my issues with Subaru, though, and that is not a laurel to rest on.

        The new A4 may be fine, but I always hear VW/Audi with electrical gremlins and issues, especially the older they get. ALL german cars seem to be declining in long-term reliability ratings, as they shovel in unproven features and gadgets.

        Thanks, but I think I'll keep my Legacy GT, too. (in Iowa, as well...)

        I test drove an A4 before buying a Subaru. It was cramped and small, less powerful, and more expensive, to boot.

        Audi's Quattro is not all it used to be. They no longer use rear torsen differentials, instead relying on traction control and electronic brake assist to limit wheel slip. My legacy doesn't, and still has a rear limited slip diff, and only uses the brakes when I tell it to do so. The machine works, instead of using electronic nannies.

        And the A3/TT use haldex, rebadged as Quattro. it doesn't even have the longitudinal Quattro's center differential. Faux-wheel-drive. Rear-wheel-assist.

        And there is no way an A4 turbo w/ quattro with the sport package is going to be anywhere near the price of a Legacy GT Limited 5MT. The A4 is more ~$2-3K more expensive even than the 6MT/VDC equipped Legacy GT Spec B, when the Audi is optioned with the equipment that Spec B has.

        And the Legacy GT has more power, standard, and is extremely easily modified to STI-levels of power with exhaust and a re-flash. Moreso with the STI's turbo and intake tract, which directly fits.

        The Outback 3.0R sedan also had VDC all-wheel drive, and was a very capable car. It still didn't sell. The Outback wagons do sell, and the Outback wagons have been around for more than a decade on previous Legacy iterations.

        Crocodile Dundee was advertising Outbacks on TV before the All-road Audis, or XC Volvos showed up on dealer lots. Outback was preceded only by the AMC Eagle cars as tall AWD cars.

        Outback wagons sell well for Subaru, even though the sedan didn't, and now everyone else is trying to get in on it, which is fine. But slagging Subaru doesn't change Subaru's role in the development of that market.
      • 7 Years Ago
      AWD is a marketing term. Stop using it.

      The reason that Audi had to come up with this, is because after the 'oil crisis' of the 1970's the big three decided that they could redefine the term four wheel drive, which has been around since Spyker made a four wheel drive car over 100 years ago. Audi wanted to disassociate themselves from the proletarian pickups.

      GM/Ford/Chrysler decided to take out the center differential, add manually decoupling front hubs, and operate primarily as rear drive on the highway, for a minimal gain in mileage (about 1 mpg) [f'ing CAFE at work, making vehicles crappier]

      When you mechanically couple the front & rear driveshafts, that is off-road drive. You can not turn, use it off-road. That is what the Jeep Wrangler still has, yet the HMMWV & Hummer has four wheel drive.

      It is funny (it snowed last night) and all these pickups are trying to accelerate from a T-intersection, and they can't. They get power on understeer, which turns into snap oversteer. (at like 10-15mph) It is comically bad that no full size (or oversize) pickup truck on the market now has four wheel drive available.

      • 7 Years Ago
      I agree these people have no clue what they are even talking about. The outback idea is of German origin. The Audi Awd system is far superior to Subaru or any other German brand period.( and the best off weather handling) Most other companies who do Real Awd do it at the expense of handling which Audi has spent years fiding a happy balance and is almost perfected. Subarus are mostly waste plastics and cheap materials for a moderate premium over lesser jap models. If your gonna do it do it right.As far as lemmings what a typical response from people who have no actual intellectual comments to make.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think the subie fan up above is in over his head in dishin dirt.! Considering your defending Subaru? ummm..lets see. This is a new a4 platform which is not nose heavy in the slightest. Audi was almost a complete decade into the AWD game when subaru was still making sewing machines.
      The Subaru outback was a model invented to copy Audi awd wagens and quite never got the recipe right. I have many friends who actually go to wrc events and defend Subaru like its a god but will tell in honesty that they too can be prone to excessive shop visits. Subaru has never been able to make an AWD vehicle that gets over 30 mpg? They are all gas hogs! Hello. So yes Subaru's are wanna be Audi's but they have a long road ahead to even be a shadow.
        • 7 Years Ago
        the AWD in my Subaru out-performed the AWD in my Audi by far. night and day really.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Seeing as the allroad quattro has height adjustable suspension (I believe it has 3 inches in variability) it doesn't seem too irrational to think that they'll also incorporate that technology into the A4 allroad.
      Come back to the WRC Audi!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I will bet that this is being done to skirt CAFE. I'm pretty sure the XC70 and Allroad are classed as "light trucks", meaning the looser regulations that govern that class's fuel economy applies to them.

      That stupid exemption, more than anything else, is responsible for the weight gain of the average vehicle.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If they offer the Avant with a TDI I'm all for it. Extra clearance on demand is a great thing, but I imagine the system adds weight.

      If Subaru could make an Impreza-sized wagon with their new boxer turbo-diesel, it would surely sell well in snowy U.S. regions and be priced well below the above Avant.
      We own a '98 Forrester, but I find it heavier and thirstier than necessary.
      • 7 Years Ago
      the black part (wheel arches, side skirts etc.) is probably there as "disguise plastic" that goes over the final form, or they just haven't sort out the final shapes yet, just to make something temporary there to for the wheel arches at different heights.
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