2005.5 Audi A4 2.0T

Teutonic Traveler

By Cocoa Efficient

The Audi A4 is a darling of the gay world. This sophisticated German possesses a definite sense of style without drama, knows how to show a girl a good time and will cater to your every need without complaint or criticism. In short, the A4 is the perfect companion.

The latest A4 arrives on our shores as a 2005.5 model. Leave it to the Fatherland’s accuracy-obsessed number crunchers to avoid rounding up to 2006, but that’s just the way they do things over there. So what, you ask, are the differences between the 2005 and the 2005.5 model? A lot actually, and it starts with the exterior.

The newest A4 gets a clean makeover that sees softer edges at the front and rear with a new headlamp and taillight design seemingly a bit more Japanese than German. Audi’s new signature wide-mouth grille looks great (in some people’s minds) until you stick a big ol’ ugly license plate smack dab in the center. But that’s just cosmetic, and who in the gay world cares about looks! Not this girl, I’ll tell you. For me, it’s all about muscle!

Beneath the shapely A4 hood lies an all new 2.0-liter FSI turbocharged engine. Though it only has four cylinders, the A4’s engine features gasoline direct injection. This system delivers precisely the amount of fuel required to achieve combustion, thus helping to raise engine compression. Translation: this little engine feels as strong as any V6 yet burns gas like a frugal economy car. The A4 2.0T is rated at 200 horsepower and 207 lb.-ft of torque at a low 1800 rpm. That second figure is important because torque gives a car it quickness off the line, as well as its ability to pass quickly at high speeds. Because the 2.0-liter’s turbo engages at a much lower rpm, those few moments of lag before the turbo boost kicks in are now a thing of the past.

As I slip my well-padded butt behind the wheel, I’m reminded why I so love Audi cars. It’s the interiors. I mean really, where do you spend all your time? Standing outside admiring the flashy paint job? No! Its inside, and here is where Audi makes the driver feel like a King (or possibly a Queen, depending on who you ask.) Lovely organic shapes comprise the dash, center console, seats and door panels. Touch any surface and your fingertips are greeted by high quality vinyl, supple leather and deliciously rich wood. At night, everything you need to see glows in red, with the exception of the stalks hidden behind the steering wheel (bad Audi, no donut). Red even showers down from above, to light shift console, cup holder and the all important 12-volt outlet. Oh, and for the record, red lighting takes at least ten years off your face.

The optional leather seating looks and smells like money well spent. The twelve-way power driver seat includes a four-way power lumbar support that can be positioned between the back’s lower and mid lumbar region. Ah, bliss! I could drive this car for days and never get tired.

The A4 sticks to the road like paparazzi on a naked celebrity. Spend a bit more for the quattro all-wheel-drive option, it’s worth every penny. The A4’s six-speed manual feels a bit loose and long of throw. It definitely takes a back seat to the BMW and Acura manuals. No big whoop, most A4 drivers opt for the automatic. Cruising at highway speed, the A4 feels solid and in charge. Wind and road noise are barely audible and there is no vibration in the driveline or steering wheel. Adding to the feeling of security are numerous airbags surrounding the passenger compartment and the phalanx of electronic traction, stability and steering controls designed to help make every driver a better driver.

Now for the A4’s few shortcomings. The back seat is tight fit for adults, especially if the front passengers are tall. The A4’s standard content list has increased this year, but so too has its price. Where buyers once could get into an A4 for around $25K, the asking price has jumped to $28,070 for the front-drive model and $30,170 for the quattro. Of course, Audi’s new A3 is now available and offers many of the creature comforts of the A4 with a price tag that starts around $25K.

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