Audi To Take On BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo With A4 Vario

There’s no denying that BMW has carved out a niche in the luxury car space with its 3- and 5-Series Gran Turismo models. And rumor has it that Audi will follow BMW into the “partly-hatch, partly-sedan” segment with a variant of its next-generation (B9) A4 family, effectively taking on the BMW 3-Series GT head-on.

Audi is said to have selected the word ‘Vario’ to denote the new addition to its lineup, with the vehicle being based on the long-wheelbase A4 exclusively available in China.

Under the hood, the new A4 Vario is expected to use Audi’s usual range of four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines. The gasoline TFSI engines are likely to range in displacement from 1.4 to 2.0 liters while donning standard cylinder deactivation. The diesels, meanwhile, will likely be comprised of the EA288 2.0L oil burner making 150 or 184 horses, with a top-end V6 TDI good for 218 and 272 ponies. A plug-in hybrid version is said to be available; it will use the 2.0L TFSI four-cylinder motor for its gasoline propulsion with an electric motor providing the rest of the power from a lithium-ion battery. The model will also sport electric motors fitted to the rear axle, providing quattro all-wheel drive while delivering an extra 136 horsepower combined. All of these models will likely be equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Meanwhile, the range-topping model is expected to be the S4 ‘Vario’, with a supercharged 3.0L V6 under the hood good for 340 horses.

It’s highly likely that Audi will show off new A4 Vario after it unveils the all-new bread-and-butter A4 Sedan and Wagon Avant, which are expected to be revealed and launched sometime in calendar year 2016. Notably, A4 Vario will grow the A4 range to seven models, which today include Sedan, Avant, Sportback, allroad, Coupe, and Cabriolet.

News editor focusing on business, financial, and sales coverage who loves anything on wheels, especially if it's fast.

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