Audi is finally bringing one of its Ultra models to the United States. The label represents the most fuel-efficient offering in the range and was first applied on a diesel-powered A3 in 2013.
In the U.S., Audi’s first Ultra model will be a member of the 2017 A4 range and is estimated to deliver an EPA-rated 31 mpg combined fuel economy. The regular 2017 A4 gets 28 mpg combined, as do rivals such as the BMW 320i and Mercedes-Benz C300.
The key is the A4 Ultra’s turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4. Although this engine is based on the unit in the regular A4, its compression ratio was bumped up from 9.6:1 to 11.7:1. The resultant boost in efficiency has come at a cost in performance, though. The A4 Ultra’s output is 190 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque versus the 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of the regular A4. Drive is still to the front wheels only and the standard transmission is a 7-speed dual-clutch unit.
The A4 Ultra is due to go on sale this fall with a starting price of $35,850. The regular A4 starts at $38,250. Both figures include a $950 destination charge.
Despite being the entry-level model, the A4 Ultra gets a long list of standard goodies. The list includes xenon headlights, a panoramic sunroof, 17-inch alloys, leather trim, and tri-zone climate control.