The Audi A4 became the new entry-level Audi in 1995, replacing the 90. Its rank as entry-level was transferred to the new Audi A3 in 2005, which was later given an S3 companion in June 2014.

In its early years, the A4 was positioned to compete with the BMW 3-series, the Saab 900 series, the Volvo 850 GLT, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and the Infiniti I30.

Since the car's launch as a 1996 model, Audi hoped to sell 250,000 units of the A4 per year worldwide.

Year-to-year changes[edit | edit source]

1996[edit | edit source]

In its first year, all A4s were powered by a 172-horsepower longitudinally mounted sohc 2.8-liter V6 (not to be confused with sister division VW's narrow-angle V6, which had the same displacement and horsepower, but was mounted transversely under the hood). It came in as a front-wheel-drive sedan or a Quattro all-wheel-drive.

The front suspension was an innovative new double-wishbone arrangement (of forged aluminum) that reduced torque-steer feedback (inherent on fwd cars) when accelerating. The all-wheel-drive Quattro had a similar A-arm independent rear suspension.

Among the standard features were an 8-speaker sound system with automatic volume adjustment, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, power windows, door locks, mirrors and seats and an antitheft alarm. Audi's unique ABS 5 incorporated electronic differential locking for better low-speed traction. The A4 Quattro offered the most advanced awd system in this class, including controllers to distribute torque where needed among the four wheels. A new 5-speed automatic transmission was also electronically controlled.

1997[edit | edit source]

The 1.8-liter version of the A4 was released this year.

1998[edit | edit source]

A new 2.8-liter Avant station wagon was introduced along with the Audi A6.

1999[edit | edit source]

The 1.8-liter Avant station wagon was introduced in 1999.

Retail prices[edit | edit source]

4DR Sedan[edit | edit source]

Model year(s) Engine size Drive List price Destination charge Effective date
1996 2.8L FWD $26,500 $475 August 17, 1995
1996 2.8L AWD $28,000 $475 August 17, 1995
1997 1.8L FWD $22,990 $500 Q4 1996
1997 1.8L AWD $24,590 $500 Q4 1996
1997 2.8L FWD $27,430 $500 Q4 1996
1997 2.8L AWD $29,030 $500 Q4 1996
1998 2.8L FWD $28,120 $500 July 27, 1997
1998 2.8L AWD $29,720 $500 July 27, 1997
1998-1999 1.8L FWD $23,790 $500 November 1997
1998-1999 1.8L AWD $25,440 $500 November 1997
1998-1999 2.8L FWD $28,390 $500 November 1997
1998-1999 2.8L AWD $30,040 $500 November 1997

4DR Wagon[edit | edit source]

Model year(s) Engine size Drive List price Destination charge Effective date
1998 2.8L FWD $30,465 $500 November 1997
1998-1999 2.8L AWD $31,040 $500 November 1997
1999 1.8L AWD $26,440 $500 September 14, 1998

Gallery[edit | edit source]

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