latest automotive news, best new and used cars, find a new car a44bd_2017-Audi-A4-20T-Quattro-rear-Florett-Silver-610x408 Changes to the Audi A4 Lineup Mean Less Front-wheel Drive for 2018 Audi

Audi’s increasingly mature A4 stands to see less front-wheel motivation in the coming model year.

As the compact sedan’s clout and content grows, Audi plans to take one drivetrain configuration off the table come 2018. The move will mean that Quattro all-wheel drive will soon cover a larger slice of the lineup, but it could also mean crossing the 200-horsepower threshold in an A4 is about to become more expensive.

According to CarsDirect.com senior pricing analyst Alex Bernstein, Audi will drop the front-drive version of the A4 equipped with the 252-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four. That leaves the base A4 Ultra — introduced for 2017 with a 190 hp 2.0-liter and a 31 mile-per-gallon combined fuel economy rating — as the only FWD A4 model.

The gas-sipping Ultra comes solely with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, while the uplevel A4 engine will still offer the choice of a six-speed manual in addition to the DCT. An Audi spokesperson has confirmed these specs.

The move to scrap the FWD/uplevel engine combo will likely mean a greater purchase price for buyers looking to harness that model’s 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. While the less powerful Ultra carries a base MSRP of $34,900 plus a $950 destination charge for 2017, moving up to a bigger engine in entry-level trim means spending an extra $2,400. Adding all-wheel drive to the package adds an extra $2,100, for a pre-delivery MSRP of $39,400.

It’s quite unlikely that Audi would lower the price of the higher output 2018 Quattro model to bridge the gap. CarsDirect claims orders for 2018 models should begin late this month or in early May.

[Image: © Timothy Cain/The Truth About Cars]