Audi A4 (2008 - )
Last updated 7 March 2014
Excessive oil consumption from engine of 52k mile 2010 A4 2.0 TFSI. Same piston ring problem as A5 and Golf GTI. Only going 400 miles before requiring more engine oil.
Just as Porsche has developed increasingly sophisticated solutions to overcome the fundamental imbalance of an engine overhanging the back wheels, Audi has had to do the same job at the front.
Worst of all were the old iron block five-cylinder Audi 100 diesels that much preferred to go straight on at corners than actually change direction.
Fortunately, for most of us, these are no more than a memory. Audi has continually been getting better at dealing with its disability and had all but disguised the ponderous pendulum effect of its overhanging engines in the final incarnations of the 2005-2008 A4.
But its big breakthrough came earlier this year with the A5. The engine still sits out in front of the front wheels longitudinally, but, by moving final drive further forward, the weight of engine and transmission is better distributed between the front wheels.
How they do this is to take drive from the back of the gearbox, then run a propshaft forward to a differential that sits on the right hand side of the flywheel, with the left driveshaft running between the engine and the flywheel.
Next year's A4 shares this new drivetrain, as well as a longer wheelbase than past Audis and much improved front suspension, now 5 link in aluminium, with a steering rack repositioned in front of the engine so steering input is fed more directly to the wheels.