It's true that a similarly equipped B6 A4 is about 150 lbs heavier than a B5
A4, while both 2001 and 2002 have the same 170hp/166lb-ft 1.8T engine.
Whether it's underpowered or not is a very subjective statement. For
someone coming off a Geo Metro, the power may be plenty. For someone who's
looking for a sports car (which the A4 is not), the power will be lacking
for sure. So, we can't answer this question for you really - you need to
test drive it and see for yourself whether it's enough or not.
One way to make the A4 feel less underpowered is to not get quattro. You're
shaving off about 150 lbs plus the fronttrak feels more lively due to
smaller power losses on the drivetrain. But then you'll be missing out big
time on the whole quattro experience. Again, you must decide.
Personally, having owned a 2001 A4 1.8TQ manual for over 2 years now, I can
say that the power is sufficient, although you can always feel the large
weight of this car as it is kind of slow to get going from a stand-still.
After I chipped it, I can say that I'm quite happy with the power. But no
matter how much power you have, you will always wish for more... That's why
people sell their A4s and get S4s, RS4s, RS6s, and so on... Power is
In summary: Test Drive!!!
Also, if you are a "tuner", there is a fair amount of low-hanging fruit
with adding a reasonable amount of power and torque to the 1.8T. A chip
upgrade (tuned to 93/94 octane) + free-er flowing cat back exhaust
system will get you to 210-220hp relatively easily without any real wear
and tear penalty on the engine. Check out:
I've got a chip and exhaust on my 1999 A4 and it is not a drag racer,
but is definitely on the quick side. Throw in some more $$$ for brake
upgrades and Bilstien/Konis and you've got a quick/nimble ride.
For the money is no object crowd, you can spend $4-5k on a Stage 3 kit
for the engine and wind up north of 280hp.
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