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Double delight from Audi 

WE’RE into the winter months now and when you live in Scotland the road conditions can be pretty hairy.

Despite being a sunshine island, I know motorists in Tenerife can also face some hazardous conditions when the ice and snow hits the mountain roads.

Well I’ve just sampled a car that is ideal for whatever is thrown at us – Audi’s A4 allroad quattro.

This is the off-road version of the A4 Avant and it’s good for all seasons as well.

I sampled the flagship 3.0 TDI quattro version and discovered it’s a super performer on the tarmac.

And there’s no shortage of luxury either in a typical high-quality Audi interior that had bags of room for driver, front passenger and three in the back.

The A4 allroad is the first model to benefit from a new version of Audi Quattro all-wheel drive system.

This deactivates all-wheel drive when it is not necessary but is also available permanently or instantaneously when needed.

With its 272ps 3-litre diesel engine, this tough Audi packed plenty of power coming through the eight-speed tip-tronic automatic transmission.

The A4 allroad was super smooth when cruising in its top gear and responded immediately when asked to accelerate as it dropped down to third.

Ride comfort was good, even on some rough surfaces, and it hugged the tarmac when cornering at speed with the self-locking centre differential supplying super traction.

You get lots of up-to-the-minute technological features which include xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, Audi smartphone interface, rear parking sensors and electrically powered tailgate.

Cost for this model is £38,815 but there are lots of options available and the test vehicle had most of them which raised its price to £56,763.

These included the Audi Virtual Cockpit with its pin-sharp fully digital display, a head-up display and folding tow bar.

Travelling regularly on roads scattered with road works and average speed cameras, I particularly liked the £1,250 driver assistance pack

This brought adaptive cruise control with the vehicle accelerating, braking and steering independently at speeds up to 37mph.

The A4 allroad is a stylish yet rugged looking model that is well capable of a top performance in all conditions.

I enjoyed a back-to-back Audi experience with my next test car being a model with lots of style – the new A3 Cabriolet.

Despite the lack of sunshine in the UK, we love soft tops but the weather was a bit on the cold side for me to sample some open air driving.

I did lower the roof just to see how efficient it was and it takes just 18 seconds to do this.

If you’re enjoying the sunshine and a sudden downpour comes on it can also be raised on the move – at speeds up to 31mph.

The latest arrival is bigger than its predecessor and that brings more interior and boot space, although there’s still not a lot of legroom in the back.

I sampled the 2.0 TDI S line model and had lots of fun with it.

The 2-litre 150ps diesel engine is perfectly suited to the Cabrio, supplying nippy acceleration right up through the gears.

It moved quickly out of the blocks with a zero to 62mph sprint in 8.8 seconds and is capable of 139mph.

The car’s stiff suspension sports suspension enhances its handling abilities but it isn’t too firm to spoil driver or passengers’ comfort, enhanced with the £995 Audi Magnetic Ride option.

With its front-wheel drive, the Cabriolet had lots of grip while cornering as I sped along some country roads, moving up and down the slick six-speed manual transmi-ssion.

And there was little road and wind noise while crui-sing with the three-layer hood proving effective.

Interior finish once again was top quality, boosted on the test car with the optional £1,220 black fine nappa leather front sports seats with rock grey stitching.

This super-looking A3 Cabriolet will cost you £31,340 but go easy on the options as those fitted on the test car lifted the price to £41,705.