With its all-new A4, Audi has pulled off a rare hat trick -- producing a car that's bigger, faster, and more fuel efficient.

Powering the Brilliant Red 2009 Audi A4 2.0 T quattro Tiptronic through our battery of instrumented flogging was a heavily massaged version of Audi's 2.0L mill that's become a staple of the Volkswagen Group parts bin. The engine has undergone numerous incremental improvements, the biggest of which being the addition of Audi's valve-lift system.

Audi's powertrain brains developed the valve lift system in order to allow for variable control of the exhaust valves, improving the engine's charge cycle, according to the automaker.

Amping-up the charge cycle helped the engineers to increase torque and bring it on earlier, lifting the engine's lb-ft of torque to 258 @ 1500 rpm (vs. 207 @ 1800 rpm for the outgoing engine). Horsepower is also up (now 211 vs. 200). Interestingly, the 2.0L's torque figure is slightly greater than the 2009 A4's optional 3.2L V-6 engine (listed at 243 lb-ft and 265 hp). So why would we want the six again?

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2009 Audi A4 2.0 quattro Tested

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