The Audi A4 B5 is the first generation of Audi A4, a compact executive car based on the Volkswagen B5 platform. It is first released in the market in 1994. In its initial release, it had a standard front wheel drive and longitudinal engine. The Quattro four wheel drive system was an option for this first generation Audi A4. The A4 B5 was also first offered as four-door sedan and later on the station wagon became available.
Different engine variants were available for the European market. This includes a choice from 1.6 liter engine to 2.8 liter engine and the 1.9 liter diesel engine. The 1.9 liter diesel engine has VW’s Pumpe Düse technology (unit injector) which enables the car produce 110 PS (81kW). For the North American market, the only engine option marketed was the 2.8 liter V6 engine. These 2.8 liter V6 engine were the same as the Audi 80 and 90 models had.
The new 1.8 liter 20 V engine with five valves per cylinder, which was based on the Audi Sport of the Supertouring racecar, was first seen in the Audi A4. The turbocharged version had 150 PS (110kW) and 210 Nm of torque. This engine was introduced in the A4 in 1996 initially with the 2.8 liter V6 30V which produced 193 PS (142 kW).
Another first introduced in the Audi A4 B5 is the new Tiptronic transmission. The Tiptronic transmission was based on the same one developed by Porsche for their 911 964 generation. The Tiptronic is the same as the conventional gearbox but with the torque converter which allows the driver to drive the car as fully automatic or manual override.
The Audi A4 B5 is a landmark vehicle for Audi. The release of the A4 opened the gate for Audi as one of the major German makers of luxury vehicles. Before the release of the A4 German luxury vehicles were then dominated by Mercedes-Benz and BMW. With the release of the A4 Audi established itself as one of the major makers of luxury vehicles. Later on, their TT concept cemented their place as one of the leaders of luxury car makers.
In 1997 Audi unveiled the new A4 B5 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The new model went on sale in Europe the following year. This new model had the new 2.4 liter 30 valve V6 engine. The old 2.6 V6 was phased out. Aside from the new engine, the new A4 B5 lineup included the new 2.5 liter V6 TDI engine and the Audi S4. The new diesel engine produced 150 PS (110 kW) and has, as standard equipment, Quattro and the new six-speed gearbox.
When it comes to looks, the new Audi A4 B5 had new headlights, taillights, door handles and other slight changes to add to the new look of the series.
Except for the North American market, in 1998, the new 1.8T engine was offered. This new engine produces 170 PS (125 kW). The increased power was due to the upgrade done to the old KKK Ko3 turbocharger. The turbocharger was upgraded with the sport unit, the Ko3s and the new 30-valve unit replaced the ole 12-valve V6. The 1.8T engine became available for the North American market in 2001.
Then in 1999 Audi released the high performance RS4, the Renn Sport model. This comes in Avant body type, the same as its predecessor, the RS2.
The B5 was replaced in 2000 by the new B6 Audi A4