Teutonic sport star
Concerned about their popularity, automakers sometimes build huge marketing campaigns around various "new" products. Exotically-named variants are often nothing more than slightly-upgraded models. I don't want to point my finger at any particular manufacturer, but let's just say, for the sake of example, that some of Toyota's TRD vehicles and Nissan's Nismo models only have cosmetic changes to brag about.
Audi used a similar approach with the 2008 A4 Progressiv. In this case, a minor facelift spices things up a little while adding some glamour to the regular A4. I'm definitely not saying that the latter is unattractive, but you have to admit that "Progressiv" sounds a bit sexier than just "A4".
The Audi A4, particularly in 2.0 TFSI trim, has genuine sporty aspirations. While the engine appears somewhat hesitant at low revs, it unleashes all its power with a strong determination once you insistently depress the gas pedal.
Likewise, the steering may feel heavy at low-to-medium revs, but it becomes increasingly precise and dynamic as the car picks up speed. Meanwhile, the sport-tuned suspension is decidedly capable of meeting all your driving demands. So, with or without the Progressiv treatment, the 2008 Audi A4 2.0T definitely has the DNA of a German athlete.
Mechanically speaking, though, the Progressiv model is identical to the regular sedan. The driving experience is just as pleasant and comfortable, while handling is nearly flawless. The icing on the cake, obviously, is the effectiveness of Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system, which is arguably second to none in the entire industry.
In reality, only a couple of details set the Progressiv apart from other A4s. The muscular lines and squat body of the renowned German sedan are unchanged.
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