The first thing you notice opening the hood of the 2017 Audi A4 is its longitudinal engine placement, a long-time staple of all but the smallest of Audi models. The trans-axle sends power to the front or all four wheels just to the rear of the engine, meaning the entire engine itself hangs ahead of the front axle line.

The 2.0 liter TFSI four-cylinder is now the third-generation of the EA888 family of engines, this one with 252 horsepower and 273 pound feet of torque.

This comes by way of both direct and port fuel injection and turbocharging that can use either or both systems depending on load and speed for best efficiency, power, and emissions performance. The 2.0 liter TFSI engine is also available in the 2017 Audi A4 in an Ultra version that is slightly detuned but offers much more fuel economy.

Following the airflow, the intake charge starts up front behind the grille and enters a large filter box on the passenger side of the engine compartment. From there it heads up front to an air-to-air intecooler then back up on the driver side through a drive-by-wire throttle body and into the composite intake manifold.

Dual overhead cams feature variable valve timing for both intake and exhaust cams, the exhaust valves also getting actuators that that vary the valve-lift, as system called here Audi Valve-lift or AVS. From there, the exhaust enters the turbocharger through an integrated manifold.

The turbocharger itself is managed by an electronically contolled wastegate. Note there are two oxygen sensors, one upstream and another downstream of the turbocharger. The catalyst is mounted directly to the turbocharger.

All of this brings both impressive performance and efficiency. Audi states a 0-60 acceleration time of 5.8 seconds. The EPA rates it as high as 31 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined in our Quattro all-wheel drive tester. Here we achieved 30 mpg combined in our week with it.

Looking around the engine compartment you will see the passenger side, power lines coming up from the trunk mounted battery and then the aforementioned air filter box up front. Getting to the filter in it does take some work.

The driver side is where you will find the ABS control unit, the engine’s ECU and the cooland reservoir up close to the shock tower. As our A4 had the adjustable suspension, electronic top hats are found on the tops of the aluminum cast shock towers.

Checking and filling the brake fluid can be done at the base of the windshield ahead of the driver through and easy to open access panel.

Looking back forward you can see the radiator support and fascia backing structure is made of molded plastic to save weight.