The A4 hit a major milestone Tuesday, as the iconic sedan officially turned 25 years old. Feeling old yet? The once pseudo-economy sedan has been a sales success for Audi, moving over 300,000 units in 2018 and becoming a best seller for the automaker since its second year on the market. And according to Audi, every fifth car it sells in Germany comes from the A4 model line.
Audi has seen success in motorsport with the A4 as well—with its racing siblings helping spread the brand's Quattro all-wheel-drive system, and carrying the torch for Audi after the brand's successful runs in the deadly (but awesome) Group B rally races of the 1980s. The A4 was the first vehicle in Audi's lineup to feature a 20-valve four-cylinder engine, and it eventually got the now legendary 2.8-liter V6 that we all know and love as Volkswagen's VR6. The early cars had mechanical gremlins, but were nevertheless praised by the automotive press for their build quality, so much that the company declared the A4 as a standard to which its other cars should be built.
The A4 started life as Audi's entry-level sedan but now sits above the smaller (and cheaper) A3. Now that the A4 is old enough to rent itself in most states, it's due for a major overhaul for its sixth generation.