My turn (ignore Pasi
Honest appraisal then.....
The engine: The standard (un-remapped) 2.4 lump does not rev like a petrol, but then it isn't supposed to.....it's not the point. Your driving style will have to change, because thrashing it to the redline which in reality is around 4500rpm is pointless and in fact slower than changing up at about 3500rpm. That is torque for you. Torque is what gives acceleration and the full 225lb ft is available from just 1800rpm. Some would say that it is a lazy way to drive, but I'd say it is a more realistic way to drive and more suited to every day driving. On the track, I'd stick with a petrol, but a good TD is ideal for the real world. If you want to drive like a boyracer thrashing the nuts of the thing at all times, then stick with a petrol. You think you are going faster because of all the noise and the JTD is deceptively quiet in comparison. Quieter than the equivalent petrol does not mean sounds dull or anything. Au contraire.....as Rick says, the 2.4JTD doesn't howl like the V6, but has a throbby growl, a 5 cylinder warble very much like an original Audi Quattro. Speed wise, it's on a par with the 2.0TS and 2.0JTS, but not with the 2.5 V6 in pure performance terms. In the real world of cross country performance, there would be little in it, but the nod would have to go to the V6.
Remapped engine. £300 will transform the 2.4JTD into another performance bracket. BHP is up on mine from the standard 150 to something between 190 and 200. Torque is up from 225lb ft to near enough 300. Auto Italia magazine have tested two remapped 2.4 JTD's, one with the Millenium OBD Tuning remap and one with the Monza Sport remap and produced similar figures. They admit that the ideal conditions used to achieve these figures were not the same as the manufacturers and therefore a second should be removed from the times.
These times are:
0-60mph 2.4JTD 10 secs.
0-60mph 2.5 V6 8 secs.
0-60mph 2.4remap 8 secs.
The remapped JTD also manages the 30-70mph dash in just under 7 seconds and the 0-100 dash in just under 20 seconds.
With the remap, it does now rev like a petrol, from 1800rpm up to 5500rpm (but again, there is no point really in revving past 4000rpm).
In summary, it is best described as effortless performance with a great soundtrack.
Fuel consumption. Average on my trip computer is as the book says, 42mpg. I have never had it below 35mpg and on a good run I am averaging 50mpg.
Handling and Ride. With the Veloce set up, it should be comparable with the 2.5 V6. My Lusso is a bit soft, but a strutbrace has helped and in the spring, a set of Eibach springs and some Powerflex bushes are apparently the best low cost solution.
However, the only way you are going to know, is to testdrive one of the damned things (something that most haven't, but still feel they have a valid opinion, but as I always say, just because your face has a hole in the middle of it, doesn't mean that you have to use it all the time). If you are buying new, the 20V 175bhp 6 speeder would obviously be the way to go, but otherwise remapping a 10V 2.4 JTD will give you a rocketship wink