Some things are so set in stone there’s no hope for them to change anytime soon. The sun will always rise from the east, cows will always be eaten, and Volkswagen-Audi group’s designs will always be evolutionary. From the Golf to the flashiest Audis, you can’t expect big changes when a model comes along. They prefer, and know their customers prefer conservative styling so that’s what’s on the menu.
So it comes as no surprise that this all-new A4 looks rather similar to the outgoing model. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. You can make your own minds up on how this new car looks but I think we can almost agree it’s no minger; it’s not Ssangyong Rodius or Pontiac Aztec offensive, that’s for sure.
The new A4 picks up where the old one left off. Some of the key changes include a new design for the LED headlights (with new daytime running lights), taillights, wider grille, and a flatter roofline. Audi emphasise every new panel on is new for this generation and has the lowest drag co-efficient in its class, 0.23 if you’re asking.
As with pretty much every new car these days, the A4 has grown a smidgen over the previous model. It now measures at 4726mm long, 1842mm wide, and 1427mm tall. Larger dimensions means more space inside for humans and a bigger boot. Despite its larger dimensions the A4 now weights 120kg less than before thanks to the use of aluminium and high-strength steel in the bodywork. And remember, said bodywork is all new despite what your eyes think.
Audi have clearly spent most of their time into designing the interior because it’ a leap forward compared to the dated outgoing model. It now features Audi’s Virtual Cockpit as seen in the new TT and Lamborghini Huracan. Unlike in those cars, though, there’s still a 8.3-inch screen on the centre console. Other modern tech goodies that’ll be featured include an audible city safe system, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, and the latest generation of Audi’s MMI infotainment system with LTE compatibility.
Unsurprisingly there’ll be a range of petrol and diesel engines. The petrols, will be available in 1.4 or 2.0 guises will power output varies from 148bhp/108kW to 248bhp/182kW. The diesel range also start from 148bhp/108kW but goes all the way to 272bhp/200kW. They’ll be mated to either a 6-speed or a 7-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch transmission. The old Multitronic CVT won’t be making a return anytime soon. Power will be sent to the front or to all four wheels, of course.
Fingers crossed the sporty S4 and RS4 models won’t be far off. It’ll be interesting how Audi will respond to a growing number of rivals. The outgoing RS4 retains a naturally aspirated V8. It’ll be unlikely this generation RS4 will do the same. Expect a turbocharged engine of some sort, hopefully still with 8 cylinders.
Interestingly, there’ll also be a ‘g-tron’ variant available in Europe from the second half of 2016. Only as an Avant, it’ll be powered by a 170bhp/125kW 2.0-litre turbocharged engine which can run on petrol or natural gas.
In an attempt to add some life to the A4, Audi now have their ‘Drive Select’ system standard on A4s equipped with high output engines. This allows drivers to adjust the throttle, steering, and gearbox. The A4 will also come with variable shock absorbers with a ‘Comfort’ or ‘Sport’ setting. There’s also a variable-ratio steering system for the electric steering. On quattro A4s, there’s torque vectoring which aims to provide “a more neutral handling characteristic”. In other words to negate the understeery nature of old A4s.
The new generation A4 will make their world debut at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show in October before going on sale in Europe by the end of the year. We can expect to see these in NZ sometime in the first half of 2016. So, what do you all think of the new (and I promise it’s new) A4?