The next-generation Audi A4 has been unveiled ahead of its public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
The fifth iteration of Audi’s mid-size executive saloon is new from the ground up. Though the styling appears similar it is, in fact, very different in the details and every panel is new. According to Audi, research in the three biggest markets – China, Germany and the USA – showed buyers there perferred an evolution of the existing car’s styling, rather than any radical changes. Still looks like a smaller A8.
Audi’s MLB platform underpins the new A4. It is fractionally bigger all-round, with corresponding improvements in interior and luggage space – boot space in the Avant estate is now class-leading. It’s also up to 120kg lighter than before, thanks to wide-spread use of high-strength steel and aluminium in the structure and body panels.
From launch, there will be a choice of seven engines: 148bhp 1.4 TFSi; 187bhp and 248bhp 2.0 TFSis; 148bhp and 187bhp 2.0 TDis; and 218bhp or 272bhp 3.0 V6 TDis.
Performance-wise, the 1.4 TFSi does 0-62mph in 8.9secs with a top speed of 131mph; the 187bhp 2.0 TFSi records 7.3secs and 149mph; and the 248bhp 2.0 TFSi 5.8secs and 155mph. All are most efficient with the optional seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch gearbox, achieving 57.7mpg and 114g/km, 58.8mpg and 114g/km, and 49.6mpg and 129g/km respectively.
The 2.0-litre diesels turn in performance figures of 8.6secs and 136mph, and 7.7secs and 147mph. The 148bhp version posts economy numbers of 74.3mpg and 99g/km with the S tronic ‘box, while the 187bhp car returns 68.9mpg and 107g/km. Both will also be available in aerodynamically-optimised Ultra guise, the 148bhp car recording claimed best-in-class economy of 76.4mpg and 95g/km.
The lower-power V6 diesel returns 67.3mpg and 110g/km, equipped as standard with the S tronic ‘box. The 272bhp TDi comes with an eight-speed auto and quattro four-wheel-drive as standard. quattro is available as an option on the most powerful 2.0 TFSi and 2.0 TDi models, as well.
Standard gadgetry is reasonably generous, but there’s the usual lengthy options list. It includes Audi’s brilliant 12.3-inch TFT instrument display, 8.3-inch infotainment monitor, hands-free boot opening, Bang & Olufsen stereo and internet connection.
Safety equipment is extensive as well, autonomous emergency braking among the driver assistance aids.
The suspension has been heavily reworked, with a five-link set up both front and rear. Steering is by a new electro-mechanical system. Every model from the 187bhp diesel up gets a Drive Select system alters the parameters of the steering, throttle and gearbox. Variable dampers are optional.
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By Only Motors