The new Audi A4 has been spied virtually undisguised in what can be called the most revealing spy-shots set yet. C-Class shouldn’t worry, though.
From a design stand-point, at least. The new A4’s design is almost unchanged. Audi seems caught in the past, the new model featuring not only almost identical proportions but also little changed dimensions (L 4,701 mm/W 1,826 mm/h 1417 mm), despite the switch to the all-new MLB Evo (Modular Longitudinal) platform, expected to underpin all upcoming high-end Audi models, including future A6 and A7 models. Front-wheel drive will be standard, while quattro all-wheel drive will be available as an option.
Audi doesn’t have many surprises in store for the interior either. Huge air vents, occupying the full-width of the dashboard and a new 8-inch free-standing infotainment screen bring to mind the recently launched Q7 but also (and this is not a good thing for the A4) the VW Passat.
The number of buttons on the center console has been reduced to a minimum, main functions being integrated in the MMI system which gets brand-new touchpad technology from its bigger siblings, the A8 and Q7. It is not larger, but intelligent and can be used as an alternative for voice control to enter characters.
On Audi’s defense, A4 will mark the debut of a full array of technological features, from LED and Matrix laser lights to a digital instrument panel lifted straight from the new TT. An intensive mix of high strength steel, aluminum and composite materials will help Audi save up to 100 kg compared to the current car’s weight.
The engine range will be as wide as ever, including the usual four and six-cylinder units (1.4-, 1.8- and 2.0-liter TFSI turbo petrols, and 1.6- and 2.0-liter turbo diesels). A plug-in-hybrid version will be available from launch, in which case a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine drives the front wheels, while a single electric motor powers the rear axle to achieve all-wheel drive. Further down the life cycle, Audi will also offer natural gas and even all-electric versions.
The new Audi A4 will arrive in showrooms at the beginning of 2016, in both sedan and Avant body styles.