C-Class’ upcoming rival, the new Audi A4 has been caught almost undisguised. These are the most revealing spy-shots yet, showing for the first time the final design of the LED headlights and tail-lights.
The new Audi A4 The sedan will come to market with almost unchanged dimensions: the length will measure 4,701 mm, the width 1,826 mm and the height 1417 mm. Underpinning the new model is the new MLB Evo (Modular Longitudinal) platform. Designed to support a wide range of wheelbases and track widths, it will serve as the base for all upcoming high-end Audi models, including future A6 and A7 models. High strength steel, aluminum and composite materials are used in Audi’s quest to save up to 100 kg compared to the current car’s weight.
The first glimpse of its headlights which reveals a mix of LED and xenon technology and a wider stance with an extra corner at the bottom, an original feature in Audi’s design book. The wider grille is reminiscent of recent iterations found in the Q7 and the TT.
The interior doesn’t bring many surprises either, styling-wise. The layout again brings to mind the new Q7 with huge air vents, occupying the full-width of the dashboard. The 8-inch infotainment screen is now free-standing, mimicking similar solutions found in the C-Class and BMW 3-Series. 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. In addition, the rearview mirror is set to be replaced by screen which displays images taken by a rear-view camera.
The new Audi A4 is set to feature a wide range of four and six-cylinder engines (1.4-, 1.8- and 2.0-liter TFSI turbo petrols, and 1.6- and 2.0-liter turbo diesels). The MLB Evo platform has been designed with alternative drives in mind. As a result, a plug-in-hybrid version will be available from launch. A 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine will be driving the front wheels, while a single electric motor will power the rear axle to achieve all-wheel drive. Further down the life cycle, Audi will also offer natural gas and even all-electric versions.
Alongside the new A4, a full array of technological features are expected to debut, including LED and Matrix laser lights, a digital instrument panel lifted straight from the new TT, a new touchpad for the infotainment system and the already mentioned e-quattro plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Commercial debut is pegged for the beginning of 2016. As tradition dictates, Audi will continue to offer the new model in sedan and Avant body styles. As with today’s A4, front-wheel drive will be standard, while quattro all-wheel drive will be available as an option.