The all-new Audi A4
Despite bearing a remarkable resemblance to the outgoing model, the totally new A4 will debut at next month's Frankfurt Show. The underpinnings of the car have already been seen on the A5, and the new car retains the familiar Audi 'look' but with a new 'sports chassis', a repositioning of the front axle, all-new steering and (where applicable) the latest generation quattro system with 40:60 torque split.
The new A4's increased wheelbase is the longest in the class, giving reduced overhangs for optimised weight distribution and promises 'exceptional interior space'.
Engines available from launch in the UK will include the 160PS 1.8 Turbo FSI four-cylinder, the 265PS 3.2-litre V6 FSI, the 143PS 2.0-litre TDI, the 190PS 2.7-litre TDI and the 240PS 3.0-litre TDI. As usual with Audi you will have to wait a little while for the hot versions, the superb RS4 only being available at the end of the old model's production cycle last year.
Depending on the engine chosen, there will be the option of either the latest six-speed manual gearbox, an extensively revised, faster-shifting six-speed tiptronic automatic transmission or an updated and even smoother version of the multitronic continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).
From the outside, the 4,703mm long and 1,826mm wide new A4 Saloon looks very similar to not only the current car but also its two-door A5 coupe relative. The 4-door exhibits a coupe-like drag coefficient of just 0.27. As an option, LED strip daytime running lights will be available to tie the family look in yet further.
Inside, rear leg room has increased by 36mm, and the extra space from the lengthened wheelbase shows in the larger 480-litre boot, which is expandable to a total of 962 litres.
The latest A4 has a new ‘intelligent key’ which dispenses with the conventional key blade and instead 'communicates electronically with the car’s electrical system'. It also has the optional Audi Drive Select technology that means at the touch of a button accelerator pedal response, transmission shift points, power steering assistance and shock absorber characteristics can be adjusted by the driver. He or she will have a choice of three preset modes - comfort, auto and sport. An ‘Individual’ mode also enables preferred settings for all of these to be fine-tuned even further.
Many features of the larger A6 Saloon have been transferred t the new A4. These include a space-saving electromechanical parking brake, the Multi Media Interface operating system (MMI) and the DVD satellite navigation option with TMC congestion avoidance system and 7-inch colour monitor. Luxuries such as ventilated ‘climatic comfort’ seats and a 505-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system are also available at extra cost.
The new car will be available to order at Audi dealers from the date of the Frankfurt Show’s Press Day, Tuesday September 11th.
Text: Classic Driver
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