Are Audi designers incredibly lazy, or seriously determined to preserve resale values of customers’ cars? This is the all-new A4, revealed this week – and if you’re wracking your brain trying to figure out what they’ve changed, you’re totally forgiven.
Gradual progression, rather than radical transformation is Audi’s approach when it comes to design. And the latest A4 is no different. While the overall silhouette of the new model seems largely unchanged, you can spot the differences if you look closely. For instance, a bolder single-frame grille dominates at the front. Headlamps with (optional) Matrix LED technology will also be offered. The fact that Audi dedicated not much more than two sentences to aesthetics in their media release is an indication that they too struggled to expound on the differences…
But there’s a lot more to get excited about under the skin. While dimensions have grown, total body fat has been trimmed by 120 kilograms – it’s purported to be one of the lightest cars in its class, thanks to the use of intelligent composites. The suspension is fully redeveloped and an electromechanical power steering system promises sharper handling. Adjustable shock absorbers will be a part of the mix too, offering drivers settings biased towards sporting or soothing driving characteristics.
Expect a wider variety of engines too, with outputs ranging between 110kW and 200kW. There will be a mix of six and four-cylinder engines, in petrol (TFSI) and diesel (TDI) guises. One particular highlight will be a new 2.0 TFSI, which Audi claims uses an “absolutely new” combustion method – resulting in supreme efficiency. Audi will also launch a model able to run on natural gas in future. Manual and S-tronic transmissions are going to be offered.
Notable interior changes include the adoption of Audi’s virtual cockpit, with a fully digital instrument panel. This was debuted locally in the latest Audi TT. The Multi Media Interface (MMI) system gains an 8.3-inch monitor and boasts an experience similar to that of the average smartphone, according to Audi. And it will be compatible with Android and Apple devices. Expect a host of driver aids as well, including a traffic-jam assistant which “eases driving” in slow-moving congestion. Traffic-sign recognition, parking assistance and a collision avoidance warning system are also on the cards. Exact specification for our market is yet to be announced. But Audi South Africa confirms that the new A4 will land on shores early in 2016.