The shape hasn't changed; it's immediately recognizable as an A4. Instead, this new model updates that familiar design with sharper lines, similar to what we've seen on the new Q7, or even the R8. The big story here is that the 2016 A4 is up to 264 pounds lighter than its predecessor, depending on trim and engine. Additionally, the A4 is the most aerodynamic car in its class, boasting a drag coefficient of just 0.23.
A fresh, modern cabin lies within that lighter shell – one that looks decidedly more upscale than the last A4. Many elements are reminiscent of the Audi Prologue concept that we first saw (and drove) in Los Angeles last year – specifically, the steering wheel, and the new MMI controls. In fact, Audi has positioned its infotainment controls closer to the center console – in front of the gear selector. This reminds us of the current A8, where Audi specifically designed its shifter to act as a sort of wrist rest. You can rest your arm on the gear lever and still access all of the MMI functionality. Speaking of which, that's the latest generation of Audi's MMI interface, packing navigation, touch capability, LTE connectivity, and WiFi in the 8.3-inch color display.
Audi isn't saying which engines will come to the United States right now, but when the new A4 launches, it'll be offered with three gasoline and four diesel engines in Europe. Our best guess is that the US-spec car will come with the latest 2.0-liter TSFI turbocharged inline-four with 272 horsepower, as well as Audi's tried-and-true 2.0-liter TDI diesel four. Front- and all-wheel drive will be available, and for the first time, two-wheel-drive models will get a proper dual-clutch transmission – no more CVT.
There's a whole lot more to lean about the A4 in the press release, posted after the reveal video. You can also see the 2016 A4 in sedan and Avant forms in the galleries above and below – it's unclear if the wagon will make its way to the US. The A4 Avant has been sold here before, but currently, Audi only offers that more functional bodystyle in Allroad spec. Either way, it looks like this new A4 brings a lot to the table. It's been thoroughly updated, and given the stiff competition, it couldn't happen soon enough.
The new-generation Audi A4 and A4 Avant are a fascinating synthesis of technology and esthetics. All the technology in the brand's bestselling family has been redeveloped so that it yet again defines the benchmark in the segment. During the development work, high priority was placed on the reduction of CO2 emissions. All technologies were focused on reducing drive resistance.
A good example is aerodynamics: The A4 Sedan has the best drag coefficient in its class at 0.23. The new models also have impressively low CO2 emissions of 95 grams per kilometer (152.9 grams per mile) for the A4 Sedan 2.0 TDI ultra with 110 kW (150 hp); the A4 Avant 2.0 TDI ultra emits 99 grams CO2 per km (159.3 g/mi). The 2.0 TFSI with 140 kW (190 hp) emits 109 g/km (175.4 g/mi) in the A4 Sedan ultra and 114 g/km (183.5 g/mi) in the A 4 Avant ultra. The most powerful engines are two TDI six-cylinder units with up to 200 kW (272 hp). Driver assistance systems and infotainment are of luxury quality. A new generation of four-cylinder TFSI engines with newly developed combustion methods sets benchmarks in terms of fuel consumption, emissions and performance for four-cylinder gasoline engines. The A4 Sedan and the A4 Avant will be launched this fall.
At 4.73 meters (15.5 ft) long and with a wheelbase of 2.82 meters (9.3 ft) – the new Audi A4 and A4 Avant have a confident stance on the road. A prominent horizontal line on the front and rear emphasizes the car's width. The flowing design with concise lines communicates the sporty elegance of the brand. The Singleframe grille is wide and low; the optionally available headlights in LED and Matrix LED technology (including dynamic turn indicators) make technology a visual trademark.
Up to 120 kilograms (264.6 lb) lighter
Compared with the previous model, the car's dimensions have grown but its weight has been reduced significantly – by up to 120 kilograms, depending on the engine. The body of the new Audi models is one of the lightest in its class thanks to an intelligent material mix and lightweight construction.
The Audi A4 is a leader in its class also in terms of noise levels. All occupants enjoy generous space; the smooth lines emphasize the width of the interior. The front of the dashboard features a broad band of air outlets and a large decorative surface. At night, optional discreet contour lighting illuminates the doors and the central console. The quality of workmanship is uncompromisingly high. Colors and materials follow a new line concept allowing customers even more freedom during configuration.
Sensor-controlled opening of luggage compartment: the A4 Avant
The luggage compartment of the new A4 Avant offers basic storage space of 505 liters, which is the most of any premium model in this class. With the rear seats folded down and loaded to the roof, a volume of 1,510 liters is available. The electric luggage compartment cover and electric tailgate are standard equipment. An optional extra is sensor control for opening and closing the tailgate.
The two new models offer an abundance of intelligent technologies, the use of which is even more intuitive with the new Audi MMI display and control concept. Technological highlights of the new A4 include the Audi virtual cockpit, the Audi Matrix LED headlights, the Audi smartphone interface, the Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 3D sound, the Audi phone box with wireless charging, the head-up display, and new driver assistance systems and Audi connect services.
Information and fascination: the Audi virtual cockpit and the MMI
The focus here is on two innovations. The optional Audi virtual cockpit, a fully digital combination instrument, features a 12.3-inch LCD screen that displays the most important information in brilliant high-resolution graphics, with great detail and sophisticated effects.
The MMI control concept in the center console is also a newly designed feature and acts as the main control element. The top-end infotainment system, MMI Navigation plus with MMI touch and a large 8.3-inch monitor, has a touchpad in the rotary controller to zoom in and out and to enter characters. The entire MMI control logic is similar to that of a smartphone and includes an intelligent free-text search function. The new, more natural, voice-control system also understands input in normal everyday language, such as "I want to call Peter Miller."
Concentrated computing power
MMI Navigation plus is backed by the computing power of the second-generation modular infotainment platform, which allows Audi to bring consumer electronics innovations into the vehicle quickly.
If customers order a car with MMI Navigation plus, they automatically receive the Audi connect hardware module, which connects the A4 and A4 Avant with the Internet via the high-speed LTE network. Passengers can surf the Internet and send and receive e-mail with their mobile devices via a Wi-Fi hotspot while the driver can use the tailored services of Audi connect.
The Audi smartphone interface is a new feature. It integrates iOS and Android mobile phones into an environment developed especially for this purpose – Audi MMI. The Audi phone box connects smartphones to the on-board antenna and charges them inductively according to the Qi standard. For discerning hi-fi fans, the Bang & Olufsen Sound System with innovative 3D sound is available, which introduces the additional dimension of height. The new Audi tablet can also be used as flexible rear seat entertainment.
Powerful six and four-cylinder engines
The new Audi A4 and A4 Avant will be launched in Germany with seven engines, three TFSI and four TDI. Their power output has increased significantly and ranges from 110 kW (150 hp) to 200 kW (272 hp), but fuel consumption has been reduced by up to 21 percent. The A4 2.0 TDI ultra has fuel consumption of just 3.7 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers (63.6 US mpg) and CO2 emissions of just 95 grams per kilometer (152.9 grams per mile); the figures for the corresponding Avant model are 3.8 l/100 km and 99 g/km CO2 (61.9 US mpg and 159.3 g/mi). All the engines combine high efficiency with sporty power delivery and smoothness. This applies in particular to the two 3.0 TDI six-cylinder engines.
The new Audi A4 has a groundbreaking innovation for the gasoline engines: The 2.0 TFSI ultra with 140 kW (190 hp) uses an absolutely new combustion method that makes it especially efficient and allows fuel consumption of 4.8 liters per 100 km (49 US mpg) and CO2 emissions of 109 g/km (175.4 g/mi); the figures for the corresponding Avant model are 5.0 l/100 km and 114 g/km CO2 (47 US mpg and 183.5 g/mi). During the model lifecycle, a g-tron version will be launched which can use natural gas or the sustainably produced Audi e-gas as fuel.
S tronic, tiptronic and manual transmission
The powertrain and the chassis of the new Audi A4 and A4 Avant have been completely redeveloped. The six-gear manual transmission, the seven-gear S tronic (now also available for front-wheel drive) and the eight-stage tiptronic have been redesigned; the automatic transmissions now offer a fuel-saving freewheeling function. Wheel-selective torque control supplements the work of the front-wheel drive and the quattro drive. For the most powerful TDI, Audi will offer the sport differential on the rear axle as an option starting in 2016.
The handling of new A4 makes a great leap forward: on the one hand sporty and performance oriented, but with a focus on comfort at the same time. The suspension and steering filter out disturbances such as an uneven road surface, but communicate to the driver important information such as increases in lateral forces and tracking. This performance is based on the redeveloped five-link axles and the electromechanical power steering – they are exceptionally light. They lay the foundation for dynamic handling and first-class ride comfort while also reducing fuel consumption. Additional options are dynamic steering, which varies its ratio according to the car's speed and the steering angle, and suspension with adjustable shock absorbers with which the driver can for the first time select between two settings: sports or comfort. Both of suspension settings are included in the Audi drive select driving-dynamics system, which is standard equipment for models with engines of 140 kW (190 hp) and above.
Widest range in its class: driver assistance and safety systems
The Audi A4 and A4 Avant set the benchmark in their class with numerous driver assistance systems. The predictive efficiency assistant helps drivers to save fuel, Audi active lane assist helps them to stay in lane and the Stop&Go adaptive cruise control including traffic-jam assist eases driving in slow-moving traffic. One special feature of traffic-jam assist is its control strategy. It takes into account a large number of parameters such as road markings and the traffic ahead. Some more innovations that make important contributions to safety are parking assist, rear cross-traffic assist, exit warning, collision avoidance assist, turn assist and the Audi pre-sense systems. Camera-based traffic-sign recognition is also available.
At a glance: The new Audi A4 and Audi A4 Avant
Exterior design and body
- Athletic proportions and sporty elegance; the Avant with raked D-pillars
- 4.73 meters (15.5 ft) long, 2.82-meter (9.3 ft) wheelbase, 1.84 meters (6.0 ft) wide, 1.43 meters (4.7 ft) high
- Optional LED headlights and matrix LED headlights with dynamic turn indicators
- Light body: weight reduced by up to 15 kilograms (33.1 lb) compared with the previous model
- Best drag coefficient in its class: 0.23 for the Sedan, 0.26 for the Avant; aeroacoustics ensure peace and quiet on board
- The longest interior and greatest shoulder width at the front compared with competitors
- Avant has a luggage compartment volume of 505 liters (17.8 cu ft)
- Avant has an electrical luggage compartment cover as standard
- Interior design with large decorative surfaces and continuous air vent strip; new colors and materials, spacious interior, LED interior lighting as standard equipment, first-class workmanship
- Largest range of lightweight seats amongst the premium competitors
- Automatic climate control with a new interface
- Optional LED interior lighting packages with color-adjustable ambient lighting
- New equipment concept with sport and design lines – for the first time with exterior differentiation
- Optionally available: head-up display and Audi virtual cockpit
- Completely redesigned MMI operating concept including free-text search function
- Can also be operated by multifunction steering wheel and natural-language voice control
Infotainment and Audi connect
- Optional top-end infotainment system MMI Navigation plus with MMI touch and an 8.3-inch MMI monitor including - Audi connect, LTE connectivity and Wi-Fi hotspot. Audi phone box available with inductive charging
- Many new Audi connect services including remote control via smartphone app to check and control the car
- Audi smartphone interface for connecting Apple and Android phones
- Bang & Olufsen Sound System with innovative 3D sound and Audi tablet as mobile rear-seat entertainment
- Three TFSI and four TDI engines at market launch, 110 kW (150 hp) to 200 kW (272 hp), up to 25 percent more power
- Fuel consumption reduced by up to 21 percent, Audi A4 2.0 TDI ultra with new best figures: just 3.7 liters of diesel per 100 km (63.6 US mpg) and 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer (152.9 grams per mile)
- Highly efficient 3.0 TDI in two power versions
- Economical 1.4 TFSI with 4.9 liters per 100 km (48.0 US mpg) and 114 grams CO2 per km (183.5 g/mi)
- New 2.0 TFSI ultra with 140 kW with newly developed combustion method and just 4.8 liters of gasoline per 100 km (49.0 US mpg) and 109 grams of CO2 per km (175.4 g/mi)
- A4 Avant g-tron – can operate on sustainably produced Audi e-gas
- New generations of the S tronic, tiptronic and manual transmission. S tronic in A4 for front-wheel drive for the first time, both automatic transmissions with freewheeling function
- Front-wheel drive or quattro drive with wheel-selective torque control
- Redesigned, light five-link axles at front and rear, significant increase in comfort with accentuated sportiness
- Newly developed electromechanical power steering, with dynamic steering on request
- Audi drive select dynamic driving system standard as of 140 kW (190 hp), suspension with adjustable shock absorbers available as an option
Driver assistance systems and integrated safety
- Stop&Go adaptive cruise control including traffic-jam assist for slow-moving traffic
- Predictive efficiency assistant for even lower fuel consumption
- Audi active lane assist and Audi side assist
- New: parking assist, rear cross-traffic assist, exit warning, turn assist, collision avoidance assist and camera-based traffic-sign recognition
- New safety systems: Audi pre sense city, basic and rear