NEW A4 HEADED FOR SA: The 2016 Audi A4 will be the fifth-generation of the popular sedan/estate. Image: Audi
FRANKFURT, Germany - Audi has unveiled the latest version of its best-selling car - the A4 in sedan and avant (Audi-speak for estate) guise.
While the B9 generation looks similar to the outgoing model, for that matter most Audis, its most important changes are beneath the metal.
So where is Audi focusing its energy to get ahead of its rivals?
The automaker says high priority was placed on reducing of CO2
emissions, a lower drag coefficient and sipping less fuel (Good news,
considering SA's pending petrol price hike)
Audi says its A4 sedan has the "best drag coefficient in its class at 0.23". Downsizing engines is prominent at the Volkswagen Group with the 1.4T FSI engine (110kW) now available in the A4 range.
Image gallery: 2016 Audi A4 Sedan/Avant
The new A4 has grown slightly to 4.73m in length with a wheelbase of 2.82m translating into more interior space. Expect the option of full LEDs on the new A4 as well as Matrix LED technology.
Audi says its new A4 has been on a banting diet since its current iteration and quotes a reduced weight of 120kg (depending on the engine). Audi said: "Body panels are made from an intelligent material mix and lightweight construction to further aid weight-saving".
Want some peace and quiet while traveling? The interior of the new A4 has improved noise reduction and the cabin gains optional discreet contour lighting for the doors and the centre console.
Audi has updated its MMI system with technology improvements include a virtual 3D cockpit, Matrix LED headlights, smartphone connectivity, "Bang & Olufsen" audio system and heads-up display.
The optional virtual cockpit (first seen on the TT), features a 31cm LCD that displays satnav, audio and other critical information to the driver. The MMI plus system (optional) features a 21cm monitor and touchpad.
The system includes a free-text search function. As was available on the Audi TT, the new, more natural voice-control system is available.
BLEND OF COMFORT AND SPORTY?
The six-speed manual transmission and seven-speed S tronic (now available for front-wheel drive) have received tweaks. For the most powerful TDI, Audi will offer the sport differential on the rear axle as an option in 2016.
The new A4 features redeveloped five-link axles and the electromechanical power steering, which Audi says lays the foundation for dynamic handling and reduced 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.
Audi's next-generation A4 will face rivals such as the new Jaguar XE (due late 2015) , Mercedes C-Class and the ubiquitous BMW 3 Series.
The new A4 will be launched in South Africa in early 2016.
The engine range:
1.4 TFSI petrol 110kW, 0-100kph 8.9sec, 4.9litres/100km, 114g/km CO2
2.0 TFSI petrol 140kW, 0-100kph 7.3sec, 4.9litres/100km, 114g/km CO2
2.0 TFSI petrol 185kW, 0-100kph 5.8sec, 5.7litres/100km, 129g/km CO2
2.0 TDI diesel 110kW, 0-100kph 8.6sec, 3.8litres/100km, 99g/km CO2
2.0 TDI diesel 140kW, 0-100kph 7.7sec, 4.1litres/100km, 107g/km CO2
3.0 TDI diesel (specifications to be confirmed)
3D COCKPIT: The new Audi A4 is equipped with what Audi calls a virtual cockpit experience. Image: Audi