The new A4 follows the latest Audi theme of a single-frame grille, first seen on the latest A8 6.0 quattro, followed through on the new A6 - soon to be launched in SA - and on the upcoming A3 Sportback.
The rear end, with its strong horizontal lines and low-positioned two-piece light units, and the sides, where the shoulder line moulds the panels into shape, are also new.
The changes apply across the A4 range, so will include the sedan, Avant and S4 - but they won't be applied to the convertible for the time being.
The range now offers a total of no fewer than nine engines, four of which are brand new to the A4.
Top of the range is the 190 kW 3.2-litre V6 FSI as found in the latest TT, linked to either the multitronic CVT gearbox or a manual shifter - and this gives the A4 a top speed of 250 km/h and a 0-100 km/h sprint time of just 7.3 seconds.
Next up is the 147 kW 2-litre FSI turbo that will also grace the new VW Golf GTI, giving the A4 a top speed of 241 km/h and a similar acceleration time of 7.3 seconds.
There's also a new 2-litre TDI producing 100 kW to give a top speed of 212 km/h and a 0 -100 km/h time of 9.7 seconds, and on top of that a 3-litre V6 TDI with 152 kW which pushes the car to 235 km/h and does zero tom 100 in just 7.2 seconds.
Other engines include a 2-litre inline four-cylinder unit which develops 96 kW, as well as the 120 kW 1.8 T four-cylinder version. The 75 kW 1.6 completes the choice of petrol engines.
Multitronic continuously variable transmission and quattro four-wheel-drive are available on some models, while the new 6-speed tiptronic gearbox with sport programme is offered for quattro versions.
Audi's chassis engineers have made extensive changes in the area of elastokinematics and to the spring and shock absorber settings: several mountings and the dimensions of the front and rear shock absorbers have been adopted from the A6, for example.
The rear trapezoidal links and wheel carriers as well as the front track rods originate from the S4.
The nett result is better ride and handling.
Inside there are new-generation steering wheels with the airbag cover in a single-frame design. Door sill trims with aluminium inserts and numerous aluminium inlays are a standard feature of all new A4 versions.
Inlays in walnut, fine-grained birchwood grey or fine-grained birchwood beige can be ordered as an alternative, while there are three new cloth and two exclusive leather grades as well as a leather/Alcantara version for the interior surfaces and the seats.
As far as specifications go, the A4 is very well equipped. All models get automatic air conditioning which has separate temperature controls for the driver and front passenger.
Electric front windows (and electric rear windows as well on 2.0T FSI and V6 versions) are also part of the standard specification, as are electrically adjustable exterior mirrors and central locking with radio remote control.
Customers can choose from 15 exterior colours, including five new ones. In addition to the standard specification, the wheel range comprises eight summer and three winter wheels of up to 7.5 x 17 J in size, with tyres up to 235/45 R 17. Additional versions up to 18 inches in size are available from quattro GmbH.
The new cars are expected to be shown at South Africa's Auto Africa Expo in October.