SPOTTED IN ACTION: The prototype of the next-generation Audi A4 Avant, the estate variant of the A4 compact sedan, was spotted in Germany. Image: Automedia
BERLIN, Germany - Spy photographers captured images of a prototype Audi A4 Avant, the estate variant of the A4 sedan.
The estate – together with an Allroad variant – is currently expected to be revealed as a 2017 model. The new A4 sedan is expected to be launched in 2015 offering new drivetrains.
Audi was originally due to launch its new A4 at the end of 2014 but a late change in its design meant the vehicle’s release date needed to be pushed back.
The size of the new A4 and A4 Avant appear to be similar to that of the current model but it also looks like the new one will have a wider rear track and a more coupe-like roofline.
The 2016 A4 and 2017 A4 Avant will be Audi’s second model to ride on the next-generation version of the MLB (modular longitudinal) platform, which will eventually underpin most of the automaker’s models from the A4 up.
Previewed in Audi’s Sport quattro concept, the latest MLB platform, nicknamed the MLB Evo, uses a combination of ultrahigh-strength steel, aluminium and even some composites to help get weight down. Look for weight savings of around 100kg compared to the current A4 range. The first vehicle we’ll see it in is the brand-new Q7.
Front-wheel drive will remain standard for the A4 limo and estate while quattro all-wheel drive will continue to be offered as an option. The front suspension is believed to be comprised of five links per wheel, while the rear suspension should be based on the self-tracking trapezoidal link principle coveted by Audi.
Image gallery: 2017 Audi A4 Avant
One of the key benefits of the latest MLB Evo platform is that it has been designed to be compatible with alternative drivetrains. The US should get a plug-in hybrid version of the 2016 A4 while in other markets Audi will likely offer natural fuel and maybe even all-electric versions on top.
It is clear that Audi will offer its RS 4 treatment for the new A4 Avant, and we also know that a 2.0-litre TDI diesel option will be offered. Transmissions are likely to include six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch units.