GTspirit exclusively previewed the next generation 2016 Audi A4 and A4 Avant at a presentation in Germany. The A4 is Audi’s best seller with over 12 million units being sold in its 40 year history. As a result, it is pivotal that Audi builds each and every iteration to the highest possible standards to keep it ahead of the abundance of competition it faces. This, the 9th generation A4, is more technologically advanced than ever before and Audi have made vast improvements on a host of different aspects to set the new A4 ahead of the pack.
Aesthetically, the car does not necessarily feature revolutionary or game-changing evolution, instead the car looks a lot more muscular, lean and toned in comparison to its predecessors.
Despite the car physically growing a few millimetres here and there, resulting in slightly more room for your knees and head, Audi claim that they have made the car 120 kilograms lighter than the car it replaces. This, of course, is dependant on the chosen specification. This means that the A4 can weigh in at just 1320 kilograms, a very impressive figure of a car of such size and also a market leading figure.
At launch there will be three petrol and four diesel engines available to choose from all of which are turbocharged, the most powerful being a 3-litre V6 diesel producing 272 horsepower and 600 Nm of torque. These all-new engines are up to 25 percent more powerful and cleaner than the engines that they replace. All cars are available with either a 6 speed manual or 7 speed dual clutch S Tronic automatic the exception being the automatic transmission linked to the diesel V6 which is an 8 speed ZF dual clutch.
Aesthetically, the car is instantly recognisable to be an Audi with the trademark singleframe grill instantly catching the eye. It is now wider and lower than before and the same lines flow into the lights which are optionally available in LED and Matrix LED technology. Audi pioneered the mainstream implementation of LEDs and daytime running lights. They have yet again pushed the boundaries with they new Matrix cluster on the A4 and A4 Avant. At the rear there are also no traditional halogen bulbs as LEDs give a clean and sharp impression, particularly when combined with the dynamic turn indicators that feature both front and rear, a feature we first saw on the Audi R8.
The new lights taper off into a very attractive line that runs the length of the car before blending into the rear lights. Additionally two more pronounced and prominent lines flow over the bonnet up to the windshield. These are contributing factors that have helped Audi to achieve their targets of making the new A4 the leader in aerodynamics with the best drag coefficient in its class.
The two trims levels we had access to were the Design and S Line models. The S Line cars feature a slightly more aggressive lower front bumper and a selection of sportier wheel designs. In Design guise, the A4 looks a little more professional. There are differences in colour of the grills and additional chrome on the door handles of the Design Line cars.
Inside is where most significant evolution of the A4 have been made. When entering the cabin the minimalistic and relatively narrow dashboard promote a feeling of space. Nothing in the environment feels cumbersome or surplus to requirement. Our first impression was how similar the dash itself is to that of the Audi A8 as the air conditioning controls have been taken from the TT, as has the stunning Audi Virtual Cockpit and finally, the fantastic new steering wheel.
The materials feel premium, the seats are supportive and there a number of new ambient lighting features. The infotainment systems are enough to keep driver and passengers busy for hours. From the Apple CarPlay feature that integrates the iOS interface of your iPhone to the the screen in the car to the wireless mobile charger in the armrest that also boosts phone signal, Audi are pushing mobile phone integration to new levels. Another rather snazzy feature is the Bang & Olufsen speaker upgrade that features 3D Sound which uses nineteen speakers to produce an impressively immersive audio experience. An in car WiFi connection is also available. Furthermore, there is the option to order one or two Audi tablets that are mounted onto the rear of the front headrests. These Android powered tablets can provide journey and car information, the key feature being that they can be removed from the vehicle and can act as conventional tablets.
There are a number of other conveniences to make driving safer and easier than ever before in an Audi A4. There are the usual aids that we have come to expect in most cars these days. These include a head-up display, adaptive cruise control and parking assistance systems. In addition to these driver assistance systems, Audi have innovated systems such as the turning assist that will automatically stop the car if a collision is set to occur when turning and exit warning, a system that alerts the cars occupants when opening the doors if a car is approaching by flashing integrated door lighting red. Audi have also taken voice control to new heights, the system is very intuitive and easily understands complex demands. The drawback of having so many complex systems is that menus often lead to many other submenus which can often be a little confusing and distracting.
GTspirit recommend speccing the MMI Navigation Plus package so owners can make the most of the technology that is available on the A4 including the beautiful virtual cockpit and upgraded screen. Additionally we recommend the stunning Bang & Olufsen sound system and the full LED Matrix headlamps.
Order books are set to open later on in 2015 and we are sure that the car will prove to be very successful and will take charge of the current saloon and avant markets. Many thanks to Audi for inviting GTspirit to have an exclusive experience with the all new Audi A4 and A4 Avant!