Tweaked Audi A4 range includes a new 1.8-litre four-cylinder TFSI boasting 170bhp
9 January 2012

The wraps have come off the facelifted version of the Audi A4 at today's Detroit motor show, which will be a key rival to the recently revealed, sixth-generation BMW 3-series and Mercedes-Benz C-class.

The Audi A4 – one of the Ingolstadt marque's strongest sellers – is due to arrive in UK showrooms in March in saloon, Avant, Allroad quattro and S4 forms. The headlining S4 now offers up 0-62mph in just 5.0sec, a limited 155mph top speed along with combined average fuel consumption of 39.3mpg.

The reworked A4 gains a host of detailed styling changes, a revised range of petrol and diesel engines and changes to its interior – all of which are aimed at setting it apart from today’s A4, which has been on sale here since 2008.

Exterior

Among the visual tweaks is a subtly altered front-end exterior styling which features more curvaceous headlamps assemblies with reworked LED running lamps now appearing as a continuous band and optional Xenon main beam projectors.

Other changes include greater contouring to the bonnet, a new six-corner single-frame grille – which is painted grey on four-cylinder models and black on six-cylinders – as well as a re-profiled bumper carrying trapezoidal shaped fog lamps.

At the rear, there are new tail lamps with altered LED graphics mirroring that of the headlamps up front and a new bumper housing a more prominent valance panel with twin chrome tailpipes.

Interior

Inside, Audi has attempted to provide the facelifted A4 with higher perceived quality and greater ease of use. This is achieved through a new selection of steering wheel designs, higher quality dashboard and centre console trim applications, detailed design changes to the switchgear and alterations to the optional MMI (multi media interface) ‘navigation plus’ system, which now features four instead of eight buttons.

Engines

On the diesel side, Audi has modified its popular 2.0-litre four-cylinder common rail TDI engine with what it describes as ‘a pendulum-type absorber’ in the dual mass flywheel. This has been adopted in some, but not all, variants.

The frugal oilburner now comes in no less than five different states of tune: 118bhp, 134bhp, 141bhp, 161bhp and 175bhp – the most economical of which is the 134bhp version that is claimed to return combined cycle consumption of 67.3mpg for CO2 emissions of just 112g/km. Two 3.0-litre six-cylinder TDI units are also available in 204bhp and 245bhp guises.

The highlight among the new A4’s petrol units is a new 1.8-litre four-cylinder TFSI – as recently brought to the A5 Sportback. With 170bhp –10bhp more than its predecessor – it is claimed to return 50.4mpg and 134g/km of CO2, an improvement of 19 per cent.

The base petrol unit remains an older 1.8-litre four-cylinder unit with 118bhp. It is joined by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder TFSI engine with 211bhp and a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 that endows the four-wheel drive S4 with 328bhp.

Powertrain

Among the gearboxes is a six-speed manual that comes as standard on all front-wheel drive models. Options include Audi’s long running continuously variable transmission, the Multitronic as it is known, as well as a seven-speed double clutch unit called the S-tronic – although the latter isn’t available in combination with all engines.

Quattro four-wheel drive is available from the 175bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder TDI engine upwards. In more powerful V6 versions it adopts a sports differential with torque vectoring for added traction.

With a new electro-mechanical steering system now standard across the line-up along with automatic stop/stop, brake energy recuperation, ancillary components that only draw energy when required, the new A4 is claimed to be on average up to 11 per cent more economical than its predecessor.

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Our Verdict

Audi A4
The Audi A4 saloon is bigger, roomier and more aerodynamic than its predecessor

The Audi A4 is an improvement over the previous version, but isn't good enough to topple the BMW 3-series

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Comments
59

27 October 2011

Another Audi I cannot think of anything to say about.

27 October 2011

and yet you made the effort to tell us you weren't saying anything

27 October 2011

[quote eseaton]Another Audi I cannot think of anything to say about[/quote] Well some people see and know what real quality is, some of us don't. The new A4 is not unlike the A6 which is not unlike the A8, all superb quality inside and out but not the most interesting of cars and beginning now more than ever to all look the same. I'd jump over a Mercedes or BMW to buy the Audi though as I feel the Audi says more about the person as an individual. A6 Avant for me please.

27 October 2011

[quote eseaton]Another Audi I cannot think of anything to say about.[/quote] That's nothing. I can't think of anything to say about yeast or conduit.

 

 

27 October 2011

Ahhh, if only it were British..........................

27 October 2011

It's becoming increasingly diificult to be able to tell the A4 and A6 apart. I thought that the new 3-Series concept looked like a 5-Series. They look completely different to each other in comparison to these pair of clones.

27 October 2011

Oh Dear the bosses have forced them into making all the range look the same. Now the A4 looks like the A5 which looks like the A6 which looks like the A8 etc… At least give them some character for each model range…..It only benefits the cheapest car.

27 October 2011

[quote sputnik]I'd jump over a Mercedes or BMW to buy the Audi though as I feel the Audi says more about the person as an individual.[/quote]

That isn't necessarily a good thing! ;-)

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

27 October 2011

[quote sputnik]I'd jump over a Mercedes or BMW to buy the Audi though as I feel the Audi says more about the person as an individual.[/quote]

That's what this car's all about. It's for people who suffer from the illusion that the neighbours care in the least about what's sitting in their drive.

As a car, just about any other medium saloon, even, or perhaps especially, that Seat thing that's based on an old A4, makes this Audi look absolutely ridiculous.

27 October 2011

Subtle changes but overall worthwhile when looking at the A4 in isolation.

Only problem is that the A4 now resembles the A6 more than ever and the A8 is no different. Russian doll design is easy on design costs, but the visual impact of the larger models is greatly lessened when so easily mistaken for lower models. I wonder if in time the sales of A6 will not be undercut by A4? BMW have also fallen into this trap with M-B being the only German exec to retain distinct model lines.

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