Fifth-generation A4 saloon due on sale in the UK in the middle of next year; Avant and Allroad models to follow
9 January 2014

This is our latest look at the fifth-generation Audi A4, which is still in the relatively early stages of development ahead of its launch next year. It is expected to go on sale in the UK in the second half of 2015.

This engineering mule wears bodywork from the current car. Previous prototypes have worn heavy disguises, but the latest interpretation of Audi's front grille, seen on the new TT, should feature alongside that car's angular LED headlights.

Based on the second-generation MLB platform, the new A4 will be part of a push for improved economy from Audi. A range of longitudinally mounted 1.4, 1.8 and 2.0-litre TFSI engines are expected to power the new A4, some featuring cylinder shut-down technology, alongside 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesel units. At least one model should offer CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km. Audi is also planning to introduce 3.0-litre TFSI and TDI engines, such as the one shown in Vienna this week, but those will likely be mainly for the US market.

A plug-in hybrid model, using the same petrol-electric powertrain as the A3 e-tron and with an electric-only range of around 30 miles, is also planned. A diesel-electric system is also under development and could be introduced later on to feed a growing demand for hybrids in Europe.

Both six-speed manual and nine-speed automatic gearboxes should be offered, but today's multitronic CVT will be dropped from the line-up. All A4 models will be front-wheel drive, with four-wheel drive available as an option. Stop-start technology, brake energy recuperation and thermal management should also feature.

The saloon variant of the A4 will launch first, with an Avant model appearing soon after. Reports suggest an Allroad version will follow later in the year, while successors to the A5 coupé, cabriolet and Sportback are also planned for 2016.

The A4's length and height will remain close to the current car, but its width will increase in order to house a new chassis with wider tracks. The wheelbase of the new car should also be longer than the 2810mm of the current A4. The new A4's boot capacity should remain the same as the current A4, at 480 litres.

Inside, the new A4 should offer a minimalistic design with extras such as a head-up display available as options. The latest version of Audi's MMI infotainment system should also be available, controlled via a touchpad as seen on the new Audi TT.

Currently one of the top-ranking compact executive models, the new A4 will face stiff competition from the BMW 3-series and new Mercedes-Benz C-class.

Additional reporting by Darren Moss, 9 May 2014

Our Verdict

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

Join the debate

Comments
17

A34

16 August 2013

That means a struggle for Audi marketing. Meanwhile the weight saving and cylinder de-activation options (if priced right) should be good news...

9 January 2014
A34 wrote:

That means a struggle for Audi marketing. Meanwhile the weight saving and cylinder de-activation options (if priced right) should be good news...

I don't think so. There are lots of middle managers and Execs clambering for an A4 as they are seen as the height of style, taste and public image. (Recent conversation (to go-getter exec on a decent bonus): what do you drive? An Audi... A4 Sport. Me: Oh, dear.) The car still sells well, despite being poor to drive, ride in and at times, questionable reliability and quality. Personally I think it will look better with this dust sheet on. We can pretty much guess what it will look, feel and drive right already.

16 August 2013

If it looked like the sketches it would be better, but, as we all know,Audi's,with ecception of the R8 are a bit wooden to steer.

Peter Cavellini.

16 August 2013

Would be interesting to know if Audi plans to use its existing 4WD transmissions for the new 4WD models, or might it be considering using the hybrid system's electric motors to provide the drive torque to the rear axle? Using electric drive at one end to supplement  the normal engine's power delivery to the other could bring many advantages, particularly weigh saving, reduced mechanical losses and the easy ability to vary front/rear torque split to suit conditions.

If the company sticks with its existing transmission, then a 4WD hybrid promises to be a very heavy beast.  

16 August 2013

LP in Brighton wrote:

Would be interesting to know if Audi plans to use its existing 4WD transmissions for the new 4WD models, or might it be considering using the hybrid system's electric motors to provide the drive torque to the rear axle? Using electric drive at one end to supplement  the normal engine's power delivery to the other could bring many advantages, particularly weigh saving, reduced mechanical losses and the easy ability to vary front/rear torque split to suit conditions.

If the company sticks with its existing transmission, then a 4WD hybrid promises to be a very heavy beast.  

As the electric motor will be housed in the gearbox, they will be using the existing system suplimented with electric motors rather than the system Volvo and Peugeot use now where the rear axel is powered only by electricity

16 August 2013

What styling? Like most Audis it is bland and uninteresting

16 August 2013

Zeroboost wrote:

What styling? Like most Audis it is bland and uninteresting

Yes ... But ultimately ageless ...

29 September 2013
Suzuki QT wrote:

Zeroboost wrote:

What styling? Like most Audis it is bland and uninteresting

Yes ... But ultimately ageless ...

I would they are starting to look a bit dated, they have had the same styling for 15 years. If this is the new A4, it doesn't really fit in with Autocar reporting “Good design must always express a vision. We need something new without breaking from tradition,” said Egger.

16 August 2013

A "scoop" would be something real. A shot of a prototype, for instance. This is a drawing of the old car with a modified front, plus some speculative generalities. Mind you, in fairness to Autocar, it's an Audi. Even the scoops are dull.

28 August 2013

"3.0-litre V6 giving a choice of 220bhp and 270bhp."

"250bhp version of the supercharged 3.0-litre V6."

A bit underpowered for a 3.0 litre V6, I think

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    22 December 2014
    Entry-level diesel MPV shares its three-cylinder engine with Mini but, due to long gearing, lacks the authoritative punch of a convincing premium product
  • Car review
    17 December 2014
    The replacement for the CL grand tourer has some big boots to fill
  • Mercedes-Benz CLS 350 AMG Line Shooting Brake review
    First Drive
    16 December 2014
    Elegant, alluring and with some welcome improvements, but not good enough to lead the class
  • First Drive
    15 December 2014
    Hushed, flexible and remarkable value for money. Arguably more fit-for-purpose than any other ‘S’.
  • 2015 Mazda CX-3 review
    First Drive
    12 December 2014
    The Mazda CX-3 has style and substance, and deserves consideration for anyone wanting a compact urban SUV. Here’s hoping Mazda gets the price and equipment right