Audi’s finalised plans for the all-new Audi A4 include an electric-only four-wheel-drive performance RS model and a hybrid RS4 to top a line-up underpinned by two different platforms, according to well-placed Ingolstadt insiders. One platform will be used for combustion-engined hybrid variants and the other for pure-electric models.
The sixth-generation Audi A4 is due to go on sale in the UK in 2023. Volume-selling versions of Audi’s long-running BMW 3 Series rival will continue to be sold in saloon and estate (Avant) bodystyles based on a modified version of the existing MLB platform, which underpins a wide variety of other Volkswagen Group models.
The Audi A4 Avant has now broken cover for the first time on public roads, giving clues to a design overhaul that will bring it into line with the brand's newer models, including the Audi E-tron line of EVs. A low, wide front grille, slimline headlights and a more rakish roofline look to be the key differentiators from the current car – and while this mule's distinctive circular rear lights may not make it to production, we would expect a redesign at the back, too.
The new A4 will offer a range of upgraded petrol and diesel engines equipped with either mild- or plug-in hybrid assistance and offered in both front- and four-wheel-drive (quattro) layouts.
Markus Hoffmann, head of R&D at Audi, said: “We already have electrification modules today, from mild hybrids to plug-in hybrids – and we will be focusing even more intensively on electrification in the cars that follow.”
Electrification will extend throughout the range, all the way up to the successor to the RS4, which will retain today’s twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 petrol engine but is in line to receive electric assistance that will lift its output beyond the 444bhp and 443lb ft of the existing model.