What is it?
Audi's fresh-faced answer to the BMW 3-series and the recently arrived Mercedes C-Class. The new A4 is bigger and better than the model it replaces, and Audi has put increased emphasis on its driving dynamics. Saloon versions arrive first, touching down here in March next year, with Avant estates following in July.
This A4 sticks with the unusual mechanical layout of longitudinal engines and front wheel drive (except the all-paw Quattro versions), but like its A5 coupé sister, the A4 gets a revised front axle layout to improve weight distribution and reduce the front overhang.
Engine choice will be limited at launch to the new 1.8-litre TFSI turbocharged direct injection four-cylinder motor with 158bhp, a slightly developed version of the 3.2-litre FSI V6 petrol motor that saw duty in the last A4, a 2.0-litre 141bhp common-rail four-pot TDI diesel and two V6 diesels. Other motors, including a less powerful version of the 1.8 TFSI, will follow later.
What’s it like?
It enters pretty close to the top of the class on first impressions. Handsome styling makes the A4 a desirable beast; indeed it looks considerably better than the slightly under-detailed A5. Basic versions are a bit under-endowed on the wheel front (the entry-level 16in alloy is lost in those vast arches), but 17s are standard with the SE trim that will make up the bulk of UK sales, with 18s or 19s optional.