Seeing a new car for the first time in a photographic studio inevitably puts a flattering light on the design and execution.

But the even the ideal illumination of the new Audi A4 does not much exaggerate the car’s superb construction, detail design and build quality.

Audi says it wants its updated design language to reflect the technical content of its vehicles. It is ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ expressed in pressed steel and paint. The skin’s sharp ‘tornado lines’ are almost a public challenge to the pressing and construction abilities of other premium car makers.

Audi, though, has long been the king of fit and finish, although it traditionally lost out in terms of ultimate handling and ride quality, especially when compared to Mercedes and BMW.

But even as Audi’s dynamic performance has improved hugely, consumer trends have moved decisively to Audi’s advantage. Today’s premium buyers are probably more interested in design and quality of execution more than they are in ultimate handling finesse. And the seamless construction of iPhones and other high-end consumer durables have raised the bar for premium automotive manufacturers.