The fifth-generation B9-series A4 sedan [and the ninth B-segment model for the brand, including precursor Audi 80/Fox models] arrives with a downsized engine in the entry-grade 1.4 TFSI (turbo-petrol) and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission as standard – the configuration replacing the 1.8-litre turbo-petrol and continuously variable transmission offered in the same-priced predecessor.
It’s the first A4 to make use of Audi’s MLB Evo modular chassis architecture, the same found beneath the new Q7 SUV.
Lighter, safer and greener than the outgoing range, the new A4 also introduces a suite of electronic infotainment and driver safety technologies, the choice of four, four-cylinder engines, new suspension and brakes and a quieter, more spacious cabin.
The A4 grows marginally over the outgoing model, but retains a familiar, if edgier look. But don’t be fooled, the B9-series is a giant leap forward for the German manufacturer, which has taken many of the technologies offered in its flagship A8 model and Q7 SUV and offered them here in its mid-size sedan.
Other options include a choice of synthetic or natural leather upholstery, matrix LED headlights, adaptive cruise control with Stop&Go functionality, gesture-controlled tri-zone climate control, variable dampers [Sport and Comfort options are available, lowering the ride height 23mm and 10mm respectively], self-parking assistance with 360-degree camera, and a 755-watt / 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen 3D Advanced Sound System.
“Audi will have the youngest product line-up in the premium segment, and in a market as competitive as ours, that’s a strong position to be in,” he concluded.
Let’s hope that position improves the A4’s fortunes locally. Last year, the aging model fell well behind its direct rivals, falling to less than a third the total volume of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
Also published on Medium.