Audi have revealed their new-look A4 and S4 range, with the models having a more streamlined exterior and contemporary feel. The high performance S4 variants get TDI power for the first time in the model’s history, and benefit from the same independent electric compressor technology that brought the SQ7 so much critical acclaim. Ordering is set to open in late June this year with the first deliveries in September.
The A4 Exterior gets newly designed headlights with LED technology as standard, regardless of version. The lamps flank a broader, flatter Singleframe grille that is complemented by resculpted bumper elements with a more horizontal aspect that emphasises width.
Inside, there has been an emphasis on horizontal lines which helps enhance the sense of space, and a new operating system based on the third-generation modular infotainment platform MIB 3 lends an air of even greater sophistication from a technological perspective.
Its hub is the large, 10.1-inch high resolution MMI touch display, tilted slightly towards the driver in the centre of the instrument panel. Responding to fingertip inputs with acoustic feedback and permitting free text input, it replaces the functions of the previous rotary/pushbutton control on the centre tunnel console.
Navigation is now even more versatile and user-friendly , particularly when the driver takes advantage of natural language voice control. The latest iteration of this technology is even more adept at understanding many of the phrases used in everyday speech.
Audi connect infotainment services are installed on an upgradable three-month subscription basis, bringing numerous web-based features such as up-to-the-minute news, Google Earth mapping and Street View and flight, weather, traffic and fuel pricing information.
The Audi connect plus portfolio includes a host of additional Car-to-X services taking advantage of the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet. They include online traffic sign and hazard information, an on-street parking search function and newly introduced traffic light information functionality. By networking with the urban infrastructure, the car receives information from the traffic light central computer via a server so that the driver can choose their speed to match the next green light.
The instrument cluster displays a personal speed recommendation as well as the remaining time to the next green light whenever the driver is waiting at a red traffic light. As such, the system promotes an anticipatory, efficient driving style, along with a constant flow of traffic. The function is part of the Audi connect package and is being rolled out in stages in selected European cities.
Audi Virtual Cockpit
The all-digital Audi virtual cockpit plus is another standard feature of the latest UK A4 models that underscores their impressive technological emphasis. The driver can operate the 12.3-inch display with full HD resolution using the multifunction steering wheel with a choice of three views.
Driver assistance systems
Numerous driver assistance systems are available with Tour, City and Park packages. The Tour package comes with adaptive cruise control including Stop&Go function for automatic distance control. In conjunction with the predictive efficiency assist it can brake and accelerate the A4 predictively even where there is no vehicle ahead. To do so it analyses Car-to-X messages, navigation data and traffic signs.
The drive system
A broad spread of four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines power the first phase of launch models, all below the limits of the Euro 6d-temp emission standard. Their power outputs range from 150PS to 347PS – from the Audi A4 35 TFSI up to the Audi S4 TDI. A further two turbocharged engines will be added to the range shortly after launch: the 30 TDI with a power output of 136PS and the 35 TDI with 163PS. The reassurance of quattro all-wheel-drive will be offered as standard for the most powerful TDI and TFSI engines.
Audi S4 TDI
The S4 TDI and S4 TDI Avant are now equipped with a V6 diesel engine. The 3.0 TDI combines substantial torque of 700Nm, smooth running and long range capability and provides a power output of up to 347 PS. It powers the S4 TDI Saloon from zero to 62mph in 4.8 seconds on the way to an electronically governed top speed of 155mph. This combination of power, torque and efficiency makes the Audi S4 TDI unique in the segment.
The V6 TDI works with an electric compressor which facilitates near instantaneous throttle response and virtually seamless power build-up under acceleration by eliminating turbo lag. The compressor is integrated into a new 48-volt main electrical system, which also incorporates the mild-hybrid system. This provides even more efficiency potential than the MHEV system in the 12-volt electrical system on the A4 models. The 12-volt subsidiary electrical system is connected to the 48-volt main electrical system via a powerful DC/DC converter. For the first time a powerful 48-volt belt alternator starter is being used in the S4 TDI as the heart of the mild-hybrid system with a maximum recuperation power of up to 8 kW when braking.
A compact, air-cooled lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 0.5 kWh, which is located under the luggage compartment floor, acts as an energy management centre. The mild-hybrid system on the S models has the potential to reduce customer fuel consumption by up to 0.4 litres per 100 kilometres.
An eight-speed tiptronic and quattro permanent all-wheel drive complement the sophisticated powertrain, and S-specific sport suspension delivering outstanding composure and control is of course standard. Inside and out, a host of design details point to the unique position of the S models – from the quad exhaust tailpipes to the S mode in the display of the standard Audi virtual cockpit.
A4 allroad quattro
Thanks to its quattro all-wheel drive and ground clearance raised by 35 millimetres the Audi A4 allroad quattro combines superb ride comfort and offroad capability.
Beyond its raised ride, the A4 allroad quattro stands apart from its A4 Avant counterpart through details such as the underbody protection and wheel arch trims, and also through its wider track – six millimetres wider at the front and 11 millimetres at the rear.
As in the A4 Avant, the luggage compartment has a capacity of 495 litres – this increases to 1,495 litres with the rear seats folded down and cargo loaded to the roof.
Three engine variants are available – one TFSI petrol engine and two diesel units – all allied to automatic transmissions as standard.