Audi's most important model is fully caught up. Is it now ahead of the game?
As Audi's most veteran model and the one responsible for more of its global sales, the A4 is not the new kid on the block. But as the company reveals its 2017 offering, it certainly is trying to be the biggest, smartest and coolest. The 9th generation of the A4 gets bigger and more advanced than ever before, with vast improvements in just about every department. As compared to the outgoing model, it has gained a muscular, toned look and lightweight materials, making it 264 pounds lighter than the outgoing model.
The new A4 incorporates steering and transmission components and rear-seat structures made of magnesium, while the multilink suspension, front and rear, now includes lots of aluminum. On the outside, the A4 retains its familiar shape but gains sharper lines and greater aerodynamics., and its sleek looks contribute to a low drag coefficient of just 0.23. Despite staying true to current family designs, the exterior gains a new Matrix cluster for the DRLs, while the rear gains clean-looking LEDs and dynamic turn signals. A fresh line runs the car's length from headlights to taillights, and more prominent lines running from the hood to windshield complement the sleek design. The interior, now more spacious, features a host of new goodies.
A fixed display infotainment system is exquisitely executed, and the main cluster features analog gauges or an optional TFT screen. Cross-dash air vents pay tribute to Audi's 1970s best-seller, the 100/5000. The A4 sedan will launch in the US in early 2016, featuring three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige. It will be followed by an Allroad wagon and the next-generation S4. The next RS4 may arrive soon after. Audi will offer the A4 with three gasoline and four diesel engines in Europe, though it isn't yet clear which will make it to America. Expect front- and all-wheel-drive models, with two-wheel-drive models featuring a dual clutch transmission.