A bestseller is now even more attractive: Audi has updated the A4 model series. New drivetrain, chassis and infotainment solutions, along with an even more attractive design, attest the “Vorsprung durch Technik” achieved by the A4 Sedan, the A4 Avant, the A4 allroad quattro and the S4.
The A4 is the best-selling Audi model. Now in the eight generation, it is the focal point of the brand. Over the last 39 years, Audi has sold roughly 10 million units of the A4 and its predecessor, the Audi 80. All variants of the model series – Sedan, Avant, A4 allroad quattro and S4 – have now been extensively updated.
The design is even cleaner and more distinctive. The horizontal lines at the front are more pronounced, and the engine hood is more arched. The upper corners of the single-frame grille are tapered, and the cross ribs and the Audi rings are highlighted three-dimensionally. Depending on the version, the grille is either gray or black. The redesigned bumpers are striking with their angular air inlets, their new grilles and – in the Sedan and the Avant – the flat front fog lights.
The headlights have also been updated. Their lower edge forms a subtle wave; their interior has been restructured. With the optional xenon plus headlights, the LED daytime running lights form an elegant clasp. Audi also offers the adaptive light system with dynamic cornering light and static turning light.
The design of the headlights carries over to the tail lights, which are optionally available with LED strips. The bumper with the diffuser insert has been redesigned. There is a selection of 15 paint finishes, including six new tones. The S line exterior package is available for the Sedan and the Avant.
The interior of the A4 models is now more elegant than ever. Audi offers a wide range of newly designed steering wheels, including a flat-bottomed leather sport steering wheel. Many control elements are framed in narrow chrome clasps; the steering column stalks and the ignition key have been redesigned.
The ergonomics have been painstakingly fine-tuned. The MMI navigation plus infotainment system now has just four buttons; the volume knob now includes a skip function. Other improvements concern operation of the automatic transmission, the heated seats and air conditioning system, Audi drive select and the leather multifunction steering wheel.
Excellent workmanship and tasteful color and trim selections are a given with Audi. All interior colors – except black – have been re-coordinated. The upholstery range has also been revised, with Fine Nappa leather replacing Valcona leather.
The new, one-piece fascia of the instrument cluster is color-coordinated with the interior. Inlays are available in Aluminum Trigon, with Walnut Dark Brown, Fine Grain Ash Natural and Beaufort Oak layered wood available as options. The S line sport package available for the Sedan and the Avant drapes the interior in black and accentuates it with elegant applications. 18-inch wheels and a sport suspension that lowers the vehicle body by 30 millimeters (1.18 in) round out the package.
The Audi A4 update has reduced fuel consumption levels by 11 percent on average, despite the increased power and torque of many of the engines. The Sedan and the Avant are available with a choice of six TDI and four gasoline engines; three engines are offered for the allroad quattro. All engines feature forced induction and direct injection for tremendous pulling power, and all come standard with the start-stop system.
Five versions of the two-liter, four-cylinder TDI are available, and three of them use a new centrifugal governor in a dual-mass flywheel. This makes the engine even more refined and quiet at low revs, allowing for earlier upshifts.
The most economical variant in the model family is the Audi A4 2.0 TDI with 100 kW (136 hp). This sedan requires just 4.2 liters of fuel per 100 km (56.0 US mpg) on average – a CO2 equivalent of 112 grams per km (180.25 g/mile). Also highly efficient, the A4 2.0 TDI with 120 kW (163 hp) manages with 4.4 liters of diesel per 100 km (53.46 US mpg). This equates to 115 grams CO2 per km (185.07 g/mile).
In addition, three other four-cylinder diesel engines are available – with 88 kW (120 hp), 105 kW (143 hp) and 130 kW (177 hp). Apart from the entry-level version, they can also be ordered for the allroad quattro. Two V6 TDI units complete the line. The 3.0 TDI with 150 kW (204 hp) (not for the A4 allroad quattro) is the most efficient six-cylinder engine in its class worldwide; in the A4 Sedan it consumes an average of just 4.9 liters of fuel per 100 km (48.0 US mpg). The second variant of the 3.0 TDI generates 180 kW (245 hp), and a clean diesel version will be available later.
The A4 series also presents the latest state of the art in gasoline engine technology. A new highlight of the TFSI family is the new 1.8-liter engine, available for the Sedan and the Avant. This four-cylinder unit features major innovations in a number of areas: the control of the valves and their lift, the thermal management concept, the injection system, the turbocharger and the integration of the exhaust manifold into the cylinder head.
The 1.8 TFSI produces 125 kW (170 hp) and 320 Nm (236.02 lb-ft) of torque. In the A4 Sedan, it consumes on average just 5.6 liters of fuel per 100 km (42.0 US mpg) for the best fuel consumption in the mid-size class. The entry-level gasoline engine, the 1.8 TFSI with 88 kW (120 hp), will follow somewhat later. The 2.0 TFSI – the only gasoline engine also available in the A4 allroad quattro – delivers 155 kW (211 hp). At the top of the line is the 3.0 TFSI, which will follow somewhat later. The supercharged V6 produces 200 kW (272 hp) in the A4 and 245 kW (333 hp) in the S4.
The wide range of drivetrains available in the A4 family is typical of Audi. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the Sedan and Avant models with front-wheel drive; most variants offer continuously variable multitronic as an option. The quattro versions have either the manual transmission or (as of the 2.0 TDI with 130 kW/177 hp) the seven-speed S tronic on board. The A4 allroad quattro employs a manual transmission or S tronic with all engine versions.
With all four-cylinder engines, the manual transmissions are integrated into the innovative thermal management system. This shortens their warmup phase with elevated friction losses. All transmissions are distinguished by a wide spread of gear ratios – the long ratios in the higher gears reduce fuel consumption, while the short ratios in the lower gears benefit the dynamics.
The quattro permanent all-wheel drive system is standard on the A4 allroad quattro, and available in the Sedan and Avant from the 2.0 TDI with 105 kW (143 hp). Torque vectoring, an intelligent software solution, uses minuscule braking interventions to further refine quattro performance. Audi also offers the sport differential as an additional module in the V6 quattro models. It actively distributes the power between the rear wheels as needed.
The chassis of the A4 impresses with its sporty precision, high ride comfort and outstanding safety. The arrangement of the rear trailing arms and the shock absorber characteristic have been re-tuned. New in the A4, the electromechanical power steering provides precise road feedback. The system requires no energy for straight-ahead motion, thereby reducing fuel consumption by up to 0.3 liters per 100 km. This is equivalent to a reduction in CO2 emissions of up to 7 g/km (11.27 g/mile).
Another high-end feature that gives the A4 a special status in its class is Audi drive select. In the basic package, the driver can switch the characteristic of the accelerator, the shift points of the automatic transmission, the power steering and the automatic air conditioning between four modes. If there is an onboard navigation system, an additional, largely freely programmable mode is also included.
A number of optional modules round out Audi drive select: cruise control or adaptive cruise control, the sport differential for top versions, the chassis with adaptive damper control and dynamic steering. The latter continuously adjusts the steering ratio depending on the driven speed; at the handling limits small interventions compensate for understeer and oversteer. Audi also offers two particularly sporty versions of the chassis as options. It is standard with the Ambition line.
All front-wheel-drive models of the A4 feature the electronic stabilization program (ESP) with electronic limited slip differential. In dynamic driving, the system further improves handling and safety by means of minimal brake interventions at the front wheel that is subject to a reduced load on the inside of the curve.
Attraction line models with 88 kW roll on 16-inch steel wheels; all other A4 versions roll off the assembly line with elegant aluminum wheels. They measure 16 or 17 inches in diameter depending on the engine, and the 205/60- or 225/50-series tires have been optimized for low rolling resistance.
The A4 3.0 TFSI has 18-inch wheels shod with 245/50-series tires. The range of options includes wheels up to 19 inches with 255/35-series tires. Four unique designs are available for the A4 allroad quattro.
Audi offers numerous assistance systems for the A4 family, the latest of which is standard on all models: The driver information system with break recommendation function uses steering motions and additional parameters to detect if the driver is getting tired and recommends taking a break.
The most complex assistance system available in the model series is Audi adaptive cruise control. The radar-based system maintains the proper interval between the A4 and the car in front at all times. At speeds below 30 km/h (18.64 mph), it initiates maximum braking in the event of an impending collision. Audi active lane assist helps the driver to maintain the lane, and Audi side assist monitors the area behind the A4 to make lane changes safer.
Infotainment systems and Audi connect
Audi offers a whole kit of state-of-the-art infotainment systems for its A4 series. The chorus CD radio with eight speakers is standard, while the MMI navigation plus system with large hard disk, color monitor, 3D graphics and DVD player tops the line of options. Voice control and the optional digital audio broadcasting are further improvements to the system.
The high-end extension of the MMI navigation plus system is the Bluetooth online car phone. Via Audi connect the system provides special services in the car, such as voice-controlled Google searches for points of interest or navigation with Google Earth pictures and Google Street View. Audi online traffic information, another such service, gives the driver the latest information on congestion along his or her selected route. The WLAN hotspot, another feature of the Bluetooth online car phone, allows passengers to surf the Internet and send e-mails as they please with their mobile devices.
The Audi S4
The Audi S4, available in the Sedan and Avant versions, features the top engine in the line – the 3.0 TFSI with 245 kW (333 hp) and 440 Nm (324.53 lb-ft) torque. Average fuel consumption in the Sedan is just 8.1 liters per 100 km (29.04 US mpg) while performance remains powerful. The S4 sprints from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.0 seconds and reaches an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph).
The updated S4 is identifiable from the changes to the headlights, the bumpers, the air inlets and colors. Subtle updates have also been made to the interior. The most important technical advancements are quattro drive with torque vectoring and electromechanical power steering. The S sport suspension and 18-inch wheels featured on the S4 deliver outstanding road grip.
The prices of the A4 model series have changed only slightly, despite the extensive upgrading. For example, the A4 1.8 TFSI with 88 kW (120 hp) costs just €27,500.
The equipment and data specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.