Autobild reports that the new A4's body-in-white will weigh 50kg less than the current model, thanks in large part to the extensive use of aluminium, magnesium and plastic components in the body construction.
Audi has also been investing heavily in its alloy casting technology; the German automaker is now able to cast aluminium parts with a thickness of as little as 1mm - without loss of function or durability in parts that are under less mechanical stress.
Other weight-saving measures are expected to yield an overall weight approximately 100kg less than the current A4 - bringing total kerb weight down to around 1400kg.
But while the new A4 will shed some pounds, it'll reportedly gain some luxury. Material quality will be lifted, and the advanced MMI Touch system from the A3 (where the MMI touchpad is integrated into the scroll wheel) will likely be transplanted into the A4.
Engines are expected to range from a 110kW 1.4 litre turbo four to a 3.0 litre turbo diesel V6, with the usual 2.0 litre turbo petrol and turbo diesels inbetween. There's no mention of whether the 200kW 3.0 litre supercharged V6 will carry over.
A plug-in hybrid is believed to be in the works too, pairing a 2.0 litre turbo petrol engine with electric motors on the front and rear axles. EV range is expected to be 50km, and the plug-in A4 is likely to join the range roughly one year after the initial launch.