Full details will be revealed at the new A4's first public appearance at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, but for now Audi has revealed the first snippets of information about the 2016 A4's new lightweight architecture, engine lineup and bold interior design.
Measuring 4.73 metres long, 1.82 metres wide and sitting on a 2.82 metre wheelbase in sedan form, the new A4 is longer and wider than the current model. However, thanks to a a range of lightweight construction measures, it's up to 120kg lighter.
Externally, the design sticks to Audi's ethos of subtle evolution, with sharper creases that mimic the design of the Audi TT. The grille is wider, the head and tail lamps are more angular and therer are LED headlamps available for the first time.
A prominent body crease continues to run all the way down the A4's flanks, but it now runs along the top of the tail lamps as well. It's a crisp design, yet still very much conservative.
It's also slippery. With a coefficient of drag of 0.23, Audi claims the new A4 is the most aerodynamic car in its class. Cabin noise is said to benefit as a result.
Inside the cabin is the latest iteration of Audi's Virtual Cockpit display. The traditional insturment panel has been turfed in favour of a 12.3-inch colour LCD which, like that pioneered by the new Audi TT, can be reconfigured on-the-fly.
An eight-inch central display (on high-grade models) is the primary infotainment interface, and is controlled by a rotary dial ahead of the stumpy gearlever. A head-up display will also be available.
Audi says the new A4's 505 litre seats-up luggage capacity is the best in segment, and with the rear seats folded down and cargo loaded to the roof the A4 can swallow up to 1510 litres of stuff.
Seven engines will be offered in Europe: three petrol and four diesel, including two V6 turbo diesels. a natural-gas-powered g-tron version is planned, but won't be available from launch.
Until the sporty S4 and RS 4 models arrive, power outputs will range from 110kW to 200kW, with fuel economy improved by up to 21 percent compared to the outgoing A4.
The A4 2.0 TDI ultra can get by on as little as 3.7 litres per 100km, though the 140kW petrol-powered 2.0 TFSI ultra shows remarkable restraint for its power output with a 4.8 l/100km average fuel economy figure.
Six-speed manual, seven-speed twin clutch and eight-speed automatic (V6 diesel models only) will be offered, with a choice of FWD and quattro AWD drivetrains available.
The suspension retains Audi's familiar five-link front and multi-link rear setup, with variable-ratio steering and adjustable dampers optional depending on spec.
It's too early to say exactly when we'll see the new A4 on our shores, or how much it will cost and what the range structure will be. More details will be released closer to launch, so expect to hear more either late this year or early in 2016.
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