The long-anticipated new generation Audi A4 and A4 Avant have broken cover.
The two new A4 models will be launched in Ireland in November 2015, and Audi Ireland claims standard equipment will be even more comprehensive than that of their predecessors. It includes xenon headlights, keyless go, Audi drive select and a 7-inch MMI colour display. However, we will have to wait a few weeks more for the full Irish equipment and pricing.
During the development work, Audi tells us a high priority was placed on the reduction of CO2 emissions. All technologies were focused on reducing drive resistance. A good example is aerodynamics: the A4 saloon promises to have the best drag coefficient in its class at 0.23.
Compared with the previous model, the car's dimensions have grown, but its weight has been reduced significantly – by up to 120 kilograms, depending on the engine. The body of the new Audi models is one of the lightest in its class, thanks to an intelligent material mix and lightweight construction. And Audi also claims the new A4 is a leader in its class for noise levels.
The new model claims low CO2 emissions of 95 grams per kms (Band A2 Road Tax - €180pa ) for the A4 saloon 2.0 TDI ultra with 150bhp; and the A4 Avant 2.0 TDI ultra emits 99 grams CO2 per km (Band A2 Road Tax - €180pa ). The 2.0 TFSI with 190bhp emits 109g/km (Band A3 Road Tax - €190pa ) in the A4 saloon ultra and 114g/km (Band A4 Road Tax - €200pa ) in the A4 Avant ultra. Additionally, the most powerful engines are two TDI six-cylinder units with up to 272bhp, but emissions details for these was not contained in the press release.
Audi also claims a new generation of four-cylinder TFSI engines with newly developed combustion methods sets benchmarks in terms of fuel consumption, emissions and performance for four-cylinder petrol engines.
The powertrain and the chassis of the new Audi A4 and A4 Avant have been completely redeveloped. The six-gear manual transmission, the seven-gear S tronic (now also available for front-wheel drive ) and the eight-stage tiptronic have been redesigned. Meanwhile, Audi says that the automatic transmissions now offer a fuel-saving freewheeling function. Audi claims that the wheel-selective torque control supplements the work of the front-wheel drive and the quattro four wheel drive. For the most powerful TDI, Audi says it will offer the sport differential on the rear axle as an option starting in 2016.
Audi also says the driver assistance systems and infotainment in the new A4 are of "luxury quality". While not clear what systems are standard, other than the standard 7-inch MMI colour display, the Audi virtual cockpit with a fully digital combination instrument, which features a 12.3-inch LCD screen is an optional extra.
The saloon version of the new A4 is 25mm longer than the previous model. Its width has grown by 16mm and its height is unchanged at 1,427mm, which Audi says is the lowest in the premium segment. Its wheelbase has grown by 12mm. Meanwhile the new Audi A4 Avant is one mm shorter and seven millimetres higher than the saloon; all other dimensions are identical.
From the pictures it would seem that while both are distinctly from the A4 family, Audi's designers have given the new models a more striking appearance (and more sporty looking front-end ) with nicely balanced and harmonious proportions.
Inside the new Audi A4 models are more spacious. Audi says the shoulder width and head clearance for driver and front-seat passenger have increased by 11 and 24mm. Interior length has grown by 17mm and rear legroom is actually 23mm larger. The new Audi models set the benchmark in their class in these important criteria.
The luggage compartment of the new A4 Avant offers basic storage space of 505 litres, which Audi says is the most of any premium model in this class. With the rear seats folded down and loaded to the roof, a volume of 1,510 litres is available. The electric luggage compartment cover and electric tailgate are standard equipment. An optional extra is sensor control for opening and closing the tailgate.
More on the new Audi A4 models when we get the Irish specifications and prices.