New Audi A4 2016: price, release date & specs
New Audi A4 gets efficient new engines and a high-tech, redesigned interior
This is our first official look at the new Audi A4. Audi bosses will hope the car is the answer to ever-improving rivals such as the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class, as well as the new Jaguar XE. The A4 will eventually be able to count the new Alfa Romeo Giulia as competition too.
The outside of the new A4 isn't hugely different to the current model, except for sharper lines and Audi's wide radiator grille. The main changes are inside, where there is a redesigned interior, seats and steering wheel. This, combined with a more efficient engine range, lower overall weight and updated technology, is indicative of what the new A4 is all about; improved economy, refinement and comfort.
New Audi A4 2016 engines
Diesel engines are set to be the most popular with UK buyers and the new A4 will use 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesels that are either brand new or heavily revamped for the new car. One of the four diesel models on offer will be the new 148bhp 2.0-litre TDI Ultra, which will be capable of 74.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 95g/km, making it free to tax. On average, the fuel economy of the new A4 engine range is up 21% despite power gains of around 25%.
The Audi A4 will be available with three petrol engines, one of which will be a new 148bhp 1.4-litre TFSI that can return 57.6mpg and CO2 emissions of 114g/km. The fastest models in the range will be diesels though, with 3.0-litre TDI V6 engines available with either 215bhp or 268bhp. All new A4s will be available with either a six-speed manual gearbox or a new seven-speed S tronic automatic.
There have been rumours of two hybrid versions of the new A4 but so far there hasn't been any official word on any. However, it looks likely that an A4 e-tron will follow a little while after the new car goes on sale. We expect it to use the same 1.4-litre TFSI petrol engine and electric motor as the A3 e-tron.
The 2015 Audi A4 saloon features the same narrow, angular headlight styling as the latest Audi TT coupe and has been given sharper lines and Audi's latest radiator grille design. Frank Rimili, Audi exterior designer, told Carbuyer's sister site Auto Express that the new A4 is 'sharp and more masculine'. The car is longer than the outgoing A4, making space for more head and legroom for passengers.
It looks unlikley that the A4 will be offered with Audi's super-bright laser headlights, which so far have only been fitted to concept cars and a limited-edition version of the Audi R8 supercar, but LED and Audi's Matrix LED headlights will be available as options.
Price & release date
The new Audi A4 is likely to go on sale for around £28,000, with Avant estate models costing around £1,300 extra compared to the saloon.
When the car goes on sale later in 2015, it will be available to order as both saloon and Avant estate form, with first deliveries of the saloon in late 2015 and the estate in early 2016. Four-wheel-drive Audi A4 Allroad and high-performance Audi RS4 models are likely to go on sale at a later date. The launch of the new A4 range will then be followed by a new Audi A5 coupe range.
Interior & specs
The Mercedes C-Class and Jaguar XE have brought new levels of luxury to this type of car, and Audi is keen to reassert itself as the car maker that offers the best interiors in the business. To that end, the new A4 features a totally redesigned central console and dashboard, and Audi will offer the car with the excellent 12.3-inch virtual cockpit that was first introduced in the new Audi TT.
The virtual cockpit can display speed, a rev counter and trip computer along with sat-nav information and stereo settings. The system can display navigation across the whole of its 12.3-inch screen, providing clear information to the driver.
Another feature of the A4 borrowed from the TT are air vents fitted with their own individual controls. They allow each passenger to customise air-conditioning settings for their area of the cabin.
The car will also come with a revamped version of Audi's MMI infotainment setup, which uses a touchpad and voice commands to control the car's systems. This cuts down on the number of buttons needed and combines with high-quality plastics and classy metal trim to make the new model's cabin an even nicer place to sit. The top-end infotainment system will be the MMI Navigation plus, which comes with MMI touch and a large 8.3-inch monitor.
Standard equipment will include 17-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, the Audi smartphone interface, keyless go, a Bluetooth interface, Audi drive select, a 7-inch MMI colour display and three-zone climate control.
Low running costs are a top priority for the new A4, with Audi's head of technical project management telling our sister magazine Auto Express: "The next A4 will move the game on. The jump from today's car in terms of design and efficiency will be really big."
A new lightweight construction is an important part of this. The 2015 Audi A4 is all-new underneath, using a larger version of the latest Volkswagen Golf underpinnings, which helps to make the new car up to 120kg lighter, depending on the engine. Hot-formed steels that are super strong mean Audi can make lighter components too.
The new A4 will come with plenty of safety and driver assistance systems too, including a new traffic-jam assist system that will guide the car through slow-moving traffic at speeds of up to 40mph. There will also be an advanced cruise control system that can alter the car's speed for optimal fuel economy.