New Audi A4: price, release date & specs
New Audi A4 to pack efficient new engines and a high-tech interior
The new car promises a new look inspired by the Audi Crossover concept (pictured) and a raft of new technology including a large colour screen replacing the traditional speedometer and rev counter. In an effort to appeal to the all-important company-car market as well as private buyers, the 2015 Audi A4 saloon will also boast reduced running costs thanks to more efficient engines and a clever lightweight construction.
New Audi A4 2015 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 from the existing Audi range. They're currently capable of fuel economy of up to 74mpg and CO2 emissions of 99g/km, making them free to tax.
The Audi A4 will feature a range of 1.4, 1.8 and 2.0-litre petrol engines – some of which will use Audi's cylinder-deactivation technology. This rests half the engine when full power isn't needed. Audi is also developing a new design of engine that it says will cut down on noise and vibrations, with no negative effect on fuel economy.
One engine that'll certainly feature in the new A4 is Audi's all-new 2.0-litre TFSI petrol, which will appear first in the A4, where it promises to return more than 56mpg. Despite the impressive efficiency, Audi says the engine will produce 187bhp, and the way it delivers its power will mean more of the engine's power is available more of the time. That should make it smooth and very easy to drive.
There are thought to be two hybrids on the way. One will use the Audi A3 e-tron's 1.4-litre petrol engine boosted by an electric motor. Drivers will be able to charge the Audi A4 e-tron at home or work for several dozen miles of electric-only motoring. The other version will feature grippy four-wheel drive, with a petrol engine to power the front wheels and electric motors to turn the rear wheels. Both should beat the London Congestion Charge and be extremely cheap to run.
New Audi A4 2015 styling
The Audi A4 has traditionally been rather conservative in its styling, and there's little reason to expect the new car will deviate from this formula. What we can expect is a new metal-framed front grille and sharp lines along the sides.
The 2015 Audi A4 saloon will also feature the same narrow, angular headlight styling as the latest Audi TT coupe as well as LED rear lights. It's currently unclear as to whether the A4 will be offered with the super-bright laser headlights, which so far have only been fitted to concept cars and a limited-edition version of the Audi R8 supercar.
When the car goes on sale later in 2015, it will be available only as a saloon. However an Audi A4 Avant estate, four-wheel-drive Audi A4 Allroad and high-performance Audi RS4 will go on sale later on. The launch of the new A4 range will then be followed by a new Audi A5 coupe range.
New Audi A4 2015 price & release date
The new Audi A4 will be revealed to the public at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, making it one of the event's most important launches.
In the hyper-competitive compact executive class – the name given to mid-sized upmarket saloons – Audi is unlikely to raise the A4's price significantly from its current £24,500 starting point.
New Audi A4 2015 interior & specs
The Mercedes C-Class and Jaguar XE have brought new levels of luxury to this type of car, and Audi will be keen to reassert itself as the car maker that offers the best interiors in the business. The new A4 interior will offer Audi's trademark excellent fit and finish, but should also boast plenty of technology from its other models.
The most striking feature inside the new Audi A4 will be a digital display, which will see traditional analogue dials replaced by a high-definition colour screen. As seen in the 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 will be air vents fitted with their own individual controls. They allow each passenger to customise the air-conditioning settings, and in the A4 the system could extend to the rear seats.
The car will also come with the latest generation 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 will combine with high-quality plastics and classy metal trim to make the new model's cabin an even nicer place to sit.
New Audi A4 2015 technology
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 will be all-new underneath, using a larger version of the latest Volkswagen Golf underpinnings. Hot-formed steels that are super strong mean Audi can make lighter components. Aluminium is also likely to be used, while high-end models could feature carbon-fibre – the same material used to construct Formula One racing cars. By reducing weight Audi can reduce the car's running costs and make it more agile.