New 2020 Audi A4 revealed
The new 2020 Audi A4 has been revealed ahead of its arrival in Australia next year, improved infotainment and clever mild-hybrid system are the headline grabbers.
The Audi A4 represents the core of the Audi brand and Audi believes it’s refreshed A4 is the best version yet. “After four years of development, Audi has made the successful midsize model even tauter and sportier,” Audi said in a statement.
The Audi A4 has always been one of the better looking vehicles in the brand’s line-up and this new model is easily the best looker yet. The single-frame grille is now bigger and flatter giving a real sense of presence to the front of the A4 with character lines and bulging wheel arches giving the impression of skin stretched tight across muscle. Indeed, you don’t have to squint too hard to see elements of early quattro cars in the profile, particularly where the pumped wheel arches are concerned.
LED headlights are now standard with top-spec models copping the clever Matrix LED set-up. And the equipment line format is new too, with basic, advanced and S line the three choices. On top of that are the specific S models and the A4 allroad quattro variant. These exterior equipment lines can be mimicked for the interior. Buyers will be able to choose from 12 paint colours, including a new Terra Grey option.
On the inside, the new MMI touch display is the headline grabber, according to Audi. The 10.1-inch screen is touch sensitive with the deletion of the former, centre-console mounted rotary controller. Indeed, the screen features “acoustic feedback” mimicking a smartphone. Audi claims it’s made the menu structure flatter and easier to navigate with the system’s predictive search function a highlight, as its “natural voice’ recognitions…we’ll see how well it handles the Australian drawl when it gets Down Under.
The A4, in Europe at least (and only in select European cities), makes use of a range of online services including, Car-to-X services which sees the car draw from the “swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet”. It’s an incredibly clever set-up that ties in with the European Union’s push to reduce speeding via intelligent systems, and it’s also a step closer to autonomous driving. “Apart from online traffic sign and hazard information, as well as the on-street parking service, traffic light information is a new addition to the lineup. By networking with the urban infrastructure, the car receives information from the traffic light central computer via a server so that the driver can choose their speed to match the next green light,” Audi said.
In Europe, there are three instrument clusters to choose from: two partially analog driver information systems and – in conjunction with the MMI plus – the all-digital Audi virtual cockpit plus. The A4 is also available with a host of cost optional driver assist systems, called Tour, City and Park packages. Part of the ‘Tour’ package is the adaptive cruise control which incorporates Stop&Go function. In conjunction with the predictive efficiency assist it can brake and accelerate the A4 predictively even where there is no vehicle ahead. To do so it analyses Car-to-X messages, navigation data and traffic signs. So, obviously, this will only work if you live in one of those European cities where the A4 is able to talk with traffic lights, etc.
With up to six engines to choose from, some variants of A4 will also feature a mild-hybrid 48-volt electrical system (as well as regular 12-volt system) and an electric powered compressor for improved performance and fuel efficiency (saving an average of 0.3L/100km depending on the model).
But it’s the S4 TDI (diesel) that sees Audi show off the expansion of its mild-hybrid set-up. “The 12-volt subsidiary electrical system is connected to the 48-volt main electrical system via a powerful DC/DC converter. For the first time a powerful 48-volt belt alternator starter is being used in the S4 TDI as the heart of the mild-hybrid system with a maximum recuperation power of up to 8kW when braking.
“A compact, air-cooled lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 0.5kWh, located under the luggage compartment floor, acts as an energy management centre. The mild-hybrid system on the S models has the potential to reduce customer fuel consumption by up to 0.4 litres per 100 kilometres”.
In Europe, the A4 will be available with the choice of a manual transmission (cost option), seven-speed S tronic or eight-speed tiptronic transmission, and either front-wheel or all-wheel quattro drive. The A4 comes off the production line with an automatic as standard.
Buyers will be able to choose from two standard suspension set-ups, Standard and Sport, and two adaptive suspension set-ups, comfort and sport. The Comfort suspension offers a 10mm reduction in ride height over standard with adaptive dampers, while the Sport suspension drops the ride height by 23mm compared to Standard.
Outside of Europe the S4 and S4 Avant variants will come with the 260kW/500Nm 3.0 TFSI engine that will accelerate the thing from 0 to 100km/h in 4.7 seconds. And then there’s the A4 allroad quattro which rides 35mm higher than standard and offers cost-optional allroad-specific adaptive dampers as standard. As on the A4 Avant, the boot space measures 495 litres – increasing to 1495 litres with the rear seats folded down and cargo loaded to the roof.
Whether we’ll see all engines and all variants of the A4 when it arrives here next year remains to be seen. Stay tuned for more information as we get closer to the local launch.