Updated Audi A4 unveiled

27 Oct, 2011 12:01am Paul Bond

Audi has revealed first official details and pictures of its facelifted A4 range

First official pictures and details of a facelifted Audi A4 saloon have been released, just a few weeks' after arch rival BMW launched its all-new 3 Series. The fresh design cues have also be applied to the Avant estate, Allroad crossover and potent S4 too.

Although this latest version of the A4 is more of a mid-life refresh than a full reworking, Audi has introduced a thorough range of styling and mechanical tweaks to keep it competitive with the class best.

As we’ve come to expect from Audi, the revised design sticks closely to the reserved family formula, with subtle changes at the front including a single frame, tapered grille, sharper air-intakes either side of the front bumper, and reshaped LED headlights in the mould of the new A5 and A6. 

At the back, the refreshed taillights mirror the sleek new headlights, and all model variants now come with twin-exhausts as standard. The newcomer is also slightly wider and lower than before, which should mean a small increase in cabin space.
 
A new range of engines, all of which have been updated to give greater efficiency – and in many cases increased performance – will be available, and every model in the line-up now comes with stop-start, brake energy regeneration and electronic power steering as standard, helping to cut fuel consumption by 10 per cent across the board. 

The suspension, specifically the shock absorbers and rear trailing arms, have been finetuned to offer better ride comfort than before. S Line models still get a lowered and stiffer ‘Sports’ setup, which is likely to give a firm ride.

The cleanest version of the new A4 will be the 134bhp 2.0-litre TDI, which in saloon guise should return 67.3mpg and emit just 112g/km of C02 – figures that will certainly make company car buyers sit up and take notice. The new, ultra-efficient 201bhp 3.0-litre TDI V6 will also be offered in the A4 for the first time, replacing the old 2.7-litre unit.

To maintain its reputation for class-leading interiors, the new Audi A4 also gets a simplified, more intuitive MMI infotainment system, stylish chrome and gloss inlays on the steering wheel and door panels, a new flat-bottomed sports steering wheel and a brushed aluminium starter button.

Boot space stays the same – at 480 litres its on a par with the new 3 Series – and new optional safety features include a ‘break recommendation’ system that monitors the driver and gently alerts you when its time to take a coffee stop.

Full prices and UK specifications are yet to be announced, but company insiders promise only a small price increase over the outgoing model, and it's due to go on sale in February, coincidentally exactly the same month as the launch of the BMW 3 Series.

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The front of it looks crap. BMW 3 series the new one due next year has nothing to worry about.

I wouldnt say the front looks crap as thats a word exclusively saved for the front of the new BMW 1 series.

However it is a little bland and does look a like a later model has been grafted onto an existing one. As usual the S-line front definitely looks better.

I fail to see how it will be any "wider and lower than before, which should mean a small increase in cabin space" if it uses the same body shell with new bumpers, lights and engines. I think they mean they have widened the track and lowered the suspension, both of which have no effect on internal cabin dimensions!

isn't this the audi A6 i saw few years back???...oh i forgot its a new A4. Another £1m liposuction on the headllights and tailights so nothing new to look at.

Don't get me wrong I'm a fan of Audis but come on. There's being understated but this takes it to the limit of blandness. As hotredman says, in the face of the new 3 series Audi will be losing sales. And just look at what Mazda came up with the other day for the new 6, now that's pushing the game on.

Audi raise their game time and time again. I love the A4 and this mid life rework is just what they need to stay competitive. Efficient engines and class leading cast iron build quality. The Standard body kit keeps in line with Audi s usual understated quality.

'Real Class doesn't have to shout. You just know it when you see it.'

Why do ALL car companys think that their cars have to look the same throughout the range?
Lack f imagination i think.

While I appreciate that the A4 facelift is far from dramatic, in my opinion the new 3 Series is a very awkward looking car (for example, the drooping bonnet, which looks like someone accidentally sat on the clay design model). Clearly, this won't harm sales at all as so many still aspire to own that brand (to its detriment!) The A4 looks classy, stylish and less fussy by comparison. Furthermore, until BMW start importing the 3 Series X models, Audi will remain the first choice when the snow is on the ground (in either FWD or 4WD form). And for the record, I currently drive a 3 Series, and it's my 4th BMW - so no Audi brand bias here!

pity, i thought it looked better pre-facelift

I like the update, had a A4 and now on A6 you don't need so called style that has escaped from an art gallery thru the back door.
Keep it simple and elegant and Audi have a knack for that.

First time I see a facelift make the car more conservative. Yep new target group is for gramps who are a step from retirement.

Korea city baby. China town. That is where they aim.

By the way the new BMW 3 series indeed does not have anything to worry about for two reasons.

a) Loyal fan base will be loyal. What a BMW gives an audi can't touch. It can be vice versa for those who "prefer" numb steering bland handling and "quattro-diesel" joy.

b) For as many people find this design bad (the dropping bonnet) I feel that twice or thrice as many will find it appealing. It is aggresive in its own right, it does hint on older BMWs which I like, it gives a roadster look from the side, it has character. Enough said.

Even the awkard looking 1 series looks "interesting" in some colours and yet, it is the top of the class. Which means, that those people who want absolute best would buy it no matter
what. I would if I was interested in small cars.

Well done audi, most comments in here have BMW in them. One way or another.

Yeah, does look a bit dull at the front, looks like the SEAT Exeo now...

You don't expect a top-selling company car to be radical. And you'd need to look twice to be sure it was the new one. But that's just what is needed.

Only the TT and R8 ever made you go "wow!". The rest just go about their way in a fairly subtle way.

Most important is the better ride and economy, for most users.

It has been some years now since I had an Audi - Its was the first badged A6, prevously the Audi 100. Back then Audis cars were a much better quieter ride than todays Audi's.

I would like to go back to Audi but in recent years found they are a hard ride and have lots of road noise.

I am hoping the suspension tweaks mentioned may offer some improvments.

But at least its not a hideous BMW

Bland.

Try puttin an Alfa Brera next to it.

A1, A3, A4, A5, A6 - all the same face, just respectively bigger than the prior. I know it's brand image, but there is little to be excited about by new cars anymore!

Errr oh hello, sorry...dozed off! Well I think Audi should have given this to that designer who done the new TT...sorry, R4

Just to correct AE, the car is no bigger than the current A4. The track, wheelbase, ride height and dimensions are exactly the same. It is designed to be perceived as a lower and wider car simply from the styling cues and nothing more. Also the break recommendation is standard, not optional. Its a really nice looking car in the flesh.

BMW do have to worry. This is a mid life rework of the Audi A4 2008 model which was/is AutoExpress, Which?car, Honest John etc... top compact executive car.

BMWs drive sporty. Great dynamics. Mercedes has upped its game as quality was not as good in this class for cars and has only just scraped through with its recent and very worthy update.(source Autoexpress et al)

Superior Build quality is Audi s forte. That makes the Audi Heavy, but solid. The BMW 3 series compared to Audi feels less well made (BMW feels mass made and is 'chavvy') and this is well documented but then again the 3 series is lighter.

When you drive a car, you spend most of it inside I should hope, and combined with a new efficient range of Excellent engines, great driving dynamics, effortless steering, and an interior that is the best of the Germans (by actual German/world standards) you have Audi.

East Asia is a new market for Audi. Good luck to Audi for trying. Asia s market is Booming and is a sound investment.

As for class, Audi doesn't need to shout about it because those that know it, understand what it is and how it's achieved.

My 18months old £40K A5 been in the dealer for 24 days so far.

What car reliability survey 2011:
Audi 24th out of 35 with a 33% failure rate
BMW barely any better at 21st with a 32% failure rate.

BMW do have to worry. This is a mid life rework of the Audi A4 2008 model which was/is AutoExpress, Which?car, Honest John etc... top compact executive car.

BMWs drive sporty. Great dynamics. Mercedes has upped its game as quality was not as good in this class for cars and has only just scraped through with its recent and very worthy update.(source Autoexpress et al)

Superior Build quality is Audi s forte. That makes the Audi Heavy, but solid. The BMW 3 series compared to Audi feels less well made (BMW feels mass made and is 'chavvy') and this is well documented but then again the 3 series is lighter.

When you drive a car, you spend most of it inside I should hope, and combined with a new efficient range of Excellent engines, great driving dynamics, effortless steering, and an interior that is the best of the Germans (by actual German/world standards) you have Audi.

East Asia is a new market for Audi. Good luck to Audi for trying. Asia s market is Booming and is a sound investment.

As for class, Audi doesn't need to shout about it because those that know it, understand what it is and how it's achieved.

This car doesn't look any different to me! I used to pride myself on being a real car anorak, but I'm having trouble distinguishing one Audi facelift from another!

Maybe they should just have one model name but sell it in different sizes? Like loafers.

PS - I don't like BMW styling either.

A bog brush....

Buy something else as these cars look like their owners should be one pill away from a OD!

Whilst I agree Audi will never be the most exciting Marque in the world abit like Volvo, I think as a machine it's beyond much criticism, it does the job extremely efficiently and discreetly abit like my Miele Dishwasher! It's a no-nonsense engineered car.

Looks like a great car but why are people comparing this to a
BMW? The Audi is front wheel drive and has totally different engines (BMW are all chain cam). Front wheel drive behaves very differently to rear wheel drive. Compare the BMW with other rear wheel drive vehicles ie. C Class Mercedes or Lexus NOT an Audi A4. The Audi A4 should be compared to other front wheel drive cars.

How can anybody compare and Audi to a BMW, is an enigma to me. However, I must agree with most comments, I have trouble distinguishing the different Audis. They are all so similar! A4-6-8? Germans are amazing when it comes to producing "facelifted" new models, which then look as if nothing happened to the body or the different features of the given model. One really has to look hard not to confuse an A4 with an A6, or a Q3 with a Q5...and when it comes to the LED rare lights? Wow, one must be a smart owl to see the difference. They just "facelifted" the A7. Audi should give out prices to those capable distinguishing the old A7 from the new one. But, it is probable they do this so their cars won't age as other maker's models do?

Wise up Audi. You shift a load of cars, fair enough, but if you stopped turning out this boring dross, you'd shift a load more.

The difference between a porcupine and a BMW, BMW have pricks on the inside. Audi designs their cars in a way to ensure BMW pricks never switch to Audi. A true blessing in disguse :)

new 3 series defn has the edge on this....and that's from a beemer hater! it is utterly bland, an automotive cure for insomnia!..... and in spite of what all audi owners would have you believe the interiors arent that special and only slightly better than their VAG stablemates.

Its a smaller A6!!! looks the same and will probably drive very similar, even the interior looks the same as the new A6. And i'm sure the forthcoming A3 will look the same just a little smaller than the A4. It makes me proud to look at a UK premium brand like Jaguar who's cars all have a similar company image but each model is distinctively different. Just wish they had a larger range to offer...

..whats changed?

Marko, i've never heard an audi driver big up their interior before. Not questioning you but I would wonder why? Its as bland as every other single german car (maybe with the exception of Merc) out there. Just black and silver plastic with tighter fittings than used in fords or my alfas.

Also to the rear/front wheel guy, if your driving on our roads at sensible speeds the difference between these is negliable, apart from the winter when you really dont want rear) its only excitable and track driving where the real benefit of rear comes in. Thats why they are compared together.

TBH The only reason I think BMW stick with rear wheel is it helps justify their massivly over priced and over rated cars.

Am I going to wade into this argumentative mere opinion? Not on your nelly, but tell me this fellow posters. Who tells the biggest lies about their cars? Which maker is the craziest niche chaser? Which maker, of the two embroiled here, is a follower, and which a leader? Which has the best re-sale value after 3 years? Which, if either, chase better aerodynamics, in their to-the-stars pursuit of efficiency? There's more than one way to skin a cat, and car makers are only halfway there!

The audi seems to be quite a well proportioned, elegant looking car.

That doesn't mean its necessarily better looking than the BMW.That's a matter of opinion.

Both offer a large options list, so that the cars can be tailored to the last detail to suit your preference, such as type and colour of leather etc. Hence why these cars are compact executives. Both have sports models, M sport and S line. Plus the S4 and M3 models.

Both are drivers cars. Admittedly you need the Quattro set up on the Audi for this to be true. Though it does cost more than it's BMW counterpart in the equivalent trim.

At the end of the day it's down to taste.

Designed with a ruler, just like most VW Audi group cars. Hardly subtle though with those childish front lights. "Hey look at me, I've got brighter front LED lights than you. I'm soooooo coooool"
Clarkson was right when he said Audis were mostly driven by
tosse.......s

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