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.