Audi has announced prices for the refreshed A4, with premiums of just £200 over the outgoing model. The A4 comes with a raft of technical and cosmetic revisions, and a sub-£24k model is expected in early 2012.
Audi A4: new engines boost efficiency
The key improvements for the new Audi A4 range are the engines.
The petrol model line-up starts with an entry-level 1.8-litre TFSI developing 118bhp, but this won’t be available to order until 2012. So the current lead-in is the £25,240, 168bhp version of the same engine (up 10bhp over the previous model). Torque is also considerably increased, going from 184 to 236lb ft, while CO2 emissions have decreased by 21% to just 134g/km.
At the other end of the scale, the large 3.2-litre V6 engine has been discontinued, with the most powerful engine in the range (not including the sports-oriented S4) now being a 2.0-litre TFSI petrol unit developing 208bhp.
Extra-green TDIe diesels
There are six diesel engines to choose from, including four 2.0-litre four-cylinder units.
Two are acutely efficient variants, labelled TDIe. The first develops 134bhp and emits 112g/km CO2, whilst the more powerful 161bhp version emits just 115g/km. Running costs should prove to be reasonable, with both engines sitting in tax band C, meaning they are liable for car tax at £30 a year. Both also return over 64mpg on the combined cycle (claimed).
The remaining four-cylinder diesels comprise of 141bhp and 176bhp options, which employ a new design of flywheel to improve smoothness and refinement.
The old 2.7-litre V6 diesel is now replaced with a 3.0-litre V6, as previously seen in the A6 saloon. Versions in front-wheel-drive models develop 201bhp and return 57.6mpg. A 242bhp version is fitted to quattro four-wheel-drive models.
High performance S4
Top of the tree is the revised Audi S4.
Its 3.0-litre supercharged petrol V6 develops 330bhp, and the S4 can accelerate from 0-62mph in 5.0 seconds and on to an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph. Despite the performance on offer, the S4 manages to return 34.9mpg. It is priced at £39,865.
A six speed manual gearbox is standard across the A4 range, with a conventional automatic transmission available as an option on front-wheel-drive models. Quattro models get the option of Audi’s S-tronic twin-clutch automatic gearbox.
Engine stop-start is now also fitted as standard across the range, and has been credited with reducing average CO2 emissions by 11%.
Revisions inside and out
In the quest for efficiency, Audi has fitted electromechanical steering across the range, also said to lower CO2 emissions by up to 7g/km.
Also new is an efficiency setting on Audi’s drive select system, in addition to the existing comfort and sport configurations. This pares back ancillaries, such as the air conditioning, to their most fuel-efficient level, extending the maximum range of the car.
On the outside, a reworked bumper houses angled air inlets, flat fog lights and a new design of front grille. LED daytime running lights also make an appearance on models equipped with xenon headlights. At the rear, LED brake lights sit above a newly designed rear diffuser insert.
Inside, there’s a new steering wheel, while the MMI system that controls the audio and satellite navigation has been re-profiled for ease of use. Various new interior trims are also offered.
Plenty of kit for your cash?
Four specification levels are available on the A4. Comfort-oriented SE includes 17-inch alloy wheels, three-zone climate control, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, a colour monitor and light, rain and rear-parking sensors.
SE Technik trim builds on this with leather upholstery, DVD-based satellite navigation, iPod connectivity, and front and rear parking sensors. This trim level commands a £1,100 premium over the SE specification.
For £2,555 more than SE comes S line trim, aimed at keener drivers. It features larger, 18-inch alloy wheels, lowered sports suspension, xenon headlamps and a number of interior and exterior styling enhancements.
Finally the top ‘Black Edition’ includes 19-inch wheels and a special styling package. The interior is finished in Piano Black wood and benefits from an upgraded Bang & Olufsen stereo. Black Edition costs £1,250 more than S line.
Extra toys on the options list include internet connectivity and navigation using Google Earth. The A4 also has the ability to act as a wireless hotspot, meaning passengers can connect to computers and phones on the move. Improved adaptive cruise control and an active lane assist system are also available.
The new Audi A4 can be ordered now, with delivery of the first cars expected in March 2012.