New Audi A4 is the right mix of power & efficiency

New Audi A4 is the right mix of power & efficiency

By SHAMS NAQVI | | 27 August, 2016
A4 is an all round improvement when compared to the previous generation which will work well for the A4 in a very competitive segment.
The lower end of the luxury car segment is where we’ve seen all the action in India. Entry level cars have made premium German brands more accessible to the buyer. Cars like the Mercedes C-Class, the BMW 3 series as well as the Audi A4 have been bread and butter cars for their companies. With this new car the A4 is now in its 5th generation which is also called the B9. In it’s almost decade long existence in India the A4 has largely seen just one generation so this new car will give huge insights to the buyers on how much a generational change makes a car better, especially in this segment. On their part the German car maker is saying that the A4 is an all round improvement when compared to the previous generation which will work well for the A4 in a very competitive segment. The scenic Puri-Konark Marine drive in Odisha was a great getaway to understand the new A4 in detail.

Looks

One look at the new A4 makes you realize that enough effort has been made to make the car look distinct from the earlier car. Yet Audi has managed to make it look like a part of the larger family. The choice was between radical and subtle and Audi chose to go with the latter. Look at it from the profile and its one of the most well proportioned cars you’ll ever get to see. Every part has been given equal importance though in terms of design the profile could’ve been a little bit more appealing. Having said that, the outside rear view mirrors directly mounted on the doors present a very sporty picture. The sharp tail lamps compliment the sleek headlamps (which come with dual LEDs) really well and the way they’ve been integrated into the boot makes for a very pretty picture.

Interiors

The seats are premium enough and come with an option of leather and leatherette. The dash layout is nice and the highlights are the AC vents which appear to run along the entire console. The updated Audi MMI infotainment system connects with both Apple car play as well as Android auto which is a welcome feature. And then of course is the virtual cockpit design which makes the instrument cluster all digital and gives different views with varying information all for the benefit of the driver. Made on Volkswagen’s MLB platform the car is now longer than before which directly translates into more cabin space especially for the rear seat passengers. That there is climate control even in the second row will make it a good choice of wheels for people who choose to buy a car that will be chauffer driven.  A unique storage box for cell phone is located under the centre armrest on the front row. If your phone is one of the few that are compatible with the car, it can also be charged wirelessly.

A refined petrol engine along with some nice insulation means this is one of the quietest cabins you’ll come across. 

Engine

For the time being Audi is set to launch the new A4 only in a Petrol variant. The 1.4 litre turbo charged motor gives a maximum power of 150 bhp. The big change is the reduced weight which has gone down by almost 100 kgs which has translated into better performance and mileage. This claimed fuel efficiency of 17.84 kmpl is around 3 kms more than the previous A4. 250 Nm of torque is delivered between 1,500 and 3,500 rpm and seems adequate in most situations. The speed of 100 kmph from stationary is claimed to be done in 8 and a half seconds. The gear shifts too are pretty slick and the pulling power impresses you. Of course holding the nicely designed yatch like gear lever also adds to the drive experience.

Ride & Handling

The suspension is tuned in a way that it provides a perfect mix of ride and handling. The steering wheel on the car is very precise and responds to the drivers’ demands instantly. Needless to say, changing lanes is a breeze. It also gives enough feedback to make it into a satisfying drive. A refined petrol engine along with some nice insulation means this is one of the quietest cabins you’ll come across. There are 4 different driving modes namely comfort, dynamic, auto and individual. These modes do change the engine and gearbox settings but the suspension or handling settings remain the same.

Verdict

The gadgetry, the tech and the safety in the A4 is right up there looking at the segment. From a sunroof to 8 airbags to a very impressive music system the car takes care of most of the needs of the luxury buyer. It’s just a few days before the car will be officially launched and Audi will be hoping the new A4 will help them catapult to the number 1 spot they’ve been eying in the luxury car space for some time now.

Shams Naqvi  is an anchor/producer  for the News X motor show Living  Cars

 

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