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.
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.
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.
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