Self-assured in appearance: the striking single-frame grille and the newly styled clear-glass headlights with their sweeping bottom edge and inward taper give the new Audi A4 a completely new face. The trapezoidal shape of the single-frame grille is continued in the more prominent contours of the engine hood.
The front-end styling deliberately echoes design elements of the Nuvolari quattro coupe study, signalling that this
model also belongs to the same family as the other new Audi models - the A8 6.0 quattro, A6 and A3 Sportback: a new Audi generation.
The formal idiom of the Nuvolari quattro can also be found at the rear end where the low-positioned two-piece light units, which also arch a long way inwards, emphasise the horizontal design of the vehicle body. The saloon and Avant both sit squarely on the road, the muscular-looking bottom section and very flat window area combining to produce sports car proportions.
The side panel sections are also a completely new design. The gently curving arc of the shoulder line - depicted here as a clearly drawn shadow line - divides up the panels, sculpting a three-dimensional structure.
The new-generation steering wheels provide an entirely new visual touch in the interior. Their characteristic element is the airbag cover with its single-frame design. Door sill trims with aluminium inserts and numerous aluminium inlays are a standard feature of all new A4 versions.
Inlays in Walnut, Fine-grained Birch wood grey or Fine-grained Birch wood beige can be ordered as an alternative - attributes that also emphasise the special exclusiveness and sporty elegance of the interior of current A8 and A6 models.
Three new cloth and two exclusive leather grades as well as a leather/Alcantara version can be ordered for the interior surfaces and the seats.
The excellent ergonomics of the previous generation is also to be found in the new Audi A4. The cockpit and interior surround the driver with horizontal, generously sweeping lines that flow from the dashboard into the door area. At the same time, the new Audi A4 offers a high level of interior comfort.
Engine and Transmission
A new six-cylinder engine is being made available for the A4 for the very first time. The 3.2 V6 FSI, which only made its production debut in the new Audi A6 a few months ago, has all the features of an ultramodern petrol engine: FSI petrol direct injection with demand-controlled fuel supply, four valves per cylinder, a variable intake manifold and continuous camshaft adjustment on both the intake and the exhaust side.
This V6 engine delivers its maximum output of 188 kW (255 bhp) at 6,500 rpm. Its peak torque of 330 Nm is already available at 3,250 rpm. The A4 3.2 FSI with multitronic transmission and front-wheel drive accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds and on up to a governed top speed of 250 km/h. This also applies to the version with quattro permanent four-wheel drive and 6-speed manual gearbox.
More than 90 percent of the engine's peak torque is available in the wide range between 1900 and 5900 rpm - a unique characteristic for a naturally aspirated V6. As far as the driver is concerned, this means a dynamic and forceful response to every movement of the accelerator pedal plus a broad usable speed range up to 7200 rpm, hefty torque and excellent fuel efficiency: an average consumption of 9.3 litres of Super grade fuel per 100 km for the multitronic version is the best evidence of this engine's efficiency and the special abilities of FSI technology.
FSI engines develop more power and dynamism than conventional units with indirect fuel injection - and they do so with a very high standard of fuel economy. With the increase in efficiency achieved here, Audi has opened up a new dimension in the efficiency of standard spark-ignition engines and once again demonstrated the proverbial progress through technology familiar to the brand.
FSI direct petrol injection has confirmed its unique potential several times over in what must be the most challenging endurance test in the world: an engine with FSI direct injection powers the Le Mans-winning Audi R8.
How does the FSI technology differ operationally from a conventional engine? The term "petrol direct injection" makes the central feature clear: in contrast to indirect injection, the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber.
A common rail high-pressure injection system with a newly developed single-piston high-pressure pump operating on demand ensures exactly the right supply of fuel, delivering precisely the volume required for building up operating pressure between 30 and 110 bar.
In the intake tract, also comprising the two-stage variable intake manifold, moving charge-movement flaps provide the necessary tumble effect, swirling the induced air around depending on operating point. In order to achieve the high specific power and torque values, a new combustion process has been developed. This has the potential for worldwide application and for operation on the fuel grade RON 95/91. Together with the optimum geometry of the combustion chambers and the dosage of fuel injected with supreme accuracy down to the last millisecond, this allows a significant increase in compression:
While conventional production engines generally have a compression ratio of not more than 10.5:1, the compression ratio on Audi's 3.2 FSI power unit is 12.5:1 - a record on production cars and the essential prerequisite for the new engine's high standard of efficiency.
The set-up of the dynamic chassis with four-link front suspension and self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension has been completely modified and numerous new components added.
Audi's chassis engineers have made extensive changes in the area of elastokinematics and to the spring and shock absorber settings: several mountings and the dimensions of the front and rear shock absorbers have been adopted from the A6, for example. The rear trapezoidal links and wheel carriers as well as the front track rods originate from the S4.
These modifications add up to a significantly higher level of agility and precise handling, combined with first-class ride comfort - qualities which benefit both drivers of the A4 saloon and the Avant in equal measure. This also applies to the brakes, the dimension and consequently performance of which have been adapted to suit the potential of the new engines.
The Audi A4 and A4 Avant offer a standard equipment specification which sets a benchmark in the midsize class. Every new A4, for example, is fitted with deluxe automatic air conditioning which has separate temperature controls for the driver and front passenger.
All five seats are equipped with three-point inertia-reel belts (the front belts have belt-force limiters and belt tensioners plus a seat belt reminder) and head restraints. Active head restraints are integrated into the front seats. These reduce the risk of whiplash injuries in a rear-end collision by a significant degree. The safety equipment also includes front airbags that are activated in two stages, front side airbags and the large-area head airbag system known as sideguard.
Electric front windows (and electric rear windows as well on 2.0 T FSI and V6 versions) are also part of the standard specification, as are electrically adjustable exterior mirrors and central locking with radio remote control.
There are almost unlimited possibilities for combining items of optional equipment. For example, the new Audi A4 can be ordered for the first time with adaptive light technology including xenon plus headlights. This also includes the daytime running lights function which only increases energy consumption slightly: a clear safety bonus. An optional light/rain sensor activates the dipped headlights and windscreen wipers automatically if necessary.
The system's range of functions and quality are without equal.
Anyone wishing to experience the acoustic qualities of the audio systems offered for the new Audi A4 to the full can order the BOSE sound system with noise compensation and enjoy a sound quality specifically matched to the vehicle.
Customers can choose from 15 exterior colours, including five new ones. In addition to the standard specification, the wheel range comprises eight summer and three winter wheels of up to 7.5 x 17 J in size, with tyres up to 235/45 R 17. Additional versions up to 18 inches in size are available from quattro GmbH.
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