Though it may look like a facelift, the 2017 Audi A4 is all-new from the tires up, and ready to take on the just-refreshed competition from Germany, England, Japan, and America.
Audi has paid particular attention to improving efficiency with the A4. A move to the new MLB EVO allows the A4 to grow in all dimensions while weighing less than the outgoing car. While aluminum and ultra high-strength steels are used throughout the A4’s design, magnesium has also been used in key components. New headlamps and tail lights – available in full LED configurations – give the A4 a sharp-edged look, but its 0.23 drag coefficient rating is among the best in the world.
There’s no shortage of gizmos and gadgetry with the A4, much of which can be found inside the cabin. The instrument cluster is the same Virtual Cockpit layout that first debuted in the TT, offering a completely reconfigurable display with jaw-dropping graphics. A secondary 7.0- or 8.3-inch display is embedded in the centre console and is controlled by Audi’s MMI system, which has been enhanced to respond to tablet-style inputs like swiping and pinching. Android Auto and Apple Car Play come standard, naturally, the perfect interface for the new optional 19-speaker Bang and Olufsen 3D Sound audio system.
The tech barrage doesn’t stop there. Where equipped, the A4’s Traffic Congestion Assistant can semi-autonomously drive the car at speeds of up to 60 km/h, while the enhanced Pre-Sense City emergency autonomous braking system keeps a watchful eye out for pedestrians and vehicles at a distance of up to 100 metres at speeds of up to 85 km/h. There’s even a new and enhanced cross-traffic alert system which warns occupants of passing bicyclists and vehicles before exiting the car.
The new A4 is offered with two powertrains. Front-drive models feature a 2.0-litre direct-injected four-cylinder turbo that develops 190 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque, which is good for a 0-100 km/h time of 7.4 seconds. Opt for Audi’s legendary Quattro all-wheel drive, and the output jumps to 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. With this increase in power, the A4’s 0-100 time dips to just six seconds flat. Both transmissions mate to a seven-speed dual-clutch automated transmission for quick shifts and maximum efficiency.
Regarding equipment, the A4 has all of the bases covered – genuine leather upholstery, heated seats, a power sunroof, automatic climate control, automatic headlamps and wipers, smartphone integration, and full power front seats with lumbar support are included in the base $38,500 pricetag. The only item missing is a reverse camera, which comes standard on the Progressiv trim level, which bundles the bigger 8.3-inch display, 18-inch wheels, heated steering wheel, and a few other luxuries for $42,300.
All-wheel drive Quattro models start at $43,200 for the base Komfort, with the Progressiv selling for $47,000. The range-topping Technik, which comes with parking sensors, 360-degree parking camera, and blind spot monitoring, sells for $50,600.
Expect to see the high-performance S4 and crossover-wagon Allroad on dealer lots next year.