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New Audi A4 and A4 Avant (2015): seat rehearsal, facts and pictures

Stefan Baldauf /Guido ten Brink
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L we have been waiting for the new A4 . In the end there were new recordings of less and less camouflaged vehicles almost every day. Just so completely naked, without camouflage, Audi's sales broker in the middle class did not want to show itself yet. But now that the time has come, where we are face to face with the new, we have to be careful not to jokingly ask our Audi colleagues: 'And where is the new one now?' The new thing about the A4, which customers can order from August 10, 2015 and which will be delivered from November 2015, only becomes apparent at second glance. The revolution has to wait - perhaps the right tactic for a car that sells well even at the end of the model cycle and whose value will certainly benefit from the evolutionary successor. The new Audi A4 is available from 30,600 euros. The Avant costs 1,850 euros extra (all prices see table below).

New Audi A4 only slightly larger and not very different

In addition, evolution has always had a reputation for producing something successful. In the case of the A4, it's also really pretty: the single frame is flatter and more angular, the headlights with a focused look that looks like a strong handshake, the overlapping hood hides its narrow joint on the flank in a double light edge that runs through to the rear light. You see, Daimler, that's how it's done - not like the lid of a box. The rear itself appears wider thanks to the lower lights. Above them greets a reminiscence of the ancestors of the first A4 generation (B5) with a rounded indentation. The whole thing ends with a spoiler made of the sheet metal, whose tear-off edge looks sharp like a meat knife from Union Solingen.

The dimensions have hardly changed: the length increased by 2.5 centimeters to 4.73 meters, the width by 1.6 centimeters to 1.84 and the height remained at 1.43 meters. The wheelbase grew by a modest 1.2 centimeters (2.82 meters), but the interior by 2.5 centimeters, the knee room in the rear by 2.3 centimeters. Getting in and out is therefore easy, even in the rear. There are 1.84-meter figures like the author sitting great, even if those sitting in front have set the chairs to similar sizes. If you are taller, the top of your head can touch the headliner. Unless he climbs into the rear of the Avant, whose roofline, which later falls, also leaves more headroom. Behind that is now waiting with 505 litersthe largest trunk in the premium mid-range and 1,510 liters with the rear seat folded down. Their backrests can be unlocked mechanically from the trunk, but do not fold down automatically. The electric tailgate operation is now standard and the load compartment cover opens and closes with it. There is now also a rail system for securing the luggage, the fastening elements of which can be found under the front part of the luggage compartment floor.

Up to 120 kg lighter and almost cW world champion

Who else should buy the limousine? Outside of Northern Europe only a few, in the rest of the world, especially in China, most of them. You benefit from the excellent drag coefficient of the step rear. It is almost as world champion as the Audi 100 was in its day. The 0.30 was enough for the title in 1982. The new A4 manages 0.23 and still has to admit defeat to the four-door Coupé Mercedes CLA - at least the BlueEfficiency Edition, which reaches 0.22. The rest of the series is on par with the Audi. The Avant still manages 0.26 - a class value for this body shape.

In addition, Ingolstadt residents have prescribed a strict diet for their mid-range bestseller. The sedan with the entry-level petrol engine (1.4 TFSI) weighs 1,320 kilograms. That's 110 kilograms less than the predecessor (with 1.8-liter TFSI). The Avant is even 120 kilograms less. Because so that the opening comfort of the electric tailgate does not thwart the diet, the large flap of the Avant is now made of aluminum.

V6 diesel and 4-cylinder gasoline engine

weight reduction, improved aerodynamics and new engines contribute to the economy of the new model: the consumption figures are said to have gone down by up to 21 percent. The most economical model is the 2.0 TDI Ultra, which should manage with 3.7 liters (equivalent to 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer) despite 150 hp. The two-liter is also available with 190 and from 2016 with 122 hp. In addition, Audi has the luxury of two 3.0-liter V6 TDIs, which are said to be astonishingly economical: the 218-hp version does not have more torque (400 Nm) than the four-cylinder with 190 hp, but should have 4, 2 liters also consume only 0.1 liters more diesel than the 2.0 TDI. Even the more powerful version with a full 272 hp and a sports car-like acceleration time of 5.3 seconds to 100 km /h remains under 5 liters in the NEDC.

The entry-level engine with 150 hp (1, 4 TFSI) known from other series; It only undercuts the 5 liter mark in conjunction with the S-Tronic dual clutch machine. But it is available from the start of sales for less than 31,000 euros. If you want to consume even less petrol, you have to take the larger engine: the new 2.0 TFSI Ultra with 190 hp is supposed to chase just 4.8 liters per 100 kilometers through direct injection. Audi has the right-sizing designation for the engine(instead of downsizing) presented at the Vienna Motor Symposium. Due to a shortened compression phase with higher compression, the unit only has to compress as much mixture in the partial load range as a 1.4-liter unit. Under full load, on the other hand, it shouldn't swallow as much as downsized engines, because the valve adjustment with later opening times and increased injection pressure ensure better filling of the combustion chambers.

The 2.0 liter TFSI is also available with 252 hp and 370 Nm, which then consumes 5.7 liters in conjunction with the S-Tronic and front-wheel drive. More power and cylinders in the gasoline engines will only come with the S4 (2016) and RS4 (2017). The first model with an alternative drive will be the A4 Avant G-Tron with natural gas (CNG) and a small petrol tank. The TFSI engine gets 170 hp and 270 Nm from two liters and should get by with less than four kilograms of gas per 100 kilometers.

On the transmission side, the new A4 has less to offer than its predecessor: Audi has the less harmonious Multitronic along with their reliability problems. What remains is the manual 6-speed gearbox, 8-speed triptronic and dual clutch gearbox.

Two variants of the adaptive chassis

Adaptive variable dampers are only available in the A4 for an extra charge (approx. 1,000 euros) . Then the customer has the choice between a sportier version with a full 23 millimeters lowering and a comfort-oriented version that still brings the body 10 millimeters closer to the asphalt than the standard chassis. The developers promise a particularly great comfort experience especially for this chassis. The insulating glazing on the side windows (front window standard), which is supposed to lower the interior noise to the level of an A8, could go well with this.

Of course, the A4 also embeds its driver in wadding for safety - with a whole host of assistance systems: it gives the emergency braking assistant, the predictive efficiency assistant, the traffic jam, lane keeping, distance keeping, parking, evasive, turning and cross traffic assist in the rear. The A4 also reads traffic signs and pays attention to its occupants even when getting out of the car: If the blind spot warning device detects danger from behind, a red light in the door warns of unintended opening.

Seat test in the new Audi A4 almost like in the Q7

So a lot of effort to ensure that the A4 drives great and economically. But how does he sit and live the A4 driver in the future? First impression: the new modular longitudinal construction kit (MLB), on which the A4, Q7 and later A6, A7 and Q5 are based, can also be felt inside. The high-quality workmanship typical of the brand is paired with the infotainment and control elements that already characterize the Q7: The new automatic selector lever also serves as a hand rest so that the fingers can comfortably caress the rotary control and its touchpad (MMI Touch) (on hand controls, the lever is in front of it). With a little practice you can even enlarge the navigation map with the typical oneSpreading movement. The number of buttons around the controller has been reduced to two, two rocker switches help with changing the operating menu. Right at the front of the center console, 8 favorite buttons are waiting for their individual assignment by the user.

The standard 5-inch diagonal display is now fixed and looks like a tablet. It's good that, as recently introduced at VW, Audi also fully integrates Android smartphones or iPhones. It's a shame that the screen only grows to 7 inches when a navigation system is ordered and that its touch capability comes later - but who knows how accurate your fingers would be when positioning the display. Audi has upgraded the voice control for this purpose and, like Siri, now also understands questions like: 'Where can I fill up?' And if you want more display space, you can order the programmable virtual cockpit known from the TT and Q7 - and a very high-resolution head-up display. Or a specially developed Audi tablet. It networks with the MMI Plus via WLAN. If you have also ordered Audi Connect, you can surf the web with your tablet via the hotspot, watch films or operate the A4's infotainment system. Audi Connect also includes emergency calls, online breakdown calls, service appointments and remote control of central locking and auxiliary heating.

What we particularly like

Cool: The stylish aluminum buttons for operating the air conditioning are capacitive - That means: As soon as the finger approaches, the menu in the razor-sharp display behind it folds out and shows which adjustment options are hidden here. For example, how and where the air nozzle strip, which stretches across the entire width of the dashboard, should blow - without bothering the occupants with drafts.

The activation of the interior light near the interior mirror is also capacitive. Practical when you don't have to fumble for the switch in the dark. The optional Bang and Olufsen Sound System can be enjoyed particularly well in the dark. The 3D sound is particularly impressive: it lets the orchestra pop up on the dashboard, and the ear creates an image thanks to the spatial information of the audio signal. Great!

Pictures from the ear? Of course, the ambient lighting can't be spoiled: the top version is available in 30 colors. The MMI controller can be used to illuminate continuously from red to blue, green, white or yellow. Then who comes up with such an idea? 'Marketing,' says Audi Head of Development Ulrich Hackenberg. And: 'I did fight back,' he says with a barely noticeable smile. And yet obviously takes pleasure in even switching to unusual purple. It's nice that with all the technocratic sobriety in the new A4 there was still room for such gimmicks. And so it is like with the exterior: The new A4 only reveals itself at second glance.

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