Audi has lifted the lid off the new A4, and while it may not look like it from the outside, the car has been completely redesigned inside and out.
The company has put a high priority on two things, on two things -- reducing CO2 emissions and improving safety tech.
T3 was flown out to Ingolstadt to have a chat with the engineers and designers behind the car -- here’s what we learnt.
1. Eco-friendly engines which don’t skimp on power
The car will be launched with seven engines, three TFSI petrol powered motors, and four TDI diesels.
The output has risen significantly from the previous generation, ranging from 150 hp to 272 hp.
Despite the power hike, the fuel consumption has been reduced by a really impressive 21 percent. With the 2.0 TDI ultra achieving 76.3 mpg and emitting just 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer.
Audi have achieved this through a groundbreaking innovation in engine tech, with a brand new combustion method. It’s all very technical, but boils down to shorter compression and longer expansion phases.
Audi claims this breakthrough will provide the advantages of a small engine, but won’t feel it’s disadvantages when driving in a 'sporty manner'.
2. Precise and aerodynamic design
It’s not only advances in engine technology that have allowed Audi to achieve such impressive emissions. The new A4 also has a class leading aerodynamic design, with a drag coefficient of just 0.23 (down from 0.26 on the previous model).
We really like the simple design of the car, while other manufacturers are constantly chopping away at body panels, Audi have keep their clean aesthetic (we like to think they’re the Apple of the car world).
If you look at the car, all of the lines emit from the front grill, with a single signature line that runs the entire length of the vehicle.
The cars are also lighter, thanks to an intelligent material mix and lightweight construction the new models weight up to 120 kilograms less than the previous model.
3. It's super safe
Audi has packed this car with driver enhancing safety tech, making it incredibly difficult to crash the thing.
Customers will have the option to add cruise control with traffic-jam assist for slow-moving traffic, predictive efficiency assist (to help with even lower fuel consumption), Audi active lane assist and Audi side assist, which stops you straying into the wrong lane of traffic.
Completely new is parking assist, which makes use of twelve radar sensors to help maneuver the car into parking spaces that are either parallel or right-angled. All you’ll need to do is operate the gas, gears and brake. Also new is the City Assistance System, which supports drivers when changing lanes, providing an LED warning if another vehicle is in the blind spot.
Audi side assist, will warn of potential collisions from behind and can take preventative measures (such as as putting the hazard lights on). And you can also include cross-traffic assist, which will warn you of on-coming traffic when reversing from a parking space.
Other interesting safety tech includes the exit warning, which detects on-coming vehicles after you’ve parked, and stops you from opening the door and making a very costly mistake.
We haven’t driven one yet, but it would appear that you’d have to be incredibly stupid to crash this car.
4. Virtual Cockpit and other great tech
As well as the impressive (but slightly boring) safety tech, the 2015 A4 also includes all the interior features you’d expect from an upmarket saloon.
Highlights include the optional ‘Virtual Cockpit’ behind the steering wheel, which features in the amazing 2015 TT, and mood lighting which can be customised with 30 colours.
The driver’s armrest features a special compartment with wireless QI charging built in -- allowing you to drop your Samsung Galaxy S6 or Moto 360 for juice on the go.
There’s also the optional top-end infotainment system MMI Navigation plus, which features touch control, voice control, LTE connectivity (with Wi-Fi hotspot) and a 8.3-inch monitor.
The interior is also more spacious than the outgoing model, features automatic climate control with a new interface, and a large range of options to empty your wallet with.
5. There’s an Avant as well
The saloon is great, and it’ll no doubt be the best seller for Audi, but the company have also released an estate, sorry Avant, version of the A4.
The Avant would definitely be T3’s pick, with more practical storage space, and more attractive proportions.
6. Bang & Olfsen beats
B&O seem to be popping up in a lot of cars lately, and the A4 is no different.
The Bang & Olfsen 3D advanced Sound System offers a clean, spacious sound stage, with cleaver placement of speakers to create a concerthall effect. The system is a 755-watt 16-channel amplifier that feeds 19 speakers.
7. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Not enough tech for you? To top it all off Audi will also allow you to spec your A4 with either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto -- for complete smartphone integration.
Interested in these two systems? Check out our comparison here.