Subtly revised face and uprated engines as compact exec takes the fight to new BMW
AUDI is fighting fire with fire, and has responded to the launch of BMW’s new 3 Series by releasing pictures and details of its facelifted A4.
The compact executive car has been given more of a mid-life refresh than a full overhaul, but Audi has introduced a thorough range of styling and mechanical tweaks to keep it competitive.
The revised design sticks closely to the reserved family formula, with subtle changes at the front including a single-frame, tapered grille, sharper air intakes either side of the front bumper and reshaped LED headlights in the mould of the new A5 and A6.
At the back, the fresh tail-lights mirrorthe sleek new headlamps, and all models now come with twin exhausts as standard. The newcomer is also slightly wider and lower than before – and all the design cues will be applied to the Avant estate, Allroad crossover and potent S4, too.
There is a new range of engines, updated for greater efficiency and in many cases increased performance. Plus, every model now comes with stop-start, energy recovery and electronic power-steering as standard. This helps to cut fuel consumption by 10 per cent across the board.
The suspension has been tuned to improve comfort, with a focus on the shock absorbers and reartrailingarms, but S line models still get a lowered, stiffer Sports set-up to give better grip.
The cleanest model in the revised range will be the 134bhp 2.0-litre TDI. In saloon guise, this returns 67.3mpg and emits only 112g/km of CO2 – it’stargeting the new BMW 320d ED, which claims 68.9mpg and 109g/km. Audi will also offer a new, highly efficient 201bhp 3.0-litre TDI V6 instead of the old 2.7-litre.
Inside, the MM I infotainment system promises to be easier to use, with the option of voice- activated Google searches. Plus, there are stylish chrome and gloss inlays on the steering wheel and door panels, and a brushed aluminium starter button.
New optional safety features include a ‘break recommendation’ system that monitors the driver and sends a gentle alert when it’s time to stop for a rest.
A small price increase is expected, with the range set to start at around L22,750 – that’s L550 more than the current A4.