2017 Audi A4 Preview
By Christian Wardlaw, July 02, 2015
- Bigger, inside and out
- Lighter and more fuel-efficient
- Next-generation infotainment technology
- Updated safety and convenience upgrades
- Available Design and Sport appearance lines
- New turbocharged 4-cylinder engines
- Cleaner-burning turbodiesel engines
- New 7-speed automated manual transmission with front-wheel drive
- On sale in the United States in early in 2016
Audi has taken the wraps off its redesigned A4, which slots into the automaker's sedan lineup between the smaller A3 and the larger A6. Primary competitors for the new 2017 Audi A4--and there are many--include the Acura TLX, BMW 3 Series, Cadillac ATS, Infiniti Q50, Jaguar XE, Lexus IS, Lincoln MKZ, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Volvo S60. The new Audi A4 goes on sale in Europe this fall as a 2016 model, and is slated to arrive in the United States after the first of next year as a 2017 model.
With the 2017 A4, Audi sticks to established design themes, sharpening the car's details and bringing the aerodynamic coefficient of drag down to 0.23 cd, according to the automaker. Larger and lighter than the car it replaces, the new A4 is also more fuel-efficient.
For the first time, Audi will offer the A4 in two different appearance lines called Design and Sport. This is similar to how BMW and Mercedes-Benz package the A4's direct competitors.
Audi promises that the redesigned A4 will have a quieter cabin with "uncompromisingly high" quality, according to the company. The interior's appearance will be different depending on whether the Design line or Sport line is selected.
Automatic climate control is standard for the new A4, as well as next-generation instrumentation and infotainment displays and controls.
Technologically, the redesigned Audi A4 advances thanks to a number of new features. Highlights include a new Bang & Olufsen audio system with 3D sound, next-generation Audi MMI infotainment systems, Audi Phone Box technology with wireless inductive smartphone charging, and smartphone integration technology making the car compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto platforms.
New safety technologies also debut, including collision-avoidance systems, and the new A4 will be offered with an Audi Tablet rear-seat entertainment system, head-up display, and parking-assistance technology. Be sure to see details in the sections that follow.
Under the Hood
Audi plans to offer a new generation of turbocharged 4-cylinder engines in the redesigned A4, and will launch the car with seven different powertrain choices in Europe, including a family of cleaner-burning diesel engines. Customers in the States are likely to have a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, turbodiesel 4-cylinder, and a turbodiesel 6-cylinder from which to choose.
Depending on the engine and whether or not the customer has requested Quattro all-wheel drive, the new A4 is available with a 6-speed manual gearbox, new 7-speed S-tronic automated manual transmission, or an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. The new 7-speed S-tronic gearbox replaces the previous continuously variable transmission (CVT) used for front-wheel-drive cars.
The S-tronic and Tiptronic transmissions now include a "freewheeling" function that decouples the transmission from the drive wheels when the A4 is coasting in order to conserve fuel. Both front-drive and Quattro drivetrains feature wheel-selective torque-control technology, and the A4 3.0 TDI Quattro can be equipped with an optional sport-tuned rear differential.
Audi says the new A4's suspension and steering are tuned to filter disturbances while communicating important information to the driver, claiming that the car delivers "dynamic handling" and "world-class ride comfort." Optional Audi Drive Select with adjustable shock absorbers provides both Comfort and Sport settings, and the optional Dynamic Steering system varies the car's steering ratio depending on vehicle speed and steering angle.
Audi installs new safety features in the 2017 A4. In addition to Audi Side Assist, which is available for the current A4, the redesigned A4 is available with an adaptive cruise control system with stop-and-go operation and a Traffic Jam Assist feature, as well as Audi Active Lane Assist, Collision Avoidance Assist, and Rear Cross Traffic Assist. Three versions of Audi Pre-Sense technology are also available: Basic, Rear, and City.
Audi plans to offer its Virtual Cockpit instrumentation for the new A4, a 12.3-in. screen that replaces the traditional gauges with high-resolution digital graphics. An optional head-up display supplements the Virtual Cockpit.
The optional Audi MMI Touch with Navigation Plus technology includes an 8.3-in. display screen and a touchpad mounted atop the center console controller that is used for zooming in and out on the screen, and for inputting characters. The system includes natural-voice-recognition technology and free-text search capability, as well as Audi Connect services with high-speed Internet connectivity and a Wi-Fi hotspot. For 2017, owners will be granted remote access to the car via a smartphone app.
Also new for 2017, the Audi Smartphone Interface makes the A4 compatible with iOS and Android platforms in order to run Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A new Audi Phone Box option includes wireless inductive smartphone charging.
A new Bang & Olufsen premium sound system with 3D sound is available for the 2017 A4, and a new Audi Tablet rear-seat entertainment system is optional. Audi also plans to offer new park-assist technologies designed to help the driver to park the car.
- 2015 Audi A4 Overview
- Audi Car, Truck & SUV Quality, Dependability & Performance Ratings
- 2015 Audi Buyer's Guide