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2016 Audi A4 Spy Shots

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These are our first spy shots of a test mule for the next-generation ‘B9’ Audi A4 sedan, which is currently expected to be revealed in the summer of 2015, as a 2016 model. It will be followed about a year later by its Avant wagon and A4 Allroad variants, and will for the first time offer some alternative drivetrains. Audi was originally due to launch its new A4 at the end of this year but a late change in its design meant the vehicle’s release date needed to be pushed back.

This test mule shows that the new A4 is still at an early stage of development, but the first prototypes should be arriving soon. The size and overall proportions of the new A4 are likely to be similar to that of the current model, but it appears the new one will have a wider rear track.

The 2016 A4 will be Audi’s second model to ride on the next-generation version of the MLB (modular longitudinal) platform, which will eventually underpin most of the automaker’s models from the A4 up. Previewed in Audi’s Sport quattro concept, the latest MLB platform, nicknamed the MLB Evo, uses a combination of ultrahigh-strength steel, aluminum and even some composites to help get weight down. Look for weight savings of around 200 pounds compared to the current A4. The first vehicle we’ll see it in is the 2015 Q7.

Front-wheel drive will remain standard for the 2016 A4 while quattro all-wheel drive will continue to be offered as an option. The front suspension is believed to be comprised of five links per wheel, while the rear suspension should be based on the self-tracking trapezoidal link principle coveted by Audi.

One of the key benefits of the latest MLB Evo platform is that it has been designed to be compatible with alternative drivetrains. We should get a plug-in hybrid version of the 2016 A4 while overseas Audi will likely offer a natural gas version and maybe even an all-electric version.

The base engine, at least here in the U.S., should continue to be a 2.0-liter TSI, with a 3.0-liter TSI offered for buyers seeking greater performance. It is not clear at this point if Audi will resurrect its RS 4 badge for the new A4 sedan (the current RS 4 is only available as an Avant wagon), but we do know that a 2.0-liter TDI diesel option will be offered. Transmissions are likely to include six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch units.

Stay tuned for updates as development of the 2016 Audi A4 continues.

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