Come 2016, buyers in the market for a small sports sedan with a touch of luxury are going to be spoiled for choice. In addition to the existing Cadillac ATS, Lexus IS and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, all impressive cars in their own right, we’ll see the arrival of an updated BMW 3-Series plus all-new contenders in the form of the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Jaguar XE. We can now also add a redesigned version of Audi’s A4, revealed in full today ahead of a formal debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show in September.
Both the new A4 sedan and A4 Avant wagon have been revealed, though we’re only expecting the former here in the United States. It will arrive sometime next year, as a 2017 model. Longroof fans shouldn’t be too disappointed, though, as Audi is likely to once again offer an A4 Allroad. Look for a reveal of this particular model in about a year’s time.
The new A4 is Audi’s second model to ride on the new MLB Evo platform, which will eventually underpin most of the automaker’s models from the A4 up (the first vehicle to adopt the new platform is the 2017 Q7). Previewed in Audi’s Sport quattro concept, the MLB Evo uses a combination of high-strength steel and aluminum to help get weight down. Audi says some A4 variants are as much as 264 pounds lighter than their predecessor models, despite the new car growing in size.
Equipped with a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine (European spec), the curb weight comes in at just 2,910 lbs. Overall length, meanwhile, is 15.5 feet while the wheelbase is 9.3 ft. The outgoing model has an overall length of 15.4 ft and wheelbase of 9.2 ft. Audi says its new A4 also has the best drag coefficient in its class at 0.23, made possible by additional openings up front that guide air around the body as well as an underbody that’s flat and mostly sealed off.
Specifications for the U.S. market are yet to be confirmed but expect the lineup to consist of a 2.0-liter model with Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels initially, and later expanded with diesel, plug-in hybrid and sporty S4 variants, the latter likely to come once again with a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6.
As previously reported, the new A4’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder is an all-new design. The engine has various output levels, ranging from 187 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque to 248 hp and 272 lb-ft. By comparison, the outgoing A4’s 2.0-liter mill develops 220 hp and 258 lb-ft. Front-wheel drive is still standard, with a fully mechanical quattro all-wheel drive remaining an option. Transmission options include six-speed manual as well as seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch and eight-speed Tiptronic automatic units.