It's been a long wait but Audi's all-new A4 saloon has finally been signed-off and will be appearing at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show in September. But now our spies have captured the load-lugging Avant bodystyle out testing before it appears at the end of this year.The A4 Avant will take a fresh swipe at the BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes C-Class Estate for the title of compact executive estate king. The spyshots feature the usual psychedelic disguise, but it looks as you would expect it to, with the near-identical profile to the current A4 Avant showing it's evolution rather than revolution.
skin is where the most changes occur. The A4 Avant is based on the
all-new, steel and aluminium MLB platform that will eventually underpin
most of Audi's range. It debuted on the new Q7, where it sheds 325kg,
meaning weight loss of around 100kg is more than likely.
head of technical development, Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, spoke frankly to us
and confirmed the current A4's dynamic shortcomings will be fixed on
the new car. “The steering is a lot better, there’s more feedback and
there’s less friction so the wheel returns smoothly to the centre" he
said. That should give the new A4 a fighting chance against the BMW
3-Series, the dynamic leader in the class.
The Avant version of
the A4 has always been a more lifestyle-focused estate than an overly
practical one, but increased dimensions should ensure that passenger
room is improved. We should see more boot space too, as the 1,430 litre
seats-down capacity of the current car is below the class best.
Audi's now familiar range of turbocharged four and six-cylinder petrol
and diesel engines to feature, but we know a plug-in hybrid 'e-tron'
variant will appear for the first time.