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The new Audi A4 - In Detail

The new Audi A4 - In Detail

November 28, 2011 - Courtesy of AUDI AG
The best-selling Audi is now even more attractive: Audi is refreshing the A4 family. New solutions for the engines, chassis and infotainment are being added to the Sedan, Avant, allroad quattro and S4 models, making them even more sporty and efficient. New design accents provide visual cues to their sharpened character.
Exterior design

All three body variants of the A4 family - the Sedan, the Avant and the allroad quattro - impress with their sporty, elegant exterior design with harmonious proportions, the long engine hood, the short overhangs and the long wheelbase. Sharp lines frame muscularly arched sheet metal surfaces integrating a flat greenhouse.

Many design details are now more striking, and the front end appears even flatter and broader. Sharp edges emphasize the three-dimensional tension of the engine hood. The single-frame grille is platinum gray. In models with a V6 engine or with the S line exterior package, it is a high-gloss black. It has tapered upper corners, and its delicate lateral bars and the Audi rings are sculpted. Horizontal chrome strips convey a unique note to the grille of the A4 allroad quattro.

The new headlights are also immediately recognizable. Their interior has been restructured, the housing is wedge-shaped and their lower edge forms a subtle wave. With the optional xenon plus headlights, the highly efficient LED daytime running lights form a narrow, homogenous clasp that largely follows the outer contour, remaining open in the area of the xenon lens. The turn signals are a strip at the upper edge. Audi also offers the adaptive light system with dynamic cornering light and static turning light.

The newly designed bumpers on all models contain large air inlets that taper inward and are framed by strong edges. They are covered by new grilles, which with the S line and S models feature a diamond pattern. Crossbars in high-gloss black divide the grilles. Rectangular fog lights (round in the A4 allroad quattro) are mounted in the top sections. The flat air inlet below the single-frame grille has also been redesigned.

A4 models equipped with xenon plus headlights also feature rear lights using light-emitting diodes. The turn signal is a horizontal line, and the tail light forms a low, homogenous clasp. The brake light is located beneath the turn signal.

Modifications have also been made to the Audi rings, the bumper and the diffuser insert. Depending on the engine, the standard exhaust system has either two tailpipes on the left side or one tailpipe on the right and the left.

Broad palette: 15 paint colors

The updated A4 models are available in a choice of 15 colors, four of them new. The solid colors are called Brilliant Red, Brilliant Black and Ibis White. The metallic and pearl-effect colors are as follows: Cuvée Silver, metallic; Ice Silver, metallic; Glacier White, metallic; Lava Gray, pearl effect; Moonlight Blue, metallic; Monsoon Grey, metallic; Phantom Black, pearl effect; Scuba Blue, metallic; Teak Brown, metallic; and Volcano Red, metallic. There are two additional options available in combination with the S line sport package: Daytona Gray, pearl effect and Misano Red, pearl effect.

Fans of a dynamic look can order the S line exterior package for the Sedan and the Avant. The package adds specific details to the front and rear bumpers, the high-gloss black single-frame grille, the air inlets, the platinum gray diffuser and the side sill trims, which are painted in the body color.

The door sill trims and the front fenders sport S line badges; chrome-look strips frame the fog lights; and four-cylinder models get attractive tailpipe trims. The S line exterior package adds a roof spoiler to the A4 Avant.

Another option available from Audi for the A4 Sedan and the A4 Avant is the high-gloss package (standard with the Ambiente trim line), with which the window capping strips and the roof frame are made of aluminum. A third alternative is the Audi exclusive black styling package, which bathes the window capping strips and other bolt-on parts in matt black.

Available for the A4 allroad quattro is the aluminum-look exterior, which contrasts large alloy elements such as the roof rails with trim elements in high-gloss black. The flared sills sport stainless steel inlays. The increased ground clearance, the flared fenders and the underbody guards at the front and rear give the A4 allroad quattro a robust overall appearance.


The Audi A4 is a stately mid-size car. The Sedan and the Avant measure within 2 millimeters (0.08 in) of one another. Both are 4.70 meters (15.42 ft) long; the allroad quattro measures 4.72 meters (15.49 ft). The Sedan and Avant are 1.83 meters (6.0 ft) wide versus 1.84 meters (6.04 ft) for the allroad quattro; height is 1.42 meters (4.66 ft), 1.44 meters (4.72 ft) and 1.50 meters (4.92 ft) for the Sedan, Avant and allroad quattro, respectively.

The body of the A4 showcases a classic Audi strength - the intelligent hybrid construction with high-end materials. The crossmember behind the front bumper, for instance, is made of aluminum. Conventional deep-drawing steel accounts for only 38 percent of the weight of the sedan. High-strength grades account for 32 percent and ultra-high-strength steels for 18 percent. The remaining 12 percent are hot-shaped steels, which get their extreme tensile strength from a dramatic temperature increase during shaping.

Hot-shaped steels account for 34 kilograms (74.96 lb) of the weight of the body-in-white of the Audi A4. Thanks to their relatively low wall thicknesses, they save nine kilograms (19.84 lb). Used at the frontwall crossmember, the center tunnel, the B-pillars and the inside sills, hot-shaped steels form a strong structure in the occupant cell. In a crash, they transfer the forces in such a way that the dissipation of energy poses the least possible risk to the occupants.

Audi uses a special structural adhesive in many areas to assemble the body. 95 meters (312 ft) of bonded seams overall further enhance the rigidity of the joint. In the doors and at the sills, another high-end technology is used: remote laser welding. An invisible seam produced by plasma brazing joins the side of the car to the roof. This seam is extremely precise and thus virtually invisible, so that the A4 does not need roof trim strips.

The low weight of the body is the foundation of the ultra-lightweight construction concept of the A4. Equipped with the 1.8 TFSI, the Sedan has a curb weight (without driver) of just 1,430 kg (3,152.61 lb). The body also achieves excellent values for rigidity, vibrational comfort and crash safety.

The restraint systems of the A4 are precisely coordinated with the deformation properties of the sheet metal. When activated in the event of a crash, the retention system considers the seating position of the driver and front passenger so that persons of all sizes are well protected. The system also includes standard side airbags in the front (optional in the rear) and head airbags.

The integral head restraint system diminishes the risk of whiplash in the event of a rear-end collision by supporting the upper body parts and heads of front-seat passengers. And the seatbelt tensioners ensure that passengers remain safely seated during a severe rear-end collision. ISOFIX child-seat anchors are standard for the rear seats and optionally available for the front-passenger seat.

The base version of the updated A4 Sedan has a front surface area of 2.20 m2 (23.68 sq ft). Its coefficient of drag is just 0.27 - a result due in part to the underbody, which is largely covered with plastic panels. The engine compartment has been specifically optimized for low-turbulence flow.


Perfect functionality and generous amounts of space - the interior of the A4 models is now sportier, with flowing lines and an open, elegant and clean look. The uncompromising Audi quality philosophy is reflected in the choice of materials and how they are used.

The front seats, both of which are height-adjustable, provide excellent hold and support. Options include power adjustment, power-adjustable lumbar support, a memory function for the driver's seat, heated seats - including for the outer rear seats - and a sliding front center armrest with storage compartment. Passengers in all five of the easily accessible seats have ample head, shoulder, leg and footroom.

Three individual variants complete the range. The sport seats (standard with the Ambition line) have large side bolsters, a power-adjustable lumbar support and an extendable thigh rest. With the S line sport package, Audi offers optional S sport seats with integrated head restraints. Small fans provide ventilation to the luxuriously upholstered climate-controlled comfort seats; automatic heating guards against excessive cooling.

Cup holders and storage compartments are provided in the door pockets, the center console and the folding rear armrest. Audi offers optional storage nets for the backs of the front seats, cup holders for the rear seats and a storage package. Its most important elements are two seat nets and two storage bins beneath the front seats.

New compositions: colors and materials

The interior has been tweaked once again as part of the A4 family update. The new, one-piece fascia of the instrument cluster comes standard with a high-quality gray finish. The fascia on the center console around the air conditioning and radio is painted high-gloss black.

The Attraction trim line includes inlays in Steel Gray Reflex Paint; Moor Brown is available with Ambition. Audi also offers a number of special materials as options: Aluminum Trigon (standard with the Ambiente trim line) and the woods Walnut Dark Brown and Fine Grain Ash Natural Brown. Beaufort Oak layered wood veneer is particularly eye-catching.

The Audi interior designers have also remixed the color palette. With the exception of black, nearly all colors for the headlining, carpeting, instrument panel, door trims and upholstery are new. The following colors are available (depending on model): Gray, Chestnut Brown, Lunar Silver, Moor Brown, Pashmina Beige, Velvet Beige, Black and Titanium Gray.

Cloth upholstery is standard for the seats. Audi offers two grades of leather as options: Milano and Fine Nappa. The latter is part of the Audi exclusive range and replaces Valcona. With these options, the door armrests are also covered in leather. Leather packages and arrangements from the Audi exclusive range round out the upholstery lineup.

Another option is the S line sport package. Available for the Sedan and the Avant with the Ambition trim line, it lends the interior a cool black look. Contrasting gray stitching accentuates the sport seats, the floor mats, the leather sport steering wheel and the shift or selector lever. The inlays are in Matt Brushed Aluminum. The S line sport suspension, which lowers the vehicle body by 30 millimeters (1.18 in), and 18-inch wheels as well as S line badges on the body and on the door sill trims round out the package, which can be combined with many more options.

The Audi exclusive range includes further customization options for colors, materials and control elements. Particularly attractive is the stylishly composed Audi exclusive line with two-tone upholstery in Alabaster White, Cognac and Cloudy Gray. This option can now also be combined with the S line sport package.

Even easier: operation

Operation of the A4 has become easier. The ignition key, the steering column stalk and the three-spoke leather sport steering wheels have been redesigned and now include chrome and high-gloss inlays. Options include a steering wheel with a flat-bottomed rim, shift paddles for the automatic transmission on the steering wheel and new multifunction buttons that follow an intuitively comprehensible logic. The mute and navigation information functions are new here.

The air conditioning and infotainment controls have fine chrome clasps. The same is true for the power window buttons, the air vents and the switches for the power seats. Buttons allow you to switch among three settings for the optional seat heating and seat ventilation systems; the center console's displays are illuminated in white throughout.

The automatic transmission is operated using a new selector lever. It is now easier to switch into S mode - a single press is all it takes. And just one button now suffices for controlling the optional Audi drive select. Operation of the highly efficient automatic air conditioning system has also been tweaked, and the three-zone deluxe automatic air conditioning system features a new particulate filter with a finer fleece.

Versatile: the cargo areas

All three body versions in the A4 family have large cargo areas. The Sedan has a luggage capacity of 480 liters (16.95 cu ft), whereas the Avant and the A4 allroad quattro each offer 490 liters (17.30 cu ft). There is no difference between front-wheel drive and quattro models. The low loading lip and the straight side walls make it very easy to utilize this space.

The split rear seat backs standard in all models can be folded down in just two steps. The head rests do not have to be removed. This increases the cargo volume to 962 and 1,430 liters (33.97 and 50.50 cu ft), respectively. The tie-down rings are made of solid metal and chrome-plated.

The tailgate of the Audi A4 Avant and the A4 allroad quattro opens high enough that even tall persons can stand beneath it. The partition safety net and the cargo area cover, which slides upward with a gentle push, are stored in separate cartridges. Roof rails and a reversible cargo floor are standard in both models. As with the Sedan, a load-through hatch with a ski and snowboard sack is available as an option.

Audi offers a number of additional practical features as options for the A4 Avant and the A4 allroad quattro - a reversible mat, an electromechanical drive for the tailgate and the cargo area package. The cargo area can be flexibly divided using the latter's rails, telescoping rod and belt. The trailer hitch and racks for bikes, snowboards and skis are designed for the sporty, active customers of both models.
The equipment and data specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.
  1. The all-new Audi A4 - AUDI AG

  2. The all-new Audi A4 - AUDI AG

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  8. The all-new Audi S4 - AUDI AG

  9. The all-new Audi S4 - AUDI AG

  10. The all-new Audi S4 - AUDI AG

  11. The all-new Audi S4 - AUDI AG

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  14. The all-new Audi S4 - AUDI AG

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The new Audi A4 - In Detail
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