Driver assistance systems
Audi offers an attractive portfolio of assistance systems in the A4 family. Four of them are available as options. The driver information system with break recommendation comes standard in all models with more than 88 kW of power. It can contribute a great deal towards road safety, since about one fourth of all traffic accidents can be attributed to driver fatigue.
The driver information system with break recommendation continuously observes the driver's steering movements and activation of the gearshift and gas pedal. It thus computes and stores a profile unique to the driver. If the system's control unit detects that the driver is deviating from their profile - the steering wheel is hardly being used, for instance - visual and audible alarms are triggered. In operation at speeds above 65 km/h (40 mph), the system can be deactivated - like all Audi assistance systems - at any time.
With new capabilities: adaptive cruise control
The adaptive cruise control (ACC) is the most complex of the optional driver assistance systems available in the model family. At speeds between 30 and 200 km/h (18.64 and 124.27 mph), the radar-based system maintains a specified interval between the A4 and the vehicle ahead by accelerating and braking autonomously within certain limits. The driver can switch between four settings to specify the extent to which the system should be comfortable or sporty; following distance can likewise be set to one of four levels.
ACC also features the integrated Audi braking guard. The system warns the driver if the radar sensor of the A4 detects an impending collision with the vehicle ahead. The intensity of the warning varies with the danger of the situation. A gong-like chime and a red signal lamp on the driver information system's display constitute the first level of warning. At the same time, the brake system is preemptively refilled and the brake pads are positioned close to the discs. If the driver now steps on the pedal, braking is practically instantaneous.
If the driver does not react, however, the second warning level causes the system to briefly brake the vehicle - an attention-grabbing jolt for the driver. If the driver now brakes but does not sufficiently depress the brake pedal, the hydraulic brake assist will boost the braking force as merited by the given situation. If the driver fails to react at all, the system partially brakes on its own to decelerate the A4 by approximately 3 m/s2.
In an emergency at speeds below 30 km/h (18.64 mph), the Audi A4 will apply the brakes with full power - regardless of whether the vehicle ahead is stationary or in motion. At speeds below 20 km/h (12.43 mph), this full braking generally prevents the accident altogether. In other cases, it greatly reduces the impact speed, thus reducing the severity of the accident.
The optional Audi side assist helps the driver when changing lanes. At speeds of 30 km/h (18.64 mph) and above, radar sensors at the rear of the car monitor what goes on behind the A4.
If another vehicle enters the blind spot or rapidly approaches from the rear, a yellow LED indicator in the outside mirror's housing will light up. If the driver nevertheless activates their turn signal, the indicator will brighten and flash rapidly - it is practically impossible to overlook!
New to the A4 model series is Audi active lane assist, which goes into operation at 65 km/h (40.39 mph). A small video camera in the interior mirror detects the lane markings on the road surface. If the A4 approaches a lane marking without the turn signal having been activated, the system gently intervenes in the new electromechanical steering to coax the driver to remain in their lane. Drivers use the MMI operating system to specify how quickly this assistance system should intervene as well as whether this should be accompanied by vibration of the steering wheel.
Audi offers a choice of three different solutions for easy parking. The top version is the parking system plus with reversing camera. It employs a fisheye lens to film the area behind the car. Images are first corrected by software and then displayed on the MMI monitor; guidance lines and fields help the driver to steer.
A modular system of multimedia components is available for all three body versions in the model line.
The standard chorus radio system features a CD drive and an amplifier that delivers 80 watts to eight speakers. The dual tuner works with two antennas in order to always receive the best signal. The chorus radio is based on Audi's MMI operating concept and has been paired with a 6.5-inch monochrome display.
The first step up, the concert radio system, also includes an aux-in connection, an SDHC card reader and a 6.5-inch color display. Another alternative is the symphony radio system with a six-CD changer. Above that is MMI navigation. It reads the map data from a DVD; the driver can use voice commands to enter the destination and the system uses dynamic routing to lead the driver there. A triple tuner ensures particularly reliable radio reception.
Powerful media center: MMI navigation plus
MMI navigation plus is the high-end media center in the A4 model series. In addition to the DVD drive, it includes a 60 GB hard drive for navigation, phone and music data. A graphics processor from the specialist NVIDIA generates the three-dimensional images in top quality. The most important buildings of many cities have been lovingly recreated in the richly detailed 3D terrain model that serves as the map.
Measuring seven inches in diagonal and with a high resolution of 800 x 400 pixels, the MMI navigation plus monitor delivers tack-sharp images in brilliant colors. The advanced voice control enables the driver to say the city and street as a single command and also to control the telephone and music playback. In the UK, A4 drivers can also enter destinations using the six- or seven-character postal code - a fast and effective method.
The operation of the MMI navigation plus has also been improved. The number of hard buttons for the main menus has been reduced from eight to four (for Telephone, Navigation, Radio and Media), and the volume control now includes a skip function enabling the user to skip quickly between songs. Cell phones and mobile playback devices can be connected to the system via the Bluetooth interface so that the system can also play back music stored on them.
The Audi sound system is available as an option for all A4 models. At its core is a 180-watt, six-channel amplifier that powers ten speakers, including a subwoofer and a center speaker. The Bang & Olufsen Sound System offers even great sound quality. Its 505-watt, ten-channel amplifier drives 14 high-performance speakers, whose grilles are decorated with aluminum. In conjunction with MMI navigation plus, the system can play back DVDs in 5.1 surround sound.
Other elements complete the infotainment line. These include a dual tuner for digital radio reception (digital audio broadcasting [DAB] as well as DAB+ and DMB Audio), a digital TV tuner, a CD changer in the glove compartment and the Audi music interface as the interface to a mobile playback device or an iPhone.
Options for convenient telephony include a Bluetooth interface that also allows playback of music stored on the phone in the car and a Bluetooth cell phone preparation with a hands-free unit and voice control.
The keyword Audi connect refers to the networking of Audi cars with their surroundings. Among the high-end options available in the updated A4 family is the Bluetooth online car phone that uses a UMTS module to connect to the Internet.
The UMTS module integrated into the MMI navigation plus system offers a number of attractive services. It delivers specially prepared, easy-to-read news, travel and weather information plus points of interest from Google to the vehicle. Drivers can plan their routes on their home computers, upload them to a special section of the Internet site www.audi.com and download them from there to the car upon starting the trip. The map can also be underlaid with aerial and satellite images from Google Earth for an extremely attractive look, if desired.
Another feature of the system, the WLAN hotspot, enables passengers to connect up to eight mobile devices - from iPhones to laptops - to the Bluetooth online car phone so that they can surf the Web and send e-mails. Audi offers an optional handset for discreet phone calls.
The Bluetooth online car phone is operated either via the MMI navigation plus terminal, using the multifunction steering wheel or by voice control. Signals are encrypted according to the WPA2 standard and broadcast via the roof-mounted antenna. If the A4 is traveling outside the UMTS network, the system switches to the EDGE standard.
To go online, drivers merely need to insert a data-capable SIM card into the card reader to go online. Alternatively, they can connect their cell phone to the system via Bluetooth if it is equipped with the necessary SIM Access Profile. No additional fees or separate contracts are required. Given the high data volumes, however, Audi does recommend an appropriate flat rate.
Quality information: Audi online traffic information
The Bluetooth online car phone brings another high-end service on board the Audi A4 - Audi online traffic information. The service displays traffic flow data on the navigation map. If the route chosen by the driver is free, it appears in green on the monitor. Yellow indicates dense traffic, orange represents slow-moving traffic and red denotes standing traffic. In this case, Audi online traffic information reports the hold-up in a text and suggests an alternate route that does not lead directly to the next traffic jam.
Because it takes rural routes and cities into consideration, the system is faster, more precise and more intelligent than conventional TMC and TMC Pro solutions. It gets its data primarily from the hundreds of thousands of smartphones and navigation devices being carried in cars and reporting their current positions in short intervals through the mobile phone network to a service provider. The data are analyzed to provide a nuanced portrayal of traffic flows.
Audi online traffic information recently debuted in Central Europe, France, the UK and Italy; additional countries will soon follow.
Another new connect service offered through the Bluetooth online car phone is the Google POI search, which in this case is voice-controlled. The driver need merely select a destination city and say the desired key term or phrase - such as "Italian restaurant." The voice command, or "voice tag," is converted into a data packet and sent to the Google search engine. The responses appearing on the onboard monitor are highly differentiated - they frequently contain the phone numbers of the restaurants and various additional information.
A third groundbreaking connect function is also available in the A4: Google Street View shows the selected destination as it appears from the car before you arrive, making it much easier to get your bearings when you do.
The A4 is offered in three trim lines on the German market: Attraction, Ambition and Ambiente. Even Attraction comes with a generous array of standard equipment, including an automatic air conditioning system, the chorus radio system and the 6.5-inch monochrome monitor. Other standard features include the electromechanical parking brake, daytime running lights, front fog lights, power windows, remote-controlled central locking system and power-adjustable and heated exterior mirrors with LED turn signals in the housings.
The Ambition line underscores the sporty personality of the A4. It includes such things as 17-inch alloy wheels even with four-cylinder models, sport seats, a sport suspension, a three-spoke leather sport steering wheel and the driver information system. The luxurious Ambiente trim line comprises heated seats and a center armrest up front, a four-spoke leather multifunction steering wheel, cruise control, rear parking aid, the high-gloss package and the lighting package.
There is also a wide range of options. Besides the features already mentioned, the convenience key is also worthy of note. It can stay in the jacket pocket - the doors are opened by radio and the car is started by pushing a button. Audi hold assist makes using the electromechanical parking brake on hills even more convenient by maintaining the brake pressure. The high-beam assistant switches automatically between the low and high beams.
The A4's interior can be made even more luxurious by optional equipment such as the auxiliary heater, garage-door opener, electrically folding exterior mirrors, automatically dimming interior mirror, alarm system, cruise control system, light and rain sensors and the lighting package. Audi offers a glass sunroof, a large, two-piece panoramic sunroof and dark privacy glazing for all three body variants. There is also a power rear window shade for the sedan.
Prices and market
Despite the extensive product improvement, Audi is raising prices of the A4 models only very moderately. For example, the Audi A4 1.8 TFSI with 88 kW (120 hp) costs just €27,500.
The Audi A4 appeals to a customer group that is significantly younger than the clientele of its primary competitors. The most important reason for buying cited by European A4 customers is the design, particularly with the Avant. The quality is also a very important factor with all of the models.
Mid-size models have been the heart of the Audi brand for 39 years. Four generations of the Audi 80 rolled off the assembly lines between 1972 and 1994/95, before it was replaced by the A4. This is now also the fourth generation of the A4. The brand recently celebrated a major production milestone: The ten-millionth mid-size car produced by Audi since 1972, a Misano Red S4, rolled off the assembly line in mid-October.
The A4 model series with all of its derivatives has also been a big seller and has served as the platform for key innovations. Some of the developments with which Audi has demonstrated its Vorsprung durch Technik include quattro drive with self-locking center differential, the fully galvanized body, the four-cylinder TDI, the S tronic and the sport differential.
The Audi S4 and the S4 Avant
The S4 Sedan and the S4 Avant embody the cultivated sportiness typical of Audi. They are fast, powerful sports cars with uncompromised everyday practicality. The hexagonal single-frame grille, the wedge-shaped headlights clasped in LED daytime running lights, the LED rear lights and the new bumpers are the most obvious cues to the updated models.
Fine details differentiate the S4 from the A4. The radiator grille insert is Platinum Gray. It features finely sculpted, horizontal chrome crossbars and an S4 badge. The air inlets are covered with honeycomb grilles with double chrome strips, and the fog lights are rectangular. The central air inlet below the grille has also been slightly updated. The housings of the exterior mirrors shine with an aluminum-look finish, the side sills are painted in the body color and V6 T badges adorn the flanks.
The new S models are also immediately recognizable from the rear, with cues provided by the diffuser insert with the aluminum-look blade and the dual exhaust system with four elliptical tailpipe tips. The spoiler of the S4 Avant extends the roof edge; it is integrated into the trunk lid of the Sedan. Two paint finishes are reserved exclusively for S models: Estoril Blue, crystal effect and Prism Silver, crystal effect. 4.72 meters (15.49 ft) in length, the S models are 15 and 20 millimeters (0.59 and 0.79 in) longer than the standard Sedan and Avant models, respectively, on which they are based. They are 21 millimeters (0.83 in) lower, at 1.41 and 1.42 meters (4.63 and 4.66 ft), respectively.
Subtle updates: the interior
The Audi designers also made small changes to the interior. The leather multifunction sport steering wheel with the S4 badge has been redesigned, with the flat-bottomed rim available as a sporty option. The instruments have gray dials and white arrows with aluminum-look hubs. The MMI monitor displays a special welcome screen, and the new key has an S4 badge.
The inlays have surfaces of Matt Brushed Aluminum. Optional inlays include Carbon, Fine Grain Birch Wood Gray, Stainless Steel Mesh or Piano Finish; in the latter two cases, the fascia in the instrument panel also shines thanks to a piano-finish look. Aluminum-look shift paddles and pedals are standard, and S4 badges adorn the door sill trims.
Sportily cool black dominates the interior; the headlining is also available in Lunar Silver. The standard sport seats are covered with a combination of leather and Alcantara. They are power-adjustable, heated and include a center armrest.
Optionally available are S sport seats with particularly pronounced side bolsters, integrated head restraints and embossed S4 badges in the seat backs. They are also power-adjustable, and the Fine Nappa leather upholstery is available in a choice of three colors. A further alternative consists of climate-controlled comfort seats covered with perforated Milano leather. The lighting package, the xenon plus headlights with LED rear lights and the driver information system with color display round out the specific standard equipment of the S models.
245 kW (333 hp): the supercharged V6
The 3.0 TFSI features in both the S4 Sedan and the S4 Avant. The supercharged V6 engine produces 245 kW (333 hp) and applies a constant 440 Nm (324.53 lb-ft) of torque to the camshaft at engine speeds between 2,200 and 5,900 rpm. Audi has tuned its sound so that it is more acoustically powerful than ever under load. The start-stop system is standard.
The S4 models offer fascinatingly powerful performance. The Sedan sprints from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.0 seconds and reaches an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph). Just as groundbreaking is the consumption: The Sedan requires just 8.0 liters of fuel per 100 km (29.4 US mpg) on average. Both models come standard with the seven-speed S tronic. It directs the power to the quattro drivetrain with the self-locking center differential and torque vectoring. The sport differential is available as an optional addition.
Both S4 models come equipped with the tautly tuned S sport suspension that lowers the body by 30 millimeters (1.18 in). Upon request, Audi adds electronic damper control that works in conjunction with Audi drive select. With its numerous adjustment possibilities, the system makes the driving experience even more versatile, and offers both a sporty driving mode and a comfort-oriented one. One new feature in the model series is the electromechanical power steering. Dynamic steering is available in combination with Audi drive select.
The S models come with standard 18-inch cast aluminum wheels in a five-parallel-spoke design and 245/40-series tires. 19-inch wheels with 255/35-series tires are optionally available. Black brake calipers, with S4 emblems on the front calipers, grab the four large, vented discs.
The new Audi A4 - At a glance
Design and body
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.
- Three versions: Sedan, Avant and allroad quattro, plus two S models
- Three trim lines: Attraction, Ambition and Ambiente
- Harmonious, elegant design with new sporty flourishes
- Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED tail lights as an option
Interior and control
- Further enhanced ergonomics; stylish new materials and colors
- High-tech driver assistance systems, including Audi active lane assist
and adaptive cruise control with full brake application below 30 km/h
- Driver information system with break recommendation standard on all models
- Four gasoline and six TDI engines; output from 88 kW (120 hp) to 200
kW (272 hp), an additional V6 with 245 kW (333 hp) for the S models
- New, highly efficient 1.8 TFSI with innovations in numerous areas
- Start-stop system standard; average fuel consumption reduced by 11 percent
- Six-speed manual, multitronic or S tronic - depending on engine version
- quattro permanent all-wheel drive with torque vectoring; sport differential available for models with top engines
- Rear trailing arms and shock absorbers retuned
- ESP with electronic limited slip differential standard with front-wheel drive
- New electromechanical power steering with minimal energy consumption
- Audi drive select available with as many as five driving modes
- Large wheels measuring 16 to 19 inches in diameter; powerful brakes
- Broad spectrum of modules; optional top-of-the-line MMI navigation plus with a hard drive and refined operating philosophy
- Bluetooth online car phone with a wealth of Audi connect services such
as Audi online traffic information and voice-activated Google POI