Evolution on the outside, revolution beneathIn all honestly, the all-new Audi A4 is not going to be a radical car. It styling will still be discrete and simple, unlike the new C-Class, which adopts all of the S-Class flagship's character. However, the evolution of Audi's design language ensures the new A4 will be just as different from its predecessor as the new TT coupe is compared to the one before it.
Codenamed B9, the A4 sedan will be underpinned by the MLB Evo architecture, Audi's bread and butter system of adding strength and cutting weight. Speaking of which, we expect the car to be lighter by around 200 lbs (90 kg). This will be achieved by mixing ultra high strength steel with aluminum and composite materials.
The A4 is famous for placing its engines right over the nose of the car, which is great for legroom and bad for handling, especially if that engine is a heavy V6 TDI. But as you can see from our spy photos, the wheelbase is a little longer and the mounting points have reportedly been moved further back.
What we know for sureThe new R8 sportscar will debut in Geneva this March and will have an e-tron model from the start. Why is that important? Because all cars after it will have at least one electrified model.
For the longest time, it's been speculated that the standard quattro permanent all-wheel drive system in the A4 will be replaced by a system where the front wheels are powered by a diesel engine and the rear ones get an electric motor.
We don't know if that's true, especially since it would be weird to pair that with a performance drivetrain like the one for the S4 and RS4. Speaking of which, Audi engineers are already very busy developing a new engine for the RS4 performance model. It will be a V6 twin-turbo with around 500 horsepower and either 3.0 or 3.6 liters of displacement. As for the S4, it's likely this will continue with an updated supercharged 3-liter, which is alright with us.
Audi recently announced the A4 model is celebrating its 20th anniversary and also promised this all-new model will debut in 2015, probably at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Currently, the factory in Ingolstadt is being retooled with 1,300 robots in preparation.