Exterior and interiorTruth be told, the styling isn’t such a big departure to what we get nowadays, but, as always with Audis, the details will make an important difference. In fact, the best way to imagine how the next A4 will look is to mentally mix the adjacent spyshots and the appearance of the new TT.
As for the interior, the B9 Audi A4, as friends call it, will keep building Audi’s cabin momentum. If you’ve been inside the new VW Passat, you know the top-spec models bring an almost Audi-like level of refinement, so we can only expect an important step forward from the A4. For one thing, we do know we’ll be getting an 8-inch MMI display, the one we discussed when we gave you a previous set of spyshots.
The B9 A4 will ride on the MLB Evo platformUnlike the Passat, the 2016 Audi A4 will be underpinned by the Germans’ new MLB Evo architecture - this sort of debuted in the Sport quattro concept, but will be present under production models from the A4 upwards. Chief among its benefits will be a weight reduction of around 200 lbs (90 kg), as well as a boost in torsional rigidity. These will be achieved by mixing ultra high strength steel with aluminum and composite materials.
Aside from the more rigid chassis, the engine will be placed further backwards, a move that will have a noticeable impact on the handling. While the entry-level models, with the FWD, will heavily benefit from this, we must also talk about the quattro AWD.
Audi is expected to revolutionize the system, with the rumor mill seeing the center diff and the crankshaft dropped in favor of a more intelligent setup - the internal combustion engine will only feed the front axle, while the rear wheels will be gifted with an electric motor delivering up to 100 hp. Of course, this will only work for the mid-range models, while we’ll have to wait and see the solution engineers find for the hotter models that require more power for the rear axle.
Speaking of the spicy A4s, these are expected to arrive in large numbers. It all obviously starts with the RS4, with the moniker expected to make its way back to the boot of a sedan - we’ll remind you the current RS4 only comes in Avant (station wagon) form. On the diesel front, Audi should also offer us a hot model, albeit under the S, not the RS label.
Audi’s engineers are expected to complete the development work sometime next year, but we’ll have plenty of other occasions to talk about the 2016 A4 until then.