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Audi A4 gets new look, more tech and mild hybrid powertrains

The A4 adopts the brand's latest MMI touchscreen infotainment.

The Audi A4 has been refreshed to bring the sedan more in-line with the style and technology offerings of other cars in the brand's lineup, Audi announced Wednesday. The differences outside are immediately evident, with the updated A4 now bearing more of a visual similarity to the latest A6 and A7.

Audi says the A4 is "tauter and sportier" thanks to this update.


For starters, the A4 now has a wider and flatter interpretation of Audi's Singleframe front grille design, as well as new LED headlights with multiple-element running lights. There are 12 new paint colors, Audi says, and around back the car's taillights also now have a more modern design that matches the A6 and A7.

Moving inside, the biggest changes comes at the top of the dashboard, where the A4's old infotainment system has been replaced by Audi's newest 10.1-inch MMI touchscreen. That means the old car's rotary control knob, formerly found on the center console ahead of the shifter, has gone. Functions include natural-language searching, a Wi-Fi hotspot and an available Bang & Olufsen sound system.

Unlike newer MMI systems in the A6, A7, A8 and Q8, however, the A4 does not adopt a lower second touchscreen for climate controls, sticking with its traditional physical knobs and buttons.

We've been seriously impressed with Audi's touchscreen infotainment system in other cars, so we're happy it carries over to the A4.


As before, the A4 can be equipped with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, called Virtual Cockpit. Other technologies include the ability to use an Android phone as the car's key, and Car-to-X capability, which lets the A4 receive signals about on-street parking availability, traffic lights and more.

The updated Audi A4 launches with six different turbocharged engines in Europe, three of which will have 12-volt mild-hybrid powertrains to help save fuel. The Audi S4, meanwhile, now becomes the S4 TDI. It comes with a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 featuring and electric turbo compressor and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. Rated for 342 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, it'll get the S4 TDI sedan to 60 miles per hour in 4.8 seconds. This engine is also found in Europe's newest S6 and S7.

However, Audi notes that outside of Europe, S4 models will continue to use a turbocharged 3.0-liter gasoline V6. In the US, that powertrain is rated for 354 hp and 369 pound-feet, and a 0-60-mph time of 4.4 seconds.

The new Audi A4 will hit European dealers this fall. However, we'll have to wait for more specifics on the US-market model.