Published on September 25th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Audi’s NEW 2016 A4, To Buy It Or Not? We Review It In Venice
If you planning to go out and buy a new premium executive/family car this weekend, please take your time to read this review. If you have the intention to go out and test drive the all new Mercedes Benz C-Class this weekend and then right after that visit a BMW showroom to see what offers they have on the current generation 3-Series, then please read this review first. Or, if you have been saving up to buy the current 8th generation Audi A4 and plan to visit Euromobil this weekend to conclude the deal by putting down a down payment, then please read this review first.
Targeted to arrive in early 2016 (next year), this all new A4 will be loaded with a lot of specification to give the competition a lot of sleepless nights. The current Audi A4 is now selling at a hard to ignore selling price of RM205,000 and offers a 4 year strong warranty with sensible interest rates. So, are you willing to wait a few months for this impress sedan to be launched? I think you should as the long list of features, safety kit and drive dynamics makes it a top contender in this segment and maybe even a little beyond. Pricing is estimated to start at current Audi A4 nett selling prices with about a 5-10% currency margin added.
Let me share this with you.
The A4 Sedan has the best drag coefficient in its class at 0.23. The new models also have impressively low CO2 emissions of 95 grams per kilometer (152.9 grams per mile) for the A4 Sedan 2.0 TDI ultra with 110 kW (150 hp); the A4 Avant 2.0 TDI ultra emits 99 grams CO2 per km (159.3 g/mi). The 2.0 TFSI with 140 kW (190 hp) emits 109 g/km (175.4 g/mi) in the A4 Sedan ultra and 114 g/km (183.5 g/mi) in the A 4 Avant ultra. The most powerful engines are two TDI six-cylinder units with up to 200 kW (272 hp). Driver assistance systems and infotainment are of luxury quality. A new generation of four-cylinder TFSI engines with newly developed combustion methods sets benchmarks in terms of fuel consumption, emissions and performance for four-cylinder gasoline engines. The A4 Sedan and the A4 Avant will be launched this fall.
At 4.73 meters (15.5 ft) long and with a wheelbase of 2.82 meters (9.3 ft) – the new Audi A4 and A4 Avant have a confident stance on the road. A prominent horizontal line on the front and rear emphasizes the car’s width. The flowing design with concise lines communicates the sporty elegance of the brand. The Singleframe grille is wide and low; the optionally available headlights in LED and Matrix LED technology (including dynamic turn indicators) make technology a visual trademark.
Up to 120 kilograms (264.6 lb) lighter
Compared with the previous model, the car’s dimensions have grown but its weight has been reduced significantly – by up to 120 kilograms, depending on the engine. The body of the new Audi models is one of the lightest in its class thanks to an intelligent material mix and lightweight construction.
The Audi A4 is a leader in its class also in terms of noise levels. All occupants enjoy generous space; the smooth lines emphasize the width of the interior. The front of the dashboard features a broad band of air outlets and a large decorative surface. At night, optional discreet contour lighting illuminates the doors and the central console. The quality of workmanship is uncompromisingly high. Colors and materials follow a new line concept allowing customers even more freedom during configuration.
Sensor-controlled opening of luggage compartment: the A4 Avant
The luggage compartment of the new A4 Avant offers basic storage space of 505 liters, which is the most of any premium model in this class. With the rear seats folded down and loaded to the roof, a volume of 1,510 liters is available. The electric luggage compartment cover and electric tailgate are standard equipment. An optional extra is sensor control for opening and closing the tailgate.
The two new models offer an abundance of intelligent technologies, the use of which is even more intuitive with the new Audi MMI display and control concept. Technological highlights of the new A4 include the Audi virtual cockpit, the Audi Matrix LED headlights, the Audi smartphone interface, the Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 3D sound, the Audi phone box with wireless charging, the head-up display, and new driver assistance systems and Audi connect services.
Information and fascination: the Audi virtual cockpit and the MMI
The focus here is on two innovations. The optional Audi virtual cockpit, a fully digital combination instrument, features a 12.3-inch LCD screen that displays the most important information in brilliant high-resolution graphics, with great detail and sophisticated effects.
The MMI control concept in the center console is also a newly designed feature and acts as the main control element. The top-end infotainment system, MMI Navigation plus with MMI touch and a large 8.3-inch monitor, has a touchpad in the rotary controller to zoom in and out and to enter characters. The entire MMI control logic is similar to that of a smartphone and includes an intelligent free-text search function. The new, more natural, voice-control system also understands input in normal everyday language, such as “I want to call Peter Miller.”
Concentrated computing power
MMI Navigation plus is backed by the computing power of the second-generation modular infotainment platform, which allows Audi to bring consumer electronics innovations into the vehicle quickly.
If customers order a car with MMI Navigation plus, they automatically receive the Audi connect hardware module, which connects the A4 and A4 Avant with the Internet via the high-speed LTE network. Passengers can surf the Internet and send and receive e-mail with their mobile devices via a Wi-Fi hotspot while the driver can use the tailored services of Audi connect.
The Audi smartphone interface is a new feature. It integrates iOS and Android mobile phones into an environment developed especially for this purpose – Audi MMI. The Audi phone box connects smartphones to the on-board antenna and charges them inductively according to the Qi standard. For discerning hi-fi fans, the Bang & Olufsen Sound System with innovative 3D sound is available, which introduces the additional dimension of height. The new Audi tablet can also be used as flexible rear seat entertainment.
Powerful six and four-cylinder engines
The new Audi A4 and A4 Avant will be launched in Germany with seven engines, three TFSI and four TDI. Their power output has increased significantly and ranges from 110 kW (150 hp) to 200 kW (272 hp), but fuel consumption has been reduced by up to 21 percent. The A4 2.0 TDI ultra has fuel consumption of just 3.7 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers (63.6 US mpg) and CO2 emissions of just 95 grams per kilometer (152.9 grams per mile); the figures for the corresponding Avant model are 3.8 l/100 km and 99 g/km CO2 (61.9 US mpg and 159.3 g/mi). All the engines combine high efficiency with sporty power delivery and smoothness. This applies in particular to the two 3.0 TDI six-cylinder engines.
The new Audi A4 has a groundbreaking innovation for the gasoline engines: The 2.0 TFSI ultra with 140 kW (190 hp) uses an absolutely new combustion method that makes it especially efficient and allows fuel consumption of 4.8 liters per 100 km (49 US mpg) and CO2 emissions of 109 g/km (175.4 g/mi); the figures for the corresponding Avant model are 5.0 l/100 km and 114 g/km CO2 (47 US mpg and 183.5 g/mi). During the model lifecycle, a g-tron version will be launched which can use natural gas or the sustainably produced Audi e-gas as fuel.
S tronic, tiptronic and manual transmission
The powertrain and the chassis of the new Audi A4 and A4 Avant have been completely redeveloped. The six-gear manual transmission, the seven-gear S tronic (now also available for front-wheel drive) and the eight-stage tiptronic have been redesigned; the automatic transmissions now offer a fuel-saving freewheeling function. Wheel-selective torque control supplements the work of the front-wheel drive and the quattro drive. For the most powerful TDI, Audi will offer the sport differential on the rear axle as an option starting in 2016.
The handling of new A4 makes a great leap forward: on the one hand sporty and performance oriented, but with a focus on comfort at the same time. The suspension and steering filter out disturbances such as an uneven road surface, but communicate to the driver important information such as increases in lateral forces and tracking. This performance is based on the redeveloped five-link axles and the electromechanical power steering – they are exceptionally light. They lay the foundation for dynamic handling and first-class ride comfort while also reducing fuel consumption. Additional options are dynamic steering, which varies its ratio according to the car’s speed and the steering angle, and suspension with adjustable shock absorbers with which the driver can for the first time select between two settings: sports or comfort. Both of suspension settings are included in the Audi drive select driving-dynamics system, which is standard equipment for models with engines of 140 kW (190 hp) and above.
Widest range in its class: driver assistance and safety systems
The Audi A4 and A4 Avant set the benchmark in their class with numerous driver assistance systems. The predictive efficiency assistant helps drivers to save fuel, Audi active lane assist helps them to stay in lane and the Stop&Go adaptive cruise control including traffic-jam assist eases driving in slow-moving traffic. One special feature of traffic-jam assist is its control strategy. It takes into account a large number of parameters such as road markings and the traffic ahead. Some more innovations that make important contributions to safety are parking assist, rear cross-traffic assist, exit warning, collision avoidance assist, turn assist and the Audi pre-sense systems. Camera-based traffic-sign recognition is also available.
Benchmark for aerodynamics
When it comes to aerodynamics, the two new models dramatically outpace the competition. The A4 Sedan has a drag coefficient value of 0.23, and the Avant has cd 0.26. These extremely low figures are the result of complex fine-tuning and new solutions. The outer lines of the air inlets integrate additional openings – they guide some of the air stream over the wheel well, where it flows past wheels which have also been aerodynamically optimized. Details such as the exterior mirrors positioned on the door sills with their small integrated narrow stripes help enhance the aeroacoustics.
In every new car, the rear design plays a key part in automotive aerodynamics. On the new Audi A4 Sedan, the lines of the luggage compartment door make sure that the air flow is smooth. On the Avant, a roof edge spoiler with a strong downward slant performs this function. Narrow trim on both sides of the back window are the finishing touch on the aerodynamic concept.
The underbody of the new mid-sized models also contributes to their aerodynamic lines. The underside of the engine compartment is sealed off from the road, and broad trim under the passenger cell and the luggage compartments protects the metal. The wishbones on the rear axle are specially enclosed, and small spoilers guide the air flow at multiple sites, including under the wheels and at the tank. In conjunction with the design of the tailgate, the aerodynamically optimized underbody keeps the lift of the rear axle low.
The A4 TDI ultra models work with another kind of new aerodynamic technology: controllable cool-air inlet. This is a frame installed behind the radiator grille which houses two blinds that can be activated independently. They are closed as the car starts so that air resistance stays as low as possible, and when air is needed to cool the engine, first the lower and then the upper blind opens.
The driver assistance systems and integrated safety
With their wide range of driver assistance systems, the new Audi A4 and A4 Avant are setting benchmarks for the class. Nearly all of the equipment has been completely redesigned or greatly enhanced in comparison to previous models. Some of the systems are standard features, whereas the optional solutions can be chosen individually or are available in the packages Parking, City and Tour.
All of the versions of the new models include the safety system Audi pre sense city as standard equipment. At speeds of up to 85 km/h (52.8 mph), the system scans the road for other vehicles and pedestrians using a windshield-mounted front camera with a range of up to 100 meters (328.1 ft). If there is the threat of a collision, the driver receives a series of warnings, and if necessary the car starts to apply the brakes fully. At speeds up to 40 km/h (24.9 ft), it can fully prevent accidents within the system limits. At higher speeds up to 85 km/h (52.8 mph), warnings and brake intervention can reduce the impact velocity.
The optional Audi pre sense basic works with information from a variety of different vehicle systems. Once it detects unstable driving conditions, it initiates preventive measures to protect the occupants. The front seat belts are electrically tightened, and the windows and sunroof are closed. The hazard lights are also activated.
If a collision cannot be prevented and an accident is inevitable, the multicollision brake assist system supports the driver with controlled application of the brakes. This can help to prevent the car from skidding, which prevents further collisions.
Another standard system in the new Audi A4 and A4 Avant is attention assist, a component of the driver information system. It analyses driver behavior and issues a warning when it detects that the driver is becoming inattentive. The adjustable speed limiter, a standard feature, can be set to a particular speed ranging from 30 to 250 km/h (18.6 to 155.3 mph) – a very helpful tool for maintaining speed within city limits, in construction areas, and so on.
Adaptive cruise control including traffic-jam assist in the Tour assistance package
Amongst the optional systems, the key feature is the adaptive cruise control (ACC) Stop&Go including traffic-jam assist. It maintains a specified distance between the new Audi A4 and A4 Avant and the car ahead; the driver can choose one of five distances and use Audi drive select to adjust the rate of acceleration and control dynamics.
The system, which relies on the signals from the two front radar sensors and the camera, interacts with the S tronic and the tiptronic to cover the full range of speeds from 0 to 250 km/h (155.3 mph); in manual transmissions, it starts at 30 km/h (18.6 mph).
The ACC’s Stop&Go function (only available with automatic transmissions) can brake the new Audi A4 to a full stop, and at the driver’s wish it can automatically resume driving again. When the system is deactivated, the distance display shows how far the car ahead is, and it warns drivers when they are tailgating. Its operating range is at speeds of 60 km/h (37.3 mph) and above.
Another function of the ACC, the traffic-jam assist, can take over steering at speeds of up to 65 km/h (40.4 mph) on well-developed roads when traffic is congested. The system uses the radar and ultrasound sensors as well as the front camera, guiding the car by gently adjusting the steering and following the traffic ahead within system limits. In doing so, the traffic-jam assist uses the lane markings and other vehicles on the road for orientation.
When the traffic-jam assist reaches its system limits – for example, when the traffic thins out or there is a sharp curve ahead – the driver has to take over again completely. The system provides warnings at different levels. As a final measure, it safely brings the A4 and A4 Avant to a full stop.
Thanks to the ACC, the Audi pre sense front safety system on board can prevent rear collisions or help minimize impact. In dangerous situations, the system gives the driver a variety of warnings to brake: visual and acoustic signals as well as a tap on the brakes. If the driver does not respond, the car first starts to brake, and simultaneously it closes the windows and the sunroof. As the only model of its class, the A4 then decelerates as much as possible if the car in front of it is still moving. The system automatically tightens the seat belts. Audi pre sense front also works when the ACC is not running.
The predictive efficiency assistant
Another system that is unique in its class is the predictive efficiency assistant, which is available as part of the Tour assistance package. It works in close conjunction with the adaptive cruise control, the navigation system and the camera-based recognition of traffic signs. The preselected speed adapts to the road conditions by itself, e.g. the topography of the route, speed limits and the traffic ahead.
Even when the navigation function is not on, the predictive efficiency assistant uses the data from the route to keep the driver informed about situations which call for lower speed. The system recognizes curves, roundabouts, road junctions, gradients, city limits and speed limit signs – in many cases long before the driver sees them. A corresponding warning appears in the combination instrument and/or the Audi virtual cockpit and head-up display. If the assistant screen is active, detailed graphics can be seen.
If the driver wishes, the system can take over the freewheeling of the automatic transmission itself under certain conditions. This form of “coasting” is only activated if it can last for at least five seconds. When it ends, the car automatically accelerates to the speed the driver has selected if the ACC is activated. The predictive efficiency assistant can reduce fuel consumption on country roads by up to 10 percent.
Other systems in the Tour assistance system
The Audi active lane assist is available separately or as part of the Tour assistance system. At speeds of 65 km/h (40.4 mph) and above, it helps drivers stay in their lanes. It receives its signals primarily from the front camera, which detects lane markings.
If the new Audi A4 and A4 Avant approach a marking when the driver has not switched on a turn signal, the system makes a gentle adjustment to the electromechanical power steering to bring the car back into its lane.
Using the MMI system, drivers can decide whether this support should be activated at all times or only take place before the lane marking is crossed. If they choose the early-correction mode, the system will guide the car back into the middle of the lane. There is also the optional setting of making the steering wheel vibrate as a signal.
The avoidance assist is yet another high-end feature in the Tour assistance system. It activates when the new Audi mid-sized models have to avoid an obstacle so as to prevent an accident. Within fractions of a second, it uses data transferred from the front camera, the ACC and radar sensors to calculate the distance of the car ahead as well as its width and degree of offset. Its first warning is a tap on the brakes to alert drivers to the potential danger. As soon as the driver starts steering, the system offers support with the necessary lane changes with controlled interventions to the power steering.
The turning assist is another Audi innovation that monitors oncoming traffic during left turns (on cars with left-hand drive). It has an operating range between 2 and 10 km/h (1.2 and 6.2 mph). In dangerous situations, it brings the car to a complete stop. The system becomes active in the background as soon as the driver turns on the left turn signal.
The camera-based traffic-sign recognition assist (also available separately) rounds out the Tour assistance system. It identifies many traffic signs, including digital displays, and shows them to the driver as graphics in the head-up display and instrument cluster. The driver can also opt for visual warnings when he or she exceeds the speed limit indicated on traffic signs.
The City assistance system
The options in the City assistance system include the lane-changing feature Audi side assist (also available separately). From speeds of 15 km/h (9.3 mph) and above, it supports drivers in changing lanes, using the two rear radar sensors which measure across a range some 70 meters (229.7 ft)
If another vehicle approaches quickly or is in the blind spot, a warning LED in the housing of the appropriate side mirror lights up. If the driver turns on the turn signal anyway, the LED blinks brightly many times in succession.
Upon request, the Audi side assist can be complemented by integrating the Audi pre sense rear system. It warns about potential collisions from behind and takes preventive measures such as activating Audi pre sense basic. Furthermore, it makes the hazard lights blink rapidly as a way of warning traffic behind the car. It remains active in the background at every speed even if the Audi side assist is turned off (unless a trailer is in use).
The rear cross-traffic assist is activated when the parking assist is turned on. When this occurs, drivers who are slowly driving backwards (for example, while leaving a parking spot at right angles to the road) are warned about approaching vehicles in critical range. There are different levels of warnings: visual, acoustic and a short jolt of the brakes. The back radar sensors provide the necessary data.
The exit warning is activated when the new Audi A4 and Avant stop moving. If other vehicles are approaching from behind, it warns occupants as they open the doors. The system warns drivers by means of LED fiber optics in the inside door-opening mechanism (contour lighting). In situations that are assessed as dangerous, special high-performance red LEDs blink and light up. The exit warning stays on for approximately three minutes after the ignition is turned off.
Other systems complete the City assistance package: the acoustic and visual park system plus, which automatically activates when it detects an obstacle, and the reversing camera. Both systems are also available separately.
The Parking assistance system
The Parking assistance system features the park assist (also available separately). With the help of twelve radar sensors, it helps maneuver the car into parking spaces that are parallel or at right angles to the road, which it identifies independently when driving at a moderate speed. Furthermore, it can make its own way out of parking spaces parallel to the road. All the driver has to do is accelerate, shift gears and brake.
The 360-degree cameras are the second component of the package. The MMI monitor displays different perspectives from the car’s immediate surroundings, including a virtual view and 180 degree images from the front and rear. Guidelines make it easier to maneuver in reverse gear. The 360-degree cameras are especially helpful in dealing with parking spaces or driveways where visibility is poor, and the cameras are also useful together with the rear cross-traffic assist in the rear.
A fully equipped new Audi A4 or A4 Avant has some 90 control units on board, many of which exchange data with each other. This kind of tight-knit interaction, especially among the driver assistance systems, would not be possible without a brand new approach to the car’s electronic architecture.
The new FlexRay bus system connects several control units with each other and guarantees extremely rapid and secure data transfer. The most important components are the engine, the automatic transmission, the central chassis control unit, electronic stabilization control (ESC), the power steering control unit, the adaptive cruise control Stop&Go including traffic-jam assist, the video camera and the safety computer which steers the safety systems.
There are other data networks in addition to the FlexRay bus. CAN (controller area network) buses connect some of the assistance systems such as the Audi side assist, 360 degree cameras and the air-conditioning system. Furthermore, they are part of the communication between the convenience functions, the infotainment components and the central display and control components, such as the MMI and Audi virtual cockpit.
LIN (local interconnect network) buses complement the CAN buses by operating less complex integrated systems such as interior lighting. The Bang & Olufsen sound system with 3D acoustics uses a MOST (media oriented systems transport) bus. In these new Audi mid-sized models, the electric systems also contribute to the light vehicle weight: enhanced topology, new aluminum cables and an AGM battery lower the weight by six kilograms (13.2 lb) in comparison with the earlier model.
Premium, light, spacious – the new Audi A4 and A4 Avant surpass their predecessors in almost all interior dimensions. Shoulder width and head clearance for driver and front-seat passenger have increased by 11 and 24 millimeters (0.4 and 0.9 in). Interior length has grown by 17 millimeters (0.7 in) and rear legroom is actually 23 millimeters (0.9 in) larger. The new Audi models set the benchmark in their class in these important criteria.
All four seats therefore offer a feeling of genuine spaciousness. The interior design underscores this impression, as its clear architecture is strictly focused on horizontal lines. This principle is most apparent with the low dashboard – it seems to float in space, supplemented by the cover over the combination instrument and the Audi virtual cockpit.
A band of air outlets is arranged over the gently sloping, curved front of the dashboard, punctuated only by the instruments – it combines elegant design and novel functions. The upper edges of the dashboard and the door trim border the interior in a wrap-around style, without constricting the driver and passengers.
Depending on the transmission: the MMI control element
The wide, asymmetrically split central console houses the MMI control element. Its design and position vary according to the car’s transmission. If the car is fitted with S tronic or tiptronic, the terminal is placed close to the dashboard; the low automatic selector lever offers the wrist a comfortable resting place. With manual transmission, the selector lever is in front of the MMI terminal.
In both cases, the volume control and a storage tray are located on the right of the MMI control terminal. This arrangement makes the philosophy of the new A4 family clear. For example, although the interior is focused on the driver, the MMI monitor can be used equally well by the front-seat passenger.
Tablet style: the new, slim MMI display
The monitor is an element in which Audi’s entire design expertise is reflected – with its black display glass with rounded corners, it looks like an exclusive tablet computer. It is just 13 millimeters thick (0.5 in), and has a discreet silver-colored magnesium frame in the top version with MMI Navigation plus.
Operation of the automatic air conditioning is another highlight – especially with the deluxe automatic air conditioning, which has temperature displays integrated into the control dials. Just a few buttons and dials are sufficient for convenient control. When one of the capacitive rocker switches is approached by a finger, its function is shown enlarged on the dark LCD display and selected.
Both the standard single-zone system and the triple-zone deluxe automatic air-conditioning have been completely redesigned. Both systems consume little energy thanks to efficient solutions for the fan motor and fresh-air supply, an efficient cooling circuit and highly flexible controls. However, they provide an extremely high air quality: In both fresh-air and recirculating operation, an active-carbon combination filter removes the smallest particulate matter. The comfort of the experience is rounded out by low noise levels.
With the deluxe automatic air-conditioning, the broad band of air vents allows indirect ventilation while increasing the volume of air circulated. The interior can be air-conditioned in three separate zones; the rear passengers have their own control unit with a digital display. Audi also offers the option of an auxiliary heating system, which quickly warms the interior. In connection with the optional Audi connect operating system, the auxiliary heating can be conveniently programmed with a smartphone app.
New and versatile: the seats
The seats of the new Audi A4 and A4 Avant have also been completely redesigned. With the anatomically shaped front seats, the head restraints can be adjusted not only for height, but also for distance from the head. Many of the model versions have seat heating. Alternatively, the seats can be ordered with partial or full electric adjustment and with electric lumbar support, as well as with heating and ventilation for the sports seats.
A central armrest in the front – adjustable if desired and with a large storage space – large door pockets and two cup holders are standard equipment with the new Audi A4 and A4 Avant series. The optional storage and luggage-compartment package includes a rear armrest with two cup holders, nets on the rear of the front seats and other practical storage spaces adjacent to the driver and in the luggage compartment.
The steering wheels are all new; the driver’s airbag is a compact micro-module and allows a better view of the combination instrument. There is a wide range of steering wheels available. The base version is a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with a boss in the form of the Singleframe grille. Depending on the model line and the customer’s wishes, there is also a round boss, a heatable leather-covered steering wheel, a steering wheel with a flatter lower segment, chrome trim in the lower spoke and the plus option for the multifunction feature. The frame of the steering wheel is made of magnesium – the entire interior was designed strictly along the lines of lightweight construction.
Components made of magnesium and a light wire frame are also used in the in rear seats; the substructure of the front seats is made of high-strength steel. Compared with the previous model, the weight of the seats has been reduced by up to nine kilograms. A new carpet, an aluminum brake pedal and foamed defrost ducts in the air-conditioning system shave another four kilograms (8.8 lb) off the weight.
As always at Audi, all materials in the interior of the new A4 and A4 Avant have been selected and processed with the utmost care. Precisely fitted chrome strips border the upper edge of the air vents, the controls of the automatic air-conditioning and the automatic selector lever on the central tunnel console. The door-handle recesses are directly inset into the door trim – a novel and highly attractive detail. All seams are extremely narrow and parallel.
A choice of 30 colors: ambient lighting
The lighting package has white LEDs in the standard version. The driver can operate the reading lights via sensors. At night, the optional interior lighting package or the optional ambient lighting provide small highlights in the interior. With the top version, the color of the illumination can be controlled via the MMI, in several profiles and in separate zones, including the cup holder. The colors change depending on the mode chosen in Audi drive select. In the door trim, narrow, LED light strips generate effective contour illumination.
The colors and materials also underscore the generous dimensions and elegance of the interior; the palette offers numerous new shades and combinations. With the design and design selection equipment lines, the dashboard can be divided into two color zones. There is a choice of black or granite gray for the dark upper area, and of atlas beige, rock gray or black for the lower zone. The same colors are also available for the seat upholstery, as well as nougat brown.
With the upholstery materials, the first stage of options after the standard materials consists of two exclusive materials for the design and sport equipment lines. Alternatively, a robust combination of genuine leather and synthetic leather can be selected. The central panels of the front seats and of the two outer rear seats as well as the side bolsters of the driver’s seats in the entry area are upholstered with leather. Milano leather, the alcantara/leather combination (only for the sport seats) and the top-quality fine nappa leather with contrasting stitching and cording are the finest upholstery available. The supplementary leather package includes the armrests and knee pads.
The large inlays are a significant feature of the interior’s appearance. Audi supplies them in diamond silver gray gloss as standard equipment. Alternatives are printed aluminum ellipse and dark walnut root wood.
S line sport package and design selection
With the S line sport package, the interior is either black of rotor gray. The sport seats are upholstered with a combination of pearl nappa leather and sequence cloth; alternatives are pearl nappa leather with embossed frequency Alcantara or fine nappa leather. The backrests of the front seats always feature S logos in connection with the S line sport package. The inlays consist of brushed aluminum or piano black lacquer. The sport steering wheel, the illuminated door-sill trims and the fender feature S emblems. The sporty appearance is completed with stainless-steel pedals and footrests as well as floor mats with contrasting stitching.
A second highlight for the new Audi A4 and A4 Avant is design selection. In this case, the dashboard is either black or in combinations of the colors granite gray or wapiti brown with rock gray or atlas beige; the same colors are used for the seat upholstery.
The materials are the same as those of the S line sport package. The steering wheel is also available in color-matching black, granite gray or wapiti brown. For the decorative strips, the customer can choose between aluminum trimaran and gray natural oak wood. The design selection is supplemented with ambient lighting in varying colors. Both packages have illuminated door-sill trims.
Displays and controls
With its innovative display and control concept, the new A4 model family is at the peak of its segment. Using the central components – the Audi virtual cockpit and MMI touch, both optional extras – the driver can use a multitude of functions in a way that is not only easily comprehensible, but fun as well.
As standard equipment, the new Audi A4 and A4 Avant are fitted with a large, easily readable, analog tachometer and speedometer. The display of the driver information system is located between those two instruments. In the basic version, the driver information system has a 5-inch display. If MMI Navigation plus is selected, Audi supplies a 7-inch monitor. It presents data such as radio station, music lists or navigation information.
High-end graphics: the Audi virtual cockpit
The Audi virtual cockpit is available as a high-end option, provided that MMI Navigation plus with MMI touch is on board. Its 12.3-inch LCD monitor with a resolution of 1,440 x 540 pixels ensures highly detailed graphics. For example, engine speed calculated 60 times a second so that the virtual needle is extremely precise and moves smoothly. Scroll-down lists follow a physical model so that factors such as inertia, elasticity and damping are considered.
With the “View” button on the multifunction steering wheel plus, the driver can switch between two different user interfaces. The infotainment mode is dominated by a central window – it offers items such as the navigation map or lists from the areas of telephone, radio and audio. The tachometer and speedometer are presented here as round instruments. In the classical view, the instruments are shown in about the same size as analog dials and the central window is correspondingly smaller.
The Audi virtual cockpit presents information comprehensively and in various ways – from the navigation arrows to dynamic animations and the infotainment features (including connect services) as well as the graphics of some assistance systems. The display changes its color design depending on the basic menu: orange in the media menu and green in the telephone menu for example. At the lower edge, there are permanent displays of exterior temperature, time of day and mileage, as well as warning symbols and other information.
As with the display of the driver information system in the analog instrument, the driver operates the Audi virtual cockpit with the optional multifunction steering wheel plus. The switches on the left spoke are used to move through the menus of the audio system, onboard computer and – if fitted – navigation system and telephone; the user interface can be changed with the “View” button. The volume control, voice-control system, telephone express control and the skip function for rapidly changing radio stations or music tracks are located on the right spoke of the steering wheel.
Intuitive control logic: the new MMI control concept
Another technical innovation in the Audi A4 and A4 Avant is the MMI-System, especially in the full version as MMI Navigation plus with MMI touch. Its menu structure has been completely redesigned; its operation with flat hierarchies is oriented towards modern smartphones. An intelligent logic that is simpler and quick to use replaces static menu trees; frequently used functions can be reached with just a few clicks.
The terminal’s central element is the rotary controller, whose ring is illuminated in white with the optional MMI touch. Its upper surface features a touchpad, which is used to input characters and multi-finger gestures – zooming into the navigation map for example.