|May 20, 2007
Exclusive Sneak Peek: Audi's 2009 A4
Sources at Audi have confirmed to AudiWorld that the next generation Audi A4 will make its worldwide debut in the fall at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Completely redesigned both inside and out, the B8 A4 will in many ways be similar to the recently introduced B8 A5 and S5 coupés.
With the new A4 just a little over four months away we wanted to give readers a good idea of what to expect inside and out. Matt Daniels has also prepared three exclusive renders of the 2009 A4 (sedan, Avant and S4) which represent our best guess at what the final product will look like.
First and foremost the new A4 will utilize Audi's up-and-coming MLP (Modular Longitudinal Platform) technology which will form the basis of not only the A4 and A5, but the also soon-to-be-revealed Q5 crossover SUV, next-generation A6, the as-yet-to-be-announced A7 and even the next A8. MLP allows Audi to place the engine and transmission further back behind the axle and helps stretch the wheelbase without lengthing the car's exterior dimensions. Less front overhang means the 2009 A4 will be less front-heavy than its predecessor, a problem which has dogged most Audis for some time.
The B8 A4 will only be about one inch longer than the current A4, although the longer wheelbase will make it appear to be a relatively bigger car. Front and rear overhang each decrease by nearly three inches. Thanks to its available next generation quattro all-wheel drive (rear-biased with a 40/60 split) and MLP architechture the new A4 will handle significantly better than any of the previous generation A4s before it.
The new A4 will also get something that its A5 brethren unfortunately did not - LED tail lamps. We have been told that the development cycle on the A5 was such that tail lamp designs had to be locked-in before the more cost effective LED models to be used on the A4 could be finalized. The A4 will also include headlight-integrated LED daytime running lights as an option, while the S4 will get them as a standard feature.
Inside the new A4 it will be more of the same from Audi; world class interior treatments will grace the A4 and each of its variants. The cabin will be very similar to the A5's with a more raked (and slightly driver's side skewed) center console, an all new climate control and audio center stack and more distinctive gauges. The driver will be able to adjust the armrest both up-and-down and by sliding front to back.
Interior seating comfort will be largely unchanged from the previous A4, with the exception of the rear seats where at least an inch of additional legroom will be available due to the wheelbase changes.
Powerplants for North America will be standard Audi fare with a 2.0-liter TFSI, a 3.2-liter V6 and the 4.2-liter FSI V8 in the S4 version. Expect to see a new 1.8-liter TFSI offering for Europe as well as both 4 and 6-cylinder TDI variants. Available transmissions will include a 6-speed manual, multitronic and Audi's newest S-tronic dual-clutch gearbox.
Audi is being very tight lipped about exact A4 variants beyond the standard sedan offering. Looking at the current generation A4, Audi produces the A4 sedan, A4 Avant, A4 Cabriolet, S4 sedan, S4 Avant, S4 Cabriolet and RS4. Things will definitely change, but the final details are unknown at this time.
We can safely speculate that the A4 and S4 Cabriolets go away in favor of a A5 and S5 Cabriolets, respectively. We have also read at least one article saying that the A4 and S4 Avants will be replaced by the upcoming Audi Q5, although we hear that this is simply not the case. The Q5 will be marketed as an SUV, which is clearly different than the A4 / S4 Avant. Last, a four-door A4 Sportback has been mentioned and this remains a weak possibility as a 2010 or beyond model.
The 2009 A4 will be available in Europe by spring 2008 with general availability in North America later that fall. No pricing has been confirmed, but consumers should not expect to see much in the way of price increases. One things is certain: buyers will be getting more car for the money with the next generation A4.