Pure driving dynamics
The new alloy suspension
Dynamics and comfort, easy handling and active safety at the very highest level: on the basis of these strengths, Audi is also demonstrating its proverbial "Vorsprung durch Technik" with the new A4's aluminium suspension. And as far as the consistent implementation of the lightweight construction principle is concerned, this suspension is unique in its class.
The aluminium suspension offers a tried-and-tested concept at the front end that has been fundamentally modified for this new model: four-link front suspension, now of a light-alloy construction and 8.5 kilograms lighter.
Both front-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive versions of the Audi A4 have self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension based on the advanced design used on quattro models. Like the front suspension, the rear suspension consists of alloy components. It alone is responsible for a drastically reduced unsprung mass, producing a new dimension of driving pleasure in this class.
ESP: safely on course
All Audi A4 models are fitted with latest-generation Electronic Stability Program ESP as standard. This system helps the driver to remain in control of the vehicle in potentially critical situations at the handling limits.
Now with brake assist
The new Audi A4 carries a particularly safety-conscious, permanently alert passenger with it on board at all times: the hydraulic brake assist system. As an integral part of the latest ESP generation, it is part of the standard specification. Its task is to help the driver in emergency braking situations by automatically increasing braking pressure.
The electronically controlled brake assist system detects an emergency braking situation on the basis of pedal speed and pressure. The system then increases pressure on the pedal beyond the level applied by the driver in just a fraction of a second. This means that even inexperienced drivers can make use of maximum deceleration at the wheel-lock limit.
A rigid passenger cell with clearly defined deformation properties provides the basis for effective occupant protection in the Audi A4. The most important components in the composite cell are the new front-end and floor concept and the large bumper cross-member. The latter ensures an even distribution of load, even in an offset crash.
The designs of the sill, with an integral aluminium extruded section, and the A-post result in a sturdy side-panel frame. Particular attention was devoted to the behaviour of the footwell in a frontal crash, especially as regards possible intrusion. The driver's legs are also well-protected in the new A4 because the pedals are decoupled in a frontal crash and do not intrude further into the footwell. In addition, energy-absorbing padding protects the feet against severe impact.
Upfront sensors: rapid protection
Intelligent sensors control the activation of the restraint systems at the right time. In the Audi A4, an airbag control unit with extended functions is responsible for triggering airbags and belt pre-tensioners. With the aid of two decentralised sensors, the system is able to determine the pattern and the severity of a frontal impact at an early stage. The central crash sensor supplies information for the plausibility check.
The decentralised sensors are two acceleration sensors integrated into the front crumple zone: these are referred to as the "upfront sensors". They transmit signals from which the control unit calculates vehicle deformation in a crash. This means that the severity of the accident can be detected early on.
SIDEGUARD as standard
In the event of a side impact, remote sensors transmit signals which are compared with those from a sensor in the central airbag control unit. This concept enables all side airbags to be triggered in accordance with the accident sequence.
The risk of injury to the torso and pelvic region in a side crash is reduced above all by the thorax/pelvis side airbag integrated into the front seat back. Rear thorax/pelvis side airbags are available as an option.
The head and neck regions benefit from SIDEGUARD, a safety extra that is exemplary, not just in this vehicle category. This lateral head-level airbag system covers virtually the entire area of the side windows, from the A-post to the C/D-post.
As well as improving the head injury criterion, SIDEGUARD also reduces the load on the neck as the movements of the head are much less severe. And in an offset crash the head airbag reduces the risk presented by impact with the A-post.