Ingolstadt - Audi’s A4 midsized sedan has been given its midlife makeover, bringing a sharper look, updated cabin tech and the first ever diesel-powered S model in this series.

It’s fair to say that the facelifted sedan does look quite a bit bolder from the front, with its broader and more angular grille, although it certainly doesn’t stray far from the look that we’ve already seen on the new A6 and A7 models. Oh, and LED headlights are now standard.

Inside the A4 retains a similar look, but on the electronics front it gets a new-generation operating system, linked to a 25.6cm touchscreen. Featuring acoustic feedback, free text input and advanced voice control, the touchscreen replaces the previous model’s console-mounted rotary control. Furthermore, European models offer a host of additional Car-to-X services that network with the urban infrastructure (including traffic lights) and take advantage of the Audi fleet’s swarm intelligence.

This Car-to-X functionality also allows the adaptive cruise control system, with Stop&Go functionality, to accelerate and brake autonomously even when there’s no other vehicle in front.

As before, a wide range of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines is offered, with power outputs ranging from 110kW to 255kW. Standard models have their front wheels driven, while the most powerful TFSI and TDI variants feature quattro all-wheel-drive. Three models also feature fuel-saving mild-hybrid technology, based on a 12-volt system.

The most exciting news on the engine front however is the release of a diesel-powered S4 TDI, which get a 255kW, 700Nm version of the VW Group’s 3-litre TDI engine. This oil-burning TDI sprints from zero to 100km/h in just 4.8 seconds, according to claims.

Lag-free acceleration is assured by an electric compressor, which forms part of the vehicle’s 48-volt main electrical system. Its mild hybrid system is, of course, good for economy too, with the 48-volt belt alternator starter allowing up to 8kW to be recuperated under braking and a 0.5 kWh lithium-ion battery acting as the energy management centre.

Power is channelled through an eight-speed tiptronic gearbox and quattro all-wheel-drive.

IOL Motoring