Johannesburg - Audi South Africa has confirmed that the updated Audi A4 sedan, which has just gone on sale in Europe, will be hitting local shores during the first quarter of 2020.
The mid-sized stalwart gets a sharper look as well as new engines - including a diesel-powered S4 performance variant - while the cabin tech has also been given a touch-up in this midlife makeover.
At the front end, Audi designers have given the A4 a sharper look without straying too far from the familiar design language. The grille is now broader and flatter, with a honeycomb pattern now available, while LED headlights are now standard, although you will have to pay extra for those snazzy Matrix LED units. Round back, the LED taillights have been given a more distinctive pattern.
Highly connected with new MMI system
The big news inside is that the A4’s infotainment system now has touchscreen functionality, replacing the previous rotary dial that was located in the centre console. Furthermore, Audi says the 25.6cm central screen’s graphics have been deliberately cleaned up and pared down, while the menu structure has “tight hierarchies” designed to suit user expectations. The system also features “natural-language” voice control, designed to understand everyday phrases.
The navigation system has been beefed up too, now offering (in Europe at least), a host of online services, including Car-to-X functionality that uses the ‘swarm intelligence’ of the Audi fleet. The car can also plug in to the city’s traffic light computers, allowing the driver to select a speed that matches the next green-light phase. This, of course, will not apply to SA models.
The optional adaptive cruise control with stop & go can also use Car-to-X messages and navigation data to accelerate and brake the A4 autonomously, even when there are no vehicles ahead.
Updated engines, diesel S4
The South African engine line-up, and pricing, will only be announced closer to launch, but some significant powertrain changes have taken place abroad, including mild hybrid technology applied almost across the board.
For starters, the 35 TFSI base model trades its 1.4-litre turbopetrol engine for a detuned version of Audi’s familiar 2-litre turbo unit. It produces the same power output of 110kW, although torque is up from 250Nm to 270Nm. Next up is a 45 TFSI with 140kW/320Nm and a 45 TFSI with 180kW and 370Nm.
On the diesel front Audi offers its 2-litre TDI motor in three guises - 100kW/320Nm (30 TDI), 120kW/380Nm (35 TDI) and 140kW/400Nm (40 TDI) - and there's a 3-litre V6 diesel option (45 TDI) with 170kW and 500Nm.
But the real fun starts with the S4 badge - and this time the performance variant gets a 255kW, 700Nm version of the 3-litre TDI engine, mated to an eight-speed tiptronic gearbox and quattro all-wheel-drive. Buyers can also specify a sport differential, to actively distribute power between the rear wheels for maximum agility.
But don’t expect the brawny diesel to reach South African showrooms. Audi’s international website states that markets outside of Europe will stick with the current 3-litre V6 turbopetrol unit, which produces 260kW and 500Nm.
Mild hybrid tech
The entire petrol engine line-up and most of the diesels (all excepting the 40 and 45 TDIs) get a new 12 volt mild-hybrid-system, which reduces fuel consumption by up to 0.3 litres per 100km, according to Audi. The S4 TDI takes this a step further with a 48-volt main onboard electrical system that incorporates the aforementioned mild hybrid system.
Watch this space for more details on the local line-up closer to launch.