Audi executives are optimistic the arrival of the new A4 will give the Volkswagen Group subsidiary the boost it needs after being overtaken by Mercedes-Benz for second place in global premium car sales.
“We are very confident that the car will do very well in the market,” Audi sales boss Luca de Meo said. De Meo, who took over as CEO of VW Group’s Seat brand this month, said the ninth generation of Audi’s best-selling model line has features that make it stand out against rivals in the premium midsize sector. “It has a level of quality we have never seen in this segment; one of the most efficient engine ranges; a great interior and it is one of the first cars into which we have put a lot of technology for digitalization,” he said.
The A4 offers seamless smartphone connectivity via either Apple Car Play or Android Auto. The car also adds a head-up display for the first time. In addition, approximately 30 different driver assistance systems can be added, including Audi’s predictive efficiency assistant, which responds to features in the road ahead even before the driver sees them.
To make the A4’s ride more relaxing, responsive and fuel efficient, engineers reduced the car’s weight by as much as 110kg, resulting in a 21 percent improvement in fuel economy and a 25 percent increase in power.
Most of the weight lose was achieved by switching to aluminum from steel. The use of aluminum also helped upgraded the A4’s handling. The car has a new, five-point forged aluminum links on the rear axle that separates transverse and longitudinal forces acting on each wheel. This allows the chassis to more comfortably cushion the driver from changes in the road surface while also providing precise handling while cornering. Another optional upgrade for the A4 is variable shocks with continuous damping control.