The all-new Audi A4 B9 was supposed to arrive much earlier in the year, but it’s fashionably late, and that makes for quite a paradox. As a less ‘established’ brand in a market dominated by locally assembled BMWs, Mercedes-Benzes and Volvos, Audi’s fully imported selection can only swing buyers with an alternative taste. Or so it seems.
Where the A4 shows up late, it makes up for it in fashion. Some may label the familiar look unimaginative or lazy, but the styling tweaks rivets the eye of this writer. Introduced today is the sole 2.0 TFSI variant, but Audi Malaysia said the 1.4 TFSI and hotter 2.0 TFSI quattro will join the lineup by January 2017.
|Name||Audi A4 1.4 TFSI||Audi A4 2.0 TFSI||Audi A4 2.0 TFSI quattro|
|Engine||1,395cc; inline-4 turbo, DOHC||
1,984cc; inline-4 turbo, DOHC
7-speed S tronic
|Max Power||150 hp @ 5,000 – 6,000 rpm||190 hp @ 4,200 – 6,000 rpm||252 hp @ 5,000 – 6,000 rpm|
|Max Torque||250 Nm @ 1,500 – 3,500 rpm||320 Nm @ 1,450 – 4,200 rpm||370 Nm @ 1,600 – 4,500 rpm|
|0 – 100km/h; Top Speed||8.5 seconds; 210 km/h||7.3 seconds; 210 km/h||5.8 seconds; 250 km/h|
The more chiselled body cleverly masks its growth, because it is bigger in every way. With an overall length of 4,730mm, the A4 is longer than the 3-Series, C-Class and S60. It’s also considerably wider than the other German duo – at 1,840mm (versus the 3-Series’ 1,811mm and C-Class’ 1,810mm). A 20mm wheelbase (now 2,820mm) increase gives the A4 better legroom for the rear passengers.
One way of identifying the new A4 is through the full LED headlamps, each featuring two separate LED DRLs. The fascia is further complemented with the same hexagonal “Singleframe” chromed grille. This time, the side mirrors are mounted on the doors as opposed to being affixed to the A-pillars, increasing aerodynamic efficiency. The A4 is now more slippery than ever with a drag coefficient value of 0.23.
Round the back, the A4 gets a new, slimmer pair of LED lamps with dynamic indicators across the range. Completing the exterior package is the dual exhaust outlet and the 17-inch five-spoke alloy wheels.
Inside, the 2.0 TFSI variant benefits from a tri-zone climate control, leather seats (front seats are electronically adjustable, including lumbar), manual rear window blinds and a 180 watts 10-speaker Audi Sound System with 6-channel amplifier.
The steering wheel is of the sportier three-spoke kind, is wrapped in leather and comes with paddle shifters. Unfortunately, the fancy 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit we get with the Q7 and TT will not be available as standard, but customers can opt for the Technology pack (pricing to be announced soon) which also comes with Matrix LED headlights, front dynamic indicators, MMI Navigation plus with MMI touch, Audi smartphone interface and a rear view camera.
The dashboard is swathed with soft-touch materials, but remains rather flat. This is actually to free up more legroom for the driver and front passenger. The air vents now stretch the length of the dashboard, just like the Q7. Resting in the centre dash is a fixed 7-inch high-res Audi Driver Information System.
With 480 litres of boot space, the A4’s practicality is on par with the competition. It does edge the 3-Series in terms of expandable volume, because the rear seats can be folded with a 40:20:40 split configuration. Up to 965 litres of space can be had.
Underpinning the A4 B9 is the same MLB platform shared with its stablemates such as the A6 and Q7. This allows Audi to mount the engine longitudinally, either for front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive configuration. The variant launched today is the non-quattro 2.0 TFSI, and the turbocharged four-cylinder engine is tuned to punch greener with an output of 190 hp and 320 Nm of torque.
The 2.0 TFSI quattro that will be introduced this coming January will deliver 252 hp and 370 Nm of torque. All variants come with a seven-speed S tronic (dual clutch) transmission. Key performance figures are as follow: the 0 to 100km/h dash is dusted in 7.3 seconds before reaching a top speed of 210 km/h. The quattro variant gets there much quicker at 5.8 seconds before maxing out at a governed top speed of 250km/h.
Those opting for the entry-level variant will settle for a 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine, turbocharged to produce 150 hp and 250 Nm of torque. That’s considerably more powerful than the BMW 318i’s 136 hp and 220 Nm output.
Regardless of which variant you choose, the safety equipment remains the same throughout. The A4 comes with six airbags, ESC, electronic vehicle immobilisation device, tyre pressure warning system, electrically operated child lock, brake hold assist, ISOFIX mounts, frameless anti-glare rear view mirror and pop-up bonnet for pedestrian protection.
You’re paying RM248,900 for a fully imported Audi A4 B9, and one of the key points for CBU models is you get much more exterior colour options. Audi Malaysia is offering up to 10 different exterior shades for the car: Glacier White, Floret Silver, Matador Red, Tango Red, Argus Brown, Scuba Blue, Monsoon Grey, Manhattan Grey and Mythos Black.
A special Daytona Grey Pearl (my personal favourite) colour can be specified for vehicles purchased with the optional S Line package. When optioned, the RM25,000 S Line pack comes with a sportier front and rear bumper, 18-inch twin-five spoke alloy wheels, illuminated front door sill trims with aluminium inlays, Alcantara leather front sport seats, S Line sport leather steering wheel and a raft of other sporty aesthetic upgrades.
The first 100 adopters will get the A4 at a special introductory price of RM239,900, which is priced exactly the same as the outgoing A4 B8. All purchases of the A4 comes with a 4-Year or 120,000km warranty package.