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by Tim Beissmann

The 2012 Audi A4 has been revealed before it goes on sale in Australia around the middle of next year.

The global Audi A4 range includes the A4 sedan and Avant (wagon), the A4 allroad quattro, and the sporty S4 sedan and Avant variants.

The 2012 model year brings sharpened styling, greater efficiency, improved driving dynamics and upgraded infotainment systems.

The unveiling comes as Audi announced it has produced 10 million A4/Audi 80 medium cars over the past 45 years.

The new A4 takes styling cues from the recently updated Audi A5 range, highlighted by the arched bonnet, revised grille and headlights, more angular bumpers and a new three-dimensional badge.

The taillights mirror the redesign of the headlights, while the rear bumper and diffuser also take on a more prominent, aggressive appearance.

The cabin has been upgraded with a range of new steering wheels, upholstery options, high-gloss inserts and chrome elements. The MMI navigation plus system has been simplified with fewer buttons, yet now incorporates even more functions.

Fuel consumption has decreased by 11 per cent on average across the range, despite increases in power and torque to a number of the engines.

Depending on the market, Audi will offer four petrol engines and six TDI diesels, creating a total of 23 different engine-transmission combinations – all of them supercharged and incorporating direct injection, start-stop technology and brake energy regeneration.

The most economical model is the 100kW 2.0 TDI, which uses just 4.2 litres/100km in sedan form on the combined cycle. The more powerful 120kW version uses only slightly more fuel at 4.4 litres/100km combined.

Other diesel variants include the 150kW 3.0 TDI V6, which is the most efficient six-cylinder engine in its class in the world, boasting efficiency of just 4.9 litres/100km. The most powerful 3.0 TDI diesel engine now produces 180kW.

Kicking off the petrol range is the 88kW 1.8 TFSI. Next up is a new 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 125kW of power and 320Nm of torque, which uses 5.6 litres/100km on the combined cycle – 19 per cent less than its predecessor.

The high-performance spark-ignition 2.0 TFSI delivers 155kW of power, while the benchmark 3.0 TFSI V6 now puts out 200kW.

The Audi S4 sits at the top of the range. It continues to produce 245kW and 440Nm, although fuel consumption and 0-100km/h sprint times have both fallen to 8.0 litres/100km and 5.0 seconds respectively.

Front-wheel drive models continue with six-speed manual or continuously variable multitronic transmissions, while the all-wheel drive quattros are fitted with the manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch S tronic.

Although the local range is still to be finalised, Audi Australia’s Anna Burgdorf confirmed the model line-up would not change vastly when it arrived around the middle of 2012, with the local arm still determined to offer a diverse spread of models.

The electromechanical power steering is new in all models, improving economy and handling characteristics.

Audi drive select is now standard: balancing the accelerator, transmission shift points, power steering and air conditioning to meet one of four modes: comfort, auto, dynamic or efficiency.

The standard infotainment package includes an eight-speaker audio system with CD player, while the top of the line system incorporates voice control, WLAN hotspot, Google Earth and Street View integration and other internet and email functions.

The price of the entry-level 2012 Audi A4 has increased around one per cent in Germany, with minor price rises across the entire range.

Ms Burgdorf said it was too early to say how prices of the 2012 Audi A4 range would be affected.

Stay tuned for more details closer to the Australian launch of the 2012 Audi A4 range in just over six months.




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