Starting from $55,500 plus on-road costs, the new range is, according to Audi product planner Peter Strudwicke, “the most technologically-advanced Audi ever to go on sale in Australia.”
“It is a quantum leap forward in the fields of technology, quality and materials and driving dynamics," he added.
Spearheading the high-tech equipment charge are adaptive LED headlights, which are standard across the entire 2016 Audi A4 line-up.
Advanced Matrix beam headlights that use information from the car’s multiple sensors, camera and satellite navigation system to automatically dip or turn off individual diodes in up to eight different fingers, so as not to blind oncoming drivers, are available as a $1700 option.
For the first time, standard inside all A4 variants is the MMI Navigation plus infotainment system, featuring an 8.3-inch centre screen, MMI touchpad, 10GB music storage, live traffic updates, and a new smartphone interface with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Premium model grades also get DAB+ digital radio, while a specially designed 755-Watt, Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system incorporating 19 speakers and a 16-channel amplifier is available as a $1500 option.
Additionally, the $2100 Tecknik package adds Audi’s virtual cockpit – a fully digital instrument cluster with 12.3-inch screen (1440 x 540 pixels) and head-up display, as well as a new rear-seat entertainment system with removable tablets are offered in the A4 for the first time.
The tablets are specially integrated with MMI Connect system and use the on-board Wi-Fi hot-spot to connect to the internet.
Features include the ability to pull up directions on Google maps and send a specific location to the driver, who can then choose to accept the directions, or not.
Even the car’s voice control system has been further developed and now understands natural phrases, such as “Where is the nearest Chinese restaurant?”, or “Where can I fill up?” for example.
The three-zone climate control system has an active charcoal filter that filters out micro particles like bacteria and odours. It even filters recirculating air within the cabin. Audi claims the system is twice as effective as those systems in rival models.
Standard on the new A4 include a host of advanced driver assist systems such as pre-sense city autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, exit warning system that uses interior ambient LEDs that illuminate if a vehicle or cyclist is detected approaching from behind, rear cross traffic assist and side assist.
Likewise, the pre-sense system warns of an imminent collision and prepares the cabin and passengers for an impact.
Buyers can also order the optional $1900 Assistance package, which adds an entire suite of active safety systems including active lane assist, active cruise with stop-and-go including traffic jam assistant, (follows vehicles with auto throttle, brake and steering inputs) distance indicator and pre-sense front, turn assist (with full auto braking), collision avoidance assist and high-beam assist.
The new A4 also gets a new, lightweight suspension system with five-link axles at the front and rear, along with a newly developed electromechanical power steering system, with Audi drive select dynamic drive system as standard.
Audi also claims it’s the only car in market available with two separate adaptive damper systems – Sport adaptive dampers or Comfort adaptive dampers, which are tuned differently, and which also lowers the ride height by 23mm and 10mm compared with the standard suspension.
Despite the all-new B9-generation Audi A4’s increased dimensions –it’s longer and wider by 25mm and 16mm respectively than the car it replaces, weight-saving construction techniques have resulted in savings of up to 65 kilograms over the previous model.
The engines, too, are some of the most efficient in class.
Initially, the range kicks off with three four-cylinder petrol engines and one four-cylinder turbo diesel model, with prices starting from $55,500 for the 1.4 TSFI plus on-road costs.
The rest of the line-up includes the 2.0 TSFI at $60,900, the 2.0 TDI quattro at $66,900 and the range-topping 2.0 TSFI quattro from $69,900.
All are mated to a newly-developed seven-speed dual-clutch transmission which sends drive to the front wheels of the two low-power petrol models and to all four wheels of the diesel and high-performance petrol.
The entry-level 1.4 TFSI produces 110kW of power between 5000-6000rpm and 250Nm of torque from 1500-3500rpm. It claims to go from 0-100km/h in 8.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 210km/h.
According to European combined cycle figures, the 1.4-litre engine consumes 5.5 litres per 100 kilometres, while generating CO2 emissions of 126g/km.
Next up is the high-efficiency 2.0 TFSI that makes 140kW between 4200-6000rpm and 320Nm from 1450-4200rpm. It’s also more than a second quicker to 100km/h than the base model (7.3sec) with a top speed of 240km/h.
It also claims to be even more efficient, consuming just 5.3 litres per 100 kilometres, with Co2 emissions of 119g/km.
In the high-powered, flagship version, it produces a brawny 185kW and torque of 380Nm between 1600-4500rpm from its 2.0-litre turbo engine, allowing it to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 5.8 seconds. Combined fuel consumption has been calculated at between 5.9-6.3L/100km.
As with the TFSI powertrains, the sole diesel in the local line-up is the 2.0 TDI quattro, with 140kW produced between 3800-4200rpm and 400Nm of torque from 1750-3000rpm.
The four-wheel drive diesel claims 7.2sec from 0-100km/h, with combined consumption of 4.6 litres per 100 kilometres, with a top speed of 235km/h.
CarAdvice is currently attending the local launch in Canberra and will post a review of the new Audi A4 on Friday.