The Audi A4 is one of the brand's most important models and as the current B9 generation reaches the end of its lifecycle, attention shifts to the next-generation A4 which is due in 2023.
The next A4 will take cues from Audi’s electric designs and perhaps this 2021 A6 e-tron Concept provides a few clues as to what’s to come.
The fifth-generation Audi A4 came to market back in 2016 and received a significant styling and equipment update in 2020. The Ingolstadt-based firm, however, is preparing an all-new A4 model that is expected to be revealed in 2023. As such, we expect to see spy images of the next-generation A4 in months to come.
The Audi A4 forms part of a historical battle between other German luxury business class sedans such as the new BMW 3-Series and the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Products from other marques such as the Jaguar XE and Lexus IS also compete in this segment.
In South Africa, the business class sedan segment is in decline with buyers rather opting for SUVs. Nonetheless, the A4 is here to keep the battle alive.
What can you expect from the new Audi A4?
Audi products are mostly expected to be electric by 2030 but in the interim, internal combustion engines are still in the product plan for the next-gen A4.
Audi’s head of technical development, Oliver Hoffman spoke to UK publication, Auto Express, hinting at what’s on the cards for the new A4.
For starters, the new A4 will be built on the same MLB platform that underpins the current A4 and will likely be powered by a revised version of the EA888 2.0-litre turbopetrol engine from Volkswagen.
The revisions to the EA888 engine is said to include variable-section turbines within the turbocharger which will improve throttle response and result in higher overall outputs. Higher pressure fuel injection is also expected, all of which will bode well for improved performance over the current A4.
However, the new A4 range will transition towards electrification with mild-hybrid 48V technology as well as Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) variants. A diesel-powered A4 is also expected and we could also see an all-electric A4 come to market later in the new A4’s lifecycle.
Commenting on the possibility of an electric A4, Hoffman had this to say, “We are really happy to have a strong partnership within the Group – with Porsche for PPE [platform], with VW for MEB platform, and our own platform, the MLB. We have the power to develop and produce dedicated platforms for most technologies. We’ve looked at a platform where we can have both powertrains, but it’s a compromise. So I’m really happy that we are able and we have the power to do both.”
From a styling perspective, the new A4 is likely to take inspiration from Audi’s latest electric products. Audi’s current interiors are wonderfully minimalist in design and the new A4 is likely to showcase further refinement in the firm’s reductionist design approach.
We will keep a close eye on developments regarding the new Audi A4, so stay tuned for more details. This article was originally published in Cars.co.za.