They say the only thing better than a
German sedan is another German sedan and that has become an endless battle
between these stalwarts. But no battle is won without bold moves and Audi has
done just that with their new A4 sedan which is expected to launch in India by
September this year. Well, I say bold simply because the new A4 now comes with
a smaller engine and better fuel efficiency. But does that mean a drop in
performance? We find out...
In the pre drive briefing session I learned
that the new A4 comes with a 1.4 litre TFSI petrol engine unlike the previous
one which came with a 1.8 litre petrol motor. Well this was rather shocking for
me since the entire point of bringing an updated model is to outperform the
previous one. But little did I know at the time that the new 1.4 L TFSI was
devilishly quick and ferocious. The new engine is in an in-line 4 cylinder
format and puts out 150 horses from 5000-6000 rpm and 250 Newton meters of
torque from 1500-3500 rpm. To put things into perspective the new Audi A4 can
go from 0 to 100kmph in just 8.5 seconds and accelerates all the way upto
1395cc, in-line 4 cylinder, Turbocharged, Petrol
7-Speed, Dual clutch, Automatic
Front& Rear: Independent Wheel
Suspension with Anti-Roll bar
Front/ Rear: Dual Circuit Disc with ABS
Fuel Tank Capacity
Rs. 41.2 lakh (ex
The meat of the power lies high up in the
rpm band and one does need to put the A4 through its paces to achieve top
performance. However the motor also delivers a decent torque of 250Nm at a low
range thus rendering a very thrilling drive experience which I can best
describe as extremely energetic. The new A4 is also faster than the outgoing
model and is more economical with a fuel average of 17kms per litre. The engine
comes mated to a 7-speed S-Tronic transmission which essentially is a dual
clutch setup and is as smooth as Barney Stinson with women. The gear shifts are
not that evident unless you throw the car in Dynamic mode which makes all the
mechanicals more sporty and enjoyable.
The A4 comes with four different driving
modes -- Auto, Dynamic, Comfort and Individual. Dynamic modes juices the most
out of the engine and renders premium performance. The transmission also comes
with a 'coasting mode' which caters for free wheel rolling, hence improving
efficiency. While Audi has reduced the size of the engine, they have also
managed to shred 95kgs off this car. But that does not alter the looks at all,
the new A4 still looks bold, broad and aggressive from almost every angle. The
new A4 still does look rather similar to the outgoing model but on paying
closer attention one can see the subtle differences.
The new A4 gets a striking new design for
the head lamps and tail lamps apart from other changes and on the inside the
car boasts of luxury, comfort and functionality. It comes with Audi's virtual
cockpit setup which features a fully digital 31.24cm LCD screen right infront
of the driver. As difficult as it is to believe, the screen is not distracting
for the driver and has been laid out in a manner which enhances driving
efficiency and comfort. The sedan also comes with Audi's MMI control setup with
a central touch control rotary knob which I found quite easy of operate and
efficient in its functionality. The MMI display is quite functional with a 21cm
monitor displaying a host of handy information. Another unique feature of the
A4 is the convenience key which records driver preferences of air conditioning
temperature, seat position, music and phone book preferences and sets them when
the driver approaches the vehicle.
When it comes to comfort the A4 offers a
lot of features which enhance commuting pleasure, it features a dual zone
climate control as well as a separate climate control for the rear ac vents.
The sedan also comes with pull up blinds for the rear seats, electrically
adjustable front seats with a memory function for the driver seat, Audi's phone
box which is capable of charging and integrating QI enabled mobile devices. The
interiors exude luxury with a blend of leather and leatherette as well as wooden
inlays on the dash and centre floor console. The car also comes with ample of
storage spaces and has a roomy back seat which can easily accommodate two large
The A4 speaks volumes of Audi's engineering
prowess and provides one of the most dynamic driving experiences one can get on
Indian roads. The sedan comes with an independent wheel suspension with an anti
roll bar. The suspension is on the softer side and soaks in most of the jerks
and jolts from broken roads. The A4 has great road holding capability which is
also thanks to the 225/ 50 R17 Hankook tyres. Even at higher speeds the
aerodynamic design and reduced drag coefficient coupled with the finely tuned
suspension lend the driver a lot of confidence. However the electromechanical
steering feels a bit wooden and drivers who like some feedback will not enjoy
it a lot, but then this vehicle is more about comfort for which the steering
has been tuned appropriately. The A4 comes with dual circuit disc brakes and
have ABS, EBD as well. On the safety front customers also get traction control,
8 airbags, reverse camera and sensors, electronic differential locking and
electronic stabalisation control.
When it was time to hand over the keys and
part ways with the A4, I bid adieu with a big smile. As an auto journo very
rarely do we come across one single vehicle which has everything to appease
your senses. From every perspective I was quite satisfied that the A4 is
probably the best contender in its class as of now. Audi has been quite
audacious in cutting engine size and kerb weight but that in turn makes the A4
more efficient. What does remain to be seen is the price point at which it will
be launched in India. Knowing Audi for what it is in India, we can expect
something extremely competitive.
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