Based on recent spy shots and Audi’s latest design language, an evolutionary rather than revolutionary visual update was expected. The grille has been widened a bit, the headlights mirror the TT’s new shape, the character lines are slightly more bold, and the taillights are now full LEDs, but the average car buyer wouldn’t immediately notice these subtle distinctions.
The B9 is longer and wider body than the present generation, while the drag coefficient has been reduced to improve fuel economy. Another core change that is hidden beneath the surface is a significant weight loss of 264 pounds for the sedan, which now weighs 2,910 pounds in total.
Inside, the driver and passenger seats have been redesigned and the headrests can now adjust to be close to the occupant’s head instead of simply moving up and down. The larger body adds rear passenger legroom as well. On the entertainment end of things, you can now choose from 30 different interior LED colors. The 12.3-inch digital instrument screen from the TT and Q7 can be optioned on for 2016, along with a new 8.3-inch tablet display with voice control, WiFi, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.
Under the hood, engine options include a 1.4-liter TFSI motor developing 146 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, a 2.0-liter TFSI making 185 HP and 236 lb-ft of torque, a 2.0-liter TDI with 146 HP and 236 lb-ft of torque, and a 3.0-liter TDI with up to 268 HP and 443 lb-ft of torque.
Whichever motor you choose, a newly developed six-speed manual gearbox will be available, along with a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission that replaces the CVT. If you opt for the range-topping 3.0 TDI, an eight-speed tiptronic is paired with it.
While it’s doubtful that the new A4 Avant will make it to the U.S., the 2016 sedan will go on sale this fall.