In fact, for most of last year, because of a new product cycle, Audi
did not have the A4 sedan in the market. But now that it’s here, expect it to push the needle for the German car-maker.
So what’s different about the new A4?
The car comes with a new two-litre TFSI engine, which is punchier and has more torque. There is no diesel version, which means this is a refined petrol engine. The other new elements include the 10-inch multimedia touchscreen, voice control, and gesture-based boot lid opening.
The A4 is extremely quiet and well insulated, and is equipped with superior suspension that makes it glide over bumpy roads and rough stretches. However, while the suspension and ride quality match any solidly built, heavy German car, the smoothness with which its doors shut and open speaks of the Audi’s trademark use of lightweighting in its rides.
Audi does not rely on any one material, but instead goes with what it calls a smart “material mix”: Steel, aluminium, magnesium and fiber-reinforced polymers.
Cruising in the A4 is a leap ahead from Audis of the past, but the real cherry on the cake is the new engine, which, besides being silent and refined, is also peppy and enables the sedan to hold its own against top-notch performers from BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
What hasn’t changed are the subtleties that make an Audi an Audi. There’s no sporty flash here. The A4 remains restrained and classy, and lets its high-quality exterior and interiors drive the message home.
Class, finesse and performance. While the A4 scores high on all these fronts, the question is: Are these enough to drive volumes and bring back the market share for Audi?
The answer would have been an unequivocal yes had the A4 been priced more aggressively. But with a sticker price of close to Rs 50 lakh on road for the top-end variant, brand pedigree and personal preference are what will drive its sales.
Audi has consistently scored high with its line of SUVs that include the Q5 and the Q7. But it needs to up the ante in its range of sedans, which, while being high-tech and high-quality, don’t drive volumes like its other German counterparts do. The Audi A4 may well change that.