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2017 Audi A4 preview

2017 A4

news-2017-audi-a4-l-14 The A4 has been the anchor of the Audi USA lineup since it replaced the Audi 80 in 1994. Moving furthermore upmarket, the A4 still uses the MLB architecture it shares with the A5-A8 and even the Porsche Macan. This architecture supports a longitudinal (versus transverse) mounted engine and front or all-wheel drive, separating it from the A3 which shares the MQB Volkswagen architecture with the Golf. The new A4 sits on a new chassis with a slightly longer wheelbase and overall length but 100 pounds lighter. Early reports of a very efficient 0.23 Cd coefficient of drag were exaggerated: the Cd is a still respectable 0.27. Perhaps the larger American license plate frame? The engine is an improved 2.0 turbo, the same 252-horsepower double overhead cam four-cylinder as the new A6. It is now linked exclusively to a seven-speed dual-clutch automated gearbox, also from the A6. Gone are the three different transmissions of the previous generation (8-speed automatic, 6-speed manual and CVT), meaning a three-pedal option is off the table. Quattro all-wheel drive is still available. Automatic engine start/stop is now part of the 2.0T and should improve city fuel mileage. Performance will increase substantially, because along with dragging 100 pounds less weight the A4 2.0T (presently the only variant) is up 32 horsepower, borrowing the A6's 252-horsepower 2.0 turbocharged 4-cylinder. With substantially larger brakes performance should be much better all around. Only the tires get smaller, but the lighter weight, longer wheelbase and wider track should compensate for it. Sadly, the turning diameter grows to a somewhat un-compact 38.1 feet, almost half a foot wider. On the technology front, the new A4 adds as standard a collision warning and automated braking system called "Audi pre sense® city." Pre sense basic, also standard includes electronically tightening front seatbelts and a system to close the windows, sunroof and move the driver and front passenger seats to a better position in the event an imminent collision is detected. If you dodge the bullet, everything returns to normal. (No, it doesn't present you with a pair of clean underwear; maybe next year.) Lane Departure Warning and Adaptive Cruise Control are offered as options on A4 Prestige. Both systems will actively help you stay in your lane using the electro-mechanical steering assist. Blind spot warning (Audi Side Assist) returns as an option, but with the added feature of pushing you back into your lane if something is in your way. A new top view camera system is standard on the A4 Prestige. The Parking System Plus now also includes front sonar sensors to complement the rear ones. A new SOS telematics system is now optional, which can call emergency services if it detects a collision or if you press a switch. Heated steering wheel, heated rear seats and ventilated front seats are newly available features for 2017. Overall the quality, look and feel of the materials on the new A4 is top-notch, and along with Audi's very significant gains in reliability measures it should be a reliable, long-lasting vehicle. Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 10.46.22 AM


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