Mid-size titan of luxury



Audi’s new A4 has just debuted in the UAE with the promise of being a mid-size saloon with the technology and gadgetry found in larger and more expensive luxury cars.

Jeff Mannering, Managing Director of Audi Middle East, told Emirates Business: “What is different about the new Audi A4 saloon is that it offers a lot of features and technologies, which were previously only available in the large luxury car segment.

“Its base price is Dh130,000 and it also has a variety of customisation possibilities. It was time to define a new standard in the important mid-size car segment and Audi has answered the challenge with the new A4.”

In a revolutionary move by the manufacturer, the Audi drive select, which changes the driving characteristics, has been introduced in the new Audi A4 rather than in the top of the range Audi A8 or Q7.

“Some technologies, such as the Audi drive select, that lets the driver change the character of the car at the touch of a button ranging from sporty to comfortable, have been introduced in the mid-size segment,” said Mannering.

The Audi drive select control system allows the driver to adjust the operating characteristics of the engine, the automatic transmission, the steering and adaptive damping to suit his preferences. The other new technology that has been introduced in this segment is Audi’s dynamic steering, which controls the effective steering ratio according to road speed and helps to stabilise the car when close to the handling limits.

“Also, features such as the Audi side assist, which monitors the vehicle’s blind spot and the Bang and Olufsen sound system are also completely new to this segment of the market,” added Mannering.

The other hi-tech systems that have so far been available only on luxury cars include standard LED daytime running lights, three-zone automatic air conditioning, ventilated front seats with lumbar support function, an intelligent key that stores the vehicle’s service information and the advanced Audi parking system with rear-view camera to provide support when parking the car.

Talking about its looks and design, Mannering said: “It goes without saying that the car looks great and handles amazingly, too. We have even managed to generate more leg room in the rear, more luggage space and also a sportier look through a frontal-shift of the front axle – again another technical innovation.”

At an overall length of 4.70 metres, the new A4 is a large saloon and boasts a substantial, powerful road presence. Its body, Audi claims, is significantly more rigid and safer than the previous model, but also distinctly lighter, thanks to intelligent weight-saving technology. With a drag coefficient (cD) of 0.27, the new saloon cuts its way through the wind with ease. Audi claims the new A4 also has the largest boot in its class, with a 480-litre capacity. Inside the new A4, the ambience is spacious and full of light, as would be expected in a much larger model.

Talking about the heart of the car – its engine – he said: “The A4 is available with a 160 bhp 1.8 engine and a 265 bhp 3.2 V6 quattro engine, both of which feature the FSI direct injection technology for lower consumption and emissions.”

The first of the engines is equipped with a multi-tronic variable transmission and front-wheel drive, while the quattro comes with tiptronic automatic transmission and a more dynamic, rear-biased quattro four-wheel drive.

“The new Audi A4 was designed by an expert team lead by the head of Audi AG design squad, Stefan Sielaff. As soon as we saw the first studies, we knew we had a winner,” said Mannering.