The compact executive class is a hugely competitive one. Mercedes-Benz and BMW sell more C-Class models and 3 Series variants respectively than any other models in each of their line-ups. It is the same with Audi – the A4 is the best selling model in its range and together with its 80 predecessor, is Audi’s best selling model ever.
So it’s no big surprise when Audi sprung into action and announced an updated A4 range just months after Mercedes introduced the refreshed C-Class and more crucially, as soon as BMW’s recent unveiling of the new generation F30 3 Series. The latter will arrive on our shores in the first half of 2012 and incidentally, the refreshed A4 range will also be in Singapore by June.
Audi doesn’t call its updated models with the facelift moniker. It actually prefers to refer to them as Product Improvement models. With changes to the exterior, new engines, improved steering and suspension as well as new updates to the infotainment system, the new A4 is certainly more than just a simple nip and tuck exercise.
Outwardly, the new A4 and its S4 performance brethren can be easily identified by the revised nose that makes the A4 look more in line with recent Audi models like the A6 and A1 – the new snout features the latest iteration of Audi’s single-frame grille with beveled edges at the top corners, new headlamps with a distinctive wave pattern for its LED daytime running lights, deeper air intakes on the front bumper and so on. The rear features new LED tail lamps that are more similar to the A4’s bigger saloon brothers’ and a new bumper while new alloy wheel designs complete the exterior changes on the new model. The top dog S4 variant gets the same exterior changes as well but sticks to the same alloy wheel design as previously.
With its new, refreshed looks, the A4 certainly looks more contemporary and smarter than the outgoing model. The new nose’s more chiseled look also adds some aggression to the A4’s overall stance.