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Audi A4 (2007): first official pictures

Wed, 29 Aug 2007

By Ben Pulman

First Official Pictures

29 August 2007 09:30

This can't be the new A4! It look just like an A5...

That it does, but should you really complain? The Audi A5 is one of the best-looking coupes around, and that Ingolstadt’s latest four-door offering bears more than a passing resemblance to its brother is no bad thing. In fact the new A4, which will go on sale in the UK in the first quarter of 2008, shares much of its platform with the A5. The modular longitudinal platform (MLP for short) is supposed to finally make Audis sporty, rather than just nose-heavy front-wheel drive cars, thanks to a rearranged layout that pushes the engine back in the nose to the benefit of weight distribution. Audi's claims of a newfound sportiness may fall on deaf ears, though. We’re sure both the BMW 3-series and new Mercedes C-class will take some beating.

Only CAR’s first drive will reveal how much of the new Audi A4’s sporting ability is gospel and how much is marketing bumf. The basics are promising though, because that new platform means the front axle has been moved forward 154mm compared with the current car, so the engine now sits further back in the chassis. And those cars with quattro four-wheel drive now have a 40:60 front:rear torque split to more closely mimic the behaviour of a rear-driver. Well, that's the idea anyway. There is also a whole host of gadgets and acronyms that Audi claims makes the car a sportier drive, though like the techno-laden BMW M5 they may stop us seeing the wood for the trees. For instance, if you spec the MMI control system, as well as comfort, auto and dynamic settings for the suspension, the fourth ‘individual’ mode allows you to twiddle with 24 different settings to personalise your set-up. Other gadgets include a take on BMW’s Active Steer system, a reversing camera, a blind spot warning system and another to warn you if you change lanes without indicating.

By Ben Pulman