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New Audi A4 (2012) arrives: Audi A4, S4 and A4 Allroad

Thu, 27 Oct 2011

New Audi A4 (2012) revealed together with 2012 S4 and A4 Allroad

The current Audi A4 has been with us since 2008, but with the Mercedes C Class and the BMW 3 Series upping their game it’s time for Audi to strike back with an updated A4 for 2012.

So we get treated to a complete refresh across the A4 range from Audi, with new versions of the Audi A4, A4 Estate, S4, S4 Estate and the 4WD Audi A4 Allroad Quattro.

The 2012 Audi A4 isn’t a new, ground-up A4, rather it’s a comprehensive re-work of the current A4 with significant styling updates – inside and out – and a plethora of new engines.

Up front, the 2012 A4 gets a more shapely bonnet, a new bumper with trapezoidal fogs, a new set of headlights – which can be optioned with Xenons – and a revised grill, which gets painted grey for four-pot engines and black for six-pot. Which looks like a likely opportunity for an after-market paint job for those opting for a four-pot engine.

Out back the changes mirror those at the front, with the tail lights getting LED graphics to match the nose and a new bumper with a bigger valence and chrome tail pipes.

On the inside Audi has aimed to make the new A4 appear more upmarket. That means new trim for the dash and centre console and a more tactile steering wheel. The switchgear gets a makeover as does the Audi MMI, which now gets its button count halved (which, interestingly, is the opposite direction to BMW’s offering which has recently added more buttons to its iDrive to make it easier to use).

But it’s under the bonnet that the 2012 A4 has been worked over most, with a completely revised range of engines.

The most popular engine – Audi’s 2.0 litre four-pot TDI – now gets what Audi call a pendulum-type absorber, which we assume is a similar system of counterweights to the one BMW use in their EfficientDynamics 3 Series, which allows you to cruise around at under 1000 revs without shake and shudder, making eco-driving more relaxing.

The 2.0 litre TDI now comes in more varieties than Heinz can muster, with the choice of 118bhp, 134bhp, 141bhp, 161bhp and 175bhp versions, with economy as good as 67.3mpg and emissions as low as 112g/km (which will doubtless be tweaked further at some point).

And if you want a bit more oomph in your new A4 than the 2.0 litre diesel can muster – even with its seemingly endless range of power outputs – you can opt for the 3.0 litre diesel which comes in either 204bhp or 245bhp flavours.

On the petrol front, the new star is Audi’s new 1.8 litre 4-pot TFSI. It gets 170bhp, 50.4mpg and 134g/km CO2, but you can still have the old 1.8 litre with a paltry 118bhp.

Also on offer in the A4 is a 2.0 litre four-pot TFSI with 211bhp and the barnstorming 3.0 litre supercharged V6 which lets the new S4 stick 328bhp through all four wheels. Which should mean the new S4 can break 5.0 seconds to 60mph.

To drive the power to the wheels, Audi’s new A4 comes as standard with a six-speed manual ‘box on all the FWD models. You an also opt for the Audi Multitronic ‘box (that’s Audi-speak for CVT) or the very good seven-speed dual clutch S-Tronic auto (although not on all models).

If you want quattro all wheel; drive you’re not just limited to buying the A4 Allroad with its high-riding, faux SUV styling. All the new A4s with engines from the 175bhp 2.0 litre TDI up can be optioned with quattro 4WD, and if you stick the quattro option on the V6 versions you’ll get a more sporty set-up with a different diff and torque vectoring.

A comprehensive update for the 2012 A4, S4 and A4 Allroad, which should put the A4 back on a par with the new C Class, but whether it has the measure of the new 3 Series remains to be seen.

Just to make sure we’re as comprehensive with the details as Audi has been with the A4 facelift, there’s a couple of videos below – new Allroad video and new S4 video – and galleries of pictures for the new A4 (with A4 Estate), new S4 (with S4 Estate) and the A4 Allroad.

(27 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)

(35 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)

(24 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)

By Cars UK