Set to make its first public appearance this September at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the redesigned Audi A4 is larger yet lighter and more fuel efficient than the current vehicle. Seen here in Euro trim that also will include an Avant wagon, the new A4 will launch here in sedan form the second quarter of next year as a 2017 model. To help bolster its position against rivals like the BMW 3 Series, Cadillac ATS and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the A4 will offer Audi's latest infotainment, connectivity and driver-assist features. 

While the exterior of the new A4 shares Audi's design DNA, no exterior panels carry over. The new look features a larger grille, new LED-infused lighting elements - full LED headlamps will be available - and more crisply-rendered aerodynamic body detailing complemented by full underside fairings.

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Beneath its sleek skin, the new A4 rides on its own version of Volkswagen's MLB architecture, making use of high-strength steel and aluminum to reduce curb weight by up to 265 pounds while increasing overall rigidity. Dimensionally, the A4 Sedan is an inch longer and 0.6 inch wider than the current car on a 0.5 inch longer wheelbase.

More interior room 

Inside, the A4's cabin boasts a more contemporary appearance and offers additional space front and rear, with the greatest gain being nearly an inch more rear legroom. The seats are redesigned to reduce weight and increase comfort, as are the A4's selection of new steering wheels. The new A4 will offer the automaker's Virtual Cockpit main instrument panel and a head-up display along with a new thinline tablet-style center screen that works in conjunction with an upgraded MMI-System multimedia controller. Other elements of note include a new modular infotainment platform that offers an optional Bang & Olufsen 3D audio system, rear-seat entertainment with a removable 10.1-inch high-res display, an LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, Audi smartphone interface with Apple Car Play/Android Auto and numerous apps available via Audi Connect. 

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In Europe, the new Audi A4 will be available with three new 4-cylinder TFSI gasoline engines and four upgraded 4-cylinder/V6 TDI turbodiesels that deliver up to 21 percent better overall fuel economy. The 2.0-liter TFSI - most likely to be the prime mover here - comes in two Euro flavors turning out 188 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque in base form and 248 horses and 273 lb-ft of twist in "ultra" spec. No word on a U.S. TDI option, but we could see the 188-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that develops 295 lb-ft of torque turn up here at some point. Available in front drive or AWD Quattro, the Euro A4s offer a 6-speed manual and a 7-speed S tronic automatic as well as an 8-speed Tiptronic that will only be available on A4's with the 3.0-liter V6 TDI.  

Redesigned suspension 

To further enhance the A4's dynamics, Audi redesigned the car's steering and suspension, trimming weight while adding precision and ride comfort in the process. In addition to conventional underpinnings, the A4 will offer a new adjustable setup with CDC (Continuous Damping Control) that allows the driver to vary the settings via Audi Drive Select that also permits tweaking of the throttle, shift mapping, steering effort, cruise control (including optional adaptive cruise control) and climate control systems.

We expect more details on U.S. versions of the 2017 Audi A4 to emerge during the coming months. That includes word of a next-gen S4 performance variant for the American market as well as an Allroad model that will be based on the new A4 Avant.

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