The next-generation Audi A4 has been spotted testing under the body shell of the current model. Internally called B9, the car will be launched early next year, riding on an all-new platform. While the basic structure and design won’t deviate much from the current car, the new A4 will undergo some significant mechanical changes.
The next A4 will be the first production model to ride on the all-new MLB (Modular Longitudinal Matrix) platform, which was previewed in the Audi Sport Quattro concept. The architecture combines high-strength steel, aluminum and some composites to make a stiffer chassis, helping the car shed around 100kgs. The test mule had flared wheel arches, which indicate that the next A4 will have a wider track, though the rest of the dimensions are expected to remain the same.
The chassis has been developed to accommodate alternative drivetrains too, hinting at a plug-in hybrid version, just like the A3 e-tron. The Audi A4 in India is offered with three engine options, and these are expected to be retained in the next car also. The base 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine produces 141bhp and 320Nm of torque, the 1.8-litre TFSI petrol engine produces 170bhp and 320Nm of torque while the top-end 3.0-litre V6 TDI produces 245bhp and 500Nm of torque. The Audi also sells the S4 variant in India powered by the 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine producing 328bhp and 440Nm of torque.
The new platform in the next generation A4 will make the car lighter and stiffer, which should not only return better performance, but also handle better than the current car. Audi will continue to offer the car in both front-wheel-drive and Quattro all-wheel-drive versions. Expect the A4 to be launched here a few months after its international launch. The A4 goes up against the Volvo S60, BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which will also be updated next year.