— Audi gave the German public its first official glimpse of the redesigned A4 sedan at the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show, but the automaker is releasing a few details in advance, according to the Web site www.edmunds.com
Audi says two gasoline engines will be available at launch on the U.S. model: the turbo four for the front-wheel-drive version and a normally aspirated 3.2LV-6 for the AWD A4.
Known internally by the development code name B8, the new A4 goes on sale early next year in Europe and is expected to arrive in U.S. showrooms in the fall as a 2009 model, with a high-performance RS4 variant to follow a year later.
Judging from the official images, the new A4 gets a fairly evolutionary restyling, with a face that appears to be closely shared with the A5 coupe. The overall shape is a bit more slippery and the drag coefficient has been shaved to 0.27. Inside, the A4 also lifts a number of features, including instrument panel and seats, from the A5.
The new car is 4.6 inches longer than its predecessor and 2.2-inches wider, with a longer wheelbase and a corresponding increase in interior space. As you might expect from the larger dimensions, the ride is also more stable.
Interior options will include a Bang & Olufsen sound system that kicks out 505 watts and has MP3 and Bluetooth compatibility, and Audi’s MMI multimedia and satellite navigation systems.
In Europe, the base engine is a new direct-injection turbo 1.8L TFSI four-cylinder unit that makes 170 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. Zero-to-60-mph acceleration is accomplished in less than 8.4 seconds, and combined city/highway fuel economy climbs to 33 mpg.
Audi also will continue to offer European buyers the familiar 260-hp 3.2L V-6, as well as a choice of three turbodiesels: a 140-hp 2.0L four-cylinder, a 190-hp 2.7L V-6 and a new “clean” 3.0L V-6 that makes 240 hp and 369 lb.-ft. of torque. An uplevel S4 will keep the 4.2L V-8.
The current 2008 A4 that’s on sale now at Audi’s U.S. dealers comes with a choice of a 200-hp turbo 2.0L four-cylinder engine or a 255-hp 3.2L V-6. Transmissions include six-speed manual and automatic boxes, plus a seven-speed continuously variable transmission with manual shift capability.