Initially, transmissions will be updated versions of the manual, automatic, and continuously variable options in the current A4; a double-clutch gearbox for the U.S. on the new architecture is still a few years out, we’re told.
As on the A5 and S5, the new A4’s front differential and clutch switch places for better weight distribution. Audi claims an “ideal” weight distribution, although we’re sure it won’t be 50/50. One proportion we do know is the Quattro system’s nominal torque split: it now sends 60 percent to the rear, as in other recent new Audis.
Like the BMW 3-series, the A4 will offer variable-ratio power steering that can countersteer when the stability-control system detects that you’re in over your head. Unlike the 3-series (except the upcoming M3), the A4 will offer adjustable suspension damping as part of a new sytem called Audi Drive Select that will also have multiple adjustments for engine and transmission response and steering effort. With the available rubber-band tires on 19-inch wheels, you will probably need it.
Size-wise the A4 has grown significantly with a stretch in wheelbase of 6.6 inches and overall length by 4.6 inches in order to increase passenger space, particularly in the rear seat.
Like its fancier Audi siblings, the A4 will offer a Bang & Olufsen stereo. Sadly, it doesn’t have motorized popup tweeters like the B&O system in the S8.