Dimensionally, the new A4 is said to be little changed over today’s model, which stretches to 4772mm in length, 1847mm in width and 1435mm in height. By comparison, the A6 E-tron concept is 4939mm long, 1960mm wide and 1457mm tall.
Among the changes made to the MLB platform used by petrol and diesel versions of the new A4 is a modified rear structure to package a 14.4kWh (usable) lithium ion battery. Set to feature on upcoming plug-in hybrid A4 models, it is the same battery used by plug-in versions of today’s Q5, A6 and A7. It is also found in the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid and Panamera E-Hybrid.
Details remain scarce, but the same battery currently fitted to today’s larger models gives a WLTP electric driving range of up to 45 miles, which Audi could seek to boost nearer to the 62-mile claimed EV range of the new MercedesBenz C-Class.
Further developments for the MLB platform include a new electric architecture with 48V capability. This enables the adoption of additional functions such as the Dynamic All-Wheel Steering system used by the A6, A7, A8, Q7 and Q8, as well as new level two autonomous driving functions currently being developed by Audi’s Car.Software division.
It also provides the base for a range of new digital and connectivity features. Among them is near-field communication functionality being developed by Audi and Huawei. This enables contactless payment for refuelling or charging, tolls, parking, drive-through dining and other services from within the car via the MyAudi app.