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Audi celebrates 20 years of A4, next-gen in 2015

Clean sheet of A4: The still-unseen fifth-generation A4 has been confirmed for 2015 as Audi celebrates more than six million A4s made since the model’s October 1994 production debut.

Next-gen A4 confirmed for 2015 as Audi celebrates two-decade production milestone

Audi logo31 Oct 2014

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

AUDI has confirmed the fifth-generation A4 sedan and wagon range will launch next year as it celebrates 20 years of the A4 nameplate and more than six million built since the first 80 series successor rolled off the Ingolstadt production line in October 1994.

In preparation for the new A4, the Ingolstadt plant is being modernised, with a new body shop plus the installation of more than 1300 machines including robots and welding guns.

The next A4 is expected to be unveiled at the 2015 Geneva motor show in March, but word from Audi Australia at a recent event on Hamilton Island was that it is unlikely to appear Down Under before the end of next year and will probably hit showrooms in the first half of 2016.

It will be underpinned by a version of Volkswagen Group’s new Audi-developed modular longitudinal platform (MLB), which will debut on the Q7 large SUV that will also be the first model showcasing a new diesel-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain destined to be rolled out across other MLB-based vehicles.

Audi has sold more than two million current-generation A4s and last year the Ingolstadt plant – which produces more than 700 A4s each day – pumped out 576,680 cars last year, of which a third were A4 sedans, Avants wagon and high-riding Allroads.

In the same year another 40,000 A4 sedans came off the Neckarsulm production line, about 200km northwest of Ingolstadt, which started building the model when the fourth generation car was launched in 2007, while yet more were made in China, India and Indonesia to satisfy those markets.

Audi says global demand for A4 is strongest in China, the United States and its domestic German market, where one in five Audis sold in 2013 were from the A4 line-up.

Describing the A4 range as “the heart of the Audi brand”, Audi AG board member for production Hubert Waltl said the transition from 80 series to A4 was “the fastest production ramp-up in the company’s history”.

“The foundations were laid by our employees’ commitment and the excellent preparations made for the new model series … the sporty A4 family is the heart of the Audi brand still today, and is extremely popular with our customers around the world.”

Ingolstadt plant director Peter Kossler credited the production team with the A4’s 20-year success.

“With their specialist expertise and great motivation, our employees master series launches with great success and produce premium automobiles of the highest quality – day in, day out,” he said.

Audi AG general works council chairman Meter Mosch added that the A4 “secures the utilisation of capacity in our German plants, and thus also employment, on a long-term basis”.

In Australia, Audi sold 2115 A4s to the end of September this year, a 5.9 per cent year-on-year rise, while sales across the range were up 19.8 per cent with 14,401 units – meaning the A4 accounts for 14.7 per cent of Australian Audi sales.

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All future models

A4 pricing

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.