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Audi A4

B9 A4

Audi logo1 Feb 2016

By ROBBIE WALLIS

AUDI launched the ninth-generation A4 range in Australia in early 2016, first in sedan form, and then in Avant wagon guise in April.

Dubbed B9, it shared no body panels with its predecessor, though the basic silhouette took a controversially evolutionary path. Among the biggest visual changes were the flatter and wider Single Frame grille, arrowhead-style headlights, and clamshell bonnet.

Two front-drive and two quattro all-wheel drive models were first on the scene – 110kW/250Nm 1.4 TFSI S-tronic (dual clutch transmission – manual gearboxes were no longer be offered) and 140kW/320Nm 2.0 TFSI, as well as the 140kW/400Nm 2.0 TDI quattro and 185kW/370Nm 2.0 TFSI quattro.

Weighing some 65kg lighter than the B8 released in 2008, the B9 switched to the new MLB (German for Modular Längsbaukasten, or Longitudinal matrix) platform. It was lighter yet larger, longer, and wider. The suspension was completely overhauled, with a five-link independent axle at both ends. Adaptive dampers were optional, as was Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, bringing a 12.3-inch high-res colour display in place of the regular analogue dials,.

Finally, there was a massive uptick in driver-assist and safety technologies, like rear cross-traffic alert with braking, (driver) exit warning to reduce the incidents of dooring cyclists, Multi-collision braking, and blind-spot monitoring.

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