The A4 rides on a new platform which not only has a longer wheelbase, but which also features revised running gear intended to improve its chassis balance and the precision of its steering. By placing the driveshafts ahead of the clutch instead of behind it, Audi has ensured the longitudinal engine/transmission unit can have its wheels a hefty 154mm further forward.
This reduces the front overhang and the total weight the front wheels have to bear, which should make this A4 more agile and better-riding than before. The steering rack's trackrods are shorter and more rigid, too, achieved by mounting the rack under the engine instead of high up behind it.
The Audi’s bodyshell is 10 percent stiffer than before, 10 percent lighter and more aerodynamic, and its drag co-efficient matches the 3 Series’ excellent 0.27. Much engineering effort has gone on introducing new systems to the car, too, although most are optional.
They include dynamic electric steering, with gearing that allows automatic counter-steering at the edge of adhesion to prevent understeer and improve braking stability, and Audi Drive Select, which allows the driver to play with the settings of the dampers, throttle response, the automatic transmission’s shift points and the steering weight. The range of choices here widens from three to 24 if the car is specified with the MMI infotainment system, which allows each element to be programmed individually.