Audi’s new A4 taking on the BMW 3 Series

3 Series | June 6th, 2015 by 17
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On the Eve of BMW’s release of the 3 Series LCI, Audi seems to have updated the A4 as well. The current A4 (B8 generation) is getting a bit long in the tooth, with it having come out in 2009. While it’s still an attractive design, like all Audis, it’s a bit too safe and getting slightly boring. That tune isn’t going to change much, as the next gen A4 (B9 generation) is adopting a similar, conservative design.

Some spy shots have surfaced of a black test mule A4 driving around Germany uncamouflaged. So all of its lines and curves (or lack thereof) are on display. This new B9 A4 doesn’t look too much different than the current model and is easily distinguished as an Audi A4. It does look sharper though, and tightened up a bit. The grille’s trapezoidal shape seems to be a bit more pronounced and the headlights and taillights are crisper and narrower. The headlights are also now shaped like upside down Nike swooshes.

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The only other real differences are the side mirrors and a strip of chrome on the doors. The side mirrors are now placed lower and appear to be mounted on the doors instead of the A-pillars, which gives it a sportier look. The mirrors themselves have also be slimmed down and look cleaner than the somewhat plane ovals of the current gen. The chrome strip down the side lower part of the doors is a new and premium touch, though does seem a bit out of place, as there really isn’t any other chrome on the car.

Overall, the new A4 seems to be typical of most Audis these days; handsome but conservative to a point of being boring. An S-Line package will most likely be offered and should add some sporting touches to liven up the looks a bit. No word yet on powertrains, but expect them to be the typical Audi turbocharged four-cylinders, both petrol and diesel. The upcoming S4 should be more aggressive looking and come with Audi’s 3.0 liter supercharged V6 and 7-Speed S-Tronic dual-clutch gearbox. All A4’s will almost definitely be offered with Quattro all-wheel drive.

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Compared to the LCI 3 Series, I think the new A4 is a worthy competitor. The new 3er isn’t the most beautiful car in class, or even the best looking 3 Series, but it’s still very sharp and modern looking. I think these two cars will be each other’s biggest competitors in the segment as well. Whereas the Mercedes C-Class seems to be more focused on sophisticated luxury, the 3 Series and A4 seem to be going for a more modern and sporty look. In my eyes, the LCI 3 Series is the better looking car, but this new A4 is quite handsome. If only Audi had taken a bit more chances with the design and come up with something a bit more exciting, it might just have had a great looking car in the A4. But for now, it’ll have to do with just a good looking one.

17 responses to “Audi’s new A4 taking on the BMW 3 Series”

  1. Giom says:

    My opinion is that Audi design is degressing, BMW design is crawling foreward at snails pace and Merc design is skyrocketing ahead. Why the former two brands insist on playing it safe is beyond me. There are some real foreward thinking designs out there and they’re not even German. I find this worrying.

    • Locke42 says:

      I disagree. Mercedes’ design is annoyingly ostentatious (exemplified by the thankfully rare illuminated star feature). They have some good looking cars, but I like the traditional looks of BMW and Audi far more than Merc.

      That being said, I think the best looking cars are being made by Mazda. All of their cars look great, and the Mazda3 is one of the few cars that looks just as good as a sedan as it does as a hatchback.

      • I totally agree with you, although some new Mercedes-Benz look good, they have far too much chrome and bling and the A, B and CLA class are just awful. Specially those interiors. BMW i think has the perfect balance between a recognizable BMW look and a modern, forward looking car. Audi is just as bland as it gets. They all look the same except the Q7 which is hideous

        • Mr.Cash says:

          Audi all look the same? I find it harder to tell the difference between a three, five and a seven series from afar… You know exactly what Audi it is from the unique headlights at the front. BMW, however, I often have to see the side to tell. Even a four series is difficult to tell apart from the others sometimes. I’m sick of hearing this from BMW fans. BMW, Audi and Mercedes make their cars look similar, which Mercedes looking the most different, Audi in second, and in my opinion, all BMWs look almost identical.

      • iLeicaMike says:

        I’m jumping on the ostentatious Merc design language band wagon. Yes, they look disruptive and irreverent now; this is to be expected with their swooping curves, and long LED trim in the front fascia. It’s the same ‘marketplace shock’ style of design used by Lexus, and Infiniti… It will also suffer from the same stagnation as ‘awe’ turns into ‘yawn’ when the vehicles begin to look dated oh so quickly.

    • Icebreakerr says:

      Giom im guessing you dont know when these cars came out? the current 3 series has been out since 2012. the current new C class has only been out from late 2014 thats why its such a new design. the new 3er will be out later which will compete with the current C. audi is currently testing their new a4 at this time.

  2. Kaisuke971 says:

    Just like the TT, the R8, and the Q7, it will look like shit. I know it’s just a subjective judgment, which can seem conservative because they decided to change their design moto, but this is way less attractive than what their rivals are doing. When you take Mercedes, Jaguar, Lexus and BMW, they have all tried to make attractive cars, and have succeed to me.
    But damn Audi are you serious ? Come on, you’re not gonna take on your rivals with that design ! It looks more mainstream than ever before. Like some Chinese fake kit car.

    • Henry Ting says:

      Hey, the Chinese have nothing to do with this.

    • KevinHee says:

      I agree A4 looks mundane (but elegant in a way actually)… It’s a family sedan, what do you expect? Flames shooting out of it?

      But TT looks pretty great.

      And so are R8 (of course they didn’t bother to change it much).

      And I bet people at Audi are not losing sleep over your anger because they just became the best selling luxury brand (beating BMW and Mercs) using these shit cars.

      • Kaisuke971 says:

        Audi has a more important range than BMW and Mercedes, they sell more types of cars, they are on more market, because they have a more powerful group. Audi can sell the exact same cars as VW and brand them Audi, then they get the sale figures. But when BMW group sells a Mini, it counts for Mini. So now they have the new X1 and 2 active tourer for that.
        That said, in NA (i don’t know for the rest), BMW is best selling luxury brand for May 2015, and was the best selling luxury brand in the world in 2014 so i don’t know what you’re talking about.

        • KevinHee says:

          “Audi can sell the exact same cars as VW and brand them Audi”
          What an idiot…

          • Mr.Cash says:

            Agreed. I stop reading with laughter when people call Audis rebranded VW’s… Funny how nobody ever mentions the upper echelon of the VW group. Funny how nobody ever says a “downgraded Porsche/Bentley”…

  3. IceDree says:

    Ugh, I thought when they delayed it they’ll put some real effort into it … But apparently they never learn …. Hope the Q7 isn’t an indication of what’s to come.

    Anyway. With the ATS, XE, new C (with its beautiful interior) & updated 3er they better do something …. The typical halfassing ain’t gonna cut this time.

  4. Michael Palmer says:

    This is still partially camouflaged – obviously the badges are disguised, the strip along the side looks phony, and both the front and the rear lights seem to be a bit disfigured. We need to reserve final judgment; the body shape looks good though, nice balance of elegant and sporty.

  5. Henry Ting says:

    Both Audi’s A4 and BMW’s 3 could be the perfect sports sedan provided they listen to what owners want. BMW should try more to evolve around the 3. Firstly, the “orange peel” paint is inexcusable and downright awful for a brand new car. My local paint shop could be better than than. Last time I checked the Hyundai cars on their dealers’ lot, they don’t paint flaws and no “orange peels”. So, it can be done and if the lowly Hyundai can do it, there is no excuse for BMW. Secondary, get rid of all the ridiculous controls and switches. For example, to set the air conditioner, I have to make sure the dial is turned to “blue”, then set the temperature, then turn on the air conditioner switch, then set the fan speed. Bear in mind there are multiple temperature settings for both the driver and passenger side. Setting heating is equally illogical. Who needs to set the dial to “red” (heat) or “blue” (cool) when you have the digital temperature settings. Get rid of all the useless switches and controls and give us back the oil-check dipstick, the engine temperature gauge. Also, when it comes to reliability, at the very least avoid plastic parts such as coolant tanks, hose couplings, pulleys and thermostat housing…..the list is endless under the hood and any problem with these parts results in complete breakdown of the vehicle and left you stranded. I cringe every time when I hear comments on BMW being German and as such are all over-engineered.

    For Audis, they are improving and if BMW 3s are their target, they are almost there. Their style, design and performance is now equal, if not above the BMWs. Now, only if they can get rid of the “oil burning” heritage for what they are famous for, Audi would have captured a newly converted owner — me.

  6. Giom says:

    Um, guys… There’s no right or wrong here, only opinions.

  7. Matic Macedoni says:

    Oh, wait. The new A4 is actually the new Passat with 4 rings.

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