Europe Gets Redesigned 2012 Audi A4 and S4, Previewing 2013 U.S. Models
Cross-cultural exchanges abound. Americans love European things, and vice versa. High on the list on this side of the ocean are European cars. So when we hear that Audi's best-selling car of all time—the A4, and its jock brother the S4—are getting facelifts and a few new organs, we want details. The European 2012 Audi A4 family consists of the A4 sedan, A4 Avant wagon, the S4, and an A4 Allroad quattro that is often heard in eager murmurs, but for now is being hogged by Europe. Exterior changes are light: a sleek wand brushed over the Audi's sports sedan gives hood a little more arch; the upper corners of the grille are tapered; headlights now have a slight wave at the bottom…little touches. The interior gets new steering wheels, some slender chrome trim on the buttons and glossy applications that Audi claims make the interior simpler and more intuitive. We're not sure about that, but it does make it pretty. The navigation does get simplified. Eight buttons are cut down to four. Colors have been adjusted slightly, the Nappa leather is new, and out goes Valcona leather. The S line still has a suspension that lowers the body just over an inch. What's really dramatic are the engine changes. Audi has adopted a downsizing strategy, but in many cases the result is greater fuel economy and more power. In some cases it's a much smaller engine for hybrid-level fuel economy. Europeans have 10 engines to chose from, four traditional gasoline and six TDI diesel engines, which may foreshadow what the U.S. could expect in future model years as diesel engine availability and use grows. Audi claims its four cylinder 2.0-liter TDI, capable of producing 136 hp—not much for an A4—is capable of getting over 50 mpg. The range still employs a few meaty engines, such as the S4's 3.0-liter V-6 capable of producing 333 hp. Automotive.com's take: While we like our Stateside Audis, and expect to see the cosmetic changes here for the 2013 model year, we want all the goods, and would love to see several A4 engine variants, letting buyers choose if they want maximum efficiency to go with their premium sports sedans, or a more performance inspired ride. Source: Audi
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