2012 Audi A4 Facelift to be introduced later this year

Article by Christian A., on July 13, 2011

Audi will be giving its A4 model a mid-life facelift four years after it was launched. It will feature design cues and technology that are borrowed from the new A6.

The Avant model caught by photographers was heavily disguised but it clearly follows the Audi design formula seen also on the 2012 Audi A5 Facelift. However, it has sharper front-end styling and it features the tapered headlights and updated grille from the Audi Q3 and A1.

New LED light clusters are seen at the rear. Its major revisions are actually concentrated on the inside. The refreshed model will be getting an improved MMI control system as well as an extended equipment list, including features from the A6.

It will be powered by a revised engine range that offers improved fuel economy and reduced emissions. Audi’s upcoming 3.0-litre twin-turbo TDI engine is also expected to make its debut on the A4 as a high performance diesel flagship.

Audi hasn’t confirmed a date of when it’s expected to go on sale but it’s believed to take place later this year to coincide with the arrival of the new BMW 3 Series.

When it comes to the Audi, it should be no surprise that it offers a wide array of choices for the drivetrains. Most models have the continuously variable multitronic offered as an option. But the Avant and Sedan variants that have the front-wheel drive will be fitted with the manual 6-speed transmission as standard. The Quattro model will have the option of having the 7-speed S tronic or the manual transmission.

The former though is already paired with the 2.0-liter TDI engine with output at 130 kW (177 hp). For the all-road Audi A4 quattro, all engine types will have the manual or the S tronic transmission. Starting from the 2.0-liter TDI with the 105 kW (143 hp) for the Avant and the Sedan, it will be fitted with the permanent all-wheel drive Quattro though this is equipped as standard for the allroad Quattro A4. In this case, the A4 line-up utilizes a self-locking center differential. This feature, during a regular drive, channels to the rear wheels the torque from the engine in a 40:60 ratio.

When needed, it can redistribute the torque in the fastest possible time. By having excellent incremented brake applications, the torque vectoring function is able to complement the center differential resulting in safer and precise handling. For the V6 quattro, the brand will be offering the sport differential to give the A4 higher traction and maximum precision, important qualities especially when running through corners at the handling limit.

There is also an advanced component that helps the power to be delivered between the wheels in the rear. Going back to the manual transmission, it has that advanced thermal management system that ensures the warm-up phase is shortened and thus lowering any loss caused by the friction. All of the transmissions though will be differentiated through the wide range of gear ratios and the highly efficient and precise operation. What this implies is that when under higher gears and long ratio, fuel consumption is lower. For lower gears with short ratios, there is better dynamics. For the drive system, the one equipped inside the A4 is able to establish new benchmarks. Though the engines do deliver better power and increased torque, consumption levels, on the average, are lower by 11%.

For the Avant model, and the Sedan one as well, the brand will be offering any of the four gasoline and six TDI engines, though all the engines will come with the direct-injection supercharged systems. With the transmissions being offered, it results in a total of 23 potential engine-transmission combinations. Fitted as standard for all models are the recuperation system and start-stop system. Whereas the TDI engine manages to mix efficiency with pulling power, the 4-cylinder variants allow for extensive modifications.

For the 2.0 TDI engine with the Quattro drive and any of the 100 kW, 120 kW, or the 130 kW units, its dual-mass flywheel has that centrifugal pendulum-type absorber which helps the engine run with less noise and more refinement at low revolutions. It even allows earlier upshifting allowing 0.2 liters for every 100 km to be saved. In terms of economy, that honor goes to the A4 equipped with the 2.0 TDI engine with output at 100 kW (136 hp).

For the Sedan version, fuel efficiency is at 4.2 liters/100 km (56.0 U.S. mpg) with average CO2 emissions at 112 g/km (180.25 g/mile). For the unit with output at 120 kW (163 hp), it has been optimized to result in the best efficiency with fuel efficiency of 4.4 liters/100 km of diesel and CO2 emissions at 115 g/km (185.07 g/mile). These engines will not only be available for the Sedan but will also be offered for the Avant. Three diesel engines, all 4-cylinder types, will be offered as well and outputs are at 88 kW (120 hp), 105 kW (143 hp) and 130 kW (177 hp). In addition to the entry-level unit, customers can also arrange to have the Quattro all-road.

Rounding up the engine line-up are the three TDI V6 engines. Meanwhile the 6-cylinder 3.0-liter TDI engine with output at 150 kW (204 hp), is by far the best in its segment. In the A4 Sedan, it has resulted to fuel efficiency of 4.9 liters/100 km (48.0 US mpg). This engine though is not available for the allroad Quattro. There’s another version that creates output of 180 kW (245 hp) and is a clean diesel version. The A4 is not only the best in diesel technology as it also reigns when it comes to gasoline engine technology. For the TFSI family for example, leading the pack is the 1.8-liter engine that is fitted in the Avant and Sedan. This 4-cyinder unit gives that sporty power with maximum output of 125 kW (170 hp) and peak torque at 320 Nm (236.02 lb-ft). Average fuel consumption is at 5.6 liters/100 km (42.0 U.S. mpg) with CO2 emissions measured at 134 g/km (215.65 g/mile).

These figures represent a 19% decrease when compared to the prior engine. This engine also includes a number of advances located in the fuel injection system, control of the valves and lift, turbocharger, and thermal management system. Innovations are present as well in the integration of the cylinder head and the exhaust manifold. Overall, total weight of the engine is lighter by 3.5 kg (7.72 lb) compared to the previous unit with the internal friction lowered as well.

For the entry-level model, the 1.8-liter TFSI gas engine has an output of 88 kW (120 hp). Meanwhile the 2.0-liter TFSI engine is capable of 155 kW (211 hp). This is also the sole spark-ignition engine offered for the Allroad A4 quattro. Leading these offerings is the 3.0 TFSI engine that comes in two variants. For the A4, the V6 can reach as high as 200 kW (272 hp). The athletic Audi S4 model on the other hand has power at an extraordinary 245 kW (333 hp).

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