Audi's high-tech A4 is going to force BMW to up its game

Here's a closer look at the new 2017 Audi A4

The current generation A4
For decades, the gold standard for compact sports sedans has been the BMW 3-Series. However, since its introduction in 1995, the Audi A4 has been working to end the Bimmer's reign.

Business Insider tested a sporty variant of the current generation A4 and found the car to be comfortable luxury sedan and yet a highly competent performance vehicle.

As much as we liked our Audi test car, we couldn't help but feel that the seven-year-old design was beginning to feel dated.

So for 2017, Audi will release the fifth generation the sedan, and, at first glance, it looks fantastic and still boasts all of the A4's traditional charm and style. At the same time, the new car will also incorporate many of the newfangled features we loved on Audi's more recently released offerings.

According to Consumer Reports, the 2017 A4 will hit US showrooms this spring.

The BMW 3-Series has been the king of the hill for more than 30 years. For 2017, the A4 will force BMW to up its game.

The fifth-generation A4 will be significantly different from the current model.

But it will still be instantly recognizable as an A4. Especially when you park it next to the current generation car.

Looks aside, the improvement over the already-stellar generation 4 model is substantial. The 2016 car will be 21% more efficient than the outgoing model.

And the inclusion of more lightweight materials makes the A4 up to 265 pounds lighter, as well.

The most notable feature of the new A4 will be its interior. It's stunningly nice and a vest improvement over the outgoing model.

This says a lot because Audi's current interiors are some of the best in business in terms
of ergonomics and fit and finish.

Design-wise, the new A4 adopts the interior theme from the company's flagship A8 and will feature an 8.3-inch screen — running Audi's industry-leading infotainment system.

And that's where Audi's greatest advantage lies. The company's infotainment system is vastly superior to BMW's controversial iDrive setup.

But the biggest news is the inclusion of the Audi's awesome "Virtual Cockpit" that turns a traditional instrument cluster into a customizable 12.3-inch screen.

The new A4 is expected to offer Apple Car Play and Android Auto, plus 4G LTE mobile-hotspot connectivity.

The new A4 will feature LED Matrix headlights, wireless cellphone charging, a heads-up display, and smart adaptive cruise control.

Power for the A4 will come from updated versions of Audi's trusted 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine.

Audi is also introducing the Avant wagon variant of the A4.

However, it is unclear if the wagon and its additional storage room will be offered to US customers.


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