Next-gen Audi A4 spotted

BERLIN, Germany - Audi’s fifth-generation (B9) A4 sedan was spotted undergoing testing in Germany’s frigid forests.

The size of the new A4 appears to be similar to that of the current model though with a wider rear track and a more coupe-esque roof. Spy images also reveal the layout of the car’s head and taillights.

The 2016 A4 will be Audi’s second model to ride on the next-generation version of the Volkswagen group’s MLB (modular longitudinal) platform which will eventually underpin most of the automaker’s models. The first vehicle we’ll see it in is the 2015 Q7.

COMPOSITES CUT WEIGHT

Previewed in Audi’s Sport quattro concept, the latest MLB platform, nicknamed the MLB Evo, uses a combination of high-strength steels, aluminium and even composites to help reduce weight. According to Audi, its new A4 could weigh 100kg less compared to the current version.

Front-wheel drive will remain standard for the 2016 A4 while quattro all-wheel drive will continue as an option.

IMAGE GALLERY: 2016 Audi A4 (Spy)

One of the key benefits of the latest MLB Evo platform is that it has been designed to be compatible with alternative drivetrains. As a result, plug-in hybrid, electric and natural gas-powered variants are planned.

It is not clear at this point if Audi will resurrect its RS4 badge for the new A4 sedan (the current RS4 is only available in Avant guise), but Automedia confirms that a two-litre TDI diesel option will be offered. Transmissions are likely to include six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch auto units.

The A4 was due to be launched at the end of 2015 but a late change in its design meant the vehicle’s release needed to be pushed back to 2016. It will be followed by Avant and A4 Allroad variants.

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