The Audi A4 and S4 get a bit of a facelift to tackle competition from the new BMW 3 Series, as well as new hybrid technology.
As sure as night follows day, a new BMW 3 Series need to be countered by Audi, so although we’re not getting a new A4 and S4, we are getting an updated model with some cosmetic tweaks and more hybrid.
The design changes aren’t exactly huge – and really don’t make the A4/S4 any less corporate looking – but the nose is updated with a wider grille and bumper tweaks to make the car look wider, and there’s new detailing on the wings and a lower shoulder line (emphasises quattro genes, apparently).
Inside you now get a single 10.1″ MMI infotainment screen which can be paired with digital instruments if you want, and, in some cities, interaction with traffic lights can smooth your journey.
But it’s under the skin where the biggest changes come.
The most surprising (although we shouldn’t be after the arrival of the SQ5 with a 3.0 litre diesel V6) is that the petrol V6 has gone from the S4 to be replaced by a 48V hybrid version of Audi’s 3.0 litre diesel, good for 342bhp and a massive 516lb/ft of torque.
An electric compressor working off the 48V system promises to eliminate turbo lag by filling in before the turbo spools up, and performance is almost the same as the old petrol version with 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds.
Lower-spec hybrid performance is also available on the 35 TFSI (148bhp), 40 TFSI (187bhp) and 45 TFSI (242bhp) engines, with coasting at high speeds available to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
The titivated and hybrid-heavy A4 and S4 go on sale in Audi’s UK showrooms in June.