Months after the A5 and S5 were updated with a more modern look, Audi’s bread-and-butter four-door gets the same look, plus some other improvements. These include an eight-speed automatic transmission that continues its way down the Audi pricing scale, along with the latest version of MMI, featuring that clever touchpad to write out letters for less distracting navigation inputs. Engine choices remain the same, with a 211-hp 2.0T for the A4 and a 333-hp supercharged V6 for the S4. The latter retains its choice of a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
All eyes will be drawn to the new schnoz, however, which gets a look that’s now quite familiar after the A5/S5 got its update, which in turn was inspired by the new A6. The driving lights now run a circuit around the headlights instead of playing connect-the-dots along the bottom, and the grille is updated with clipped corners up top. Out back, the taillights occupy the same space, but their internals get slightly reorganized. Inside, minor updates like new steering wheels and button layouts are joined by a whole new set of upholstery colors and woodgrains.
The biggest change for the US market will likely be which bodystyles are sitting at dealers. The S4 will likely remain sedan-only for us, but there’s going to be a shakeup in the A4 range. We’ve heard the A4 Allroad will make it here finally, but it’ll almost certainly kill the standard A4 Avant in the process. There are also two gas engines that could be considered as additions to the lineup–a fuel-efficent 170-hp 1.8-liter and a mid-range 272-hp supercharged V6–that could be considered for our market, but we’re not ready to predict anything about those choices. US product planners seem to love simplicity, so our engine range may just remain the same. Expect the new models to arrive midway through 2012 with modest price increases.