Not many cars have been introduced with more controversy than the upcoming 2017 Audi A4. With a 2.0-liter TDI engine, the new Audi A4 has a millstone on its neck even before hitting the USA next year. But, this might be a blessing in disguise, and we might even enjoy the car more!
It’s a shame that the emission scandal has intruded the car so much, but the controversy might fade from our memories by the time the car arrives. The car offers so much to like that there’s no point linking it to the scandal. Plus, the new 2017 Audi A4 has a fully autonomous driving mode, but why should you let the car’s electronic systems have fun when the manual drive is so enjoyable?
Impressive levels of driver-assistance
The driving assistance in the ninth-generation of Audi A4 is impressive – for example, if you hate driving in traffic, the new A4 systems can enable the car to drive in these kind of situations by itself. The Stop&Go active cruise control will keep you between the white lines and accelerate, brake and steer the car without your control. Neat, isn’t it? In stop-and-go traffic, the 2017 Audi A4 does a great job of responding to the flow of traffic without steering input from the driver – the system will take the car all the way through the traffic without you needing to push the brakes or accelerate. It will even maintain a pre-set interval between the car and the one in front! All you need to do is to touch the steering wheel occasionally so it knows that you’re still there.
To work its magic, the system takes into account a variety of inputs such as traffic signs, road markings, the traffic in front of you and the speed at which you would like to proceed. The system relies on 2 radar sensors, ultrasound sensors and the front camera to guide the car using the lane markings and the other vehicles on the road for coordination. When the car reaches 40.4 mph, the traffic thins or a sharp curve lies ahead, the system warns the driver to take the steering wheel in hand, although the adaptive cruise control can reach the top speed of the car, which sits at a reasonable 155.3 mph.
Safety system that include collision prevention
While the traffic-minder system may be optional, we expect the 2017 Audi A4 to have the pre sense city as standard equipment in the USA. This great safety system uses the front camera to scan the scene in front for vehicles, objects and pedestrians as well. If it detects a probable collision in a range of 100 meters, it warns the driver. If the warnings aren’t immediately addressed, the car apply the brakes with 100% breaking force, which should eventually result in avoiding the collision. At higher speeds, the crash may actually happen, but it won’t be as bad as it would have been before the car lowers the speed intentionally by itself.
Of course, there’s more to the car than the awesome safety and Stop&Go systems. The 2017 Audi A4 is quite the looker – it’s slightly wider and longer, while keeping the height from the previous model. The exterior got a new pair of headlights and a nicely chiseled face. Bi-xenon is now the low-level headlight with LED headlights more widely available across the line.
Virtual cockpit brings configurability
Inside the car, there’s a 12.3-inch LCD monitor with graphics that are as real as they can get. If you’re wondering why Audi didn’t use real instruments, the answer is because the screen offers a wide range of combinations and permutations which you can customize. The virtual cockpit also refers to the screen in front of the driver, which is supplemented by a more traditional display center.
Audi’s infotainment level called MMI reaches new heights in the new Audi A4. 3 different TFT displays feature bigger icons than before, and the navigation can be controlled through a rotary controller or the touchpad. The air conditioning system features capacitive touch switches that work similarly to mechanical switches for more feedback and better response, and they’re fairly easy to operate. The MMI navigation also has 2 card readers, voice control and a navigation function. The MMI navigation plus offers 10 GB of flash storage, a DVD drive, Audi connect service for 3 years and a better voice control system plus a 8.3 touch monitor.
The interior (with a palette of over 30 colors) looks great with adjustable front seats and a back seat comfortable enough for 2 adults. The steering wheel has a light magnesium frame which feels great.
The new 2017 Audi A4 has a fun-to-drive nature!
We tested the Audi A4 in Venice (yes, in Italy) and the feedback we got was truly excellent. The autonomous driving system is great, but we enjoyed putting the car through the narrow corners on the Italian country lanes manually best. In those situation, the new A4 provided old-school feedback while holding the road like never before. We look forward to seeing it in our stores in 2017.