Make no mistake, the fifth-generation Audi A4 (B9) is a very significant model in the Inglostadt-based carmaker’s line-up. While some may scoff that this is nothing more than a ‘facelifted’ B8, this video released by Audi USA is here to prove that those people are dead wrong.

The all-new A4 is larger (25 mm longer, 16 mm wider, 12 mm longer wheelbase) and sharper than the compact exec it replaces. Up front, the car features the brand’s optional Matrix LED headlamps for better illumination, a new Singleframe grille, more muscular hood and shoulder lines, plus a double accent line running the length of the car.

However, the new design isn’t just form without function, as Audi puts it. For instance, the door-mounted side mirrors are meant to enhance the car’s aero-acoustics. The door handles have been redesigned as well, which now open up instead of out for improved ergonomics. For better accessibility, the rear liftgate can be opened hands-free.

Underneath the new skin, the A4 rides on the new MLB Evo platform. Coupled with the use of hot-formed high-strength steel in the body structure, and aluminium for exterior panels including the roof, the A4’s weight reduction programme sees as much as 110 kg being removed off the scale. The car also gains a new five-link rear suspension setup, with selectable dynamic modes.

Powering the US-market A4 is a 2.0 litre TFSI petrol engine, which it packs 252 hp and 370 Nm of torque from 1,600 to 4,500 rpm. The mill is mated to Audi’s S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission, and with the available quattro all-wheel drive, is good for a 0-97 km/h (0-60 mph) time of 5.7 seconds. In other markets, the engine range includes a 1.4 TFSI (150 hp and 250 Nm), a 2.0 TFSI ultra (190 hp and 320 Nm) and several diesel options.

Stepping inside, the A4’s revised cabin features more interior space for driver and passengers. Ambient lighting, fully-kitted electric-powered seats, touch sensitive air-con controls, digitised rear single zone air-con and the latest iteration of the MMI (with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay) are just some of the highlights here.

That’s not all, because the driver benefits from Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, a 12.3-inch screen sitting in the instrument cluster. The system is capable of displaying the conventional tachometer and speedometer, and can be modified to display other visuals like navigation, media and many more. A heads-up display is also available here, to reduce eye strain.

Enhanced connectivity is also a hallmark here, as the driver can keep track of his or her vehicle thanks to Audi Connect. Simply use your smartphone to find out the location of your car, the status of your A4, engage valet mode and other functions. The services are also smartwatch compatible so information about your A4 is available on your wrist.

The good news continues to pour in for the driver as we touch upon the A4’s driver assistance systems. Pre-Sense Basic comes as standard here, which automatically closes the sunroof and side windows (if they are open), engages the seatbelt pre-tensioner and prepares for emergency braking when an emergency manoeuvre is detected.

Audi A4 B9 Venice Review 73

Also standard is Pre-Sense city that uses a front-facing camera to detect vehicles and pedestrians up to 84 km/h. The system is capable of warning the driver of an imminent collision, and if needed, initiate emergency braking, which works at speeds below 40 km/h.

The suite of systems can be further expanded with Active Lane Assist, Collision Avoidance Assist, High Beam Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, Vehicle Exit Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Assist and Traffic Jam Assist, which now features steering guidance, working at speeds below 64 km/h

An interesting system here is the Turn Assist, where the A4’s front sensors and camera looks for oncoming traffic when stopped for a signalled left turn (works on the right as well). If the driver attempts to make the turn, and the sensors determine the oncoming traffic will not stop in time, the car can stop itself. A full run-down of the various safety systems can be obtained from the video posted above.

The all-new Audi A4 looks set to be introduced in Malaysia, following a teaser posted on the official Audi Malaysia website. For now, no official launch date or specifications for the A4 has been provided so far. Therefore it is yet unknown if we will get all the goodies listed above. Nontheless, the Audi A4 will have to compete against its German brethren here in the form of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and BMW 3 Series. Take your pick after reading our review of the B9 Audi A4, here.