As reported previously, we were invited to the Italian Alps last week for the international media drive of the facelifted B9 Audi A4. While our impressions will have to wait a little while, Ingolstadt has released a number of photos of the refreshed compact executive sedan from the event, and its regional arm, Audi Singapore, has given us a few key details on the car’s impending arrival on Malaysian shores.

Firstly, the bad news – the revised A4 is only coming next year, with no specific timeframe having been earmarked for the local launch. Beyond that, there are few details that could be gleaned, but we do know that we will receive just one variant for now, the 2.0 TFSI quattro. That’s right, no more entry-level 1.4 TFSI and mid-range 2.0 TFSI versions.

Essentially identical to the European-spec 45 TFSI quattro you see here, this model gets the same 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine as before, but it has been detuned slightly from 252 hp to 245 hp (peak torque remains the same at 320 Nm). However, the facelift sees the introduction of a 12-volt mild hybrid system to improve fuel economy.

The MHEV system consists of a belt alternator starter (BAS) sandwiched between the engine and the seven-speed S tronic wet dual clutch transmission, plus a 12-volt lithium-ion battery fitted under the boot floor. The BAS recuperates up to five kilowatts of kinetic energy under deceleration, which can then be used to enable the engine to shut off while coasting for up to 10 seconds, at speeds of between 55 and 160 km/h.

It will also allow the start/stop system to function when slowing down from 22 km/h onwards and provides instantaneous restarts when required. If the car is fitted with certain driver assistance systems – unlikely for our market, given past form – it will even preemptively start the engine when the car in front sets off again. However, it won’t provide any form of accelerative boost, unlike more powerful 48-volt systems.

Introduced in May, the facelifted A4 – technically the second revamp the B9 generation has received since it was revealed back in 2015 – gets a comprehensive exterior rework that takes after its newer A6, A7 and A8 siblings. At the front, the trademark “singleframe” has been separated from the bonnet shutline and is now slimmer, wider and flatter.

Flanking it are trapezoidal headlights that lose the pronounced kink of the previous model, now with segmented LED daytime running lights that are reminiscent of those on the new A1. The fake corner air intakes have also been reprofiled, with the U-shaped insert on this S Line model being bolder.

Further down the car, the entire body side has been reworked, and while the clamshell bonnet has been retained, the character line that carries the shutline has been broken up in the middle to create prominent haunches around the four wheel arches – emphasising the car’s quattro all-wheel drive system. Even the C-pillar has been reworked, with new rear quarter light windows allowing for a faster rake.

At the rear, the optional LED tail lights feature graphics that mirror the DRLs in front, and they are joined together by a chrome bootlid strip. The reshaped diffuser with twin integrated trapezoidal exhausts complete the look, and options include the aforementioned S Line package, Matrix LED headlights and black exterior highlights – just like Mercedes-Benz’s Night Package.

Fewer changes can be found inside, and indeed you won’t find the cool dual-screen centre console from the new A8. However, the 10.1-inch centre display is linked to Audi’s latest MMI system, based on the Volkswagen Group’s third-generation Modular Infotainment Matrix (MIB3). It is now operated only via touch, so the previous rotary controller ahead of the gearlever has been replaced by a cubby hole.

The top system supports LTE Advanced connectivity and comes with options such as a WiFi hotspot, Google Earth navigation with live traffic data and on-street parking information, Qi wireless charging and a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system. One standard feature that has been confirmed for the Malaysian market is the revised Audi virtual cockpit plus instrument cluster, now with a new “dynamic” theme.