Audi has given the A4 sedan a freshening for 2020 that includes a redone face and follows the lead of the Volkswagen luxury brand’s other updated sedans in ditching the very good multimedia knob controller in favor of a touchscreen system. For Europe at least, the 2020 A4 also will offer mild-hybrid powertrains.
The new A4 and its S4 performance version were unveiled for Europe, where ordering is now open. We’ll find out later when U.S.-specific specs are announced whether the A4 will bring new engine technology stateside. Three of the six gasoline and diesel engines being offered in Europe for 2020 include a higher-mileage, 48-volt mild-hybrid system. That is not likely, at least, to include the S4, which is powered by a gasoline V-6 not offered in Europe. Europe still will offer a manual in addition to the dual-clutch and conventional automatics, but the stick already was dropped from the current A4 here.
While the styling changes are mild, the new front end includes a flatter, wider and sportier version of the Audi hexagonal grille and a higher hood line. The standard LED headlights are wider and have sharp LED daytime running light eyebrows. Audi says the high-tech Matrix LED headlights now offered on other Audis will be an option. Otherwise the look is very familiar, though the styling is tweaked with sharper creases on the upper fenders (similar to the 2019 A6).
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Bigger Touchscreen, No Knob
Inside, the 2020 A4 has a new dashboard and center console. The current multimedia display controlled by a center console knob-and-button controller (which many of us actually like a lot) has been replaced by a 10.1-inch touchscreen that sits up high on the dashboard. There does not, however, appear to be a second screen for the climate control and other functions as there is now in the A4’s bigger siblings. Audi says the new touchscreen provides “acoustic feedback” when you touch it and includes a simplified menu organization. It also says that the system offers natural-language voice control that can understand and respond to common phrases.
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