With all the rumors and speculation about the A6 allroad and RS 6 Avant potentially coming to America, it is perhaps easy to forget that Audi’s A4 allroad, the lone Avant currently in America, is also due for a facelift. When test mules of that next-generation car (dubbed B9.5 those in-the-know) make a showing on test routes, it should definitely be newsworthy.
On one hand, changes to A4 allroad drivetrain aren’t expected to be revolutionary. The current car makes do with Audi’s potent 2.0 TFSI engine and quattro ultra all-wheel drive system with electronic center differential control in order to help fuel efficiency. That much likely won’t change.
Other expected changes are obvious. The A4 family including the allroad will get a visual update that brings the range into the Lichte school of design that’s more in line with what we’ve been seeing in C/D segment cars such as A6, A7 and A8.
From our perspective, the two main components to watch then are infotainment and electrical architecture. The Audi brand’s most recently launched offerings pave a way for what we might see here. The only X-factor is just how much change Audi cares to include in what is otherwise a mid-lifecycle freshening.
Regarding infotainment, everything Audi has launched of late except maybe TT and R8 refreshes has included a version of the latest touch screen MMI. Audi could go all-in as we see with the A6/A7/A8, centralizing most infotainment and HVAC systems into this graphic user interface. Or, Ingolstadt could go the route of the Q3 and keep HVAC out of it for now, focusing solely on Infotainment. If we had to guess, we’d guess the latter as the current B9 HVAC controls are pretty trick in their own right and a touch screen solely for Infotainment would require less tooling changes for the central dashboard.
On the subject of electrical architecture, Audi could go 48-volt mild hybrid as they have in the C/D cars. The main advantages here are a more refined start/stop and coasting functions that improves efficiency, though there’s also a performance advantage with electrically driven turbos as we’ve seen on the just-announced S6 and S7. Even still, Audi would have to find a place for the second 48v battery in the existing B9 chassis, which makes us guess that 48v tech will be held for the B10 generation.
To be clear, there’s a lot of conjecture here. We’re taking a few guesses in order to better inform you of the decision making going on at Audi. We’re not 100% sure of either of these two decisions, but we’re pretty sure Audi is weighing them… or more likely already has weighed them.
For now, enjoy the full photo set of the Audi A4 allroad (and its mean-looking driving lights) in our gallery below.