2016 Audi A4 L

2016 audi a4 l – DOC674145

Cars have become status symbols for people of all cultures and backgrounds. Here in the U.S., driving something like a Mercedes C-Class puts you higher on the totem pole than someone driving, say, a Chevy Cruze, for instance. Over in China, on the other hand, important people don’t drive – they ride. And, that is exactly why there are so many weird long-wheelbase cars that have debuted at the Beijing Auto Show.

If you stroll the show, you’ll find long-wheelbase variants of the Jaguar XF, Mercedes E-Class, and even the BMW X1 (crazy, right?). As odd as it may seem, it’s completely true, and that’s also why we’re looking at an updated, long-wheelbase version of the Audi A4.

The whole idea behind something like a long-wheelbase A4 is that the rear passengers have more legroom and maybe some extra cargo room. And, that is exactly what makes up the Audi A4L. As you would expect, the A4L took on all of the updates that came with the standard, 2016 A4 and is even available with Audi’s virtual cockpit. The A4L is built primarily for the Chinese market, so don’t expect to see one in the U.S. anytime soon. So, with all of that said, let’s dive in and take a look at the new Audi A4L.

Exterior

Audi A4 L

On the outside, the A4L is identical to the standard, drive-your-self A4. That means that the A4L benefits from the new grille and headlamp designs, and the slightly reshaped hood. It also benefits from the new rear fascia and slimmer taillights. And, since the A4 seems to grow with every generation, the A4L has also gotten longer. The A4L has an overall length of 15.8 feet and a wheelbase of 9.5 feet. That is an increase in wheelbase of 1.6 inches over the previous A4L.

When compared to the standard A4, the A4L is 3.6-inches longer overall, while the wheelbase is three inches longer

When compared to the standard A4, the A4L is 3.6-inches longer overall, while the wheelbase is three inches longer. It doesn’t sound like much, but when you’re riding in the back of a vehicle, three inches of legroom can make the difference between comfortable and uncomfortable.

As far as options go, the A4L can be optioned with the gloss package. It includes chrome strips on the Singleframe radiator grille, window surrounds, side sills, and the rear end. Furthermore, the car can be equipped with Matrix LED technology with dynamic turn signals for a premium. The car comes standard with Xenon plus headlights. Just like the standard A4, the A4L has a drag coefficient of just 0.23, which means it’s the most aerodynamic A4 yet.

Interior

There isn’t a lot going on in the interior that we haven’t already seen in the standard A4. The rear passengers have more leg room and cargo room in the A4L clocks in at 17.0 cubic feet. Cargo room in the A4L has actually be decreased. Compared to the standard A4, the A4L has 0.8 cubic feet less cargo space, which surely makes for a roomier experience for rear passengers. According to Audi, “the new Audi A4 L carries its passengers in comfort that is worthy of a full-size car, and space is correspondingly in abundant supply.”

The most important option is Audi’s virtual cockpit, which trades in the standard analog instrument cluster for a 12.3-inch, high-resolution display screen

As odd as it may seem for something like the A4L, most of the available options are catered more to the driver than the rear passengers. The most important option is Audi’s virtual cockpit, which trades in the standard analog instrument cluster for a 12.3-inch, high-resolution display screen. It is said to have brilliant graphics and the virtual gauges are updated 60 times per second to ensure accuracy.

As will all models equipped with the virtual cockpit, the system is controlled by the multifunction controls on the steering wheel. Another big option up front is the MMI infotainment system and MMI navigation plus system with the 8.3-inch display screen. Both systems allow phone connectivity, voice control, and a smartphone like menu system. The car comes standard with a seven-inch MMI color display.

There are also some options that benefit rear passengers as well. Starting the list is the Bang & Olufsen sound system with 3D sound, 755-Watt amplifier, and 19 speakers. Furthermore, Audi Connect brings an LTE connection into the A4L and offers up a Wi-Fi hotspot, which is a must for those who like to ride instead of drive. The A4L can also be equipped with discreet contour lighting that illuminates the doors and center console at night.

The biggest news here is that the A4L also benefits from the updates that the standard A4 got for the 2016 model year. This means that the center stack is now cleaner to look at, and the car comes standard with LED lighting on the inside. Automatic climate control also comes standard.

Drivetrain

Audi A4 L

The A4L is designed for the Chinese market, which means it is offered with just one engine – a 2.0-liter TFSI, four-cylinder. It does come it two different flavors, however. On the base side of things, the 2.0-liter delivers 190 horsepower, but higher trim levels can have the 252 horsepower variant. The 190 horsepower variant has actually uses a completely new combustion process that Audi says “combines sport power with superlative efficiency.” Power is sent to the wheels through a seven-speed S Tronic transmission, which is also said to be a new development. The biggest news here is that the car is primarily front wheel drive, but customers can opt for the quattro all-wheel-drive system for an additional premium.

Power is sent to the wheels through a seven-speed S Tronic transmission, which is also said to be a new development

As far as the chassis goes, the A4L has a newly designed five-link suspension system in the front and rear. It is a lightweight suspension system that offers sensitive response characteristics that, in coordination with the electromechanical power steering system, should make the A4L a dream to ride in or drive if you’re spending time behind the wheel. There are even more standard features in the safety department, bringing things like Audi’s Pre Sense City with automatic full braking, park assist, collision avoidance, active lane assist, and adaptive cruise control with Stop&Go and traffic jam assist. These may benefit the driver more than the rear passenger, but at least you can ride in the back with a better sense of safety.

Prices

Audi has yet to announce pricing for the updated A4L, but a quick trip to Audi’s Chinese website tells us that the current A4L goes for ¥289,900, which converts to about $44,640 in American greenbacks. That said, I would expect pricing to increase just a bit, maybe up to ¥299,000, which would be just over $46,000 here in the U.S.

Competition

Mercedes C-Class L

Mercedes C-Class L

Unless you live there, you might not know it, but Mercedes offers a “long” version of its C-Class sedan in the Chinese market. It is offered in five different trim levels: C180 L, C200 L, C200 L 4MATIC, C300L, and C350 e L. The base C180L comes with a 1.6-liter that produces 156 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. All of the other trim levels come with a 2.0-liter, but there are different flavors to choose from.

The C200 L and C200 L 4MATIC delivers 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet, while the C300 L delivers 245 horsepower and 272 pound-feet, and the C350 e L delivers 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet. The 62-mph sprint can come in as fast as 6.6 seconds with the C300 L or as slow as 9.3 seconds with the base, C180 L. Pricing starts out at ¥325,800 for the C180 L and climbs to as much as ¥599,000 for the C 350 e L. At current conversion rates that puts pricing in a range of $50,168 and $92,237.

Conclusion

Audi A4 L

To be honest, I don’t get what the folks over in China have about being driven around so much. I personally enjoy driving, so the idea of being hauled around in an A4L, or any other long-wheelbase model, just seems boring to me. That said, if I was going to be hauled around for all my daily errands, I’m not sure I would want to sit in the back of something that has so many driver-oriented features. I wouldn’t need a Bentley or Rolls-Royce to be happy, but I better have more than some ambient lighting and extra legroom if you’re going to keep me happy in the back seat.

That said, I think Audi has failed a little bit with the A4L – just because there’s nothing spectacular for the rear passenger. Where’s the rear infotainment system, or the retractable foot rests? Obviously, it is an affordable or entry-level, long-wheelbase model, but there should be more options for the rear passengers. Aside from that, I think as far as “limos” go, the A4L is pretty affordable. And, if you wanted to be hauled around all day, the A4L would certainly do it within a tight budget, so I guess maybe Audi didn’t fail so bad after all.

LOVE IT

  • More legroom
  • Lots of options
  • Affordable

LEAVE IT

  • Most options are driver focused
  • Nothing special for rear passengers

Press Release

Audi is unveiling the new-generation Audi A4 L for the Chinese market. The long-wheelbase sedan is a fascinating synthesis of high-tech, efficiency and superior comfort. Occupants can enjoy a generously spacious interior and the latest technological solutions in the field of infotainment and driver assistance.

Audi A4 L

More space – less weight: a major distinguishing feature of the new Audi A4 L. With a length of 4.81 meters (15.8 ft) and a longer wheelbase of 2.91 meters (9.5 ft) – four centimeters (1.6 in) more than the predecessor model – it cuts an imposing figure on the road. Its luggage compartment offers 480 liters (17.0 cu ft) of space. Yet its unladen weight has been significantly reduced – the new version weighs up to 110 kilograms (242.5 lb) less than its predecessor. The highly streamlined shape of the midsize sedan, with a drag coefficient of 0.23, also makes a huge contribution to efficiency.

Imposing: flowing design, eye-catching chrome strips

The flowing design with concise lines communicates the brand’s typically sporty elegance. The front and rear ends are characterized by a consistently horizontal line that emphasizes the car’s width. The gloss package includes chrome strips on the sculpted Singleframe radiator grille, the window surrounds, the side sills and at the rear end. For the first time ever, Audi is supplying Matrix LED technology with dynamic turn signals for the Audi A4 L. As standard, the car is equipped with xenon plus headlights for illuminating the road ahead.

First class: the interior of the new Audi A4 L

The new Audi A4 L carries its passengers in comfort that is worthy of a full-size car, and space is correspondingly in abundant supply. The quality of workmanship is high and typical of the Audi brand. The car’s acoustic comfort sets new standards in its segment.

The calm and elegant lines in the interior emphasize its width, whilst a large trim surface divides the front of the instrument panel. Optional discreet contour lighting illuminates the doors and center console in the dark. The colors and materials follow a new lines concept, which gives the customer even more freedom to add individual touches. In addition to the base models, there are the sport and design lines, plus the S line sport package and design selection at the top end.

Intuitive: the operating concept

The new sedan incorporates a host of intelligent, intuitively operated technologies. The optional deluxe automatic air conditioning system can be controlled with just a few buttons and dials. One innovative highlight is the head-up display which projects relevant information onto the windshield directly in the driver’s field of vision in the form of symbols and characters.

All important data can also be shown in the Audi virtual cockpit, which is available as an optional feature. Its 12.3-inch screen displays highly detailed graphics in brilliant high resolution and with intricately rendered effects. The needle of the tachometer, for example, is updated 60 times per second, so it is absolutely fluid in its movement. The Audi virtual cockpit is controlled via the multifunction steering wheel. The driver can choose between two display modes – the classic view and the infotainment view with large navigation map.

The terminal of the MMI operating system on the center tunnel console has a clear, neat design. Vehicles equipped with the top-end infotainment system, the MMI navigation plus with MMI touch, have a touchpad in the rotary push-button control for zooming in and out and entering characters. The 8.3-inch monitor is slim and elegant. The MMI operating logic uses flat hierarchies and is similar to that of a smartphone. It also includes an intelligent free-text search function. The new voice control system can recognize inputs made using everyday language – including in Mandarin and Cantonese.

Audi A4 L

Online at high speed: Audi connect

Audi connect takes the new Audi A4 L online using the LTE standard. Passengers can surf and email via the Wi-Fi hotspot. The driver can make use of the tailored services of Audi connect. These include traffic information online, parking information, the Traffic Mini Maps, Road Restrictions and the Point of Interest (POI) Call Center.

State of the art: the infotainment modules

One new and attractive infotainment feature is the Audi smartphone interface. This integrates cell phones into an environment developed especially for them. The Bang & Olufsen Sound System with innovative 3D sound introduces the spatial dimension of height by means of four special loudspeakers. An amplifier with an output of 755 watts controls 19 loudspeakers. The result is a concert hall-type listening experience.

New standard: driver assistance systems

The range of driver assistance systems sets standards in the class. The Audi pre sense city system warns the driver if there is a threat of a collision with other vehicles and pedestrians. If necessary, it initiates full braking. The park assist, exit warning and collision avoidance assist systems can likewise make a major contribution to convenience and safety.

Audi active lane assist helps the driver to stay in lane, whilst the adaptive cruise control Stop&Go including traffic jam assist can make their task easier by taking over the steering at speeds of up to 65 km/h (40.4 mph) on well-developed roads when traffic is congested. For Audi, the new system represents the next step towards piloted driving.

More performance, less fuel: the new 2.0 TFSI

The new A4 L is available in China in two TFSI engine versions. Customers can choose the 2.0 TFSI with 140 kW (190 hp) or with 185 kW (252 hp).

The highlight of the lineup is the newly developed 140 kW (190 hp) 2.0 TFSI engine. It uses a completely new combustion process that combines sporty power with superlative efficiency. Audi combines the engines with the seven-speed S tronic transmission, which is also a new development. The lightning-fast dual-clutch transmission contributes significantly to the car’s low fuel consumption figures. Power is delivered to the front wheels or to all four wheels if the customer has opted for quattro permanent all-wheel drive.

Luxuriously smooth ride: the chassis

The new Audi A4 L combines sporty handling with ride comfort levels approaching those of the next higher vehicle class. Its new-design five-link front and rear suspensions are lightweight systems with highly sensitive response characteristics. The electromechanical power steering provides close contact with the road.

Extended: standard equipment

The new Audi A4 L will start arriving at Chinese dealerships in late summer. Its standard equipment has become even more comprehensive compared with the predecessor models. It now includes such features as xenon headlights and a 7-inch MMI color display.