By Drew Johnson
Friday, Aug 17th, 2012 @ 5:11 pm
 
The first details on Audi's next-generation A4 have surfaced in the internet rumor mill. Set to arrive in 2014, the next-generation A4 promises advanced technologies while slashing 220 pounds from the current A4's waistline.

According to Car Magazine the next-generation A4 sedan will arrive in 2014 riding of Volkswagen's latest MLBevo architecture. A wagon, or Avant in Audi terms, version of the new A4 will arrive early in 2015.

The switch to the new MLBevo architecture promises several key benefits for the next A4. With a target weight of just under 3,300 pounds, the next-generation A4 will be more than 200 pounds lighter than the current car, translating into better overall performance and fuel economy. MLBevo is also said to be much stiffer than the A4's current chassis, which should result in better driving dynamics.

Despite that push to save weight, the next A4 will be packed with plenty of new gadgets, including two plug-in hybrid drivetrains and an electronic all-wheel drive system.

Audi is planning a front-wheel drive version of the next A4 with a plug-in hybrid system. The A4 PHEV will use a 226 horsepower 2.0L gas engine paired with a 35 horsepower electric motor mounted in the car's transmission.

For those unwilling to sacrifice the stability of Audi's legendary all-wheel drive, the German automaker is also planning to offer the plug-in A4 with a new version of the company's quattro system called e-quattro. Similar to Peugeot's Hybrid4 system, Audi's e-quattro will rely on a gas engine to drive the car's front wheels while two electric motors will drive the car's rear axle. The system should net an all-electric range of 20 miles while still providing the grip of AWD.

A range of conventional gas and diesel engine will also be on offer.

Sometime in 2016 Audi could launch another body style for the A4. Internally known as the Superavant, the new body style could be a mix between wagon and sedan, not unlike BMW's upcoming 3-Series GT.