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by Jay Traugott
The premium sport sedan segment has been dominated by the BMW 3 Series for years, but the next Audi A4 may be its most serious rival to date.
With competitors like the BMW 3 Series and Cadillac ATS making things difficult these days for the A4, it's clear that Audi needs to redesign its luxury sport sedan in order to remain in the game. As most are already aware, this segment is fiercely competitive and the 3 Series has been constantly setting the benchmark for years. But now it's the A4's turn for a redesign, with details about the new model beginning to slowly trickle out. Reports are claiming that the next A4 could be powered by a new 1.4-liter TSI inline-four that'll produce up to 180 hp.
With cylinder deactivation, this engine should be an improvement in fuel economy over the current 2.0 TFSI unit. The A4 hybrid, however, may be powered by that same 2.0 engine but will be paired up with an electric motor that'll kick in an extra 95 ponies to the total output. Styling-wise, the new A4 - due sometime in 2014 - will be an evolutionary step forward from the current car (pictured here), with sleeker lines and a front-end design that could resemble that of the Crossline Coupe Concept from the 2012 Paris Show. Avant, Allroad, S4 and RS4 versions will likely follow shortly thereafter.