Audi showcased the all new A4 a few months ago and the car is scheduled to go on sale starting with the first half of 2016. Besides all the usual upgrades, they also added an all new model to the range with the 2016 Audi A4 G-Tron which is their second car to use compressed natural gas as a fuel. This is part of their program in which they opened a synthetic methane station in Germany which allows them to produce CH4 while using the CO2 from air.
This means that their cars which run on methane will have a neutral carbon footprint which is really impressive considering that the customer does not have to do any compromises to be efficient.
Under the Hood
Engine wise, the 2016 Audi A4 G-Tron makes use of the same 1.8 liter turbocharged inline 4 as in the usual petrol powered model. However, this time the engine received a CNG injection system and a few other electronics which allow it to run either on petrol or on gas. The end result is that it now makes less power than before, mostly due to the fact CNG offers less power. The total output has been set at around 170 horsepower and no more than 180 lb-ft of torque. Even though it is less, it should be enough for decent performance figures and considering it is a wagon, it does not matter all that much.
The engine will send all of its power to the front wheels only via a dual clutch automatic. A quattro all wheel drive system will not be available because most of the back of the car now has been filled with carbon fiber gas tanks. These will allow it to travel on gas only for around 310 miles and when this will be depleted, there will still be the chance of running the car on petrol in order to allow for a total range of up to 700 miles.
Design – Inside and Outside look
The exterior of the car is pretty plain and it does look a lot like the usual Avant version of the A4. However, there is a special front grille which is similar to that on the top end model and the back of the car now features a single exhaust pipe on the right side. The fuel filler also houses the CNG cap which will fill the gas tanks.
Inside the cabin the 2016 Audi A4 G-Tron as well as the usual new A4 are miles better than the previous generation. The design is a lot cleaner than before mostly thanks to the new MMI interface which now acts as the control center for the car. This means that the extra buttons are not needed so they had to chance to design a better looking dashboard.
The instrument cluster is now all new and instead of the analogue dials there is now a single LCD screen which can be customized in order to provide the driver any information he wants such as speed, navigation details and even information about the powertrain.
2016 Audi A4 G-Tron Price & Release date
The 2016 Audi A4 G-Tron uses the all new platform so it is made mostly out of aluminum, some high strength steel and this time some carbon fiber bits. The car will only be released in Europe for now and the price is expected to be just under the equivalent of $50,000 or just as much as a top end model.
For now it will only be offered as a wagon in the Avant trim level and it will not be released in the US because Audi said that there are just not enough CNG fueling stations. This could be improved in the future, especially when CNG is more than two times cheaper than regular gas or even diesel.
The biggest competitors are Lexus ES Hybrid and Infiniti Q50 Hybrid.