A decision to ‘leapfrog’ the introduction of the next 3-series range means Audi will roll out its new A4 line-up at the Paris Motor Show in September. Originally, Audi’s star of the event was to have been the five-door version of the A3 hatchback.
But the need to put extra pressure on its principal rival means the new A4 will now be in UK showrooms before the end of the year, less than four years after the current model went on sale.
Audi UK director Kevin Rose said: ‘We have set ourselves the task of stealing BMW’s thunder at every opportunity and this is just the start. The battle between us has been intensifying for some time but it is now running at a new level. I think its fair to say our rivalry is set to become even more keenly competitive in future.’
He added: ‘When we found out that the next 3-series was due next year we decided to pull the A4 development programme forward to give us a showroom advantage. The following version of the car is now running 18 months ahead of plan, so we’re hoping that will be launched before the new 3-series is replaced. We aim to sandwich the BMW and if the idea works, it should give us the higher penetration we’re seeking.’