German media is reporting Audi will expand the next-gen A4 lineup with a new member called "Vario".

It will be based on the long-wheelbase variant of the China-spec A4 and is most likely envisioned as a competitor for the BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo. The same source indicates a 2016 launch, following the arrival of the sedan and Avant versions next year.

The sedan will have a slightly longer wheelbase and is expected to lose approximately 100 kg (220 lbs). The S4 is said to make use of a V6 3.0-liter producing around 340 HP (250 kW), while lesser variants will be available with 1.4- and 2.0-liter TFSIs. The 1.4-liter (122 HP and 180 HP) is rumored to feature cylinder deactivation tech which will reduce fuel consumption by 0.5 liters / 100 km.

Diesel lineup will reportedly encompass a 2.0-liter TDI with 150 HP (110 kW) and 184 HP (135 kW), together with a V6 TDI generating 218 HP (160 kW) and 272 HP (200 kW).

A plug-in hybrid version is also apparently in the works with a 2.0-liter TFSI, an electric motor, lithium-ion battery and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Interestingly, this more frugal model will also have a second electric motor on the rear axle which will grant the car with a four-wheel drive system. These two electric motors will be providing an extra 136 HP (100 kW) combined.

Audi will also be updating the MMI infotainment system with a central rotary control featuring a touch-sensitive top providing support for multi-touch gestures. We should also expect programmable digital screens and a bigger head-up display.

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