Audi might prefer it some other way, but the generational life cycles of the A4 don’t sync with those of its greatest rival: the BMW 3 Series. The men from Munich have just released an all-new generation of the 3, while the indigenous of Ingolstadt play catch-up with a mid-life refresh. That said, this is still a significant revision, starting with a handsome new look that shows off the company’s latest design direction as illustrated by concepts like the E-tron. The interior has also received plenty of attention, bringing in a sporty flat-bottomed steering wheel in some trim levels. Naturally, there’s also been some updating in the engine department, with an average drop in fuel consumption of 11 percent over the range. We’ll have to wait and see if there will be any difference in the engine options offered to North American buyers, but don’t be surprised if there’s a hybrid in the mix. Audi says the 2013 Audi A4 will be launched in the middle of this year.