The new Audi S4 and S4 Avant are top-class athletes ahead of their field. Their engine, the 3.0 TFSI, delivers 245 kW (333 hp) yet consumes only 9.7 liters of fuel per 100 km (24.25 US mpg). quattro permanent four-wheel drive, sports suspension and a high-performance brake system control the power reliably. With optional performance technologies – the seven-speed S tronic, the new sport differential and the Audi drive select dynamic driving system – both new S models from Audi are extending their lead even further.
Faster, further, more agile: the new Audi S4 and S4 Avant are well-trained athletes.
Their new engine, the 3.0 TFSI, combines the power of 245 kW (333 hp) with an astonishingly low fuel consumption of 9.7 (Avant: 9.9) liters per 100 km (24.25 US mpg or 23.76 US mpg for the Avant). The quattro permanent four-wheel drive system ensures practically loss-free transfer of this power to the road; a sports suspension and a high-performance brake system control it reliably. The dynamic look outside and in, together with the generous range of standard equipment, underline the exclusive character of both new S models from Audi.
The S4 and the S4 Avant are extending their lead even further with a package of optional performance technologies. The seven-speed S tronic changes gears with lightning speed without any interruption in the power flow and the new sport differential distributes the torque as needed between the rear wheels. With Audi drive select the driver can alter the working mode of the engine, S tronic and the sport differential as desired; dynamic steering and adaptive damper control round off the system. Delivery will commence in March; the basic price is very attractive at 50,950 euros (for the S4 sedan).
The 3.0 TFSI, the heart of the new S4 and S4 Avant, is the youngest member of the Audi V-engine family, and is an outstanding example of how the brand with the four rings blends performance and efficiency. The V6 generates its power from a displacement of 2,995 cc, is equipped with a supercharger, and delivers 245 kW (333 hp). The sedan sprints to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in just 5.1 seconds, the Avant in 5.2 seconds. They both have an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph).
Equally impressive is the mighty pulling power of the 3.0 TFSI – its maximum torque of 440 Nm (324.53 lb-ft) is available between 2,900 and 5,300 rpm. The supercharged V6 responds spontaneously and directly to the throttle in every situation. Despite its concentrated power it proves to be incredibly frugal – the sedan requires on average just 9.7 liters and the Avant a mere 9.9 liters of fuel per 100 km (24.25 US mpg and 23.76 US mpg respectively).
The V6 channels its power through a precise six-speed gearbox, fitted as standard. As an option, Audi offers a state-of-the-art dual-clutch transmission – the seven-speed S tronic is extremely dynamic and highly efficient. S4 drivers have the option of driving in fully automatic mode or selecting the gears with paddles on the steering wheel or directly with the shift lever – all of which provide impressively quick gearshifts. The gearshift feel is dynamic, comfortable and very precise – typically Audi.
quattro permanent four-wheel drive transfers this enormous power to the road with no loss. Under normal driving conditions it sends 40 percent of the torque to the front and 60 percent to the rear wheels; if necessary it can vary distribution within fractions of a second. The quattro drive system ensures safe self-steering characteristics, high stability and excellent traction in comparison with rear-wheel-drive competitors.
Customized torque distribution: the sport differential
The sport differential is the ideal complement, lending the quattro drive even greater fascination. The innovative control system distributes torque between the rear wheels in continuously variable proportions, according to the driving situation. This controlled torque intervention enables the S4 and S4 Avant to take corners even more spontaneously and directly and to retain their directional stability for even longer.
The new Audi S4 and S4 Avant are natural, well-trained athletes. Their five-link front axle and the self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear axle are of a highly sophisticated design; thanks to several aluminum components they are particularly light in weight. The low-mounted steering gear transmits the steering forces to the wheels without any lag time and gives the driver a precise and sensitive road feel.
The spontaneity of the S4 and S4 Avant is enthralling and they possess the smooth, precise reactions of a thoroughbred sports car. In the drivetrain, the differential is positioned in front of the clutch, which allowed the engine to be moved 154 mm (6.06 in) towards the rear compared with the predecessor model. This layout perfectly evens out the axle loads, and in addition, affords the long wheelbase of 2,811 mm (9.22 ft) exceptional stability.
The chassis has been given stiffer axle bearings, and the sporty tuning with firm shock absorbers puts the body 20 millimeters (0.79 in) closer to the road compared with the A4. Behind the 18-inch cast aluminum wheels – 19-inch wheels are available on request – sit the large-dimensioned brakes. The black-painted brake calipers – at the front with the S4 logo – grip the ventilated disks with newly developed brake pads.
Another high-end feature in the new S4 and S4 Avant is the Audi drive select dynamic driving system. It influences the throttle response characteristics, the shift points for the seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission and supports the speed-dependent servotronic steering. With the push of a button, the driver decides if these components are to operate in a comfortable, medium, or dynamic mode. If the vehicle is equipped with the large version of the navigation system and the accompanying MMI operating system, a fourth mode is available, which the driver can set up according to his or her individual preferences.
Audi drive select can only be ordered in conjunction with one or more of three additional technologies – the sport differential, adaptive control for the shock absorbers or dynamic steering, which is another high-tech solution. Its superposition gear varies the ratio by almost 100 percent; in terms of driving safety, it reduces the load on the ESP stabilization program as it stabilizes the car through lightning-fast steering interventions when cornering at the handling limits.
The standard-specification tire pressure monitoring system alerts the driver as soon as the pressure drops in one or several tires and thus provides additional safety.
Athletic look: the design
Both the Audi S4 and the S4 Avant look athletic and muscular on the road. Some of the most striking modifications to the exterior design are the special aprons, the aluminum-look exterior mirrors, the 18-inch light-alloy wheels in the S design, the sill trims, the restrained spoiler at the rear and the quadruple exhaust system. The xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights are further distinctive features.
The interior also underscores the sporty expertise that is the hallmark of both new S models. The sports seats in Alcantara/leather combination come as standard with electrical adjustment. The leather sports steering wheel, the key and the instrument cluster – featuring gray dials and white needles – bear the S4 logo. The interior is in black, with matt brushed aluminum inlays. Carbon and birch wood inlays are also available, as is a new stainless steel mesh inlay. The seats are also available in a choice of styles and materials.
Optional assistance systems provide the driver with even greater control on the road. Adaptive cruise control (ACC) maintains the distance to the vehicle in front. The Audi side assist makes changing lanes safer; the Audi parking system advanced makes backing into a parking space easier.
With regard to multimedia, Audi offers an attractive technology package. The communications and entertainment technologies portfolio includes the unrivalled MMI operating system, various types of radio and sound systems all the way up to the high-end solution from Bang & Olufsen, two navigation systems, an iPod interface, and a highly convenient Bluetooth car phone.
At a glance The Audi S4
Engine (performance figures for S4 sedan)
* Newly developed 3.0 TFSI delivering 245 kW (333 hp) and 440 Nm of torque (324.53 lb-ft),mechanical supercharging for powerful performance and superior efficiency
* Dynamic performance: from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.1 seconds, top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph) (governed)
* Fuel consumption 9.7 l/100 km (24.25 US mpg), 27 percent lower than for predecessor
* Six-speed manual gearbox as standard, optional seven-speed S tronic for lightning-fast gear shifts
* quattro permanent four-wheel drive with slightly rear-biased characteristics
* Optional sport differential for variable distribution of propulsive power to the rear wheels
* Sports suspension with firm settings, optional Audi drive select dynamic driving
* system with adaptive damper control and dynamic steering
* High-performance brake system with large disks and black calipers
* Wheels 18 inches in diameter, or optionally 19-inch wheels
* Length 4,717 millimeters (185.71 in), width 1,826 millimeters (71.89 in), height 1,406 millimeters (55.35 in) (sedan), large luggage capacity of 490 to 1,430 liters (17.30 to 50.50 cu. ft) (Avant)
* Dynamic proportions, sporty and elegant design details
Interior and equipment
* High-quality materials with an exclusive look
* Instrument cluster with special S design
* Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights
* State-of-the-art assistance and communications systems available
The equipment, data, and prices specified refer to the models offered in Germany. Subject to amendment; errors and omissions excepted.
– Jochen Grüten – photos Audi –
22.10.2008 / MaP