Audi S4 Avant
With a new design and a more extensive equipment specification, the top sports model in the A4 range, the S4 with supremely powerful 344 bhp V8 engine, is about to be launched. Its permanent quattro four-wheel drive and consistently sport-tuned aluminium suspension ensure that this power can be converted into maximum forward propulsion and driving pleasure. The new S4, like its predecessor, is available in both saloon and Avant versions.
The S models of the new A4 generation are likewise instantly recognisable: the front end is dominated by the new face of the brand, the single-frame grille – in this case with S-specific grid pattern – and newly styled headlights. The shoulder line sculpts the sides of the car body in a most eye-catching way. And, finally, the most prominent feature on the new tail end, apart from the newly styled light units, are four oval tailpipes on both saloon and Avant models – a clear indication of just what the Audi S4 is capable of.
The V8 engine, with chain drive at the rear and a displacement of 4.2 litres, delivers 253 kW (344 bhp) and 410 Nm of torque. It consequently sets clear benchmarks in its segment: a benchmark for a supreme and even development of power resulting from the large swept volume, and a benchmark for unmistakeable dynamic handling.
The power-to-weight ratio of this model is just 4.8 kilograms/horsepower. The eight-cylinder engine’s thrust thus enables the new Audi S4 with its new 6 speed manual gearbox to complete the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.6 seconds. It takes just 20.6 seconds to reach 200 km/h, whilst its top speed is a governed 250 km/h.
The new S4 is the only car in its class to have quattro permanent four-wheel drive. It can therefore convert its engine output into propulsive power most efficiently at all times and enter a new dimension of superiority thanks to the handling potential of its aluminium chassis.
Steering with an extremely direct ratio means that the S4 can be guided absolutely precisely around all kinds of corners. In other words, driving pleasure in the purest sense, on the motorway as well as on challenging mountain passes.
The Audi S4 also offers other qualities that have already become a well-known feature of the S models with the four-ring badge. It is consequently positioned as the top sports model in the A4 line, and not only in terms of power and performance – its equipment specification and materials of the highest quality underpin this status.
The S4 is also notable for its unique combination of unmistakeable style and sporting exclusivity, of individuality and versatility. Available as both a saloon and an Avant, it offers its owner distinctive everyday quality, too.
The superiority of the new Audi S4 is immediately reflected in its deliberately restrained appearance. The bodies of the S4 saloon and Avant, which are sporty in terms of both their proportions and their basic shape, only differ subtly from the other members of this model family.
A typical situation that many drivers of the new Audi S4 will find themselves in when manoeuvring to overtake: glancing in their rear-view mirror, the driver in front will see the more powerful bumper fully painted in the body colour with large air inlets, xenon plus headlights and aluminium-look door mirrors and immediately be aware that a very special Audi is approaching.
This realisation is confirmed with a glance at the tail end as the S4 passes: here the onlooker will notice the four distinctive oval tailpipes and – on the saloon version – a discreet rear spoiler as the characteristic feature of the Audi S4. The equally subtle roof spoiler is typical for the Avant.
S4 models can be identified from the side by sills in the same colour as the body, contrasting lower door skirts and the characteristic 18-inch “S” wheels of Avus design.
345 millimetre discs at the front are a visual indication of the brake system’s performance.
The new S4, like the other S models, can be ordered in a choice of exclusively available paint finishes: Imola Yellow, Brilliant Red, Sprint Blue, pearl effect and Deep Green, pearl effect. The S4 can also be ordered in Brilliant Black, in the metallic colours Silver or Dolphin Grey and in Phantom Black or Moro Blue, both with pearl effect.
The Audi S4 is notable not only for its sporting exterior, but even more so for its inner values. This applies not only to its technology, but also to the interior.
The instrument cluster, for example, has the characteristic grey S dials and special needles. The new three-spoke leather sports steering wheel with S badge also accentuates the vehicle’s particularly sporty character. If the customer orders a 6 speed tiptronic transmission, gears can also be changed using the shift paddles on the steering wheel.
Recaro sports seats provide firm lateral support and excellent comfort on long journeys. Not only the driver and front passenger benefit from these qualities, but also passengers on the two rear seats.
Engines and transmissions
The heart of the new Audi S4 is again quite clearly its engine – a tremendously powerful V8 with a displacement of 4.2 litres and a five-valve cylinder head. This engine is notable not only for its dominant power output (253 kW/344 bhp), but also for its unbeatably short design.
The development engineers, however, have not economised when it comes to power. The V8’s thrust enables the new Audi S4 with 6-speed manual gearbox to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in only 5.6 seconds. It takes just 20.6 seconds to reach 200 km/h, whilst the top speed is a governed 250 km/h.
The new 4.2-litre engine delivers its maximum power at 7,000 rpm. The maximum torque of 410 Nm is available at 3,500 rpm. Even at just 1,100 rpm the large V8 produces almost 300 Nm, and between 3,000 and just under 4,500 rpm the peak-torque range is always above 400 Nm.
Clearly more impressive than such figures is the combination in practice of the engine’s spontaneous response to every movement of the accelerator pedal, its astonishing free revving and hefty torque that is characteristic of a V8. And then there is the experience of an equally characteristic V8 sound – reserved and practically free of vibration in the low speed band and with a sonorous tremolo under load. It certainly makes no secret of the engine’s potential.
Thanks to efficient emissions control with primary and main catalytic converters, the new Audi S4 also remains clearly within the EU4 limits.
The S4 is available with a choice of 6-speed manual gearbox or 6-speed tiptronic with dynamic shift program DSP and sport program. This automatic transmission is designed specifically to meet demanding handling requirements: weight reduction, rapid shifts and an optimised shifting strategy make sure that the convenience of the automatic transmission is combined with the sports performance specific to the S4.
The dynamic chassis comprising lightweight aluminium components is based on the much-praised axle design of the A4 series and provides the ideal basis for maximum agility as well as excellent suitability for everyday use. It is not least thanks to these characteristics that the S4 has already put up an impressive performance in numerous comparison tests conducted by the trade press, clearly distancing itself from its competitors.
Four-link front suspension and trapezoidal-link rear suspension enable maximum steering precision and clearly defined handling with excellent cornering stability. Ride comfort also benefits from this ingenious axle design because a low unsprung mass makes for a particularly sensitive response from the suspension.
The new S4 generation also comes as standard with one of the most elaborate and efficient rear suspension systems around: self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension, specially designed for quattro drive.
The new S4 has a particularly direct steering ratio: as far as the driver is concerned, this is a contribution to the sports-oriented handling of the agile eight-cylinder version that can be experienced in all situations. The S4 can be guided extremely precisely around all kinds of corners. A standard feature on both the saloon and the Avant is the speed-dependent servotronic, which enables precise steering at high speeds as well as effortless manoeuvring and parking.
The Audi S4 is being launched with standard-fit 8×18-inch alloy wheels produced exclusively for this vehicle. These are fitted with tyres of size 235/40 R18, uniting good road grip with direct steering properties and defined directional stability.
The braking system is also matched to the powerful potential of the Audi S4. The ventilated discs measure 340 millimetres in diameter at the front, 300 mm at the rear. The system is operated via a dual-rate servo. This assists the driver during extremely hard braking by automatically increasing the servo rate.
The top sports model in the A4 series: this claim is also satisfied by the standard equipment specification that the S4 and S4 Avant offer.
This of course includes safety features such as full-size front airbags with two-stage activation, side airbags integrated into the seat backs and the head airbag system known as sideguard which covers the entire side window area and the A posts. The front seats now have active head restraints, and a seat belt reminder function is also new.
Active safety benefits from the electronic stabilisation program ESP and the high-performance brake system with dual-rate servo and brake assist. Standard features also include quattro permanent four-wheel drive which converts engine power with unfailing efficiency into forward movement and also ensures extremely safe handling in all road and weather conditions.
The S4 sports suspension lowers the vehicle’s ride height by 20 millimetres and – apart from its sporty appearance – means a clear advantage in terms of dynamic handling.
The exterior of the S4 models differs from the other models in the A4 series through Avus-design cast aluminium wheels of size 8×18-inch. Other identifying features include electrically adjustable and heated aluminium-design exterior mirrors, a newly styled rear spoiler on the saloon (roof spoiler on the Avant), an original radiator grille with grid pattern and exclusive front and rear bumpers.
A further highlight in the standard equipment package are the particularly bright xenon plus headlights. These can be combined as an option with the dynamic cornering light technology known as adaptive light.
The S4 Avant is fitted as standard with roof rails – either in anodised or black aluminium. The high-gloss package, another standard feature, contains aluminium-look roof drip mouldings and window capping strips.
Inlays in Carbon Atlas or, as a no-cost option, Piano finish black, Aluminium silver or Fine-grained Birch wood grey offer all drivers the chance to customise their car’s interior. S4 badges on the nose and tail, on the door sill trims, in the instrument cluster, on the dashboard and on the newly designed 3-spoke sports steering wheel clearly indicate this Audi’s special status, even when stationary.
In addition to the standard specification, numerous optional extras provide scope for numerous different versions so that each S4 can be designed individually and in keeping with the customer’s personal taste. Here are just a few examples:
Audio systems, with 6 CD changer in the glove box and BOSE sound system as an option, provide a musical contrast to the sporty sound of the engine and, depending on features, traffic information using RDS technology.
The new Audi radio-navigation system plus with DVD drive not only enables almost limitless navigation throughout Western Europe, it can also be used to play audio and MP3 CDs. Its operating principle follows the same clear logic as the Audi MMI, familiar from the A8 and A6. The 6.5-inch colour display shows the map and the visual route description, while the driver information system translates the corresponding directions into pictograms and adds information on distances and arrival time.
The solar sunroof, which supplies power to the car’s ventilation system when the ignition is turned off, ensures a particularly high standard of comfort in high outside temperatures.