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Another S4 vs A6 thread.

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Old 01-22-2014, 12:30 PM   #1
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Default Another S4 vs A6 thread.

October 2014 I need to change vehicles.

I keep going back and forth between 2013/14/15 S4 with a manual transmission and a 2012/13/14 A6 3.0.

There is NO WAY I'd own an S4 with an auto (even though by all accounts it's an excellent transmission) but if I end up going the pre-owned route it is very unlikley that I will find an S4 with a 6MT that is not in a colour that turns my stomach (like white which for some reason is super popular in North America)

Well if I have to go auto then I may as well go A6 as a full-on highway cruiser. I'd have to get an ECU upgrade to bring it up to the S4 in terms of acceleration but I do a lot of long drives so the softer ride may be a good compromise.

The other option is of course to order a new S4 exactly the way I want it, but paying an extra 9 grand for the privilege of breaking the car's cherry conflicts with my frugal upbringing.

I have plenty of time to mull it over and change my mind but any advice would be accepted with gratitude.
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Old 01-22-2014, 12:52 PM   #2
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Isn't there a new A4 body for 2015? That would make the S4 look old, especially in the interior.
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:42 PM   #3
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The S4 "Automatic" is a twin clutch. Its superior to the 6M in every possible way. Why would you not want that? I truly cannot fathom why, in this day and age, ANYBODY, would bother with a clutch and stick. Slower, worse economy, more work. Why?
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Old 01-22-2014, 02:14 PM   #4
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I came from a 2013 S4 and just traded it for a 14 A6 a few weeks ago.

I agree with the previous post, the 7 Speed DSG is just a phenomenal transmission and flat out destroys any manual. Shifts are lightning quick (quicker than a manual and I don't care how good you are) when your running and smooth when you are cruising. I would venture to say its one of the best shifters on the market today at any price range.

I think you just have to ask yourself 1)where to you drive most often and 2) what is your driving style.

I loved the S4, and thought it was a great sport sedan, but I found it tiring on the highway as it had a bit too much wind and road noise. Around town I loved throwing it around corners and for quick acceleration, but 90% of my driving is on interstate (I live in dallas in a community that is right off the interstate and work right off the interstate as well), so I never really got to experience that type of driving all that much. I live and work in the suburbs of a dense metro area, and its all families so speeding just isn't tolerated at all - there are police everywhere just dying to catch an S4 at 10 mph over. The S4 just begs to be driven hard, so the temptation was always there!

That being the case the A6 was a better fit for me, the S4 was a better car 10% of the time and the A6 was a better car 90% of the time. On the interstate commute, it just flat out glides and is a very smooth highway cruiser. Note though, that I actually chose the 2.0T on my A6 over the 3.0, and even coming from the S4 I am still satisfied with it. Its a highly underrated engine on both power and torque.

They are both exceptional cars, built for different purposes. That being the case, I think the A8 platform is growing a bit old on the interior design and I think the new one due out soon (s4 will likely follow 1 year after) will be pretty nice.
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Old 01-22-2014, 02:39 PM   #5
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I actually chose the 2.0T on my A6 over the 3.0, and even coming from the S4 I am still satisfied with it. Its a highly underrated engine on both power and torque.
I am pleased to read your comments on the 2.0. I have a 2013 A6 P+ with the 2.0 and Quattro and love it. I got this car after two years of a 2010 A6 P+ with the supercharged 3.0 and find the 2.0 very well suited to this car - maybe the 8-speed Tiptronic has a lot to do with it. At times I am surprised at how smoothly and seamlessly it steps out really! Yet, when I post here about it or talk to others I meet they scoff and cant believe a four cylinder makes any sense in a big car like the A6. I have a couple of friends with C7 A6s with the 3.0 6 and their cars do not feel as nimble as mine with the 2.0 another thing I like about the 2.0 version.
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:19 PM   #6
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I appreciate the technical superiority of the S4's Dual Clutch transmission as well as the added acceleration.

But if I have to explain why I want a manual then it's probably something you wouldn't understand

As for the 2.0T being more nimble than the supercharged V6. Never heard THAT before, but after years in an APR chipped 1.8T I'm done with 4 bangers. Some people considered the 1.8T "quick" with some light mods, personally I thought it was a dog and can't see a few extra ponies putting the 2.0T in a different class all together.

I know the 2.0T is super versatile, but I told myself that my next Audi would not sacrifice speed for frugality (like I had no choice to do with my previous one)
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:43 PM   #7
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But if I have to explain why I want a manual then it's probably something you wouldn't understand
We understand just fine. Some people just need to live in the past, and have their antiquated transmission.

Even professional racers will admit that they're obsolete, but there are those few of you who just won't move into the new millennium.
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:50 PM   #8
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LOL, this is a new one. Someone belittling someone else on an internet forum for driving a MANUAL transmission. Usually it's the other way around. Were you the victim of such shaming? Have a chip on your shoulder?

Tell you what, how about I don't belittle you for choosing to drive an automatic and you leave me in peace to my manual? Fair compromise I think.
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:16 PM   #9
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LOL, this is a new one. Someone belittling someone else on an internet forum for driving a MANUAL transmission. Usually it's the other way around. Were you the victim of such shaming? Have a chip on your shoulder?

Tell you what, how about I don't belittle you for choosing to drive an automatic and you leave me in peace to my manual? Fair compromise I think.
I've gotten the belittling. And now automatics are so far superior, that I can give it back. Thats why none of the exotics even offer manuals any more, and 94% of new cars sold in the US are automatic. Manuals are just so outdated that they're completely obsolete in 2014.

You want to buy one, thats your problem. Just know that people who bought the twin clutch are gonna be quicker than you, get better economy than you, have a higher resale value than you, have an easier time selling than you, and have a better drivers car than you.
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:33 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Zatoichi View Post
LOL, this is a new one. Someone belittling someone else on an internet forum for driving a MANUAL transmission. Usually it's the other way around. Were you the victim of such shaming? Have a chip on your shoulder?

Tell you what, how about I don't belittle you for choosing to drive an automatic and you leave me in peace to my manual? Fair compromise I think.
Well I think the overall point was that you were willing to accept a far more inferior automatic in the A6.

Just out of curiosity have you driven a S-tronic transmission?
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:37 PM   #11
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As for the 2.0T being more nimble than the supercharged V6. Never heard THAT before, but after years in an APR chipped 1.8T I'm done with 4 bangers. Some people considered the 1.8T "quick" with some light mods, personally I thought it was a dog and can't see a few extra ponies putting the 2.0T in a different class all together.

I know the 2.0T is super versatile, but I told myself that my next Audi would not sacrifice speed for frugality (like I had no choice to do with my previous one)
I think he was referring to the car as a whole, not the acceleration. Audi's are notoriously nose heavy, though it gets better with each generation. The less weight sticking out beyond the front axle the better. 2.0 weights over 100 lbs less than the 3.0 - so it is more towards that 50/50 balance that is ideal. I drove both back to back and I could absolutely feel the difference.

the 3.0 is a beautiful engine and the acceleration on the C7 is sublime, so there is no debate that its quicker in that regard!
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:39 PM   #12
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You want to buy one, thats your problem. .
No, that's his prerogative. For a daily-driver, I'd never go with a stick, but if I had a second car just for weekend fun, I'd go with a stick...just more engaging/fun. Since you previously owned a '90 Mustang LX and a Neon (not to mention some of your other previous cars), I'm guessing one of those must have been a stick and, if so, no fond memories of those days?
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:02 PM   #13
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The S4 "Automatic" is a twin clutch. Its superior to the 6M in every possible way. Why would you not want that? I truly cannot fathom why, in this day and age, ANYBODY, would bother with a clutch and stick. Slower, worse economy, more work. Why?
One word: "control"

If I want to blast through 1st & 2nd then pop over to 6th to hang out at a roughly legal speed, I can do that - and I do

If I want a gentle takeoff I ease the clutch out. If I want a hammer-blow launch I can rev to 4k and sidestep/flatten. If I want something in-between I can rev to 2.5k and quickly let the clutch out. S-tronic is cool, and I've resigned myself to getting one, but it's absolutely without question my *second* choice.


There are unquestionably some operations S-tronic does better than me: it's a way better rev-matcher, it's faster and sounds cooler, it doesn't forget to upshift to top gear.

OTOH, it cannot go from 2nd to 4th, it apparently can't do anything between a soft launch and a full-blown clutch drop. It can't run up to the rev-limiter and stay there either. More importantly I can't *TELL* it to go from 7th to 4th (I know that I can cajole it into doing that sometimes). Paddles are cool, but they don't support Neutral - so I'm headed to another control to tell it to go from 3rd into neutral.

So, no, S-tronic is NOT "superior to the 6M in every possible way". Many ways yes, but not every one.
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:07 PM   #14
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A manual transmission is more engaging and fun, requires more skill, and makes the driver better.
That is why I like the new Corvette Z06, a supercar with a proper (old fashioned) manual transmission.
I don't care if a transmission can shift faster than any human, I like the feeling of shifting, in 10 years or so most cars will be driving by themselves and not because of technology has evolved to a point that driving is not longer necessary I will stop driving, because I love driving.
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:15 PM   #15
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I was in the same dilemma. I drove the new S4 with the S Tronic. It's an automatic regardless of what they call it. I loved the car, but the back seat was just too damn small for my needs. I have a Z06 racecar for the track so I figured I could give a little on the sportiness of the S4 for the comfort of the A6. Picking the car up Friday.
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:56 PM   #16
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One word: "control"

If I want to blast through 1st & 2nd then pop over to 6th to hang out at a roughly legal speed, I can do that - and I do

If I want a gentle takeoff I ease the clutch out. If I want a hammer-blow launch I can rev to 4k and sidestep/flatten. If I want something in-between I can rev to 2.5k and quickly let the clutch out. S-tronic is cool, and I've resigned myself to getting one, but it's absolutely without question my *second* choice.


There are unquestionably some operations S-tronic does better than me: it's a way better rev-matcher, it's faster and sounds cooler, it doesn't forget to upshift to top gear.

OTOH, it cannot go from 2nd to 4th, it apparently can't do anything between a soft launch and a full-blown clutch drop. It can't run up to the rev-limiter and stay there either. More importantly I can't *TELL* it to go from 7th to 4th (I know that I can cajole it into doing that sometimes). Paddles are cool, but they don't support Neutral - so I'm headed to another control to tell it to go from 3rd into neutral.

So, no, S-tronic is NOT "superior to the 6M in every possible way". Many ways yes, but not every one.
My man, the S-tronic is an automated manual, so drive in manual mode and you pretty much have control over all that except for the neutral.
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:05 PM   #17
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The S4 "Automatic" is a twin clutch. Its superior to the 6M in every possible way. Why would you not want that? I truly cannot fathom why, in this day and age, ANYBODY, would bother with a clutch and stick. Slower, worse economy, more work.
Your response is clinical. That is not the point. The manual is fun, visceral, and driver centric. No auto can compete with a manual shift car in the art and thrill of driving.

But I do agree today's auto and dual clutch auto are far better than old autos. Also today's direct injection engine make the power much lower further diminishing the fun of a manual.

In the old days before direct injection (notwithstanding diesel) and still on many naturally aspirated v6 cars the rev range is like old where horsepower and torque have to be beaten out at higher revs. Automatics feel worse and lessen driver enjoyment versus a manual that worked well with this combo.


Today with torque off the line these new autos are just incredible and smooth and access power so effortlessly. Still for the emotional and fun a manual is great perhaps in a weekend car.
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:28 PM   #18
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My man, the S-tronic is an automated manual, so drive in manual mode and you pretty much have control over all that except for the neutral.
Nope - all the stuff I listed the S-tronic cannot do. You can tell it to go 2->3->4 but not 2->4. It will go 7->4 but you cannot tell it to. We hashed out the launch options over in S6 a bit earlier - and y'all tell me it's LC or stomp-and-go, so that intermediate range is out. In manual mode (at least in the S-tronic I drove) it will shift at or near redline - certainly won't bounce off the limiter.

Look, I'm not ragging on the S-tronic, it's a great transmission from everything I can tell - it's just not as flexible as a traditional-shifting 3-pedal manual. I spent hours in-car and months out-of-car agonizing over it, and decided that I was willing to compromise - but as I said, S-tronic is a compromise for me.
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:41 PM   #19
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Since you previously owned a '90 Mustang LX and a Neon (not to mention some of your other previous cars), I'm guessing one of those must have been a stick and, if so, no fond memories of those days?
The Mustang did when I swapped it in. It came with a 2.3L I4 and AODE. I swapped in a 5.0 and T5. That was when I knew I hated manuals. Way too much work. And now with no benefits to it, I have no reason to go back.

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That is why I like the new Corvette Z06, a supercar with a proper (old fashioned) manual transmission.
Not anymore. The 2015 Z06 was just introduced, and it will be available with an 8 speed automatic, which they expect to account for well over half the sales.

I'll say it again; Manuals are antiquated. Even pro driver Randy Pobst says that they're obsolete. And nobody wants them. Look at the sales numbers. Sure, you can claim all you want on a web forum, but look at what you bought. 94% of sales are automatic. Says that people are all talk, but when it comes time to lay out their money, they buy the automatic.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:17 PM   #20
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The Mustang did when I swapped it in. It came with a 2.3L I4 and AODE. I swapped in a 5.0 and T5. That was when I knew I hated manuals. Way too much work. And now with no benefits to it, I have no reason to go back. Not anymore. The 2015 Z06 was just introduced, and it will be available with an 8 speed automatic, which they expect to account for well over half the sales. I'll say it again; Manuals are antiquated. Even pro driver Randy Pobst says that they're obsolete. And nobody wants them. Look at the sales numbers. Sure, you can claim all you want on a web forum, but look at what you bought. 94% of sales are automatic. Says that people are all talk, but when it comes time to lay out their money, they buy the automatic.
Sorry to point the obvious but if you have hated manuals for a while is because you don't know how to drive them, therefore the "way too much work" you hate is what we actually enjoy. And the corvette z06 2015 comes with a 7speed manual and a 8speed automatic, my comment was referring to the manual.
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