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Old 10-05-2012, 05:56 PM   #1
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Default Major differences btwn 2011 vs 2012 vs 2013 S4?

Hi everybody,

Would love to hear your thoughts (or read them, rather!)...

I am looking to purchase a used Audi S4 2011 because I believe I am getting it at a good price (around $40k with 25650 miles, premium plus with sport differential and nav, leather seating)

I test drove a 2013 S4 the other day and really liked the feel of it, as well as the interior/exterior.

Will the 2011 be close to the 2013 in terms of performance and feel, or do I really need to find a 2011 and test drive it first?

Of course, I will give thr actual 2011 I am planning to purchase a test drive, but I have to fly to the person's location to test it, so I want to make sure I am sure the 2011 is the car I want!

Thank you!
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:56 PM   #2
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There's no real difference in performance between 2011 and 2013, although the center differential has been changed and that may change/improve handling under some circumstances I guess. Most of the changes are are cosmetic in nature although the MMI has been updated and improved (personally I like the 2011 version just fine except for the lack of bluetooth streaming audio).
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:03 PM   #3
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I felt there was a big different between the 2 and ended up with a B8.5 myself. They both are probably indentical in performance but the B8.5 just felt faster and more refined.
I think it has to do with the new steering wheel, exhaust sound, MMI, little silver accents inside along with a slight darker dash trim.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phanker View Post
I felt there was a big different between the 2 and ended up with a B8.5 myself. They both are probably indentical in performance but the B8.5 just felt faster and more refined.
I think it has to do with the new steering wheel, exhaust sound, MMI, little silver accents inside along with a slight darker dash trim.
I love my 2011 and wouldn't have it any other way. All the cosmetic details you just mentioned are the reason why I'm happy I pulled the trigger when I did.

I guess what I'm trying to say is.. there is no performance difference so get what you love. Get what makes you smile each time you open up that car door.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:09 PM   #5
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If we really think about this in terms of Performance, "At this time" (This could change), 2011 and 2012 are a better car than 2013 since there is not flash for 2013 and redline has been lowered to 6500RPMs.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:27 PM   #6
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Some more functional differences: 2013 S4's with ADS keep the last setting when the engine turns off, the others default to Auto, Side Assist operating speed has been lowered to 19mph, Crown Gear Differential with DSG (some 2012 also have it I believe), and improvements to the Adaptive Cruise Control (addition of braking guard).
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:01 AM   #7
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OP, performance between the models should be the same (assuming no aftermarket mods). As stated by kostas, all MY13's with DSG use the newer Crown Gear Differential. While I understand the benefit vs. the older Torsen Diff, how this translates to real-world driving, I don't know.

The Sports Differential is the key performance option. Outside of that you'll find owners on both sides of MT vs. DSG and traditional vs. ADS.

For the existing car I would ask the owner if there have been any ECU modifications. If so, this could trigger the infamous TD1 flag (lot's of info on topic). You may want to have the local Audi dealer conduct a full inspection prior to taking the flight and subsequent test drive.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htoudiee View Post
If we really think about this in terms of Performance, "At this time" (This could change), 2011 and 2012 are a better car than 2013 since there is not flash for 2013 and redline has been lowered to 6500RPMs.
The redline isn't lowered.
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stereo Dude View Post
The redline isn't lowered.
I think it is, but only for the DSG cars. However, I don't believe that anyone with a dsg of any year can get it to shift at the 7K redline. 6MT can be shifted at 7.2K rpms if you want. DSGs automatically shift before that regardless of what mode you are in. As for performance difference between the model years. Any diferences are purely imagined. All year cars are the same weight, same gearing and same engine output. BTW, you won't get a flat bottom steering wheel in pre 2013 cars. But you will get a car with IMHO a better looking grille.

Last edited by DrGP; 10-06-2012 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:13 PM   #10
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Wow, thank you so much everybody!

You have all been extremely helpful.

I do like the flat bottom steering wheel better than the pre-2013 round ones, and the new shaped LED lights look cool. I really like the 2013 exhaust sound (not sure how the 2011 compares)... But ultimately I think these options cannot be worth paying $16k more...unless I can afford to buy a new $60k Audi! (which is not within my budget)

Thanks for the tips about the ECU modification...I saw the difference betweem stock and APR ECU online just now, and the results are quite exciting.

Thanks for the heads NHman. Looks like I'll have to hold off on the ECU upgrade because it conflicts with the stock warranty?

I'll definitely get an Audi mechanic to inspect the car, although I was thinking of doing this the same day as I fly over so I can supervise in person. (plus, the seller says he has a friend in the Audi dealership, so I'm notnsure if I should let the inspection go unsupervised...). Recommendations?
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:13 PM
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2011, 2012, 2013, 2013s4, audi, b8, b85, differences, dsg, ecu, gear, ratio, s4, upgrade, vs


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