I'm moving to S4 from 2002 BMW 540i M-Sport 6-speed. The BMW has been my dream car for many years and I enjoyed every minute of driving it. But the 20+ year platform was becoming outdated, so I reluctantly decided to let her go. Please welcome, 2014 Monsoon Gray S4 with manual transmission.
The transmission choice was hard. The biggest problem was lack of manual cars to drive at local dealerships. They are virtually non-existent, so I was very reluctant to order a stick before trying it. The S-Tronic is definitely the best automatic transmission I've driven, and it is very well suited to S4. The shifts are spot-on, and the rev-matching sound on downshifts is outright delightful.
However, I figured that I will have plenty of chances to drive automatics later in life, so I got stick, and I was not disappointed. The shifts are unbelievably smooth. The dreaded 1-2 shift that took quite some time to prefect in the BMW just works here in S4. At any engine speed. Just softly clicks into place.
Overall, my first impression after playing with the car for a couple of days is how much easier it is drive compared to my previous cars (GTI, 325i, A4, 540i, and others...). It is hard to describe but the tactile experience of S4 is unbelievably pleasant. Every button, every surface, every sound -- all communicate careful, thoughtful, and passionate design by Audi engineers.
The steering feel is also great. Very light and easy to maneuver at slow speeds, and rock solid and communicative and highway speeds. It is quite a change from the old-school rack-and-pinion system in my BMW.
The B&O sound system sounds very nice. There's no lack of base. In fact, the base nicely thumps and can be "felt" in the body parts connected to the car.
I'm still getting used to niceties such as voice command, navigation, iPhone integration, etc. but overall, I'm very happy with the car. I bought it at Audi Exchange in Chicago IL, working with Dan Kurko as my sales consultant. If you are in the area, the dealership definitely worth consideration. Their repair shop is as clean as a hospital.
Now, I need to figure out what to do about summer tires. I think Audi should allow customers order high performance all-seasons on 19" wheels. If anything, dealerships should be able to assist customers with that in the areas where summer tires are not practical at all times. I will also lightly tint the windows and may consider painting side sills into the silver color available with alu-optic package, which unfortunately was not included with my car.
Can anyone recommend a good tint shop in North Chicagoland?
Oh, and one more thing... I have a tradition of naming my cars. This one is Sophie. Please welcome.
Last edited by vitas; 06-25-2014 at 05:06 PM.
Reason: added photos
Glad your enjoying the manual trans. I completely understand your reasoning for getting it now. Later in life you can get the auto trans as I finally did after about 30 years driving with manual. Good luck with the S4 I know you'll love it.
Congrats! You will love the S4...especially with the 6-speed trans. Manual performance cars are becoming more and more rare with each passing year.
As for times, you should really consider a set of 18" snow tires with dedicated rims...especially if we get another Chicago winter like last year! The S4 is an absolute beast in the white stuff with snow tires. You will find yourself coming up with excuses to go run errands.
2011 S4 Brilliant Red, Red/Blk leather, 6MT, Sport Diff, Navi, 19" wheels, Carbon Inlays, supercharged badging, 3M clear bra, 35% tint, 18" tires/rims for winter, etc.
I have a 14 year old BMW 528 also mt ,not the same experience as you r540 . I too am reluctant to part with it. I drove 2014 A 6 . It was ok. Later drove s4 with 6mt. That was a whole new ball game. Dealer did not have the auto available! As I am 70 was thinking getting to old for stick.But I too realize MTs are getting rarer .Will wait for 2015 auto demo to drive.
-Look up the motoman / DrGp break-in method to avoid oil consumption issues. I did the same on my 6MT when I bought it new and I haven't had any oil issues yet (same for a lot of the people on the forum)
-You will eventually run across the Eurocode short shifter, one of the best updates any 6MT owner can make on this car. If you think shifting now is good, wait until you upgrade to that
-There are other notable mods, especially handling related (Eurocode Alu Kreuz, Sway bars, endlinks, etc.) but I will let you settle in first before building your wishlist too long haha
Welcome to the club!
__________________ 2012 S4 | Prestige | 6MT | Phantom Black | Ti Pkg | Black Silk Nappa | Sport Diff | SS Inlays | Xpel Ultimate Clear Bra | Opti-Coat | Eurocode STS | Alu Kreuz | USS Sway Bars & Endlinks | AWE Exhaust w/ Resonated Downpipes | 034 Motorsport Transmission Mount Insert | Apikol Rear Diff Mount | TRUFit Air Intake System | APR Stage 2+| Future Mods: TBD...
Congrats and enjoy. One thing you may want to check out. The B&O system will sound even better if you adjust the settings in the MMI . Push the "RADIO" button. Then select "sound" on the MMI. Next select DSP(Bang and O), then select' "surround sound" and turn it to max. You will also need to do the same in "MEDIA" to get the same settings.
Thank you for the tip. I actually read your previous posts on the issue and immediately played with the setting. The music sounded more natural to me without cranking the surround all the way up. It could be a personal preference, but even with default setting the B&O sounds nice. My friend's RS7 does sound much crisper, but I'm sure they use higher end components there to justify the price ;-)