New V8 S4 quattro Cabriolet to debut at Frankfurt Motor Show
Text and pictures courtesy of Audi UK
This month's 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show will mark the beginning of a new, even more sporting era for the much admired A4 Cabriolet, because the Audi stand will not only feature new Cabriolet quattro models, but will also stage the international début of the potent new V8-powered S4 Cabriolet.
Permanently four-wheel-driven versions of the Cabriolet 1.8 T and Cabriolet 3.0 have just joined the UK A4 range alongside their front-wheel-drive counterparts, and are now available to order from Audi Centres at OTR prices of £25,945 and £29,425 respectively. The S4 Cabriolet is expected to open for ordering in early 2004, with pricing yet to be confirmed.
An exceptionally compact 4.2-litre V8 with 344PS at 7,000 rpm, and peak torque of 410Nm at 3500 rpm, gives the new Audi S4 Cabriolet truly exhilarating performance. 0-62mph in the six-speed manual transmission version is covered in just 5.9 seconds, and the six-speed tiptronic automatic runs close at 6.2 seconds. Both versions can, where permissible, reach an electronically governed maximum speed of 155mph.
Lightweight aluminium suspension
Using the A4's acclaimed four link front and trapezoidal link rear suspension as a foundation, the S4 Cabriolet's lightweight aluminium set-up has been tuned for maximum agility, precision and composure, and is backed up the quattro permanent four-wheel-drive system. Ride comfort also benefits from the low unsprung weight made possible by the aluminium components.
Design and equipment Subtle differences mark out the S4 quattro from its A4 counterparts. 18-inch alloy wheels, colour coded bumpers with large air inlets in the nose, xenon headlights with a contrasting titanium-coloured inner housing, large diameter exhaust tailpipes and polished aluminium exterior mirrors are the only real indicators that this is an extra special Audi. Inside, the S quattro Series trademarks include grey instrument dials, electrically adjustable Recaro sports seats and a leather-rimmed sports steering wheel inlaid with the S emblem.
New Cabriolet models adopt quattro The reassurance of quattro permanent four-wheel-drive is now also available for A4 Cabriolet models, allied to either the acclaimed turbo charged 1.8-litre, four-cylinder engine with 163PS or the 220PS 3.0-litre V6.
Equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox, the A4 Cabriolet 1.8 T quattro can accelerate to 62mph from rest in 9.5 seconds, reach a top speed of 138mph and cover up to 30.0mpg on the combined cycle. The A4 Cabriolet 3.0 quattro reduces the acceleration time to 7.9 seconds where the six speed manual gearbox is fitted, increases the maximum speed to 150mph and returns 25.4mpg. This model is also available with five-speed tiptronic transmission.
With the addition of these new versions, the total number of Audi models offering the unique quattro drive configuration, which is arguably the most appropriate for the wet and changeable British weather conditions now stands at 38.