Oct-99

A4.Org Takes Delivery of a 2000 S4
By: Jason Teller

Anybody who's been following A4.Org for a period of time knows that I'm fanatical about Audi. Some people have even heard, first hand, the story about the day that I saw the A4 for the first time and made up my mind that I just had to own one. To a large extent the history of this very site can be traced backward to that day!

Fast-forward about two years ahead to another very significant day -- the day that I photographed and wrote a story about one of the first new S4's to come to America. That car, which was on display in the lobby of Audi of America, put a series of events into motion. The end result culminated on Saturday, October 16th when I took delivery of a 2000 Audi S4 from Laurel Audi.

Going back a little, I'll try to "set the table" for the purchase of the S4. On October 31, 1996 I purchased my first Audi, a Cactus Green A4 2.8. For 2 years and 11 1/2 months I proudly drove that Audi. Modifications included: European high intensity headlights, clear corners, clear side markers, quattro GMBH wood-grain shift knob, modified throttle-body and K&N air filter, JL Audio Stealthbox, JL Audio component speakers and 17" Ronal R-28 wheels and tires. But while the car was superior to anything I had ever owned, there were some things that I was not happy about. The car did not have quattro. No leather and no sunroof. No trip computer. Worst of all, the 12v engine couldn't provide the type of performance that I was looking for. Arriving at Laurel to pick up the new car was bittersweet, but I was definitely ready for the upgrade. Click here for a picture of my old car in Laurel's lot.

Compared to the nearly stock A4 2.8, my new S4 has nearly all available features. I opted for the Convenience and Cold Weather packages, as well as the Bose upgrade. I would have also taken the Navigation System if the car had been configured that way, however the car did not include that option. The silver leather interior in the car is, in my opinion, the best available for a silver S4. Although I like the unique look of the two-tone alcantara seats, I was much more impressed with the classy look of this very light grey leather. While at Laurel I also saw a silver S4 with the onyx interior; I felt it had a sporty look as compared to the "timeless luxury" look of the silver interior. [Note: pictures of the silver leather interior will follow in a later article.]

After signing all the papers it was finally time to get behind the wheel and pull the car out. The average car buyer would probably think I'm crazy, but I never drove the S4 prior to signing the papers. Audi enthusiasts like myself who have followed the evolution of this car and waited with anticipation will certainly understand why I was comfortable commiting to pay over $40,000 without as much as a test drive! The car had 28 miles on it at delivery, a figure which seems to be average given what I've heard from recent S4 owners.

After pulling the car out it was time for the "all smiles" picture with Brian Stacy, my Laurel Audi Brand Specialist. I would like to take the opportunity to praise Brian and everybody at Laurel for the fantastic buying experience. I definitely recommend Laurel Audi to prospective buyers.

I know, I know -- enough with the background. After taking one more picture of my old car and new car back to back, it was time to finally hit the road in the S4. I bet that other new S4 owners have had a similar experience to mine. I left the dealership and here I was in this unbelievable vehicle -- my dream car -- with both a break-in period and crazy Chicago traffic with which to contend. Needless to say I didn't experience a lot of spirited driving in that first hour. I'm willing to bet, however, that the smile never left my face. Knowing the type of power that was there under the hood and basking in the aroma of brand new Audi leather, I was one happy new owner.

The car now has over 1300 miles on it and has performed flawlessly. During the first 1000 miles I was very careful not to push the engine speed and to cool the turbos with a few moments of idling once I arrived at a destination. I did not, however, baby the car. I believe that you "shape" the personality of your car during the initial break-in and that the engine needs to be worked out appropriately. Besides, it's almost impossible to keep the car at a reasonable speed with the sinful amount of power available in any gear and at any speed.

My favorite gears are definitely 3rd and 4th. Power here is so full, yet smooth that you feel like you are being hurtled by an invisible and silent force. First gear can be nearly useless, especially in traffic. Getting used to 6th gear hasn't been nearly as difficult as I thought it might be.

A4.Org will present regular follow-ups on this vehicle, including information about any upgrades. The first scheduled upgrade is 18" Projektzwo wheels which go on the car this week. Stay tuned.... and feel free to send me e-mail if you have specific questions.






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