There’s been much speculation as to what the next Audi S4 is going to be like, whether or not it would use a new turbocharged V6 engine and how much power it would have. Well, Audi has answered all of those questions and the upcoming Audi S4 looks very promising.
The main question surrounding the upcoming Audi S4 is about its engine. The next-generation B9 Audi S4 will use a 3.0 liter turbocharged TFSI V6 and will produce a very healthy 354 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque. That’s quite a bit more than the BMW 340i’s 320 hp and right on point with the Jaguar XE S’ 355 hp. Peak torque comes in at a very early 1,300 rpm and stays flat until its 4,500 rpm drop off. The odd thing about the new S4 is that it will use an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic, instead of Audi’s seven-speed dual-clutch S-Tronic gearbox. But the pairing sends power to all four wheels, via Audi’s Quattro system, and can hustle the S4 from 0-60 mph in a claimed 4.7 seconds. Top speed is limited to 155 mph and the engine will consume 7.4 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (31 mpg US).
The standard Quattro system on the Audi S4 uses a self-locking center differential and under normal circumstances will send 60 percent of the power to the rear wheels and 40 percent to the front wheels. For various other situations, up to 70 percent of the power can be sent to the front while up to 85 percent can be sent rearward. During hard cornering, in Dynamic Mode, the inside wheels are braked before they slip, allowing for better handling. An optional rear Sports Differential will aid in handling performance as well.
Also aiding in handling dynamics is the revised suspension. A new Five-link suspension, at both the front and rear axles, precisely separates the longitudinal and transverse forces, much like Jaguar’s Integral Link rear suspension, thus ensuring stability and agility through tight corners. This is actually more important that many might think, as accounting for lateral movement in the suspension is equally as important as vertical movement and is something most automakers don’t do for cost and space-saving purposes. Jaguar’s latest Integral Link proves just how important this is, as the new Jaguar XE feels considerably more stable and confidence inspiring than its competitors.
The standard suspension on the Audi S4 will lower the ride height 23 millimeters from the standard A4 and will come with CDC (Continuous Damping Control), which allows the driver to adjust damping characteristics on the fly. An optional adjustable suspension with Active Damper Control is also available as an option and will retain the same ride height. 18″ wheels are standard, with 19″ wheels being an optional extra. For some reason, Audi was mum on the brakes, but expect big ceramic discs with powerful binders clamping down on them.
The B9 Audi S4 is the definition of a sleeper. With very little to distinguish itself as the go-fast model in the A4 lineup, the S4 will roast plenty of unsuspecting so-called sports cars on the road. With only quad exhaust pipes, a subtle decklid spoiler, the famous aluminum mirror housings and a slightly more aggressive grille to distinguish itself, the S4 is quite the reserved looking sports sedan. It works for it, though, as the new S4 is a very handsome car. It’s just the right amount of flair that the standard A4 needed to be a truly good looking car. Only the keen enthusiasts will notice the S4 amongst the crowd. The aluminum mirrors, rear diffuser and quad exhaust pipes are probably the biggest giveaways. Standard equipment features LED headlights and taillights and the S4 Avant gets a power-lift tailgate as standard as well as anodized roof rails. Matrix LED headlights are available in all markets except for North America.
The interior has been significantly upgraded from the standard A4, however, and looks fantastic. With Black Nappa leather and Alcantara seats and real brushed aluminum trim, the S4’s interior is a genuinely sporty place to sit. The seats have adjustable side sections, integrated headrests and even a pneumatic massage function. Red ambient lighting also adorns the cockpit, giving a subtle yet sporty glow. Cabin acoustics are possibly best-in-class, as the S4 comes with double-glazed window glass and the S4’s aerodynamics have been improved over the standard car.
Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital gauge cluster is standard on the S4, and even has a new “Sport” screen which places the rev-counter in the center, as is Audi’s latest MMI system. As with most modern MMI systems, there are three means of controlling it; the typical rotary knob, the multi-function steering wheel and now voice control. The Audi S4 will be available with an optional MMI Navigation Plus, which will come with high-speed internet connection via an LTE network. This allows devices such as iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets to be connected via WiFi hotspot.
Audi will also offer what’s called an Audi Phone Box, which allows mobile phones to be placed into it and it links them to the on-board aerial while also inductively charging them, if the phones have the option. Previously, the BMW 7 Series was the only car on the market to offer inductive charging on mobile phones, but now this Audi S4 has the option at half the price of the 7 Series. The Audi S4 will also offer a rear-seat entertainment package which will come with an Audi tablet to control it, a la BMW 7 Series as well. A Bang & Olufsen 3D surround sound system will also be available for audiophiles.
Audi needed a home run with this new S4 and I think it’s done it. The new Audi S4 looks the part, being part sleeper part sports car, and it should drive the part as well. With 354 hp, 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds and a clever all-wheel drive system, the Audi S4 should be dangerous competition for the BMW 340i, Jaguar XE S and Cadillac ATS 3.6. We can’t wait to get our hands on it.