We’ll admit that it’s been rather hard getting used to the idea of a diesel engine in the S4 sold in Europe. The same goes for the S5, S6, and S7, but that’s what Audi did and there’s no going back now. Auto Bild wanted to find out how the switch from TFSI to TDI power has impacted the car’s performance on track with the mid-cycle facelift.
The German journalists took the S4 Avant at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz where the speedy wagon was joined on track by other spicy long-roof models. We’re talking about the BMW M340i xDrive Touring, Mercedes-AMG C43 T-Modell, and arguably the sexiest of the bunch – the Volvo V60 T8 Polestar. We’re wondering why Auto Bild didn’t grab the M340d since it would’ve made more sense. On second thought, the hot diesel wagon from Bavaria made its debut only a few months ago, so they probably weren’t able to secure one so fast.
The four cars they’ve chosen represent an interesting mix of gasoline, diesel, and hybrid power, with the Volvo being the electrified member of the group. Auto Bild’s test driver Guido Naumann drove them all, kicking off with the S4 Avant. The sound it makes is not half bad for a diesel engine, but the BMW that followed it had a nicer noise from its inline-six. We’d argue the C43’s engine also has a more appealing tone, while the V60 is much quieter than its German rivals.
Not that it comes as a big surprise, but the heaviest car of the lot was also the slowest (and the most expensive we might add). We’re talking about the V60, having to carry around 2,028 kilograms (4,470 pounds) on the track. Also not a surprise, the S4 Avant came in third as the diesel was showing its limitations compared to the gasoline engines at higher speeds. It was ultimately a battle between the M340i and C43, which the former ultimately won by crossing the finish line in 1 minute and 39.71 seconds or about one and a half seconds quicker than the latter.
The winner might come as a surprise to some people considering the AMG had slightly more horsepower and torque while being a tad lighter than the M Performance model. However, track tests go to show there’s more to comparing two cars than simply putting their specs sheets side by side.
As a final note, it would be interesting to see how the S4 Avant in a non-European spec with its gasoline engine would stack up against the other three hot wagons tested here.