Is the all-new Audi S4 TDI actually better as a diesel?

When Audi switched the S4 to diesel power, the enthusiast market went a bit nuts. And rightfully so, to be honest. The Audi S4 has long been a go-to performance machine for those that wanted speed but also needed reasonable practicality. It has always been the right blend of thrilling performance and everyday usability. With a diesel engine, though, it seems as if Audi is leaning more toward the latter. However, could the enthusiast outrage be misplaced? Could the Audi S4 actually be better with a diesel engine? Car Throttle reckons it is, actually.

While the S4 will retain its 3.0 liter turbocharged V6 gasoline engine here in the ‘States, it makes the jump to diesel in Europe. And it might actually make a bit more sense than the gasoline car. First, let’s just take a look at the specs. CT is quick to point out that the new diesel engine, a 3.0 liter turbocharged V6 of its own, isn’t really down much on power. With 342 hp, it’s only down about 14 ponies, not a significant amount.

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However, it’s actually up quite a bit in terms of torque. Whereas the petrol-powered Audi S4 makes 369 lb-ft of torque, the new diesel car makes 516 lb-ft. That’s a massive increase and enough torque to churn asphalt into powder. So despite having a bit less power, and revving lower, the new diesel Audi S4 actually gets from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds, which is only four tenths slower. So it’s still seriously quick.

Also, it’s far more efficient, lending itself well to the European market. While the outgoing gasoline V6 isn’t exactly a gas-guzzler, it wasn’t exactly a fuel-sipper, either. In fact, it’s barely more efficient than the old naturally-aspirated V8 it replaced. So the new diesel engine actually offers genuine fuel economy to go with its power.

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Then there’s the fact that the gasoline-powered S4 that us ‘Mericans still get isn’t really much fun anyway. It doesn’t sound great, it’s a bit laggy low in the rev range and it’s just not very enjoyable to use. It’s fine and it isn’t a bad engine, it’s just a bit blah. So the fact that the new diesel engine is also blah really doesn’t matter too much. Not it’s just blah with more torque and better fuel economy.

So while making the Audi S4 a diesel seems a bit sacrilegious, it actually makes a bit more sense than the gasoline car for certain markets.

[Source: Car Throttle]

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.