After the recent World Car of the Year Awards, where Audi took out both the Performance and the Design categories, the Audi S4 may seem to be somewhat overshadowed by the RS4. However, the Audi S4 is not so much a Cinderella – the RS4 certainly isn’t an ugly stepsister – but is more like Robin to the RS4’s Batman. The Audi S4 may be “merely” the Boy Wonder, but certainly as a worthy role as part of the Dynamic Duo.
The Audi S4 definitely looks impressive enough. Like most vehicles designed by Audi, the S4 has that subtle grace that, while not as in-your-face as the Italian or Japanese sports cars, promises speed, power and luxury. The 18″ aluminium alloy wheels have been made to the unique Avus design, adding to the beauty of the vehicle.
It may not have taken out the title of Performance car of the year, but the Audi S4 certainly has enough power to impress. At 4163 cc, the Audi S4 has the same size engine as the award-winning RS4, but packs slightly less punch. But with a very good 253 kW of power at 7000 rpm and a top torque of 510 Nm at 3500 rpm, the Audi S4 is certainly not lacking in raw energy. The top velocity has been restricted to 250 km/hr, and the Audi S4 is capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 km/hr in 5.8 seconds, a full second slower than the RS4, but nothing to be ashamed of. I, for one, would not at all be averse to enjoy using the 6-speed tiptronic gears (which come with dynamic shift program and sports program) to put the Audi S4 through its paces via the Motronic transmission.
The “S” sports suspension makes the ride in the Audi S4 firm yet comfortable, and the speed sensitive power steering responds well both on the open road and around town. All wheel drive gives that extra edge when gripping the road or when a little bit more traction is needed. The brakes on the Audi S4 are also super-safe with the electronic stabilisation program, which features anti-slip regulation, electronic differential lock, ASB and brake assist. And around town, the Audi S4’s acoustic parking system at the rear is a very useful feature (the acoustic parking system in the front is available as an option).
The S4 has all the safety features we have come to expect from top car manufacturer like Audi. Front airbags for driver and front passenger, side airbags front and rear, curtain airbags front and back – they’re all there on the Audi S4. Active head restraints in the front help prevent whiplash during a collision.
Good visibility, in both senses of the word, seems to have been taken into account when the Audi S4 was designed. Xenon headlights light up anything in the road at night, especially with the dynamic cornering technology that allows the headlights to swivel – plus they look good. Fog lights front and rear make the Audi S4 stand out in low-light conditions, while the exterior side mirrors (which are made in stylish polished aluminium) are heated to prevent them fogging up (haven’t we all hated that problem?).
Inside, the Audi S4 may not have quite as many bells and whistles as its “big brother”, but it does come with a good air conditioning system, BOSE speakers with a six-disc CD system and plush silk Nappa leather upholstery off-set by carbon fibre inlays – certainly enough to keep most people happy and comfortable.
So the Audi S4 didn’t win any awards. But it certainly is a very good luxury sports car, and one that I would be very happy to own.
Current model series include:
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