The third generation Audi S4 is something that has caught every car enthusiasts’ attention. The new model is said to be environmentally friendly and with a new 3.0 TFSI engine developed for the larger S6, it made sense for Audi to revert to six cylinder power for the MK3 S4 model, which I think is actually a good move in the cutting edge market.
The gearchange is known to be one of Audi’s best efforts. It’s smooth with a decent weight to the change linked to a heavy duty clutch, yet at any speed between 20mph and 120mph, it’s tempting to just leave the S4 in fourth gear and hitch your surfboard to that huge swell of torque.
The design of the S4’s 3.0-litre V6 is interesting in its use of a compact supercharger chosen because it delivers keener response than even two turbo chargers could achieve. With the compressor’s help, this unit generates a healthy 440Nm torque peak available from 2,500rpm right through to 4,850rpm, enabling an appropriate 0-62mph sprint time of just 5.1 seconds for the manual Saloon (or 5.2 seconds for the comparable Avant estate). Top speed as usual is limited electronically to 155mph.
Buyers have an option of picking a seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch automatic transmission, which delivers a lightning fast manual shift with virtually no interruption of the engine’s power delivery.
On the road, this car feels more agile than before, thanks to the new generation A4’s redesigned chassis and repositioned front axle.
Audi has three optional Audi drive select adaptive dynamics package. First, the active sport system enables the driver to fine-tune throttle response, steering assistance and transmission shift points (where S tronic is fitted) via dashboard-mounted buttons to suit personal preferences or prevailing road conditions. The other two packages enable you to fine-tune either the damping or the dynamic steering set-up. What’s really cool about the options is if you can afford it, you can even specify all three.
The familiar Audi hallmarks include the aluminium-look door mirrors, xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights, special ‘S’ front and rear styling treatments and black painted brake callipers bearing the S4 logo. For the first time in an Audi model at this level, the S4 is also enhanced visually by distinctive LED rear lights.
Inside, the ‘S’ theme is conveyed by sports seats upholstered in leather and Alcantara, and by ‘S’ embossing for the exclusive silver-faced dials and the multifunction sports steering wheel. Pricey options include a 505-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system, an Audi Music Interface with iPod connectivity, adaptive cruise control, a side assist lane change assistant, a park-assist system and adaptive light swivelling headlamps for improved corner illumination.
The combination of supercharging and direct injection used in the S4’s 3.0TFSI engine works very much in favour of fuel economy and emissions. It is significantly faster, greener and considerably more fuel efficient.
This latest version is, without doubt, a big improvement on its predecessor. For me, what significantly defines this car is it’s greener, faster, and gives excellent fuel economy.
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