It is a known fact that the A4 is one of the bestselling premium sedans from the German car maker, Audi for the past 39 years. This German car maker has sold more than 10 million A4s worldwide which will easily get you the real picture of its global popularity.
The A4 was first introduced as the Audi 80 and then in 1994 it was replaced by the Audi A4, the name that we know today. Audi has got 7 generations of the Audi 80 and the A4 combined and now currently the model is in its eight generation that India received a few months back. As we reviewed the latest generation Audi A4 in its 1.8 TFSi form some time back, Audi made a surprise announcement of getting the S4 on the Indian roads.
The Audi S4 is a known high performance version of the Audi A4. A little about the car before we get to the review; the initial Audi S4 were based on the Audi 80 while later in 1997 the S4 were based on the Audi A4 with a much high powered engine and a lot of re-engineering to get it to its performance best. The current Audi S4, codenamed the B8 was with us for some time and we are still on a high after driving this rocket of a car.
Read on to know everything about the performance premium sedan, ‘the explosively powerful Audi S4’ in our comprehensive road test.
As mentioned, the Audi S4 is based on the Audi A4 because of which, the basic design of the exteriors remain almost identical. The current Audi A4, codenamed the B8, shares the platform also with the Audi A5 so the S4 too benefits from that. The Audi S4 that we drove was in ravishing blood red colour shade and that added a lot of extra weight to its sporty appeal. The Audi S4 stands at 4716mm in length and has an overall height of 1406mm while the sports sedan has a width of 1826mm making it one of the largest sports sedans in its class. The Audi S4 stands a bit lower than the A4, thanks to the low profile tyres and its low-sprung sporty stance that has been intentionally incorporated.
The front of the Audi S4 has the distinctive and distinguishable Bavarian Beard Audi grille that has grown larger and so has the 4 ring Audi monogram that’s got even more prominent and seems 3 dimensional. The Bavarian Beard grille has seven horizontal slats in chrome as compared to the Audi A4 that has the seven slats in glossy black. The Audi S4 flaunts the chrome surrounds running on the edges of the dual blade grille.
This extra chrome treatment along with the S4 monogram in red and black shining on the grille makes the face of the S4 distinct from that of the A4. Like on the A4, the S4 too retains the sharp and flowing designed front bumper that gels neatly with the angular air dams and fog lamps placed with black honeycomb surrounds on the lower section of the bumper. A chrome strip runs across the air dam just below the fog lamps just as on the A4. The Audi S4 also retains the new design headlamps of the A4 with the wave LED pattern instead of the LED bulbs on the older A4, the Audi Q3 too shares this wave LED design headlamps.
The lighting package on the Audi S4 consists of the Bi-Xenon plus projector headlamps along with the day time running lights that are slightly brighter than the one on the A4. The fresh looking headlamps give a very sporty and bold look to the S4s. The bonnet has smooth crease that flows backwards to the windshield. The mouth of the bonnet where it mates with the front grille has a smooth curve that adds more presence. The side profile on the Audi S4 remains unchanged to that of the A4 with slim fenders and the sculpted door panels along with a strong crease seen running across the waistline of the S4.
The wheel arches are flat and have a distinct soft curve on them. The Audi S4 gets the sporty design twin- five spoke alloys mounted on Michelin low profile tyres of 245/40 R18 spec. The wing mirrors on it get aluminium finish metal mirror housing as opposed to body coloured ones on the A4 while the LED integrated turn lights remain unchanged. The Audi S4 also retains the thick chrome insert garnish that enhances the window sill in tandem with the blacked out door pillars. The Audi S4 gets the body coloured sports side skirts that further make the S4 appear low profiled.
The rear profile on the Audi S4 remains same as the Audi A4, barring the integrated boot spoiler and the rear bumper that gets the bumper skirts with a thick aluminium strip running across. The tail lamp remains the same as on the Audi A4 with LED strips in similar wave design as on the headlamps. The Audi S4 comes with quad-exhausts (4 exhausts) that are round in shape and large in size. You can’t mistake the S4 for an A4, firstly due to its low stance and the Audi S4 badging on the front and the rear. The side fenders too get the V6T badging to distinguish the S4. The Audi S4 comes with an electric sun/moon roof and a body coloured fish tail radio antenna as standard.
The exteriors of the Audi S4 look super sporty, appealing and very smart and the low profile stance of the S4 gives it that distinct edge over the A4 which makes it stand out of the crowd. The rear looks very attractive with the bumper skirts, quad-silencers and the S badging. The Audi S4 is made in Germany and has the typical Audi build quality on it. The paint quality is second to none and so is the fit and finish.
On the inside, Audi has reworked the A4 cabin to make it the sportiest best with the S4. The upholstery and dash is in all black. The dash is made of soft plastic material. The car comes with a three spoke sports steering which is leather wrapped as opposed to the four spoke steering on the A4. A large S4 signature monogram looks very neat on the steering. This steering is adjustable manually for height and reach and comes with all the multi-function controls on it.
The instrument cluster on the Audi S4 gets the special S4 badging while the dials are similar in shape and design to the Audi A4s instrument cluster but the background on the dials have changed to grey shade and the needles are now in white. The dials have chrome lining around them. The multi-function display unit in the middle reads out all the needed information that the driver needs. On the left of the instrument cluster is the ignition key port, you just need to insert the key remote into the port and press the remote to start or stop the ignition of the vehicle, in fact you can also keep the key in your pocket and start the S4 using the push button start on the centre console.
The centre of the dash on the Audi S4 has the colour display screen mounted that displays the info for the latest generation MMI (Multi Media Interface) unit. You can browse through the radio channels or play music from an MP3 or audio CD or set the Audi Drive select settings using the screen and the MMI unit. Bluetooth connectivity, navigation and AC settings are also set through the MMI selection using the screen and the JOG dial on the centre console. The MMI control buttons on the New A4 and S4 are a lot less confusing and easy to use as compared to the older A4.
The double zone climate control works efficiently and cools the cabin instantly. The Audi S4 gets the sporty auto shifter with a round head grip. The electro-mechanical hand brake and auto hold buttons are placed on the right side of the auto shift lever along with the push button start that is also on the centre console. You have the usual Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive and Sport mode along with the tip-tronic shift that can be activated by sliding the shifter to the left side. The knobs and buttons on the Audi S4 are of very high quality and give a feel that they are made forever.
The Audi S4 gets brushed aluminium inserts around the centre console, door panels and on the dash to heighten the sporty character of the S4s cabin. You also get special aluminum sports pedals on the Audi S4. Storage compartment and bottle/can holders along with mobile bins are nicely spread around the cabin. It gets special sports seat package and these seats are in black leather with a mix of Alcantara finish inserts and have S4 inscribed on them.
The front seats also have an extendable lower thigh support that can be set manually. The front seats engulf the occupants in the best supportive manner and offer excellent grip and comfort. Both the front seats are fully electrically adjustable with three memory pre-set settings. The road visibility from the driver’s seat is near perfect and once seated, you have a sense of being seated in an aircraft cockpit with all the needed control buttons falling at hand.
The rear seats on the Audi S4 also come with the Alcantara upholstery; the seats at the rear are well contoured for comfort and come with the 40-60 split folding. Rear AC vents are standard on the Audi S4 as on the A4. You also get an electric rear sunblind and manual rear side window blinds on the Audi S4. The comfort factor inside this sedan from Audi is high and with the all black upholstery, roof linings, metal inserts along with S4 and Quattro badging, Audi leaves no stone unturned to give this a complete sports sedan feel.
The engine, suspension and transmission are what ultimately make the Audi S4 different from the Audi A4. The Audi S4 comes powered with a 3.0-litre V6 Supercharged petrol engine. Now this 2995cc V6 engine is the same that also powers the Audi A6 but the Audi S4 benefits the power to weight ratio as it stands 110kgs lighter than the Audi A6 and thus returns to hit out about 38bhp more than the A6. The 3.0-liter V6 engine also powers the Audi Q7 SUV. The S4 powertrain makes 333hp between the 5500 and 6500rpm and belts out a huge 440Nm of torque between 2900 to 5300rpm. This super charged direct injection engine is mated to a 7-speed S-Tronic transmission along with the Quattro (all-wheel drive) system.
The Audi S4 can do a dash to 60kmph in under 4.9seconds which should give you an even better picture of its performance. Once you start the engine, the car idles with a distinct V6 roar that is very pleasing to petrol heads and if you have seen the Fast and the Furious movies you will surely know what it means. Floor the throttle at idle and the massive power under the hood shakes the S4 up as it locks the rev at the 4000rpm. Shift to the drive mode and you realise the true-blue character of this beast. The S4 can be driven like any other premium sedans but when you want to have fun just tap the throttle further. The Audi S4 generates massive amounts of power and that too instantly. The speed builds up at a blink of an eyelid with your head hitting back in the headrest and the S4 flying to glory at break neck speeds.
The Audi S4 is very responsive, the reason being the supercharger that’s positioned ‘V’ of the engine cylinder. Compressed air has to travel a very short distance to the six cylinders and this makes the big difference in the power delivery. The Audi S4 is a joy to drive. You can choose between the various Audi Drive select pre-set modes (comfort, auto, dynamic, individual) and set the gearbox, steering, transmission, differential and even the exhaust note. The electromechanical steering feedback is phenomenon and it gets stiffer as the speed builds up, ensuring that the driver is always in control.
This car is real fast and can do speed of 250kmph and well, it gets to that speeds pretty quick. The fun never ends while driving the Audi S4 as the car drives very well and handles razor sharp. The Quattro all-wheel drive system keeps the S4 well planted. The suspension setup on the S4 is hard and flat as a sports car should have, so as to help it corner sharp. The S4 gets upgraded brakes to cope with the extra speeds that it does and braking is pretty spot on.
You can at times hear the engine blip while downshifting and yes let us admit the blip does sound. You can also choose to shift manually using the paddle shifters and trust us, no exaggeration but blipping the revs on the V6 is a heavenly experience. The aerodynamics of the S4 with the low stance not only helps it cut wind but also helps in bettering the ride quality.
The Audi S4 comes with a long list of features and equipment level, some of them are listed here which we found real innovative.
Dual Circuit with Diagonal Spilt, ABS, EBD, ESP and Brake Disc Wiping Feature
Electromechanical park brake
Audi quattro with Sport Differential
Reverse camera with Audi Parktronic
Audi Sports Suspension
ABS, EBD, ESP
Auto Headlights with adaptive feature
Auto Rain and Light sensors
Heated wing mirrors with auto dimming
Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity
The Audi S4 competes with the likes of BMW M3, Volvo S60 T6 and Mercedes – Benz C63 AMG.
S stands for Sexy, Stylish, Sleek and Sports… and the Audi S4 does everything roaring with real ease and agility. The Audi S4 is the perfect car to buy if you desire a sports car that you can also drive to your office from Monday to Friday and then set yourself loose on the weekends. You have a large cabin for seating five and that too in a sports car, just to make sure you don’t forget to take your friends partying too on the weekends.
You get a mind-blowing powerful car that does bring a smile to your face that remains even after you step out of the S4, and then you have the V6 exhaust note that can get intoxicating. The Audi S4 corners sharp and drives remarkably well. If you want some serious sports package combined with a premium sedan then the Audi S4 is just the right car to get that you can get currently. Rightly, the Audi S4 is a sports car and a Premium sedan all in one car.
The Audi S4 is the closest you can get in experiencing the 2 Fast 2 Furious movies in real life (PS. We are not telling you try all those stunts but just saying that S4 is capable enough to do them and like we already told you, at a top whack of 250kmph.)