The formula here is cultivated understatement – a modest sporty look plus superior performance plus the quattro permanent all-wheel drive. The brand with the four rings is continuing this philosophy in the new S4 which is now available in South Africa.
Lightweight and strong: the 3.0 TFSI from Audi is a newly conceptualized engine and has been redeveloped from the ground up. It combines sports car performance with new levels of efficiency and also impresses with high power, ample torque, spontaneous response and a sonorous sound. The direct petrol injection engine with turbocharging has an output of 260 kW and produces a hefty torque of 500 Nm from 1,370 to 4,500 rpm. In terms of power and torque, it surpasses the previous model while achieving considerably lower figures in weight and fuel consumption.
The turbo V6 engine accelerates the Audi S4 from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds, and up to an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h. In the NEDC cycle, the S4 Sedan only consumes 7.3 liters of fuel per 100 km, which equates to less than 166 grams CO2 per kilometer.
Sporty and stable: handling
In the new S4, a fast and smoothly shifting eight-speed tiptronic handles the power transfer. Its lower gears have short, sporty ratios, while the upper gears are long to reduce revs and fuel consumption. When the driver releases the accelerator pedal at a speed between 55 and 160 km/h the automatic transmission switches over to an efficient freewheeling mode.
The quattro permanent all-wheel drive makes a large contribution to the sporty handling of the S4. In normal driving, it distributes engine forces with a slight emphasis of the rear wheels – if necessary the majority of forces can be directed to the axle with better traction.
Torque vectoring optimizes handling and stability in fast cornering with minimal brake interventions. The optional sport differential actively distributes torque between the rear wheels. The five-link front and rear suspensions enable significant comfort gains with emphatically sporty response. An alternative to electromechanical power steering is dynamic steering which varies its steering gear ratio according to the driving speed. The front brakes have internally-vented discs that are 350 mm in diameter. They are gripped by black (or optionally red) painted six-piston fixed calipers with S lettering.
Comfortable and spacious: the interior
The new S model is distinguished by its cultivated sportiness. The clean design with its strong horizontal orientation makes the spaciously designed interior – which seats five persons – appear even larger. The horizontal lines of the instrument panel with its wide band of air vents convey an impression of generous width. At night, LED light conductors trace the contours of the doors and the center console – in 30 colors with the optional ambient light package. Thanks to the vehicle’s excellent aeroacoustics, the interior noise level is exceptionally low.
The optional S sport seats have integrated head restraints, adjustable lateral supports and a pneumatic massage function. Fine Nappa leather is optional in the colors black, rotor gray or magma red with diamond pattern, contrasting stitching and an S badge. The color black dominates in the interior, which is set off by contrasting inlays made of matt brushed aluminum.
State-of-the-art: infotainment display and control
Thanks to the fundamentally new control and display concept, the driver can control all functions of the new S4 effortlessly and intuitively. The optional Audi virtual cockpit, the fully digital instrument cluster, shows all key information on a 12.3-inch TFT display in brilliant resolution, a high level of detail and intricately rendered graphic effects. The “View” button on the sport leather steering wheel with multifunction plus is used to switch between the different user interfaces. Three views are available, including an exclusive sport mode with the tachometer as the dominant element.
The main operating unit is the MMI control panel on the center console, which is also new. When MMI navigation plus with MMI touch is installed, the rotary push-button control has a touchpad for zooming on the map and entering characters. Like with a smartphone, the MMI operating logic is designed for the fewest steps possible, including intelligent free-text search known as MMI search. The new voice control can also process expressions and sentences from everyday speech such as: “Where can I refuel?”
Another high-end option for the new S4 is the head-up display. It projects relevant information onto the windshield as symbols and numbers. They appear to hover around two meters in front of the driver within a window area measuring 200 x 80 mm. The human eye, which is accustomed to longer focal distances, acquires this information extremely quickly.
The Audi phone box connects smartphones to the on-board antenna and charges them inductively based on the Qi standard. The Bang & Olufsen sound system with its new type of 3D sound adds the spatial dimension of height. Its amplifier delivers 755 watts of audio power to 19 loudspeakers.
Leading role: driver assistance systems
The new Audi S4 is right at the forefront in its class with a broad array of driver assistance systems. The systems come from the full-size sedan class; its intelligent interplay represents the next step toward piloted driving.
Playing a central role here is adaptive cruise control (ACC) Stop&Go including traffic jam assist. ACC maintains a specified distance to the vehicle ahead. The driver can set this distance and the control dynamics over several stages. Its Stop&Go function brakes the car to a full stop and lets it start off again automatically at the driver’s request. Over a speed range from 0 to 65 km/h, traffic jam assist – another function of ACC – can also take over steering on well-built roads, as long as the traffic is moving slowly. The rear cross traffic assist, exit warning, turn assist, obstacle avoidance assist and Audi pre sense systems further enhance safety. The predictive efficiency assistant, unique in this vehicle class, helps by offering drivers situation-specific tips on how to save fuel.
Sporty understatement: exterior design
The appearance of the new S4 is sporty but not ostentatious. The bumper, air inlets and side sills feature distinctive contours. Many of the add-on parts are painted in graduated tones of matt gray. Aluminum inlays accentuate its design. The exterior mirror housings shine in aluminum look. The rear bumper integrates a black honeycomb grille, aluminum diffuser trim and four tailpipes. An intelligent combination of materials makes the body very torsionally stiff, safe and lightweight. The new S4 Sedan with standard quattro drive weighs just 1,630 kg.
The following equipment will be offered on the Audi S4 as standard:
- 4-way lumbar support for the front seats
- Ambient lighting package
- Audi drive select with efficiency®
- Audi pre sense basic
- Audi sound system
- Automatic air conditioning
- Audi Sport cast aluminium wheels, 5-spoke V design contrasting grey, partly polished, size 8.5J x 19
- Comfort key
- Cruise control
- Driver information system with colour display
- Bluetooth interface including AUX-IN and USB jack
- Electrically adjustable exterior mirrors
- Electromechanical power steering
- Exterior mirror housings in aluminium look
- Frequency Alcantara/leather with embossed S logo in the front seat backs
- Front sport seats, electrically adjustable
- High-gloss package
- Inlays, Matt brushed aluminium
- ISOFIX child seat mounting and Top Tether anchorage point for outer rear seats
- LED headlights and rear lights with dynamic indicator and headlight range control
- Light / rain sensor
- Luggage compartment lid, automatically opening
- MMI radio plus
- Pedals and footrest in stainless steel
- quattro with self-locking centre differential
- Rear parking aid
- S sports suspension
- Side airbags at front and head airbag system
- Space-saving spare wheel
- Sport contour leather steering wheel, 3-spoke design, flattened at the with multifunction plus
- Start/stop system
- Tyre pressure monitoring display
The Audi S4 is priced at R809 000, standard with the 5 year/100 000km Audi Freeway Plan and inclusive of all taxes.