The S4 has at all times occupied a delightful center floor in Audi’s lineup. With an even bigger serving to of energy, higher dealing with and a bit extra model than a normal A4, the S4 is a stunning automotive that is nowhere close to too stiff or unmanageable for day by day driving duties. The 2018 S4, fortunately, carries on this custom of being a superbly sorted, but extremely succesful sport sedan.

New increase

The 2018 Audi S4 has a Three.Zero-liter V6 engine beneath its hood, however not like its predecessor, the brand new mill is turbocharged as an alternative of supercharged. This ends in 354 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque — will increase of 21 horsepower and, extra importantly, 44 pound-feet over the supercharged engine. Along with the ZF-sourced eight-speed computerized transmission, Audi says 60 mph will arrive in simply Four.Four seconds, although the engine continues to be environment friendly sufficient to obtain respectable EPA-estimated gas financial system scores of 21 mpg metropolis and 30 mpg freeway.

The S4 makes the change to turbo energy.

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When pedaling it laborious in Dynamic mode, the drivetrain is improbable, with no turbo lag to talk of. Proper-now thrust is accessible on a regular basis, with peak torque on-line from 1,370 to Four,500 rpm, permitting for depraved photographs away from stoplights and out of corners. In its full computerized mode, the transmission’s gear adjustments are fast and well-timed, however a guide mode can be right here for these on the lookout for a extra involving drive expertise. The one draw back to deciding on your personal gears is that plastic steering wheel paddles really really feel low-cost.

When you’re hoping for a guide transmission, effectively, I’ve unhealthy information. The six-speed stick that was out there in older S4s goes away for 2018. The automated is now the only gearbox possibility. Complain all you need, however the take price for three-pedal S4s wasn’t sufficient for Audi to warrant constructing them. I do know, bummer. However the eight-speed auto is simply high quality.

Sharper dynamics

The brand new S4 is healthier suited to dealing with this enhance of energy, its Quattro all-wheel drive system utilizing a rear-biased, 40/60 default torque cut up. The middle differential can alter front-to-rear bias in keeping with driving model and traction situations, with as much as 85 p.c of the out there torque going rearward. Elevating the dealing with IQ of my check automotive additional is an optionally available S Sport Package deal that provides a torque vectoring rear differential and adaptive dampers that each one work collectively to make the S4 really feel extremely gentle on its toes. That is regardless of a hefty Three,858-pound curb weight, too.

Sharper than your common sport sedan.

Roadshow/Audi

Flip-in response is sort of quick, with gobs of grip out there on the S4’s 245/40R18 Hankook Ventus S1 Evo2 tires. The brakes are muscular and understeer is rarely a problem, the rear finish shortly rotating throughout spirited driving.

Enabling the Drive Choose’s Consolation mode simmers down the chassis and drivetrain. The steering will get lighter, the suspension relaxes, the transmission shifts at a extra leisurely tempo. For commuting or lengthy freeway sprints, it turns the sporty S4 right into a docile machine.

As for knocks, I will say the S4’s steering continues to be numb on middle like many Audis, and total, the automotive may be somewhat too buttoned-up for its personal good. It is extremely enjoyable, thoughts you, however might stand to loosen its collar somewhat. Extra growl from the exhaust could be a welcome enhancement.

Understated appears to be like

Visually separating the S4 from common A4s are barely extra aggressive entrance and rear fascias, aluminum exterior trim, a rear spoiler, quad exhaust suggestions and 18-inch, split-spoke wheels. These aren’t large tweaks, thoughts you, however I just like the lower-key, under-the-radar model of Audi’s S fashions. In comparison with an M Sport-ified BMW, this one seems to be a sleeper.

Highlighting the cabin are leather-based sport seats with diamond-stitched Alcantara inserts that tightly seize onto passengers, with help in all the correct locations and, apparently, have a normal therapeutic massage operate up entrance. A flat-bottom steering wheel and brushed aluminum trim full the additions to the standard inside, the remainder of which is comprised of high-quality plastics and many soft-touch surfaces.

Robust tech

Quarterbacking infotainment capabilities within the S4 is Audi’s intuitive and responsive MMI system with an eight.Three-inch middle display, navigation, Wi-Fi hotspot and Bluetooth. Spitting out the tunes is a crisp-sounding Bang & Olufsen audio system with 19 audio system sprinkled all through the cabin. MMI additionally helps each Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for individuals who desire handy infotainment controls to their telephones. For juice, there are two USB ports within the middle armrest, a 12-volt outlet on the decrease middle stack and one on the again of the middle console for individuals within the rear.

Audi’s intuitive MMI system handles S4 infotainment.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

The 12.Three-inch Digital Cockpit sprint can be out there on the S4, with a brand new Sport view that locations a big tachometer entrance and middle, flanked by the Google Earth map and different infotainment info.

For security, my tester comes outfitted with ahead collision warning with computerized emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, backup digicam and rear cross-traffic alert, which is at all times helpful when backing out in busy parking heaps. Adaptive cruise management and lane-keep help are additionally out there.

How I might spec it

On the subject of constructing my ultimate S4, making it essentially the most entertaining day by day driver potential is my primary purpose. With that in thoughts I’d start with the $52,375 base automotive, which incorporates $975 vacation spot. From there I might add the $2,500 S Sport Package deal for the adaptive dampers and torque vectoring rear differential to blaze again roads, be higher outfitted for infrequent open monitor days and have the choice of good experience consolation. I additionally actually just like the Digital Cockpit that’s a part of the $2,600 Navigation Package deal and also will spring for the $575 Navarra Blue paint job. That brings the worth tag of my S4 to $58,Zero50. The automotive pictured right here, with S Sport Package deal, Navigation Package deal and Dynamic steering system prices $59,550.

Sure, I will take the Digital Cockpit, please.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Head of the category

With automobiles just like the BMW 340i xDrive, Jaguar XE S AWD and Mercedes-AMG C 43 sedan all beginning within the low-to-mid $50,000 vary, the S4’s competitors is somewhat fierce. The 380-horsepower Jaguar and 362-horsepower Mercedes have somewhat extra energy than the Audi. However the S4 can declare acceleration bragging rights with its Four.Four-second Zero-to-60 mph time — it is faster than all the remainder.

Actually, the one standout function from the aggressive set is that the BMW will be had with a guide transmission. However for those who’re like nearly all of consumers, who do not completely want a stick, the S4 is arguably the most effective guess within the class. Peppy energy, spectacular dealing with, good experience consolation, good-looking appears to be like and trick inside tech make it essentially the most full and compelling automotive of the bunch.

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