The S4 has at all times occupied a satisfying center floor in Audi’s lineup. With an even bigger serving to of energy, higher dealing with and a bit extra fashion than a standard A4, the S4 is a beautiful automobile that is nowhere close to too stiff or unmanageable for every 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 below its hood, however not like its predecessor, the brand new mill is turbocharged as a substitute 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 automated 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 gasoline financial system scores of 21 mpg metropolis and 30 mpg freeway.

The S4 makes the swap to turbo energy.

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

In case you’re hoping for a guide transmission, properly, I’ve unhealthy information. The six-speed stick that was accessible 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 best suited to dealing with this improve 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 based on driving fashion and traction situations, with as much as 85 % of the accessible torque going rearward. Elevating the dealing with IQ of my check automobile additional is an optionally available S Sport Bundle that provides a torque vectoring rear differential and adaptive dampers that each one work collectively to make the S4 really feel extremely mild on its ft. That is regardless of a hefty Three,858-pound curb weight, too.

Sharper than your common sport sedan.


Flip-in response is almost quick, with gobs of grip accessible on the S4’s 245/40R18 Hankook Ventus S1 Evo2 tires. The brakes are muscular and understeer isn’t a problem, the rear finish rapidly 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 am going to say the S4’s steering continues to be numb on middle like many Audis, and total, the automobile may be slightly too buttoned-up for its personal good. It is extremely enjoyable, thoughts you, however may stand to loosen its collar slightly. Extra growl from the exhaust could be a welcome enhancement.

Understated appears

Visually separating the S4 from regular 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 big tweaks, thoughts you, however I just like the lower-key, under-the-radar fashion 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 assist in all the precise locations and, curiously, have a regular 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 plenty of soft-touch surfaces.

Robust tech

Quarterbacking infotainment features 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 many who favor handy infotainment controls to their phones. 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 folks within the rear.

Audi’s intuitive MMI system handles S4 infotainment.

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The 12.Three-inch Digital Cockpit sprint can also be accessible 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 data.

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

How I would spec it

On the subject of constructing my best S4, making it probably the most entertaining every day driver potential is my important objective. With that in thoughts I might start with the $52,375 base automobile, which incorporates $975 vacation spot. From there I would add the $2,500 S Sport Bundle for the adaptive dampers and torque vectoring rear differential to blaze again roads, be higher outfitted for infrequent open observe days and have the choice of good journey consolation. I additionally actually just like the Virtual Cockpit that’s a part of the $2,600 Navigation Bundle and also will spring for the $575 Navarra Blue paint job. That brings the value tag of my S4 to $58,Zero50. The automobile pictured right here, with S Sport Bundle, Navigation Bundle and Dynamic steering system prices $59,550.

Sure, I am going to take the Digital Cockpit, please.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Head of the category

With vehicles 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 quite fierce. The 380-horsepower Jaguar and 362-horsepower Mercedes have slightly 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 remaining.

Actually, the one standout function from the aggressive set is that the BMW may be had with a guide transmission. However in the event you’re like nearly all of patrons, who do not completely want a stick, the S4 is arguably the most effective wager within the class. Peppy energy, spectacular dealing with, good journey consolation, good-looking appears and trick inside tech make it probably the most full and compelling car of the bunch.

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