Just as expected, merely a couple of months after the introduction of the B9 A4, Audi is has unveiled the hotter variant at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, the S4. Based on the fifth generation B9 A4, the new S4 is readily available in either the Sedan or the Avant (wagon in Audi-speak) body styles.
Not to be confused with the S-line model Audis which are essentially regular models donned up in a fancy suit, the S models sit in between the regular models and the full-blown RS models.
The evolution of the S4 is parallel with the A4, which means it doesn’t stray far in terms of looks from the outgoing B8 generation A4/S4. It might take awhile for you to tell the S4 apart from the A4, because the S4 looks, well, like the regular A4.
The aluminium-coloured side mirror covers are the biggest clue, and as you squint harder you should be able to spot that the slats in the Singleframe grille are different too. LED headlamps are part of the standard equipment, but customers can upgrade to Matrix LED headlamps from the options list.
At the other end, the diffuser accommodates two pairs of tailpipes on each side, while the S4 sedan gains a small lip spoiler at the edge of the boot lid. With the S sport suspension, the S4 rides 23 mm lower than the regular A4 too. Gracing the sides is a set of 18-inch 5-twin spoke star design wheels, but an inch-up option is also available, together with a beefier set of brakes.
Inside, the sporty treatment is not only limited to the black colour scheme and the S4 logos on the door sills. The S4 gets a sportier steering wheel, and a pair of S sport seats for the front occupants.
Equipment level is on par with the top-spec A4, so the S4 gets everything the A4 has, including the slick 12.3-inch virtual cockpit, the 8.3-inch monitor for the MMI touch system, the MMI navigation plus and the MIB II infotainment system with Audi connect that grants high-speed Wi-Fi hotspot. Additionally, buyers can opt for a banging Bang & Olufsen 3D Sound System as well.
Most of the changes are hidden from view. Chiefly, the new 3.0 TFSI V6 lump under the bonnet is now turbocharged instead of supercharged, serving up 25 hp more than the previous S4 resulting a total of 354 hp. Torque has also risen by 60 Nm to 500 Nm, and it’s spread across evenly from 1,300 rpm to 4,500 rpm.
There’s only one gearbox available this time, which is the eight-speed tiptronic automatic, but power is still sent to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. Up to 70 percent of the torque can be diverted to the front axle, and up to 85 to the rear axle, but under normal circumstances it’s split 40:60 front and back.
The new S4 is claimed to handle more precisely and more agile than before. The wheel-selective torque control will brake the inside wheels during cornering, but that can be further improved with the optional sport differential that distributes the torque between the rear wheels, and also the variable speed-dependent dynamic steering.
Century sprint takes 4.7 seconds, while the top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h. Similar to the A4, the S4 is lighter than before, at 1,630 kg the sedan is 20 kg less than its predecessor. With all that, the S4 achieves a combined fuel consumption of 7.4 litres per 100 km.
While we’re waiting for the arrival of the B9 A4 to reach our shores, Europe markets will get the new S4 in 2016, but there’s no mention on the price yet. Now that we’ve seen the new A4 and the new S4 are now lighter and more powerful than ever, let’s hope the same applies for the upcoming RS4!