The S4, a high-performance offshoot of the compact A4, rejoined Audi’s lineup for the 2004 model year. The S4 is powered by a 340-horsepower, 4.2-liter V-8 that teams with either a six-speed-manual gearbox or a six-speed-automatic transmission that incorporates a manual-shift provision.
The Audi S4’s 4.2 V8 engine produces 340 hp and a mighty peak torque of 302 lbs. ft. In acceleration tests, the S4 sedan rips from 0-60 miles per hour in just 5.3 seconds with a six-speed manual transmission and a specially tuned exhaust that announces the evidence of its power. All S4 models come equipped with Audi’s signature quattro all-wheel drive.
New for 2006 is the introduction of the latest generation Torsen drivetrain on all S4 models equipped with a manual transmission. The new system has an asymmetrical torque split of 40/60 front/rear under normal driving conditions. This helps the S4 exhibit a more dynamic driving sensation. However, like all quattro-equipped cars, engine power can still be sent to the wheels with the most traction. Tiptronic-equipped S4 models retain a 50/50 torque split.
All S4 models have sporty accents that hint at their power and performance. Vibrant exterior colors with contrasting titanium-colored inner housings, and distinctive S4 exterior mirror housings add a sporting look. S4 nomenclature on the trunk lid, a trunk-mounted rear spoiler (sedan) and aluminum roof rails on the S4 Avant, dual exhaust pipes add finishing touches to the exterior of the S4.
The S4 has a sport suspension including stiffer shocks and springs, stronger stabilizer bars in the front and rear, and a ride height lowered by 30 mm compared to the Audi A4. The aluminum-intensive design yields low unsprung mass, which nets a sophisticated maximum ride comfort for driver and passengers, while still providing sports car like handling ability.
All Audi S4 models come with the latest Electronic Stabilization Program, ESP®. This system comprises ABS brakes with Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution (EBD) and hydraulic brake assist which automatically increases brake power when the driver applies the brakes in an emergency. The traction control system (ASR) interacts with the electronic differential lock (EDL) to provide efficient yaw control as the foundation for enhanced ESP safety.
The new Audi S4 is positioned in the midsize luxury segment. It stands out for a range of standard equipment with quality and comfort attributes that would not be out of place in the premium class. Subtle touches like seat belt height adjustment, retractable hooks in the cargo area, and a cargo net are not available in other cars in this segment, but all come standard in the S4 models.