The Audi S4 is the German automaker’s sport tuned version of their entry level sedan, adding a bit more exhilaration and extravagance to the A4 with a high output power plant and exotic materials used for the interior. For 2010 Audi went away from the 4.2 Liter V8 and opted for a more economical supercharged V6 that makes 333 HP, more then enough to scoot the all wheel drive sport sedan around corners while the Alcantara seat inserts holds the occupants in place. 2010 S4 went on sale in the fall of 2009 and is only available as a four door in the U.S. with the European market receiving an Avant as well.
The 2010 Audi S4 is powered by a 3.0T V6 FSI combining gasoline direct injection with forced induction to deliver a total of 333 HP and 325 lb-ft of torque, when equipped with a manual transmission the 2010 S4 sprints from 0 to 60 MPH in only 4.9 seconds while its top speed is limited to 155 MPH. The S4 is a sports car offering an impressive driving experience, leading technologies, and every day suitability. The luxury sport sedan comes equipped with performance features like: adjustable engine/throttle mapping, suspension damping, rear differential, dynamic steering and Quattro with new optional Sports Rear Differential in order to enhance the performance vehicle’s agility.
The 2010 Audi S4 will be offered in two trim levels: Premium Plus and the S4 Prestige, with prices starting at $45,900 and $52,000 respectively. However you might want to spring for the Audi Drive Select Package priced at $3,950 as well, after all it includes all those adjustable bits that takes the S4’s handling from impressive to outstanding.
UPDATE 06/09/2010: Check out our review of the amazing Audi S4 by clicking here.
Full details after the jump.
Faster, further, more agile: the new Audi S4 sedan well-trained athlete. Its new engine, the 3.0 TFSI, combines the power of 333 hp with an astonishingly low fuel consumption of 18 mpg city/27 highway. The quattro permanent four-wheel drive system ensures practically loss-free transfer of this power to the road; a sports suspension and a high-performance brake system control it reliably. The dynamic look outside and in, together with the generous range of standard equipment, underline the exclusive character of both new S models from Audi.
The S4 its extending its lead even further with a package of optional performance technologies. The seven-speed S tronic changes gears with lightning speed without any interruption in the power flow and the new sport differential distributes the torque as needed between the rear wheels. With Audi drive select the driver can alter the working mode of the engine, S tronic and the sport differential as desired; dynamic steering and adaptive damper control round off the system.
The Audi S4 looks athletic and muscular on the road. Some of the most striking modifications to the exterior design are the special aprons, the aluminum-look exterior mirrors, the 18-inch light-alloy wheels in the S design, the sill trims, the restrained spoiler at the rear and the quadruple exhaust system. The xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights are further distinctive features.
The interior also underscores the sporty expertise that is the hallmark of both new S models. The sports seats in Alcantara/leather combination come as standard with electrical adjustment. The leather sports steering wheel, the key and the instrument cluster – featuring gray dials and white needles – bear the S4 logo. The interior is in black, with matt brushed aluminum inlays. Carbon and birch wood inlays are also available, as is a new stainless steel mesh inlay. The seats are also available in a choice of styles and materials.
The S4 sedan features technological advancements as available features that enhance both interior and performance luxury. The 3G MMI (Multi Media Interface) with 3D map graphics and SIRIUS traffic displays the latest evolution of 3D navigation, joystick control for navigation map destination finding, updated graphical clarity, SIRIUS® artist/title preview, and SIRIUS traffic-based navigation. The S4 sedan features voice-based destination input control, and voice inputs such as “I’m hungry,” “I need gas” and “I need coffee” that will point to the closest options. The unique Audi drive select option available in the S4 sedan also helps the driver customize steering, suspension, and acceleration characteristics. The available performance-oriented Sports Rear Differential package with torque vectoring is reserved for the S4 sedan and S5 coupe/Cabriolet.
3.0T V6 FSI direct injection supercharged engine, 333 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque
The new S4 features more performance and technology than ever and now enters a hotly contested competitive set that includes the BMW 335i and Mercedes-Benz C350 at a very attainable price. Now equipped with a 3.0T V6 FSI direct injection supercharged engine with 333 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque, the 2010 S4 with a manual transmission offers a 0-60 time of 4.9 seconds, compared to a 0-60 time of 5.3 seconds for the previous generation S4 V8 manual. The 2010 S4 also provides greater fuel efficiency (2010 S4 manual achieves 18 mpg city/27 highway, compared to the previous-generation 2008 S4 V8 manual ratings of 13 mpg city/20 mpg highway).
The 2010 S4 now is available with Audi’s brilliant seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission, which allows the driver to enjoy the power from the 3.0 TFSI supercharged V6 in nearly uninterrupted bursts – thereby providing the perfect marriage of speed and comfort. The system works using dual clutches and twin input shafts, that permit the computer to “predict” which gear the driver intends to use and prep the gear for action before it is selected.
Also available on the S4 is quattro with Sport Rear Differential. It gives the S4 a new level of road holding ability by actively controlling the distribution of torque between the two rear wheels, effectively overdriving the outside wheel in corners. This “forces” the front end of the vehicle into the corner, thus eliminating understeer and creating more attainable excitement for the driver. In addition, the Sport Rear Differential works with ESP during accident avoidance maneuvers to keep the S4 stable and composed in emergencies.
The S4 sedan will also provide more performance and standard features over its German luxury competitors. Using a continual focus on attention to detail, S4-specific features include distinctive standard S4-embossed heated front sport seats, front/rear bumpers, front grille, wheels, LED tail lights and front xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights. Other unique standard features include rear-biased 40:60 quattro® all-wheel drive, 18” wheels, heated front sport seats with S4 logo embossing, stainless steel and carbon fiber interior trim, contrast stitching on steering wheel / shifter / seats, Bluetooth®, SIRIUS satellite radio, Homelink®, and iPod® Interface.
Audi drive select – the unique high-tech package
The quattro driveline with active sport differential is part of Audi drive select, the innovative dynamic driving system premiered on the new Audi A4. As part of an optimal combination with Audi dynamic steering and electronic shock absorber control, the permanent four-wheel driveline and the sport differential demonstrate their immense capabilities with regard to driving dynamics. Audi drive select integrates the technical components that determine the quality of the driving experience: engine, transmission, steering, shock absorbers and the sport differential. Drivers can adjust the characteristics of these systems at any time to suit their personal preferences. Audi drive select is a successful synthesis of comfort and convenience with dynamic sportiness at a previously unattained level.
Buttons on the centre console enable drivers to vary the operation of Audi drive select in three stages ranging from comfortable to sporty, or to put together a profile that suits their personal preferences. The engine’s throttle response characteristic can be determined first, followed by that of the servotronic speeddependent power steering and, if the car has automatic transmission, its shift points.
Three operating modes for the sport differential
0-60 in 4.9 seconds; top speed limited to 155 mph
The functions of the sport differential can also be varied to suit the driver’s individual wishes. In the ‘comfort’ mode, driving safety and the car’s stability have absolute priority, with optimal damping of load reversals. In the ‘auto’ mode the program achieves a harmonious balance between all the functions. Finally, the ‘dynamic’ mode emphasizes the functions contributing towards agility, so that the dynamic effect of the sport differential is most easily felt. In this case, response to load reversals is both agile and easily controllable.
Electronic damper control
Audi drive select with the sport differential can be combined with electronic damping control. The gas-filled hydraulic shock absorbers have an additional valve with a continuous opening action. The control unit computes the optimal damping force at a cycle frequency of 1,000 per second. The electromagnetically controlled valve selects a damping characteristic to match the current driving situation at any given moment. Higher damping force may be needed to resist body movement when cornering rapidly or braking, whereas a lower damping force will be appropriate on potholed roads and a moderate setting on poor country roads.
14 sensors, 1,000 calculations per second
The central element in electronic damper control is the new high-performance control unit. It has the imposing data spread of 32 bits and operates at high speed. The computer analyses the signals from 14 sensors continuously, and calculates the current for the electrically controlled shock absorbers at each individual wheel a thousand times a second.
The so-called CDC shock absorbers (CDC = continuous damping control) are gasfilled hydraulic units based on the twin-tube principle, featuring an additional external valve and a connecting pipe.
An electromagnetically energized proportional-action valve opens against the force exerted by a spring and regulates the flow of hydraulic fluid between the inner and outer shock-absorber tubes. A smaller flow cross-section makes the damping characteristic firmer, a larger one makes it softer. The control unit applies adaptive operating characteristics within the mode the driver has chosen via Audi drive select. Even from the comfort mode, the shock absorbers switch to a firmer setting at lightning speed if required. The control unit sets the optimum damping power for every driving style and for every type of road.
The dynamic suspension of the new Audi S4 is based on the layout that has made the A4 the sportiest car in the midsize class. Numerous suspension components made of aluminum reduce unsprung masses. The five-link front suspension can handle longitudinal and lateral forces separately; a firmly mounted subframe ensures exceptional rigidity for the front section. The springs and shock absorbers of the self-tracking trapezoidal rear suspension, which permits a wide luggage compartment thanks to its compact design, are aligned separately to improve response.
In keeping with the dynamic performance of the S4, the suspension has been retuned. Stiffer bearings for the control arms guarantee elastokinematics for a sporty performance; lateral and camber rigidity are clearly enhanced. The minimal body movements lend the S4 and the S4 Avant maximum stability, even when braking. The shock absorbers have firmer settings and the body has been lowered by 20 millimeters (0.79 in).
The S4 is available in two equipment packages, the S4 Premium Plus and S4 Prestige. The S4 Premium Plus enjoys the same equipment as the A4 2.0T Premium Plus, with a few changes. A new S4 Sport Suspension calibration gives the sedan a sharper edge on track or on the road, and quad exhaust ports help to distinguish the S4 from its tamer brothers. Inside, a three-spoke steering wheel with audio controls replaces the four-spoke unit on the A4, and shift-paddles are standard if the buyer has opted for the S tronic dual clutch transmission. New Alcantara leather seats with extendable thigh bolsters replace the units found in the A4. The S4 Premium Plus also benefits from ventilated rear disc brakes, and for buyers looking for the utmost in luxury.
The 2010 S4 Prestige adds enjoys auto dimming mirrors with memory function, advanced key keyless start, stop and entry, as well as a memory function for the driver seat. Audi MMI® Navigation plus also is standard and is an updated third generation system with hard drive navigation and voice control.