Audi has finally brought its new design DNA to the S4 Avant

Audi has been busy redesigning its lineup lately, and the redesigned 2016 Audi S4 debuted at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show in September of 2015. Now, just six months later, Audi is set to release the redesign S4 Avant at the Geneva Motor Show. As expected, Audi has released some information regarding the newly designed model, as well as a number of pictures that gives us a peak at the Avant before its official debut.

Obviously the new Avant will share a lot of the same design we see on the S4 and A4, which is still remarkably similar to the previous generation models. While that is the truth, Audi’s new design still manages to bring enough new character to the S4 Avant that buyers have something fresh to look at when the model goes on sale later this year.

The S4 Avant is made primarily for the European market, and it really is just an S4 sedan with a bigger rump, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t interesting. So, with that said, we’re going to take a detailed look at the new S4 Avant and what we’ll see when the sheet is pulled off of it in Geneva.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Audi S4 Avant.

  • 2016 Audi S4 Avant
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V6
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    350 (Est.)
  • Torque @ RPM:
    335
  • Displacement:
    3.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.9 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    42000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

As expected, we see the same design cues from the S4 and A4. Notable changes over the previous generation in the front include a new headlight design and a new design for the corner vents on the front fascia. The headlights now have a sharp cut out on the lower side, giving them a much more interesting look over the old units. The corner air vents on the fascia now have a distinctive body line surrounding them and the come to a much sharper point to on the inside edge. A distinct, 90-degree louver is now placed on the outside and bottom edge, providing significant depth and character to the front end. Naturally, the bold, Audi grille with its sharper points makes up the centerpiece of the front end.

In comparison to the previous model, the new design brings the same body line below the waistline and above the side skirts. The mirrors are more of a tear drop shape with the new design, but are still two toned with a silver finish on the mirror housing and black arms. The mirrors mount to the door itself, as opposed to the triangular panel that sits at the front corner of the windows. The new S4 Avant rides on different wheels than the previous generation – the spokes are much thinner and come to a sharp point at the center base of the wheel.

To the rear, the new S4 Avant has a small overhang on the rear hatch that is barely noticeable. The taillights take on a similar shape as those seen on the new S4 sedan, but the top half of the hatch mounted light is significantly longer. The other noticeable difference is that the reverse light has been placed in the middle of the taillight on the hatch as opposed to being placed at the bottom of the assembly. Down below, a thin but long reflector has been placed on each corner of the rear fascia. A large rear diffuser with two fins separates the exhaust outlets. Overall, it isn’t a bad design, but it still seems a bit too similar to the previous generation model for me.

Interior

Inside, the cabin reminds me a lot of other offerings from Mercedes. As you can see in these images, the seats are wrapped in a gray Nappa leather, as are the armrests on the doors, the center portion of the dash, and the top outlining area on the center console. A brushed aluminum trim panel also resides on the doors, surrounding the door handle and control buttons. Other optional trim colors include black, rotor gray, and magma red. Optional S sport seats are available with integrated head restraints, adjustable lateral supports, and a pneumatic massage function.

A flat-bottomed, three-spoke steering wheel links the driver to the front wheels, and a large, tablet-like screen is perched on the center stack. A number of vents run across the center portion of the dash, including two rather long vents in front of the passenger seat. It might seem a little outlandish, but it makes the cabin seem wider than it really is. Total seating is limited to five people, but the Avant does come with between 17.8 and 53.3 cubic feet of cargo space – depending, of course, on how the rear seats are oriented.

As far as infotainment goes, the display screen is 8.3-inches in size and has a touchpad of zooming, scrolling and entering characters. The MMI operating system offers intelligent free-text search, phone integration, and a 4G LTE hotspot. With devices running iOS 7.1 or Android 5.0 and later integration allows functions like the phone’s navigation, music, and some apps to be controlled via the infotainment system. Audi Connect and the MMI connect app for smartphones allows the owner to connect to the car from a distance and control things like the door locks, heating and cooling, and can even be used to locate the car in large parking lots. Audi didn’t elaborate on the standard sound system offered, but a Bang and Olufsen sound system with 3D sound is available at a premium.

Drivetrain

The S4 Avant comes with a 3.0-liter, TFSI, direct injected engine that produces 354 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque. The turbocharged V-6 allows the S4 Avant to sprint to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds – just 0.2 seconds slower than the S4 Sedan. According to Audi, the S4 Avant achieves 31.4 mpg on the U.S. scale, or less than 7.5-liters per 100 km. Power is sent to the wheels via an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission with short, sporty gear ratios in the lower end and longer, drawn out higher gears. Naturally, the S4 Avant has Audi’s awesome Quattro all-wheel drive system that is slightly biased toward the rear wheels under normal conditions.

Five-link front and rear suspension gives the car a smooth ride and sporty stance, and the Avant is equipped dynamic steering that alters the steering gear ratio depending on how fast the vehicle is moving. An Audi drive select system allows the driver to control things like how the transmission shifts, and how the engine responds to input, depending on the selected mode.

Prices

The new S4 Sedan comes in at 59,300 euros, so it is only fitting that the longer Avant comes at a premium. It isn’t much, though, as the Avant will start out at 61,150 euros when it hits dealers later this year.

Don’t look for the S4 Avant in the U.S. any time soon. It’s key market is the U.K. and other select European countries.

Competition

BMW 3 Series Touring

2014 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon High Resolution Exterior
- image 454912

In the U.K., one of the few models that competes with the S4 Avant is the BMW 335i M Sport Touring. Not only does this wagon feature the TwinPower Turbo 3.0-liter inline-six engine that puts out 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, but the M Sport Package adds in sharp body styling, a sportier interior, and better handling.

This Bimmer wagon can hit 62 mph in as little as 5.2 seconds, and it tops out at 155 mph. Pricing starts at £38,295.

Read our full review of the U.S.-based 3 Series Sports Wagon here.

Mercedes-Benz C450 AMG Sport 4Matic Wagon

2016 Mercedes C450 Sport AMG Wagon High Resolution Exterior
- image 610291

Finding a C-Class Wagon that competes with the S4 Avant takes some digging, and even then, it is not a perfect match. The closest to it in terms of straight-line performance and pricing is the recently unveiled C450 AMG Sport 4Matic Wagon. Mercedes-Benz has never had a true rival for Audi’s "S" models until this one, and the newly formed "AMG Sport" sub-brand will take care of this issue from 2015 onward.

The C450 uses a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter, V-6 engine that delivers 367 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque, making it quite a bit more powerful than the current Audi S4, which only delivers 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. On the other hand, the 2017 S4 should get much closer to those numbers. Paired with an AMG-tuned, seven-speed, automatic transmission, the C450 Wagon can hit 62 mph in 5.0 seconds flat, but its straight-line performance are also partially due to the standard 4Matic all-wheel-drive system

Read out full review here.

Conclusion

It’s really too bad that a model like the S4 Avant is probably never going to make it to the U.S. I’ve started to grow quite fond of wagons that are on the sportier side, but there just isn’t that much of a market for them here. I mean, in all reality, who can really argue with a wagon that can hit 62 mph in less than five seconds? The design of the new S4 Avant is bold, just like the sedan, and it is certainly worth considering if you’re in Europe and in the market for a 60,000 euro wagon.

  • Leave it
    • * The C450 may be a ideal for buyers looking for more grunt
    • * Some may find the updated Audi look boring
    • * Not as dynamic as the rear-driven 335i M Sport Touring

Spy Shots

April 21, 2015 - First testing session

2016 Audi S4 Avant Exterior Spyshots
- image 627665
2016 Audi S4 Avant Exterior Spyshots
- image 627670
2016 Audi S4 Avant Exterior Spyshots
- image 627666

Press Release

From 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 4.7 seconds with fuel consumption of less than 7.4 liters of fuel per 100 km (31.8 US mpg) – the new Audi S4* and the new Audi S4 Avant* are advancing to the peak of the competitive field with strong performance and exemplary efficiency. Its newly developed turbo V6 engine outputs 260 kW (354 hp). New solutions in networking and assistance systems round out its features. Audi is transferring many technologies from the full-size class into the mid-size class.

Lightweight and strong: the 3.0 TFSI
The strong heart of the two new S models from Audi is a newly conceptualized 3.0 TFSI engine. The direct gasoline injection engine with turbocharging has an output of 260 kW (354 hp) and produces a hefty torque of 500 Nm (368.8 lb‑ft) from 1,370 to 4,500 rpm. In terms of power and torque, it surpasses the previous model while achieving considerably lower figures in weight and fuel consumption.

The turbo V6 engine accelerates the Audi S4 from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 4.7 seconds, and on up to an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph). The standard sprint takes two tenths of a second longer in the S4 Avant. In the NEDC cycle, the S4 Sedan only consumes 7.4 liters of fuel per 100 km (31.8 US mpg), which equates to less than 170 grams CO2 per kilometer (273.6 g/mi). The Audi S4 Avant has a fuel consumption of less than 7.5 liters per 100 km (31.4 US mpg), which equates to 175 grams CO2 per kilometer (281.6 g/mi).

Sporty and stable: handling
In the new S4 models, a fast and smoothly shifting eight-speed tiptronic handles power transfer. Their lower gears have short, sporty ratios, while the upper gears are long to reduce revs and fuel consumption. When the driver releases the accelerator pedal at a speed between 55 and 160 km/h (34.2 and 99.4 mph) the automatic transmission switches over to an efficient freewheeling mode.

The quattro permanent all-wheel drive makes a large contribution to the sporty handling of the S4 and S4 Avant cars. In normal driving, it distributes engine forces with a slight emphasis of the rear wheels – if necessary the majority of forces can be directed to the axle with better traction.

Torque vectoring optimizes handling and stability in fast cornering with minimal brake interventions. The optional sport differential actively distributes torque between the rear wheels.

The five-link front and rear suspensions enable significant comfort gains with emphatically sporty response. An alternative to electromechanical power steering is dynamic steering which varies its steering gear ratio according to the driving speed. 18‑inch wheels with size 245/40 tires are standard. Audi Sport also offers 19‑inch wheels. The front brakes have internally-vented and perforated discs that are 350 mm (13.8 in) in diameter. They are gripped by black (or optionally red) painted six-piston fixed calipers with S lettering.

The standard S sport chassis lowers the body’s ride height by 23 mm (0.9 in) compared to the A4 base model. The same height applies to the optional chassis with damper control. The Audi drive select handling system integrates what is referred to as CDC (continuous damping control) dampers along with the engine, steering, tiptronic and optional sport differential. This lets the driver control the characteristics of the engine and chassis over several modes.

Comfortable and spacious: the interior
The new Audi S4 and S4 Avant seats five people comfortably. The horizontal lines of the instrument panel with its wide band of air vents convey an impression of generous width. The S4 Sedan offers 480 liters (17.0 cu ft) of luggage volume, and the S4 Avant offers from 505 to 1,510 liters (17.8 - 53.3 cu ft) depending on the positions of the rear seat backrests.

The optional S sport seats have integrated head restraints, adjustable lateral supports and a pneumatic massage function. The standard seat upholstery is fine Nappa leather in the colors black, rotor gray or magma red with diamond pattern, contrasting stitching and an S badge. The color black dominates in the interior, which is set off by contrasting inlays made of matt brushed aluminum.

A new top highlight is the optional Audi virtual cockpit that displays all key information digitally and in detailed graphics on its 12.3‑inch screen. Views available to the driver include a sport mode centered around the tachometer. In the new MMI operating system, the flat menu structure is based on that of today’s smartphones, including intelligent free-text search. It suggests various search results after just a few letters have been entered. In addition, user operation is possible from the multifunction steering wheel or by natural language voice control.

State-of-the-art: infotainment and Audi connect
Infotainment in the new S models of the A4 model line is state-of-the-art. MMI navigation plus with MMI touch and an 8.3‑inch monitor top the infotainment range. MMI touch has a touchpad for zooming and scrolling and for entering characters. The system integrates the Audi connect hardware component, which connects the new S4 models to the internet via LTE. Passengers can use their mobile devices to surf the web, text or mail thanks to the integrated Wi-Fi hotspot. The driver meanwhile has access to the multifaceted online services offered by Audi connect. It is easy to control functions from a smartphone via the MMI connect app. The customer can lock or unlock the car doors, operate the optional auxiliary heater or find the parking location of the car in this way. The new Calendar service transfers the smartphone’s calendar into the car.

The Audi phone box, another optional feature, connects smartphones to the on‑board antenna by near-field coupling and simultaneously charges them inductively according to the Qi standard. The Audi tablet serves as a flexible Rear Seat Entertainment device. For very discerning hi-fi fans, the Bang & Olufsen sound system with its new 3D sound is available. The Audi smartphone interface brings Apple Car Play and Android Auto into the car. If the customer connects an iOS or Android smartphone to the USB port (iOS from 7.1, Android from 5.0 Lollipop), the smartphone’s contents such as navigation, phone, music and select third party apps are offered in a separate MMI menu. They can be accessed conveniently by MMI or voice control. Audi has designed both applications especially for use in the car. The core content here is online music with access to a large range of music from Google Play Music and iTunes. There are also navigation and notification functions as well as schedule reminders. In the future, the range of functions will be continually extended via third party apps like Pandora, Spotify and WhatsApp.

Leading role: driver assistance systems
The new Audi S4 and S4 Avant are right at the forefront in their class with a broad array of driver assistance systems. The systems come from the full-size class; their intelligent interplay represents the next step toward piloted driving.

The predictive efficiency assistant helps the driver save fuel. Adaptive cruise control maintains a specified distance to the vehicle ahead. The driver can set this distance and the control dynamics over several stages. Its Stop&Go function brakes the car to a full stop and lets it start off again automatically at the driver’s request. Over a speed range from 0 to 65 km/h (40.4 mph), traffic jam assist – another function of ACC – can also take over steering on well-built roads, as long as the traffic is moving slowly. The rear cross traffic assist, exit warning, turn assist, obstacle avoidance assist and Audi pre sense systems further enhance safety.

Sporty understatement: exterior design
The appearance of the new S4 models is sporty but not ostentatious. The bumper, air inlets and side sills feature distinctive contours. Many of the add-on parts are painted in graduated tones of matt gray. Aluminum inlays accentuate its design. The exterior mirror housings shine in aluminum look. The rear bumper integrates a black honeycomb grille, aluminum diffuser trim and four tailpipes.

An intelligent combination of materials makes the bodies very torsionally stiff, safe and lightweight. The new S4 Sedan with standard quattro drive weighs just 1,630 kg (3,593.5 lb), while the new S4 Avant weighs 1,675 kg (3,692.7 lb) – 75 kg (165.3 lb) than the predecessor models.

Extensive: the equipment
The new S4 models from Audi arrive on the European market in summer 2016. Their extensive standard equipment includes LED headlights, LED tail lights with dynamic turn signal, 18‑inch wheels with S-specific design, front sport seats upholstered in an Alcantara/leather combination and a leather-trimmed 3‑spoke sport steering wheel with multifunction plus.

The S4 Avant adds an electric drive for the tailgate and a luggage compartment cover. Audi can deliver optional high-tech features such as sensor control for the luggage compartment, a head-up display and Audi Matrix LED headlights. The latter control the headlight beam so precisely that oncoming traffic does not experience any glare. Another new feature is reduced headlight glare on traffic signs. When the light falls on a very reflective traffic sign, it is dimmed by around one-third in that area.

The price for the S4 Sedan is 59,300 euros. The S4 Avant is available starting at 61,150 euros.

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