When we hear about premium sport sedans from Europe the names BMW and Mercedes are always certain to pop up. But there is a third German marque that bears our attention and it is the from the luxury division of the “People’s car.” It’s called Audi and, in this case specifically, the Audi S4.
The S4 is a member of the A4 sedan family that has been around for the past four decades. For 2013, Audi has released the eighth-generation of the 4-series and recently we spent time in a gorgeous S4 quattro.
What’s the difference between an A4 and the S4 you ask? Audi sells the A4 as the base model for this small to midsize-ish platform giving it the fun little 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder engine. To enhance the driving experience, Audi drops supercharged 3.0-liter six in the S4 boosting power output to 333hp and 325 lb. ft. of torque and bolting that into a quattro all-wheel drive chassis as standard running gear.
Those opting for the S4 upgrade get a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed S tronic automatic gearbox – our tester arrived with the manual and we loved it, even while slogging through traffic congestion.
Competition in this segment is tremendous and it is not limited to just the German automakers as Japan and even the U.S. are fiercely vying for your hard-earned dollar.
Audi has worked diligently to bring to consumers a very fine automobile in the S4, one that should most certainly be in your head – it’s onroad performance really got into mine. This is one solid chassis that never backed down from a challenge and delivered on all fronts of performance, comfort, convenience, safety and technology.
On one hand we find a very comfortable and quiet ride shutting out the world in a cocoon of safety technologies and systems designed to keep occupants safe before, during and after a crash and on the other hand is a car that delivers very spirited acceleration and pulse-pounding exhilaration in every corner.
The 2013 S4 comes with an active sports differential with torque vectoring to distribute power efficiently for more agility and stability and the Audi drive select allows drivers to adjust dynamic steering response, throttle response, transmission shift points (in automatic cars) and suspension settings via Auto, Comfort, Dynamic and Individual modes.
Exterior changes come mostly in the form of a new front end with Audi’s newest design DNA to include those signature LED daytime running lights and S4 models get unique grill , splitter, diffuser and exhaust designs.
Inside the A4 and S4 see a host of refinements said to improve upon the form, feel and function and S4 models offer a new flat-bottomed, three-spoke sport steering wheel as well as sport seats with side bolsters and contrast stitching. Improvements have also been made to Audi’s MMI infotainment system that offers access to navigation, audio, telephone and vehicle settings systems.
Pricing for the 2013 Audi S4 with manual transmission begins at $47,600 in Premium Plus trim with our loaded tester coming in at $54,520. Those opting for an automatic gearbox will pay $1,400 more. Fuel economy is rated at 17 mpg city and 26 mpg highway on premium fuel.
The 2013 Audi S4 is an enjoyable vehicle and one that should not be overlooked when shopping the premium entry sport sedan segment.