The S4 adds an emphatic exclamation mark to the Audi A4 mid-size prestige sedan and Avant wagon (pictured) range.
Our test car bristled with some $16,000 of optional equipment that included performance-enhancing Audi drive select with dynamic steering and quattro sports differential ($4300) and 19-inch alloys with 255/35ZR19 rubber ($2600).
Under controlled testing conditions, the ‘blown’ V6 proved a powerhouse, showing a penchant to rev hard and deliver with its fat torque curve. Unlike some turbocharged challengers, response is immediate. Two-up, our test car dispatched the standing 400 metres in 14 seconds, with 0-100 km/h coming up in 5.4 seconds, just 0.4 outside of Audi’s claimed optimum.
All this is at a cost, however, with fuel consumption blowing out to 14.1 litres/100 km, not even close to the ADR combined cycle figure of 8.1.
The S4 rides on tautly-tuned and lowered sports suspension and drives through Audi’s acclaimed quattro AWD system. Grip and traction thresholds are as you might expect of a car thus equipped, as is an absence of body roll, and the S4 carves its way through corners with absolute conviction.
Audi interiors are something of a benchmark and, at this end of the market, the S4 doesn’t disappoint, ergonomically or visually. If this isn't enough, big brother RS4 arrives soon.