The new Audi S4 is the latest in Audi’s line-up of competitors to BMW’s MPA and Mercedes’ ‘45’ AMG range. Chock full of new tech and with a very sprightly engine, the S4 is a proper pocket rocket and we had the privilege to test one out recently.
We were first given a briefing on the various new features all over the car, and there were many. We’ll cover them in their various sections but here’s a taste, a Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system, Audi’s pre-sense safety system, weight reductions, the list goes on.
The design of the S4 matches the styling concept used by all new Audi models. The more aggressive lines over the front and rear fenders, flared wheel arches, and gigantic front grille all give the S4 a more powerful look and road presence than its predecessor.
The S4 comes standard with 19” wheels, quad-tailpipes, and LED lights. The car also has a discreet spoiler on the rear bootlid. The S4’s S-specific bumpers, air inlets, side sills, and diffuser also lead to a 75kg weight reduction over the outgoing model, despite being a larger car.
The interior of the S4 is gorgeous. The materials used looked and felt swish as can be. The Nappa-lined S sports seats were fantastic to sit in and comfortable even during long drives. The interior is also home to the interior LED ambient lighting that can be configured in 30 different colours.
The Audi S4 gets the new turbocharged 3-litre TFSI V6 pushing out 354hp and 500Nm of torque. Even though power has gone up (21hp and 60Nm more than the previous S4), the new S4 consumes 21% less fuel than the previous car.
All that grunt is put to the ground through the 8-speed tiptronic gearbox whose seamless shifts mean the S4 rockets from 0-100km/h in just 4.7s. Not bad.
In testing, the S4 delivered loads of torque no matter where in the rev range you were and sat super comfortably even at speeds I shall not mention. Ride quality was comfortably firm although there was some noticeable body roll and understeer when you pushed it.
Here’s where the S4 really comes into its own. Its spec sheet reads like a Christmas list and every feature has been integrated perfectly, even the voice control works.
The dash houses Audi’s 12.3” Virtual Cockpit display with a HUD and an S4-specific skin in sport mode. The screen lets you choose between 2 overall styles and 4 different info tabs. The 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system is amazing on the ears and a real treat to have standard on a car.
When cruising between 55km/h and 190km/h, lifting off the throttle will put the car into a freewheeling coast mode where it drops out of gear to save fuel. The car will seamlessly pop back into gear when your feet touch the pedals.
As mentioned earlier, the S4 has something called Audi’s pre-sense system. It’s a safety system that uses sensors located all over the car to detect when a crash is about to happen. If and when it senses heavy braking from the car in front and you’re getting a bit close, it predicts that a crash may happen and tightens the seatbelts, activate the hazard lights, and will even automatically close the windows and sunroof.
If it detects that the driver is not stepping in to intervene, the car will start braking by itself. This system also works in conjunction with its adaptive radar cruise control and Audi’s side assist (keeps the car in lane automagically) to basically enable the S4 to drive itself.
I can happily report that Audi’s pre-sense system works. During my first drive, our marketing guy, Aiden (who you’ll recognise from videos like this) was in the car with me when the car in front of us on the highway slammed on his brakes suddenly. Before we could even react, the S4 had already automatically tightened our seatbelts in anticipation of an impact.
The S4 also has orange LEDs on each wing mirror housing that light up when the car detects something in your blindspot. Combined with the 360° camera and the car’s small size, it makes parking the S4 a cinch.
Then again, why bother when the S4 can park itself. Yup, just push a button on the centre console, drive forward until the car detects a lot, put it into reverse and the car will finagle itself into the space. All you have to do is operate the pedals. We’re truly living in the future.
Here’re some of the other cool tech things found in the S4:
- Qi wireless charging pad
- LTE connectivity
- CD player (I was surprised too)
- Automatic start-stop function
- Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
- Google search integrated into the nav system
- Massaging seats
- Torque vectoring
All in all, the S4 is a very capable small sedan with plenty to keep you excited. Until we get a chance to try the RS4, I cannot recommend this car enough for someone in the market for a sporty compact saloon.
Prices start at $304,680 incl. COE (according to latest available price list at time of publishing) and is on sale now from Premium Automobiles.
|3.0 TFSI Turbo V6|
Power / Torque
|354hp / 500Nm|
$304,680 incl. COE