Performance, ride and handling

The base model 1.8 TFSI gets a new motor that makes 10bhp and 70Nm more than previously while the 3.2 FSI is replaced by a new 3.0 TFSI with 290bhp, basically a detuned and less sporty version of the S4. As previously, the S4 is powered by Audi’s award winning 3-litre supercharged V6 churning out 333bhp and 440Nm.

On the road, the S4 certainly feels as quick as its official performance figures suggest – 0-100km/h comes up in 5 seconds flat for the saloon body style tested here, with top speed limited to 250km/h. According to Audi’s performance figures, the new model is actually 0.3 seconds quicker when it comes to 0-100km/h times when compared to the old model. Thi,s even though the new car doesn’t offer any additional power or torque over its predecessor.

One of the keys to the S4’s electrifying performance on the road is the engine’s fat dose of low end and mid-range torque – up to 440Nm is available between 2900rpm to 5300rpm. Admittedly, the V6 doesn’t sound as muscular as Audi’s V8s but it does make a nice metallic rasp when worked hard.   

Another big contributing factor to the S4’s performance is the ultra efficient and quick shifting seven-speed S-Tronic dual clutch gearbox. With the facelift, Audi has also equipped all A4 variants including the S4 with a switchable start/stop system which it says will lower fuel consumption by about 0.3 litres per 100km.

Also improving the overall efficiency of the new S4 is the new ‘Efficiency’ driving mode for the Audi Drive Select system. Start/stop systems aren’t exactly popular with every driver out there, but the S4’s is certainly one of the better ones fitted to any car out there – it restarts instantaneously and discreetly enough the moment the driver lifts his foot off the left pedal. For those who are still unconvinced of such systems, the S4’s can be deactivated via a button on the dashboard.

The S4’s biggest and most welcomed change under the skin is its new electromechanical steering system, a set up that is similar to the A6’s. I’m never a fan of the outgoing, pre-facelift S4’s steering as the helm was rather lifeless and a tad unnatural in its responses, so much so that we’d say the steering is the S4’s biggest weak point and a major discouragement for spirited driving.

The S4’s new steering system is worlds apart from he outgoing car’s helm. The helm feels far more direct and precise in its responses while feel and weighting have also noticeably improved. On twisty roads, the helm inspires confidence on turn-in thanks to its almost pin sharp accuracy. Next to the sublime helm of the new BMW 335i though, the S4’s steering feels like it can further be improved on the feedback front.

In addition to the steering, Audi also claims that it has optimized the S4’s chassis and suspension for better ride and handling. These improvements include more finely tuned dampers and rear suspension bushings. On a twisty stretch of tarmac, the new model does feel more poised and surefooted than the outgoing model ever did while out on the open highway, the ride felt controlled and very composed indeed despite riding on non-standard 20-inch wheels and tyres. Furthermore, with quattro all-wheel drive, the S4 has the grip and traction it needs to put its power down onto the road when exiting a corner. An option on the S4 models is the sports differential that can accelerate the wheels on the rear axle individually to aid corner turn-in. The grip and surefootedness of quattro certainly makes the S4 a confidence inspiring all-weather, all-surface machine that no BMW can match.


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Engine Capacity 2995cc Supercharged
Engine Type V 6
Compression Ratio 10.3:1
Bore x Stroke (84.5x89.0)mm
Power 333bhp @ 5900rpm
Torque 440Nm @ 2200rpm
Power to Weight 187.1 bhp per ton


Acceleration 5s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 250 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 12.3 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed S-Tronic
Drive Type F4


Body Type Sedan
(L x W x H)
(4701 x 2040 x 1427) mm
Wheelbase 2811 mm
Kerb Weight 1780 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 64 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated Discs