2014 Audi S4 Technik. Click image to enlarge
Review and photos by Mark Stevenson
The sharks are circling the city of Ingolstadt. Audi’s German brethren are cranking out faster products and even some Japanese brands are starting to take the luxury sport sedan segment more seriously.
Audi introduced the S4 model for the 2008 model year, being one of the first automakers to ditch their big V8 engines in favour of down-sized blown V6 mills. While the 333 hp 3.0L supercharged V6 is certainly a performer, it doesn’t hold a candle to the 425 hp BMW M3 or the 507 hp Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG. That’s the job of the Audi RS4 Avant we don’t get here in the colonies. Instead, the Audi S4 plays in a much bigger, much more competitive pond.
Audi’s entry model to German performance is getting toward the end of its life. But, even with newer product available on the dealer lots of rival manufacturers, the S4 can still deliver smiles and excitement to drivers and passengers alike.
Our tester, ringing in at $66,195, was a Technik S Tronic (seven-speed dual clutch automatic) model equipped with the Audi quattro sport differential, dynamic steering, and suspension with damping control.
A distinguished gentleman
Two years after a refresh, the Audi S4 still looks fresh out of the wrapper. The pioneers of LED lighting have done an incredible job with making the S4, and numerous other models, look modern while giving them the ability to age gracefully. Nobody would ever guess this model initially debuted in 2008.
Up front, the S4 does its best to make the A4 into a meaner, more aggressive package without changing it too much. The S4 wears a slightly different grille and its lower fascia features mesh plastic inserts around its fog lamps, of which this journo isn’t particularly fond.
Around the side, the A4 and S4 are almost identical, with the only real difference being wheels and mirror caps.
Those looking for a sporty version of a sedan counterpart to look wildly different, you’re going to be out of luck here. But, it’s really not a bad thing. The A4 is utterly handsome in its own right and the slight embellishments given to its performance-tuned brother are just enough to make it look that little bit more striking.
However, once you get around to the S4’s sculpted rear, a story begins to be told below the rear bumper. Dual quad exhausts, at each end of the Audi’s faux diffuser insert, let others on the road know there is something more impressive under the hood than a run-of-the-mill 2.0T.
Thar she blows!
Since the beginning of its current generation, Audi has been wedging supercharged 3.0-litre V6 engines into the S4 with performance on par to the long departed V8. The smaller engine saves weight and brings with it more usable torque at the price of giving up a few horsepower. It’s a small price to pay, really.
2014 Audi S4 Technik steering wheel, gauges, centre stack. Click image to enlarge
Connected with either a six-speed manual transmission or seven-speed dual clutch automatic, the “V6T” (because T stands for supercharging at Audi for some reason) puts down 333 hp between 5,500 and 6,500 rpm while peak torque of 325 lb-ft happens at around 2,900 rpm and continues on to 5,300 rpm.
It should be said those are the official numbers. Compatriots driving the same car and I believe this might be a case of reporting output on the low side to keep it further away numerically from the RS4 in Europe. But, unless someone can put an S4 on a dyno, we can’t know for certain. All we know is that the S4 feels quicker than its supposed statistics would suggest.