NEW FOR 2008:

– Standard SIRIUS Satellite Radio, Bluetooth hands-free telephone system, and tire pressure monitoring system
– Standard aluminum pedals for manual transmission models
– S4 Convenience Package adds RS4-style wheel
– RS4 adds optional Audi Exclusive Package and Titanium Package

For 2008, the S4 and RS4 models undergo minor changes, with new standard and optional features. The RS4’s new packages consist of the Audi Exclusive, which adds red leather seat and door inserts, red wheel stitching, red shift boot and badges, and the Titanium Package, which adds titanium-colour wheels, exhaust tips and mirrors, and black window trim, grille surround and Piano Black interior trim. For 2008, the company also confirms that the RS4’s zero-to-60 mph (zero-to-96.5 km/h) acceleration time is 4.6 seconds.

The S4 and RS4 are the high-performance versions of Audi’s A4 line-up. The S4 is available as a sedan, Avant (wagon) and Cabriolet, while the RS4 is strictly a four-door sedan.

All models use a 4.2-litre V8 that produces 340 horsepower in the S4, and 420 horsepower in the RS4. S4 models use a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic with Tiptronic manual mode and wheel-mounted paddles; the RS4 comes only with the manual transmission. All use Quattro all-wheel drive, with a 40/60 torque split for manual transmissions, and 50/50 for the automatic. The RS4 shares its roof and front doors with the A4 sedan, but features an exclusive front end, flared wheel wells and integrated spoiler.

Features on the S4 include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic dual-zone climate control, sport suspension, 12-way heated leather Recaro seats, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, self-levelling bi-Xenon headlamps with washers, variable intermittent wipers with heated washer nozzles, power sunroof, front and rear fog lamps, cruise control, auto-dimming power-fold heated mirrors with memory, ski sack, trip computer, anti-theft system, and six-CD/MP3 stereo with SIRIUS Satellite Radio.

The S4 Cabriolet adds an active rollover protection system and a master switch that lowers all windows at the same time.

The RS4 adds 19-inch alloy wheels, brake disc wiping, rear parking system, adaptive front lighting, lap timer, carbon fibre interior trim, tire pressure monitoring system and sport mode for throttle response and exhaust note.

The S4’s considerable step up over the A4’s price-tag marks it as a serious enthusiast’s car, but it’s the performance and handling that really make it so. The RS4 is even more exclusive, but its awesome acceleration and its exclusive suspension and sport mode controls will make it a “must-have” for fans of German muscle.

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