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Audi S4 review

Audi thinks its new S4 is faster and more affordable than ever. Read our review to find out if the hottest Audi S4 is all that and more

"It's faster than the old V8 "

First impressions suggest that the German manufacturer got a bit lazy in the styling department. Although the car doesn’t look all that different from the outgoing S4, the new front- and rear-end tweaks are enough to bring the looks bang up-to-date.

However, the big news is that Audi has replaced the burbling 4.2-litre V8 engine used in the outgoing model with a supercharged 3.0-litre V6. Dropping two cylinders and bolting on a blower may sound sacrilegious to Audiphiles but the engine is an engineering marvel.

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It produces 328bhp, which hammers the S4 from 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds. That’s faster than the old V8 despite a fraction less power and it sounds just as good thanks to a clever induction kit and some big exhausts. It’s less thirsty too with 29.1mpg versus 21.2mpg.

Already renowned for its quattro four-wheel drive and clever adjustable suspension, Audi has raised the handling bar again by developing an optional active sports differential. It works by sending power to the outer rear wheel when the car is cornering hard and is designed to counter understeer and oversteer while improving mid-corner traction. It makes the S4 more fun too, and harder to ignore in the face of normally more entertaining rear-drive rivals.

The interior is stunning, but our car did have some choice options. The sculpted leather bucket seats and thumping Bang and Olufsen stereo won’t come cheap.

The S4 improves on its predecessor and will even set you back less than £37,000 when it goes on sale in November. That makes it cheaper than the car it replaces - although you will need to spend extra on options if you want to enjoy the full S4 experience.

Car Specs - Audi S4

Engine:3.0-litre V6 supercharged, 382bhp
0-62mph:5.1 seconds
Top speed:155mph
Economy/emissions:29.1mpg/225g/km CO2
Price/On sale £37,000/November 2008

We rate:
That supercharged V6
The super trick rear diff
It's an Audi you can drift

We slate :
Reserved styling
Pricey options
That's about it really

Rating: Image removed.

by Mike Chen

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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