Audi S4 saloon and Avant models released

Turbocharged V6 power for high-performance versions of the Audi A4 executive car

Details of the new Audi S4 Saloon and Avant estate models have been revealed. The cars get a powerful V6 petrol engine, uprated suspension and brakes, as well as more equipment compared to the standard Audi A4 saloon and estate.

When the new car arrives later in the year, it’ll be up against higher-end Mercedes C-Class models, as well as the likes of the BMW 340i and supercharged petrol V6 versions of the Jaguar XE.

Audi S4 engine & performance

Compared to the standard A4, the biggest change on the S4 is the new engine. It’s a turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol V6, which produces 349bhp and sends its power to all four wheels – using Audi’s famous quattro four-wheel-drive system – via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. This four-wheel drive system generally directs slightly more power to the rear wheels than the front, but is capable of shifting the power around to whichever wheels have the most grip.

All this power and grip means that the S4 is capable of doing the 0-62mph sprint in just 4.7 seconds (the Avant takes two tenths longer) and going on to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. Despite this impressive power and performance – both are better than the previous model – Audi claims this S4 is considerably more efficient than its predecessor.

Efficiency & running costs

The S4 is said to return around 38mpg on average, while emitting 170g/km of CO2. The S4 Avant estate will manage around 37.4mpg and has CO2 emissions of 175g/km. This means that both have a £205 annual road-tax bill.

These figures are achieved partly through lightweight construction and an aerodynamically efficient body shape, but also through an efficiency-optimised gearbox and a system that allows the engine to disconnect from the wheels when you lift off the accelerator to 'freewheel' at speed.

Chassis & suspension

Naturally, the S4 models have tweaked suspension compared to the standard models in the range to provide sportier handling. They also have a lower ride height compared to the standard model and you can specify adaptive suspension with a driving mode selection system, which allows you to choose a softer set-up for motorway cruises or stiffer suspension if you’re tackling twistier roads.

Design

There are only some very subtle alterations compared to the standard A4 in terms of styling. You get quad exhaust pipes, as well as a discreet, sporty bodykit. This includes additions like a small boot spoiler, a deeper front bumper with larger air intakes, as well as side skirts and an aluminium-look diffuser at the back.

At the front, the air-intakes are trimmed in matt grey paint, while the door mirrors have an aluminium look tot hem, too. At the back, the rear bumper also has a black honeycomb grille integrated into it.

Interior

Not much has changed design-wise inside compared to the standard A4, with the exception of a few bits and bobs. All models get Napa leather-upholstered sports seats, available in a choice of black, Rotor Grey or Magma Red. These feature diamond-pattern stitching, an 'S' logo and contrasting stitching, too. There are also brushed-aluminium-effect trim pieces dotted around inside.

All S4 models come with Audi’s MMI infotainment system, with satellite navigation. It's controlled using a touchpad and rotary control on the centre console and an 8.3-inch screen in the dashboard. You can also specify Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit system, which replaces the instrument dials with a 12.3-inch screen that can show your normal instruments – the speedometer and rev-counter, etc. – as well as sat-nav directions and media information.

It’s compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard, which means you can access a whole host of your smartphone’s apps while on the move. You can also specify a wireless charging 'Phonebox' for the interior.

Price & on sale date

There's no official word on pricing as yet, but Audi says that in Europe, the car is likely to sell for €59,300 (saloon) and €61,150 (Avant estate). This equates to an approximate starting price of £50,000 when the S4 goes on sale in the UK later in the year.

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