Automotive

New Audi S4 flies under the radar in Frankfurt

New Audi S4 flies under the ra...
The new Audi S4 will hit 100 km/h in just 4.7 seconds
The new Audi S4 will hit 100 km/h in just 4.7 seconds
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The S4's interior is hardly any different from the standard A4's
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The S4's interior is hardly any different from the standard A4's
S-Line seats are standard inside, to hug you while you tackle corners
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S-Line seats are standard inside, to hug you while you tackle corners
Audi's S cars have always been subtle, and the new S4 is no exception
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Audi's S cars have always been subtle, and the new S4 is no exception
If owners choose the virtual cockpit option, there is an S4 specific display with a central rev counter
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If owners choose the virtual cockpit option, there is an S4 specific display with a central rev counter
The new Audi S4 will hit 100 km/h in just 4.7 seconds
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The new Audi S4 will hit 100 km/h in just 4.7 seconds
Besides the aluminum mirror caps, there's not much to differentiate between the standard A4 and the S4
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Besides the aluminum mirror caps, there's not much to differentiate between the standard A4 and the S4
A subtle rear diffuser is another giveaway as to the S4's potential
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A subtle rear diffuser is another giveaway as to the S4's potential
Thanks to its rear-biased quattro system the new S4 should be handy in the bends
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Thanks to its rear-biased quattro system the new S4 should be handy in the bends
A new five-link suspension system sits the S4 23mm lower than normal A4s
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A new five-link suspension system sits the S4 23mm lower than normal A4s
From the back, the new A4 looks remarkably like an A3
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From the back, the new A4 looks remarkably like an A3
Audi's corporate face sits well on the S4, although it could be argued the car looks too similar to the A4
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Audi's corporate face sits well on the S4, although it could be argued the car looks too similar to the A4
Power comes from a 3.0-liter V6
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Power comes from a 3.0-liter V6
A subtle lip spoiler is another hint at the S4's potential
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A subtle lip spoiler is another hint at the S4's potential
The car's all-wheel drive system can send 85 percent of the engine's power to the rear wheels
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The car's all-wheel drive system can send 85 percent of the engine's power to the rear wheels
Although it's quick, the S4 only uses 7.4 l/100km of fuel
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Although it's quick, the S4 only uses 7.4 l/100km of fuel
18-inch wheels are set the S4 apart from its slower cousins
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18-inch wheels are set the S4 apart from its slower cousins
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Audi might have committed to an all-electric SUV at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but it hasn't forgotten fans of high-performance gasoline cars either. Sitting alongside the e-tron quattro on Audi's stand is the new S4, packing a turbocharged V6 engine into a body so understated that it could just be the perfect sports sedan for the man with nothing to prove.

Hiding under the new S4's bonnet is a new turbocharged V6 engine producing 260 kW (354 hp) and 500 Nm (369 ft-lb) of torque, all of which is available from just 1,300 rpm and lasts until 4,500 rpm and is enough for a 4.7 second sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph).

From the back, the new A4 looks remarkably like an A3
From the back, the new A4 looks remarkably like an A3

An 8-speed tiptronic gearbox is standard, and uses a smart decoupling system to disconnect the engine from the wheels and coast to save on fuel. Thanks to this gearbox and the new car's more efficient motor, it returns a fuel use figure of just 7.4 L/100km (31.8 mpg) and emits just 170 g/km of CO2.

With the exception of the B6 RS4, fast Audis have been heavily criticized for their habit of understeering at the limit, so what we're really wondering about the new S4 is what happens when you show it a set of bends?

The signs are certainly promising. It might be fitted with the traditional quattro all-wheel drive system, but the S4 has a 60 percent rear-bias in normal driving, and the self-locking center differential is able to shoot up to 85 percent of power to the rear if the situation demands it. The car also boasts a torque-vectoring system that can gently brake the inside wheels to stop the car from slipping wide, while owners can spec an active sport differential on the rear axle if the standard torque vectoring isn't enough for their tastes.

If owners choose the virtual cockpit option, there is an S4 specific display with a central rev counter
If owners choose the virtual cockpit option, there is an S4 specific display with a central rev counter

To make sure it stays nice and flat through the bends, the new S4 sits 23 mm (0.9 in) lower than a standard A4 on its lightweight five link suspension system, which can can be tweaked to suit the owner's preference through Audi's drive select system.

From the outside, there's not all that much to separate the S4 from its lesser A4 siblings. There are aluminum covers on the mirrors and a silver finish on the new rear diffuser, as well as bigger 18-inch wheels wrapped in 245/40 tires.

Inside it's a similar story, with S-Line seats and S4-embossed kickplates the only major giveaway to the car's sporty potential unless owners spec the virtual cockpit with its S-specific central rev counter mode.

The S4 will be available in a sedan or wagon (Avant) bodystyles, which will go on sale in 2016.

Source: Audi

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