Audi Le Mans winner Allan McNish puts the new Audi S4 through its paces at Thruxton racing circuit.
VERSION DATE: June 1, 2009
INFO IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE
• The A4 product line is critical to Audi of America’s growth in the USA, and the S4 supports this by expanding the line’s sportiness.
• The new S4 is a sports car offering an impressive driving experience, leading technologies, and every-day suitability.
• Audi Drive Select (adjustable engine/throttle mapping, suspension damping, rear differential, and dynamic steering) is a benchmark in the segment and industry.
• All-new version of the 3.0 TFSI supercharged V6 provides excellent acceleration and efficiency in all driving situations.
• New 7-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission for faster precise gear changes.
• quattro with new optional Sports Rear Differential enhances agility and control.
• S4 will be offered exclusively as a sedan in the USA.
• USA market launch is Fall 2009, as a 2010 model year vehicle.
• Key competitors are BMW 335i and 335xi
• S4-specific interior and exterior distinctive features include:
o New rear LED lighting
o Front/rear bumpers, including unique front grille
o Trunk lid with integrated spoiler
o Aluminum optic mirrors
o Special 18” wheels standard with high performance tires
o S4 brake calipers with logo
o Sport seats with unique interior color offerings
o Black interior headliner
o S4-badged steering wheel, aluminum door sill inlays, key fob, and gauge cluster
o Brushed aluminum interior trim with available carbon fiber, wood, and stainless steel options
• Typical Audi interior design is modern and sophisticated, with clear attention to detail.
• S4 Aluminum-optic exterior accents include front and rear diffuser blades, mirror housings, and four exhaust pipes.
• Modular Longitudinal Chassis architecture is the foundation for a benchmark sport sedan.
o Extensive use of new ultra-high-strength steels increase rigidity of the body while also reducing weight.
o Repositioned clutch / torque-converter allows more forward position of front axle.
• Better agility and turn in
• Better axle load distribution
• Shorter front overhang
• Longer wheelbase = more comfortable ride
o Repositioned steering rack, lower and closer to the wheel carriers lowers center of gravity and provides more direct steering control/feedback.
o Sporty proportions and muscular stance enhanced due to longer, wider, and lower dimensions.
o Reduced front overhang adds to visual sportiness.
Powertrain and Performance
• Standard power train will be the new 3.0 TFSI supercharged V6 mated to quattro® all-wheel drive
• Transmission choices include a 6-speed manual gearbox and a new 7-speed S tronic dual clutch transmission.
• 3.0 TFSI V6 specifications:
o FSI direct injection with intercooled supercharger
o 333hp – 325 lb-ft
o 0-60 mph 4.9 sec (USA est.)
o Top speed 155 mph
• Latest generation of quattro® all-wheel drive is employed, with asymmetric rear-biased torque split (40% front / 60% rear under nominal conditions).
• New available quattro with sports rear differential dynamically varies torque between the rear wheels.
• Fuel economy is significantly improved over previous generation S4 (approx. 25% on European tests)
• Braking system is upgraded specifically for the S4.
• MMI operating logic standard (with central display screen)
• Audi Drive Select – varies the engine, transmission, steering, rear differential, and suspension damping characteristics to suit the driver’s preferences
• Audi music interface – full iPod integration with the MMI system
• Audi Intelligent Key – stores service information in the key
• Advanced Key keyless entry and starting
• Bluetooth hands-free telephone interface
• Bi-xenon headlamps with Audi’s signature LED daytime running lights
• Rear parking sensors with rearview camera
• Electromechanical parking brake
• New 3rd Generation MMI with hard-drive-based Navigation system, including voice control
• Audi Side Assist lane change assistant
• Bang & Olufsen 505W 14-speaker sound system
• Standard 6-speed manual and optional 7-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission with steering wheel shift paddles
Interior is 20mm longer, rear knee room increased by 36mm, leg room, headroom and shoulder room also increased.
Launch Timing and Pricing
• USA S4 sedan goes on sale in Fall 2009 (as a 2010 model year vehicle), with pricing expected to be similar to the outgoing model. S4 Avant body style will not be offered in the USA.
• European S4 hits European roads in Spring 2009.
Yes, that would be a comment I am sure more than a few of you would scream at me. S-CARS.ORG appeared to be flat-lining, on a decline much like the U.S. economy. What WAS left of it was quite the mess thanks to a messy relocation from one server to another. It was a rough stretch I tell ya!
Quite some time ago I had been diligently working on an all new version of the web site. In fact, it was originally my intent to debut the site on the 10th anniversary of it’s creation. Well, numerous tech issues prevented that from happening. The site actually went through two evolutions in private before what you see here was released to the public. I really wanted the new site to be less cluttered than what we had before, and that led to lots of experimentation. In fact, two versions of the site were developed using a Joomla back-end but both wound up being a bit more complex than I wanted the site to be. What to do?
Well, during my down-time I happened to create a little test site for one of my other interests, Panasonic Bicycles. During one weekend of boredom and experimentation with WordPress I created the basis for the Panasonic Bicycles Virtual Museum which can be seen here. Before I knew it, the site had gotten to be more popular than I could have imagined (especially considering Panasonic hasn’t sold bikes here in North America since 1989.)
The beauty of the new site besides the fact that it was suddenly starting to match the S-CARS.ORG web site in terms of traffic, was that it was so easy to manage. Heck, I could even update it from my iPhone in a matter of minutes. It was simple and it worked.
The only problem was that I doubted it would be robust enough to handle all of the content that comprised what was S-CARS.ORG. And to be honest, as I write this I am still in the process of moving content from our old PostNuke based content management system to this new site, so we may still crash and burn yet! With a little luck and some organizational planning I think we’ll be able to make it happen though.
Now the cool part! In the past it was tricky for our other site editors to deal with the publishing of content. PostNuke didn’t exactly have a WYSIWYG editor so you had to be at least a little savvy with HTML. Our new platform will allow just about ANY S or RS nut to easily publish stories, blogs, etc. to the web site. Yes, be afraid. Be very afraid.
Top Gear may have The Stig, but we’ve got something even more perplexing… some say it comes from a warehouse deep within the forests of Bavaria where century old Trolls feast on it like flies to compost. All we know is that they are the S-CARS Site Editorial Crew! Stay tuned for the official introductions soon!
Thanks for hanging in there… and it was indeed about time!
Founder & Managing Editor, S-CARS.ORG