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Old 07-18-2019, 07:32 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default 2019 Audi S4











The New Audi S4 performance saloon has made the ostensibly unfashionable switch to diesel but could it be an inspired move on Audi's part?

Verdict
4
The S4ís switch to diesel power might seem to come at an odd time, but itís a powertrain thatís a perfect match for the carís character. Torquey, refined and frugal - especially considering the thumping performance on offer - it sits well with a car thatís relaxing to drive, comfortable and understated to look at. There are more exciting performance saloons out there, but there are few which will be so easy to live with every day.

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This is the new Audi S4. Like the rest of the range, the subtle sports saloon (and estate) has been refreshed for 2019, with revised styling, improved lighting tech, and a faster, prettier infotainment setup.

But the big change comes under the bonnet, where petrol makes way for diesel. The timing of the fuel switch might seem a bit weird for some, given that the publicís perception of diesel only looks to be going one way. But can the S4 do anything to restore a little pride in the black pump?

The S4ís powertrain is the same as that used by recently launched S6; that means a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 backed up by a 48-volt electrical system. Interestingly, Chinese and American markets keep the petrol S4, but as it stands in Europe, only the bookends of the S family - the S3 and S8 - are sticking with petrol for now.

The 48 volt architecture enables a mild hybrid system, which features an integrated alternator starter and a compact 0.5kWh lithium-ion battery. Among other things, this drives an electric compressor installed between the intercooler and the engine which, according to Audi, effectively eliminates turbo lag.

The result is 342bhp. While thatís slightly down on the old petrol, the peak torque figure is a whopping 700nm - up 200nm. And it can really be felt on the road: the S4 launches forward with a constant surge of acceleration right to the red line. The electric compressor achieves the desired job: thereís little in the way of turbo lag to hold it back, so means that itís a fantastic tool for quick overtakes. You do need to be above 2,000rpm to feel the benefits though, as before the big turbo gets on boost, thereís a slight lull before the shove.

It even makes a decent noise, too. Itís not quite the tuneful note of the outgoing petrol, but the deep, big-lunged growl seems a good match for the heavy duty shove in the back. The eight speed gearbox shifts smoothly and is reasonably responsive in manual mode.

That torque also means that the S4 can actually feel about as playful as an Audi S car before or since. The optional Sport Differential is able to send power to the rear wheels individually, which means that on the exit of a tight corner, a deliberate hoof of the throttle will cause the back end to step out of line. For the most part, however, it just delivers phenomenal traction, firing the S4 from one corner to the next. The chassis itself has quite a neutral balance to it.

If only the steering could offer some sort of feedback, and the S4 would be a genuinely enjoyable. Itís very light - even in sport mode - so it doesnít quite offer the feel to instil much confidence along a twisty road. The dynamic steering, which adjusts the rate of response according to road speed, is fairly intuitive though.

But despite the largely positive news about the handling, a long cruise is the S4ís most natural gait. The suspension soaks up bumps pretty much as capably as a conventional A4, which means that, minor low-speed jiggle aside, itís composed yet relaxing. Wind noise is minimal, road noise is reasonable, and the long-legged engine is barely audible at speed. In other words, itís a phenomenal long-distance cruiser.

And the other benefit of that engine comes with fuel efficiency. The S4ís mild hybrid tech allows the stop/start system to engage near-instantly, and can cut the ignition from around 14mph to coast fuel-free up to traffic lights. At higher speeds, the coasting function allows for the engine to cut out for up 40 seconds if the system deems it to be the most efficient way of doing things. In practice, the start/stop system didnít seem too keen to engage - it didnít want to cut power while big energy draws like the air con system were running.

Audi says that the system is able to save up to 0.4litres of fuel for every 100km driven. Not a staggering amount, but better than nothing. The result is 37.3mpg on the WLTP testing cycle - impressive for a car which will trouble most hot hatches in a straight line.

Away from that powertrain, the 2019 S4 gains the same updates as the rest of the A4 family. That means that the outside gets reshaped headlights, a lower, wider grille, a reprofiled shoulder line along the sides, and a chrome strip which separates the touched-up tail lights. 19-inch alloy wheels are standard, as is a body kit which adds a subtle extra dose of muscle.

The interior remains a lovely place to sit. The only real changes come with the tech: Audiís Virtual Cockpit digital dials are sharper than before, and offer new menu layouts. The larger infotainment screen has grown in size to 10 inches, is now touch sensitive, and uses smartphone-style tiles for sub-menus.

With arguably its closest rival, the Mercedes-AMG C43, starting from £50,120, an entry point of £48,000 for the S4 Saloon (and £49,400 for the Avant) seems reasonably. Thats in standard trim, which comes with a long kit list itself, but thereís two further upgrade levels beyond it. For an extra £1,500, the Black Edition comes with a black styling pack which changes the exterior brightwork for darker trim. At the top of the range is the Vorsprung, which among other things, adds the quattro sport differential, a panoramic sunroof, a head-up display and a Bang & Olufsen sound system for the £60,850 asking price.


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Old 07-18-2019, 07:34 AM   #2
AVANTI R5
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I love that color, but it doesnít work on the that S4 as regards of photo to show off new car
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:34 AM   #3
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That shift lever is horrendous
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:18 AM   #4
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The only thing I like about this car is the color.
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Old 07-18-2019, 02:59 PM   #5
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Why are all manufacturers adding textures, funky shapes, and and colors to their grilles? Those silver lines on the grill do nothing other than emphasize a bee hive look and I don't find that desirable.
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:48 PM   #6
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Meh.
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Old 07-19-2019, 01:50 AM   #7
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Shifter is the new arm rest.

Don’t like VAG products but always had a soft spot for the S lineup, especially this car. So is motor placement any better or does it still sit in front of the shock towers? Understeer and front heavy weight distribution are synonymous with Audi road cars.

Also, too bad no manual trans. Lastly, still don’t like the high door lines.
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Old 07-19-2019, 03:23 AM   #8
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I think it's a pretty looking car. But I'm wondering how fun it will really be to drive as an automatic only car and with the understeer problem of Audi past. Have they resolved it?
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Old 07-19-2019, 04:07 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by 2002-Blue-WRX View Post
I think it's a pretty looking car. But I'm wondering how fun it will really be to drive as an automatic only car and with the understeer problem of Audi past. Have they resolved it?
https://www.topgear.com/car-reviews/audi/a4

Quote:
But to kick the A4 for not being the most memorable car in its class is immaterial. If you’re doing big miles and need a car to soothe your brow and be an immaculately behaved digital assistant to your life, this is one heck of a complete package, and drives better than you might expect.
pre-restyling S4: https://www.evo.co.uk/audi/s4

Quote:
The S4 is, of course, underpinned by a four-wheel-drive chassis. Under normal circumstances power is split 40/60 front to rear, but up to 70 per cent of power can go to the front axle or 85 per cent to the rear should conditions demand it.

The balance is also pretty good. Of course, it can be made to understeer if you don’t listen to the howling tyres (it comes as standard with Hankooks, which are brilliant in the wet but lack response and mid-corner grip in the dry), but if you turn the car in slightly slower and then commit to the throttle you feel the sport diff sending power to the outside rear tyre. As the corner unfolds a small yaw angle builds and then stabilises, so you exit each corner with the car driving forwards but held in a shallow oversteering angle. It’s actually a really cool sensation.

The chassis is clearly very well sorted, the balance with the sport diff is adjustable and not relentlessly understeery, but the weight savings advertised don’t really make themselves felt.
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Old 07-19-2019, 06:14 AM   #10
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That’s the issue, a sport diff (as cool as it maybe) will never make up for inherent front biased weight distribution.

Same goes for “if you turn the car in slightly slower and then commit to the throttle..”
And then you have “...but the weight savings advertised don’t really make themselves felt.”

Sounds like the same ole same ole.
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:45 AM   #11
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You gotta go into it with proper mind set. Itís An Audi #1. Its great at long haul and around town duties. The Hydraulic Rack is gone aNever Coming Back. But after you Drive it for a while you will know exactly where the wheel is. Whipping the wheel around in parking Garage is like slicing butter but tightens up nice once you are under way. I donít know about the eight speed, but itís sucks in the regular A4 in 2012 anyway (had a loaner). So yeah itís the same old same old. But for most drivers affluent upper middle class, it works, it sells and the only way to get into a decent non 2 liter in a so called luxury sport sedan.
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Old 07-19-2019, 11:23 AM   #12
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most production vehicles will be designed to understeer. It's just a safer failure mechanism for 99% of the population. Wonder what they set the front camber to? The R is notoriously awful, whereas other performance audi's on the same chassis (TTRS) have more dialed in from the factory to reduce understeer...
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:55 PM   #13
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If I could afford one I’d rock it with a 6 speed in that Blue too!
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Old 07-19-2019, 08:33 PM   #14
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Yeah, Audi really dropped the ball on this current generation A4/S4 sedan designs. But still looks A LOT better than current Bimmers and Benz.
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:59 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Scooby-Doode View Post
If I could afford one Iíd rock it with a 6 speed in that Blue too!

No you wonít


The manual is long gone..No DCCT just 8 speed Automatic. But the take rate was just about nill so I see their point.
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Old 07-21-2019, 12:10 PM   #16
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Prefer this.

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Old 07-21-2019, 12:43 PM   #17
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Those RS3's are very capable cars. However, if RS, I think the air hostess cars look a lot more interesting (TT-RS). I'd get the regular S3 if sedan.
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Old 07-21-2019, 01:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVANTI R5 View Post
No you wonít


The manual is long gone..No DCCT just 8 speed Automatic. But the take rate was just about nill so I see their point.
I know. That ZF tranny is doing multiple shifts at the Audi and BMW enthusiast camps. Manufacturers are watering down the driving experience, the thrill of taking turns, changing gears, etc. Might as well get into a driverless/autonomous car.

Meh... A couple more years on my daily and then Iíll be picking up a small RWD car.
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Old 07-21-2019, 02:16 PM   #19
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Dieselgate is all in the past now? VW is going to start marketing diesel cars again?
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Old 07-21-2019, 03:38 PM   #20
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I think they're going to concentrate more on electric next...?
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