WHY pay a premium for a car that doesn’t look the part, you may well wonder.
But, if you’re the sort that likes a bit of deception, you could paint the Audi S4 in run-of-the-mill black or white or shades in between and then leave everyone behind at the traffic lights.
Getting past this test drive unit’s attention-seeking turbo blue paint, you’re in what seems like an Audi A4 that’s been given a few aesthetic touches — mainly some aluminium highlights. The black interior is understated quality, with diamond stitching on the nappa seats and an S embossed on the headrest. There’s a massage feature in the seats, when next you get a chance for a long drive.
Is it worth a 60% premium over the A4? If you’ve got around *$350K to splash, why not?
Beneath the surface lies the difference. And it’s in the drive that you derive the pleasure of the price difference.
You’ve got 500Nm of torque working for you as the 3-litre turbocharged V6 rockets from standstill to 100kmh in 4.7 seconds, in a most enjoyable sprint.
Push the drive mode button — placed closer to the passenger side unfortunately in the right-hand drive model — and you can choose between being a meaty but effortless city number, or a spirited and engaging sporty runner.
The quattro permanent all-wheel drive will come in useful as you push the S4 to give as much as you are able to take. The 8-speed tiptronic transmission adjusts the shifting depending on your driving desire, and you’ve got paddle shifters to keep the adrenalin pumping, while locking in on the details on your head up display as you whip around corners, the sport suspension lowered and affording more grip.
Going fast means stopping quickly as well, to which end the brakes are large and powerful ventilated discs gripped by red six-piston fixed calipers. And there are other assistance packages — parking, staying in your lane, 360° camera view, collision warning — to ease the processes and keep you out of harm’s way.
The de rigueur connectivity elements are served up as a combination of wired and wireless features. You’ll need to plug in your smartphone to access some features, but the Audi Connect navigation and infotainment system should fill any gaps, as you pump your entertainment through the punchy B&O system.
The Audi S4 has probably a certain type of audience that it appeals to: The quiet achiever, and a less-obvious executive with a slightly wild streak.
AUDI S4 RATING
Connectivity: 7.5 /10
*Please reconfirm price with dealer.
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