After introducing the standard versions of the A4 and A4 Avant earlier this year, Audi has pulled the veil from the sportier S4 and S4 Avant variants of the compact executive car at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.
The 2017 Audi S4 and S4 Avant represent the sixth iteration of the S4, the first generation of which was introduced over 20 years ago. Both are powered by Audi’s newly developed turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 TFSI engine producing 354 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. In comparison, the outgoing S4 with Audi’s old supercharged 3.0-liter V6 produced 329 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque.
Routing power to Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system is a new 8-speed tiptronic transmission, replacing the old seven-speed daul clutch unit in the B8 S4. A spritely 0-62 mph time of 4.6 seconds is claimed by Audi, and the top speed has been electronically limited to 155 mph. As a plus, if you can manage not to indulge in the S4’s power, it will easily return 31 MPG on the US cycle.
Like previous S4 models, the 2017 S4 features a selflocking center differential which under normal driving sends 60 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear axle and 40 percent to the front. In certain situations, the diff will send up to 70 percent to the front axle or up to 85 percent to the rear. An optional sport differential is available and will distribute power between the two rear wheels as well.
Handling has also been significantly improved, Audi says, largely in part to the B9 A4’s new MLB Evo platform. The S4 also features a 0.9-inch lower ride height over standard A4 models, and boasts Audi drive select handling with several modes and standard CDC (continuous damping control) dampers.
Visually the S4 is set apart from standard A4 models by 18-inch wheels (or available 19-inch units), an S-specific rear bumper and diffuser clip and a pair of dual-exit exhausts. Inside, S sport seats, an S steering wheel and illuminated door sill trims with S4 logos are also featured. Audi’s virtual cockpit display is optional, and the latest version of its MMI infotainment system comes standard.
Add-ons include Audi’s Matrix LED laser headlights, a heads up display and a sensor control for the rear tailgate on Avant models. Pricing has yet to be announced, with Audi only saying the S4 models will become available starting in 2016.