Ingolstadt, 16 September 2002 – Audi is unveiling the sporty top model in the A4 range. The new S4 is making its debut at the 2002 Paris Motor Show. Like its predecessor, the current version is also available as a saloon and an Avant.
The heart of the new Audi S4 is quite clearly its engine a further refined V8 with chain drive at the rear and a swept volume of 4.2 litres. It produces 344 bhp (253 kW) and a torque of 302 ft lbs (410 Nm). The S4 consequently sets clear benchmarks in the B-segment: a benchmark for supreme power development resulting from the engines large capacity, and a benchmark therefore for unmistakeable dynamic handling.
The eight-cylinder engine’s thrust enables the new Audi S4 with 6-speed manual gearbox to complete the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.6 seconds. It takes just 20.6 seconds to reach 200 km/h, whilst the top speed is a governed 250 km/h.
The 4.2-litre V8 engine is impressive at the very first glance due to its unbeatably compact design. Its dimensions, especially the length of only 464 millimetres, enable installation for the first time in what is likewise, for a vehicle in the B segment, an extremely slim engine compartment. To make this compactness possible, the Audi engine developers installed a chain drive for camshafts and ancillaries on the engine output side. This made it possible to reduce the length by no less than 52 millimetres.
The entire V8, with a gross weight of just 195 kilograms, is just as light as its predecessor in the previous S4, a twin-turbo 2.7-litre V6 engine. This results in major benefits for the weight balance and handling characteristics.
The 4.2-litre engine in the new S4 produces its maximum power of 344 bhp (253 kW) at 7000 rpm. The peak torque of 302 ft lbs (410 Nm) is available at 3500 rpm. Clearly more impressive than such figures is the combination in practice of the engine’s spontaneous response to every movement of the accelerator pedal, its astonishing free revving and hefty torque that is characteristic of a V8.
Power is transferred to the wheels via a 6-speed manual gearbox of the latest generation, which is noted for its closely spaced ratios and extreme precision thanks to short sports-style shifts, and quattro permanent four-wheel drive.
The S4 can therefore convert its engine output into propulsive power most efficiently at all times and reach new heights of superiority through the handling potential of its aluminium chassis. In other words, driving pleasure in the purest sense, on the motorway as well as on challenging mountain passes.
The lightweight aluminium suspension, based on the much-praised axle design of the A4 series, provides the ideal basis for maximum agility and, consequently, sheer driving pleasure.
Four-link front suspension and trapezoidal-link rear suspension enable maximum steering precision and clearly defined handling with excellent cornering stability. Ride comfort also benefits from this ingenious axle design because a low unsprung mass also makes for a particularly sensitive response from the suspension.
Design and equipment
The superiority of the new Audi S4 is immediately reflected in its deliberately restrained appearance. The body of the S4 Saloon and Avant, which is sporty in terms of both its proportions and its basic shape, only differs subtly from the other members of the model line.
The more powerful, fully painted bumpers with large air inlets, xenon headlights with contrasting titanium-coloured inner housing and polished aluminium exterior mirrors indicate to those in the know that they are looking at a very special Audi.
Powerful exhaust tailpipes on both sides and, on the saloon version, a discreet rear spoiler are the characteristic features of the Audi S4 at the rear end.
An S4 is also immediately recognisable on the inside. The instrument cluster has the grey dials that are characteristic of S models and special needles. The three-spoke sports steering wheel with leather rim and S emblem also emphasises the vehicle’s sporting character.
Recaro sports seats that can be electrically adjusted in several directions provide firm lateral support and excellent comfort on long journeys.