Audi is presenting the new generation of its best-selling models – the A4, A4 Avant and the high-performance S4, at the 2004 Paris Motor Show. This is a new model generation that is obvious at first glance. The front-end styling of both saloon and Avant models is new, with the addition of the characteristic Audi single-frame grille. The rear end, with its emphatically horizontal lines, and the sides, where the shoulder line moulds the panels distinctly into shape, are also new.
The S models of the new A4 generation are likewise instantly recognisable: the front end is dominated by the new face of the brand, the single-frame grille, in this case with S-specific grid pattern, and newly styled headlights. The shoulder line sculpts the sides of the car body in a most eye-catching way. And, finally, the most prominent feature on the new tail end, apart from the newly styled light units, are four oval tailpipes on both saloon and Avant models – a clear indication of just what the Audi S4 is capable of.
The power-to-weight ratio of this model is just 4.8 kilograms/horsepower. The eight-cylinder engines thrust thus enables the new Audi S4 with its new 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 its top speed is a governed 250 km/h.
The new S4 is the only car in its class to have quattro permanent four-wheel drive. It can therefore convert its engine output into propulsive power most efficiently at all times and enter a new dimension of superiority thanks to the handling potential of its aluminium chassis.
The superiority of the new Audi S4 is immediately reflected in its deliberately restrained appearance. The bodies of the S4 saloon and Avant, which are sporty in terms of both their proportions and their basic shape, only differ subtly from the other members of this model family.
The exterior of the S4 models differs from the other models in the A4 series through Avus-design cast aluminium wheels of size 8×18-inch. Other identifying features include electrically adjustable and heated aluminium-design exterior mirrors, a newly styled rear spoiler on the saloon (roof spoiler on the Avant), an original radiator grille with grid pattern and exclusive front and rear bumpers.
The new S4, like the other S models, can be ordered in a choice of exclusively available paint finishes: Imola Yellow, Brilliant Red, Sprint Blue, pearl effect and Deep Green, pearl effect. The S4 can also be ordered in Brilliant Black, in the metallic colours Silver or Dolphin Grey and in Phantom Black or Moro Blue, both with pearl effect.
The Audi S4 is notable not only for its sporting exterior, but even more so for its inner values. This applies not only to its technology, but also to the interior.
The instrument cluster, for example, has the characteristic grey S dials and special needles. The new three-spoke leather sports steering wheel with S badge also accentuates the vehicle’s particularly sporty character. If the customer orders a 6 speed tiptronic transmission, gears can also be changed using the shift paddles on the steering wheel.
Recaro sports seats provide firm lateral support and excellent comfort on long journeys. Not only the driver and front passenger benefit from these qualities, but also passengers on the two rear seats.
Inlays in Carbon Atlas or, as a no-cost option, Piano finish black, Aluminium silver or Fine-grained Birch wood grey offer all drivers the chance to customise their cars interior. S4 badges on the nose and tail, on the door sill trims, in the instrument cluster, on the dashboard and on the steering wheel clearly indicate this Audis special status.
The heart of the new Audi S4 is its engine – a powerful V8 with a displacement of 4.2 litres and a five-valve cylinder head. This engine is notable not only for its power output (253 kW/344 bhp), but also for its unbeatably short design.
The development engineers, however, have not economised when it comes to power. The V8’s thrust enables the new Audi S4 with 6-speed manual gearbox to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in only 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 new 4.2-litre engine delivers its maximum power at 7,000 rpm. The maximum torque of 410 Nm is available at 3,500 rpm. Even at just 1,100 rpm the large V8 produces almost 300 Nm, and between 3,000 and just under 4,500 rpm the peak-torque range is always above 400 Nm.
The S4 is available with a choice of 6-speed manual gearbox or 6-speed tiptronic with dynamic shift program DSP and sport program. This automatic transmission is designed specifically to meet demanding handling requirements: weight reduction, rapid shifts and an optimised shifting strategy make sure that the convenience of the automatic transmission is combined with the sports performance specific to the S4.
The new S4 generation also comes as standard with one of the most elaborate and efficient rear suspension systems around: self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension, specially designed for quattro drive.
The braking system is also matched to the powerful potential of the Audi S4. The ventilated discs measure 340 millimetres in diameter at the front, 300 mm at the rear. The system is operated via a dual-rate servo. This assists the driver during extremely hard braking by automatically increasing the servo rate.
The S4 sports suspension lowers the vehicle’s ride height by 20 millimetres and, apart from its sporty appearance, means a clear advantage in terms of dynamic handling.