Audi S4 road test

Let's keep it simple ...... the S4 is a powerful car!
It provides 253 kW of amazement at 7,000 rpm!

Perceptions are important when buying a car. But the S4 may well alter your perception about Audi. Sure, everyone recognises that Audi has a positive image with a upmarket approach to delivering quality products with a tinge of excitement. However, once you are underway in an Audi S4 you can forget about this tinge of excitement completely. Make that absolutely completely! The S4 has bucket loads of excitement! And this excitement is delivered the moment you turn the retractable ignition key!

Just as you hear the bellowing burble of the S4's standard 4.2 litre V8 you clearly identify with the promise of what is about to come. And it comes immediately you select first gear and release the clutch as the rev counter starts counting your heart beats! There's no delayed reaction with the S4. The excitement is immediately realised as you go through the gears. Even in our big city traffic conditions, this manual doesn't seem out of place. The clutch and the standard 6-speed gearbox are an absolute delight to use. They are exceptionally well suited to this V8 wonder car.

The S4 is, of course, based on Audi's medium sized offering, the A4. Whereas the A4 is available with a choice of various 4 and 6 cylinder engines, the S4 comes standard with the delightful 4.2 litre V8. It provides 253 kW of amazement at 7,000 rpm! There's an equally delightful amount of torque, which is rated at 410 Nm at 3,500 rpm.

Let's keep it simple ...... the S4 is a powerful car!

It's powerful in the engine department and it's powerful in the styling department. Look at those 18" wheels and the subtle boot spoiler and the dual exhaust pipes. The test car was a yellow example, which produced a powerful statement in itself. Be assured, if you drive a yellow S4 you will, indeed, be noticed. And if you drive a yellow S4 there is nothing wrong with being noticed!

The RRP for the S4 manual is $129,500 which represents excellent value given the pleasure which comes standard with this car. There is a tiptronic version available for $132,500. Both transmission versions are available in the S4 Avant, which is the wagon model.

www.nextcar.com.au (copyright image)
2004 Audi S4
Location: Tea Gardens, NSW
Click the image to visit our Audi S4 image page

www.nextcar.com.au (copyright image)
2004 Audi S4
Location: Hunter Region Botanic Gardens,
Tomago, NSW
Click the image to visit our Audi S4 image page

We covered just over 1,000 kms in this car, which included a run from Newcastle to Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest. Every drive convinced us that Audi's ample attributes demanded considerable acclaim. For example, every factor which relates to a driving experience is just right in the Audi S4. The steering, the handling, the ride, the brakes, the engine, the transmission, the controls and the proven all-wheel drive 'quattro' system are all working in harmony with each other. There isn't any way in which the Audi S4 could be made any more desirable.

Equipment levels are just as you would expect with a car of this class. In an S4 you want for nothing.

The way I see it, S4 is meant for those who have met with success and desire something different. But something with abundant class, abundant performance and bucket loads of controllable excitement.

Just what is the best aspect of the S4 though? Is it the attractive styling or the luxurious interior or the secure ride qualities, or the delightful handling or the 'quattro' all-wheel drive system, or the excellent brakes, or the superb steering, or the outstanding performance or is it the wonderful 4.2 litre V8? Each aspect is worthy of a top rating and, clearly, the fact is that the S4 has secured each of these fine attributes amongst its long list of desired qualities.

Let me tell you that the sweet sound of the Audi V8's bellowing burble is as good as it gets. It's as nice as a symphony when the engine is around the 3,000 rpm mark. And even though I prefer an automatic, this 6-speed manual is an absolute delight to use. The performance provided by this car is astonishing. Pump up the lumbar support please, because your back will need it when you accelerate in this stunner!

Driving experiences take on a new and rewarding perspective when you are driving an Audi S4. Particularly rewarding!

Stephen Walker
18th October, 2004

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