The new Audi S4 made its glittering debut at the top of the Audi showcar stand last night in Frankfurt. Along with the new E-Tron Quattro EV SUV previewing a future Q6, the 2017 S4 was joined on stage by a “G-Tron” A4 Avant designed to run on CNG. Smart stuff.
The S4 is clearly the closest to buy hands, however, with sales promised “in 2016.” This is likely to mean a March 2016 USA arrival at the earliest, and July probable for first orders.
The S4 is Audi’s big engine upgrade from launch. The A4 TFSI power output is a fairly basic ~252 ponies, so the S4 is aligned with top 3 Series and C-Classes. Cars like the new 340i or C450 AMG Sport, a medium-hot variant between the C400 and C63.
The S4’s powertrain is not huge on paper, but will be potent in real life. A new twin-turbo V6 makes 354HP and 368-pound-feet of torque. That huge lump of torque arrives from just 1300 RPM, which is one of the lowest torque plateaus we have ever seen!
A sport differential with torque vectoring is on the spec sheets for the S4 in 2017, as is a newly-adjustable quattro AWD system. Dynamic torque splits in the S4 can send up to 70-percent of the power to the front, and a whopping 85-percent to the back (depending on conditions.) That is much more rear torque than is normal for the default quattro torque split of 50:50 front/rear. (40:60 on some models).
The looks, as on the normal 2017 A4 S-Lines seen so far, are a mixed bag. There are cool treats like the new LED design, slightly longer and A6-ish roofline, and the quad pipes for the S4 out back. But otherwise, this new S4 will not turn many heads. Its lower ride height and bigger wheels will be very special versus base A4 sedans, however, versus the loaded models seen so far.
RS4 —>>> USA?
The silver lining of the S4 and its ultra-conservative exterior upgrades? The price will be within reach, first off. We ballpark a high $40s base, and high $50s loaded total.
Secondly, the hottest-of-all RS4 might make its way over to America for the first time. Chilling the S4 a bit appears to save room at the top of the model family for a true M3 and C63-fighter in the form of a $63k RS4 in the states around Spring 2017 as a 2018 model.
2017 Audi S4
Sporty and high-tech: the new Audi S4 and S4 Avant
260 kW (354 hp), 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in 4.7 seconds – Audi launches the new S4* and S4 Avant* at the IAA in Frankfurt am Main. The top models from the A4 series are ahead of the competition – with intelligent lightweight design, powerful engines, and an extensive package of the latest technologies.