Friday, May 22, 2009

2009 Audi S4 Unleashed In Australia


It sounded fantastic and it was certainly quick, but alas, Audi has finally buried its sonorous V8-powered S4 and replaced it with the newer, more eco-friendly V6-powered model.

The 2009 Audi S4 was launched in Australia today, and although it’s minus a couple of cylinders and has lost a bit of its bark, it’s still every bit the performance car of its predecessor.

A 3.0 litre supercharged V6 sits where the 4.2 litre V8 used to, and develops 245kW of power and 440Nm of torque. That’s 8kW less than the old V8, but the torque figure is 30Nm higher.


Even more telling is how that torque is produced: where the outgoing V8’s peak torque band began at 3500rpm, the new 3.0 TFSI V6 thumps out its maximum numbers at 2500rpm and maintains the full 440Nm until 4850rpm.

More low-down urge translates into snappier acceleration and faster response off the line, and in a lot of respects torque is more important than outright power. The S4’s 5.3 second 0-100km/h time makes that very apparent.

Part of the reason for the switch to forced induction was the need to make the S4 Euro V emissions compliant, and with the new motor consuming just 9.4l/100km and puffing out 219 grams of CO2 per kilometre, it’s certainly a lot greener than the V8.


So it’s got a better engine, but what about the rest of the S4 package? Purists may be disappointed to learn that a manual model won’t be available in Australia for the time being, but with Audi’s new seven-speed twin-clutch S tronic transmission being standard equipment, you’re probably better off for it.


Quattro, the mainstay of Audi’s performance hardware, is the drivetrain of choice for the S4. However this time it benefits from the addition of an active sports differential, which directs torque between the rear wheels according to which one has the most grip.

Double wishbone front suspension and a multi-link rear suspension are linked to a set of sports dampers and carry beefed-up wheel bearings, while dynamic steering and adaptive dampers are available as an option. Braking is handled by 345mm ventilated rotors up front and 330mm ventilated rotors out back, each clamped by floating calipers.