2010 Audi S4 SedanPosted on April 6th, 2010
Supercharged V-6 engine takes A4 performance to the next level
By Nina Russin
The Audi S4 is the high-performance sibling to the A4 sport sedan, with a more powerful engine, special wheels and styling for the true driving enthusiast. A supercharged V-6 engine in lieu of the A4’s two-liter block produces 333 horsepower and 325 foot-pounds of torque. Not only does supercharging enhance throttle response; the blower reduces power loss at high altitudes.
Buyers can choose between a standard six-speed manual gearbox and a new seven-speed automatic transmission. Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system is standard, transferring engine power to the wheels with the best traction.
A unique front grille, quad exhaust pipes, special badging and 18-inch aluminum wheels dress up the sedan’s exterior. Inside, the S4 comes with leather sport seats, a black headliner, brushed aluminum trim and more unique badging.
Base price is $45,900, not including an $825 destination charge.
Love and rockets for the real world
I’ve borrowed the name of a favorite alt-rock band, because it seems an apt metaphor for the Audi S4: style, sex appeal and speed, all wrapped up in a 4000-pound package.
A week-long test drive was my opportunity to see how well the S4 functions as a daily driver. The drive included surface streets and highways in the Phoenix metropolitan area, as well as a road trip to Tucson, Arizona, 150 miles to the south.
Timeless styling meets inspired performance
No matter how many times I see the front end of an Audi, the styling never gets old. The automaker’s unique grille treatment, framed by large headlamps with “eyelash” LEDs beneath the lenses, is a great and timeless design.
The standard xenon headlamps are as practical as they are stylish, projecting a longer, brighter beam of light than halogen bulbs.
The test car comes with nineteen-inch aluminum wheels and high-performance tires: an upgrade from the standard 18-inch rims. Not only do the wheels dress up the exterior, they also enlarge the vehicle’s footprint for better performance.
The same option package adds a Bang & Olufsen sound system, keyless start, navigation, and voice commands ($6100).
A drive select option includes adaptive suspension damping, dynamic steering and sports rear differential ($3950). The differential varies torque between the rear wheels to maintain traction when the driver is pushing the car on challenging roads.
I would highly recommend the driver assist package, which includes a rear backup camera and ultrasonic sensors. The $900 option adds an extra measure of safety when backing out of a parking space, especially if the sedan is surrounded by high-profile vehicles. The rearview camera makes it much easier to parallel park, and can warn parents if their children inadvertently wander behind the car.
Buyers considering the optional silk nappa leather seats ($1000) should spend some time in them before purchasing the option. Both my husband and I found the seats rather uncomfortable for drives lasting more than an hour. They are extremely hard, resulting in lower back pain in my husband’s case, and some discomfort for me on my pressure points.
The standard six-speed manual transmission is the obvious choice for performance enthusiasts. With its short-throw shift lever, it’s a joy to snap through the gears on a winding two-lane road. The clutch pedal, however, is rather stiff.
Since fuel economy is identical for the manual and automatic transmissions, buyers who spend a lot of time in stop-and-go traffic would best be served by the seven-speed S tronic. Zero-to-sixty acceleration time is 4.9 seconds for both transmissions.
Extensive use of high-strength steel maintains torsional rigidity throughout the body without adding unnecessary pounds. Anti-roll bars on both axles keep the chassis flat in the corners. The suspension is stiff enough for aggressive driving, but compliant enough to be comfortable on long drives.
The steering rack in the S4 is lower and closer to the axles to give the car a lower center of gravity and enhance steering response. Not only is the steering exceptionally responsive; the car is also remarkably maneuverable.
Driving around Tucson inevitably involves numerous U-turns, in order to enter area parks, malls and restaurants. The litmus test was maneuvering out of a traffic jam at a trailhead, after a large group of hikers parked vehicles illegally on both sides of the road. I was able to get around the parked cars and find my way out of the area with relative ease.
Visibility is quite good around the car. I had no problems seeing vehicles several lanes in either direction. With the exception of the exhaust note, the car’s interior is pleasantly quiet.
The Audi S4 comes with huge disc brakes on all four wheels that stop the car on a dime. An electronic parking brake on the center console saves space over a mechanical device. The driver engages the brake by pulling up on the small lever, and releases it by pushing down on the same control.
Designers imbued the S4 interior with the same classic elegance as its exterior, by using a combination of leather and brushed aluminum. Audi’s multi-media interface is a mouse-type device that combines a variety of functions into a single control, eliminating clutter in the center stack. Redundant volume and cruise controls on the steering wheel minimize driver distraction.
Three-zone climate control keeps passengers in both rows comfortable, while vents behind the center console circulate air through the back of the cabin. The standard audio system is iPod compatible. Standard Bluetooth interface enables the driver to use his phone hands-free.
Overhead reading lamps illuminate the front of the sedan at night. A standard sunroof brings additional ambient light into the back of the car.
Front row passengers have amble head, hip and legroom, but passengers in the second row are somewhat limited. The S4’s spacious trunk can easily hold a weekend’s worth of luggage, golf bags or groceries. A 60/40 split folding rear seat extends the cargo area for longer items.
The Audi S4 comes standard with front, side and side curtain airbags, electronic stability program and antilock brakes. Audi’s standard four year/50,000 mile warranty includes roadside assistance for the duration of the warranty.
Audi builds the S4 sedan at its Ingolstadt, Germany assembly plant.
Likes: A stylish sport sedan with exceptional handling and performance. Standard all-wheel drive enhances handling on wet or snow-covered roads.
Dislikes: Stiff clutch pedal causes leg fatigue in stop-and-go traffic. Optional nappa leather seats are very hard, and may be uncomfortable on longer drives.
Model: S4 quattro MT6 sedan
Base price: $45,900
As tested: $58,675
Horsepower: 333 Hp @ 5500 rpm
Torque: 325 lbs.-ft. @ 2900 rpm
Zero-to-sixty: 4.9 seconds
Antilock brakes: Standard
Side curtain airbags: Standard
First aid kit: N/A
Bicycle friendly: No
Fuel economy: 18/27 mpg city/highway
Comments: The manufacturer recommends using 91 octane fuel.
4 responses to “2010 Audi S4 Sedan”
A great luxury car, but the design is a little outdated in my opinion.
Audi builds the S4 sedan at its Ingolstadt, Germany assembly plant.A great luxury car and its design is very attractive.This is a wonderful opinion.I appreciate the concern which is been rose.
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I love this car. i got the Imola Yellow soon as it came to Las Vegas.
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