I like the idea of a sleeper car, a car that mimics the looks of a standard road car but packs in a monstrous engine under the hood. Ideal to drive to your board meeting in the day and, after closing bell, prove to the dragstrip junkies who the boss really is.
A car with multiple personalities, a Jekyll and Hyde player, that’s the S4; a tattooed wicked version of Audi’s very popular A4. In blazing red!
The A4 in stock form itself is a sporty looking sedan; glance at the S4 and you’ll think it’s just a brightly painted A4. Closer examination will point out quite a few additions. The lowered height, larger 18-inch wheels, arresting quad-exhausts and S badging are indicators that this may not be mild sauce.
The S4 is based on the updated A4. This means the meaner looking LEDs, new hexagonal Audi front grille and revised LED taillights are here too. The car is lower by 20 mm, thanks to the suspension, making the stance much sportier.
The brushed aluminium mirror caps contrast well with the rest of the car, similar to the more powerful Audi RS models. Overall, this car is as subtle as it’s loud, a feline that’s comfortable in leather or lace!
Step inside, and the sport theme continues. The interiors are all black leather (some of it in black alcantara) with brushed aluminium detailing. Other details include S4 branding on the steering wheel, instrument cluster and seats.
Thumb the starter to hear a roar! The S4 was initially available with a 3.0-litre twinturbo V6 and a 4.2-litre V8. This model packs in an engine that may seem less powerful than the previous ones but actually makes the car the quickest S4 till date.
In town, the S4 is effortless and since there’s no power lag to deal with, driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic is not a problem. Low-end torque is impressive but then this is a very smart automatic that knows just when to shift gears sedately or unleash the full might of the engine.
The quad-exhausts aren’t loud like, say, an AMG, but just perfect when it comes to decibel count. The supercharger whines away, along with the mild roar from the quad exhausts coming to full song above 4,000 rpm. Down shifting urges the engine to rev match automatically; 100 kmph is met in 5.27 seconds! (Only 0.27 seconds slower to Audi’s claimed figure).
That makes the S4 just 0.4 seconds slower to the mighty 560 PS BMW M5. All that performance doesn’t come in at the cost of your life’s savings: In town the car returned 8.1 kmpl, while on the highway it extracted 12.4 km from a litre of petrol resulting in an overall figure of 9.18 kmpl.
The S4 comes standard with all-wheel drive. The car also features Audi’s drive select system that lets the driver tailor the throttle and steering settings. One can choose between various modes: Efficiency, Comfort, Auto and Dynamic, or just mix and match settings.
Priced at Rs 47.37 lakh, ex-Mumbai, it is definitely the most affordable everyday sportscar you can buy today.