- Audi’s S4 icon gets major 2018 upgrade
- Freewheeling new car to save on fuel
- 350mm discs with black or red six-piston calipers.
JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – There’s a new king-of-the-road among the 2018 Audi S4 range and its packing a new engine, light design and innovative technology from the full-size sedan.
Yet another model to add to a list of sporty family cars that goes back for two decades though the German automaker describes this its latest model as displaying “cultivated understatement”.
That, in Audispeak, translates to “a modest sporty look plus superior performance plus permanent all-wheel drive”.
SLEEPING TO 100km/h
The 3.0 TFSI turbo V6 engine has, Audi says, been re-developed to combines sport-car performance with lower fuel-consumption yet delivering 260kW and 500Nm, the latter from 1370-4500rpm and both greater than the previous S4.
Such grunt will shift the car from sleeping to 100km/h in 4.7sec and keep accelerating to a governed 250km/h – neither of which the average buyer will try more than once, just to make sure.
Fuel burn (never understood why somebody who can afford the best part of a million bucks is bothered about the price of petrol, but there you go…) is, Audi says, 7.3 litres/100km. Though to get that you might as well have bought a cheap hatch for all the fun you’re going to have.
The clout is delivered to all four wheels, as necessary, through an eight-speed auto gearbox with short initial acceleration ratios, getting longer as the speedometer sweeps around the clock and the ‘box does its job.
EMPHASIS TO THE REAR
Tapping off anywhere between 55 and 160km/h (which The Corner certainly hopes you will do long before reaching the latter figure) will disconnect drive to let the car freewheel.
In normal driving, torque is transmitted “with a slight emphasis to the rear wheels”. In the real world it will go to the axle with greater traction but self-adjust to compensate through road curves and corners.
A sport differential is an optional extra.
The front brakes have internally vented 350mm discs with black or red (your choice) six-piston calipers.
The car is designed for five adults though, Audi says, “”the horizontal lines of the instrument panel with its wide band of air vents convey an impression of generous width”.
After dark, diode light conductors will trace the doors’ contours and the center console – choice of 30 colours if you cough up for the “ambient light package”.
S sport seats (pay again) have integrated head restraints, adjustable bolsters and a massage function. Fine diamond-pattern black, grey or red Nappa leather is an option that comes with contrasting stitching and an S badge though black dominates the cabin, “set off with contrasting brushed aluminium inserts.
HEAD-UP DISPLAY HIGH-END OPTION
A “fundamentally new” control and display concept can control every function of the car “effortlessly and intuitively” and a virtual cockpit shows all key information on a 31cm highres screen “with a high level of detail and intricately rendered graphic effects”.
A “View” button on the steering-wheel can switch between three interfaces – one of them “sport” mode with the rev counter dominant.
Another high-end option is a head-up display which projects relevant information on to the windscreen as symbols and numbers though the image appears to float about two metres away.
An Audi phone box connects smartphones to an antenna and can charge them inductively. A Bang & Olufsen audio system with 3D effects can deliver 755W to 19 speakers.
SPORTY, NOT OSTENTATIOUS
Audi describes the car’s array of driving assistance features as “broad” and another step on the road towards self-driving cars – with distance-maintaining cruise control playing a central role.
The cars appearance is described by its maker as “sporty but not ostentatious”. (A mark of all Audis – Ed.) The bumper, air inlets and sills are distinctive and many add-on body parts are painted in graduated tones of matt grey with aluminium inlays – the external mirrors, too, have an aluminum look.
The rear sports a black honeycomb grille, aluminium diffuser trim and four tailpipes.
These items will be standard on the 2018 Audi S4:
Four-way lumbar support for the front seats
Audi Drive Select with Efficiency
Audi Pre-Sense basic
Audi sound system
Audi Sport cast aluminium five-spoke V design contrasting grey wheel rims, partly polished. 8.5Jx19
Driver information system with colour display
Bluetooth interface including AUX-IN and USB jack
Electrically adjustable exterior mirrors
Electromechanical power steering
Exterior mirror housings in aluminium look
Alcantara/leather with embossed S logo in the front seat backs
Front sport [power seats
Inlays, matte brushed aluminium
IsoFix child seat anchors; tether anchors for outer rear seats
Diode headlights, dynamic indicator and headlight control
Light / rain sensors
Automatic boot lid
Stainless-steel pedals and footrest
Quattro drive with self-locking centre differential
Rear parking radar
Side and head crash-bags
Space-saving spare wheel (hmmm? – Ed)
Sport three-spoked leather steering-wheel, with trip data controls
PRICE: R809 000, including taxes and a five-year or 100 000km Audi Freeway Plan. In showrooms now.