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All Torque!

by Murph

Look at that S..car..go (Audi S4)

Snails pace is definitely not how one would describe the Audi S4 with it's 265bhp, 2.7-litre engine. The understated, rapid "family" saloon is an exciting and rather sexy car - no matter how subtle the styling is. Looking like an ordinary Audi A4, the S4 is far removed from its popular brother. Muscular in it's appearance, there are no bolt on spoilers or skirts to hint at the sportiness. There are however, deeper and more pronounced front and rear bumpers. The extra depth gives the impression that the car is low slung, almost like the Audi A4 Touring Car. The rear bumper shadows a twin exhaust pipe while the front bumper is both aesthetic and purposeful, with 6 large apertures to aid airflow to the brakes and the turbochargers - yes turbochargers plural. Large 6-spoke alloy wheels help compliment this smooth looking charger. Build quality on the exterior is exceptional. This may sound mad, but each line and gap fall neatly into place on the body structure. (Such an anorak - Ed)
Lifting the bonnet reveals a tidy and almost clinical environment. Plactic covers hide all the signs of a potent powerplant. Your attention is drawn to the large V6 and Biturbo lettering to the front. Producing 265bhp at 5800rpm the twin turbos give clean power delivery without trace of lag. Torque is on tap as early as 1850rpm enabling the S4 to charge forward to a maximum speed of 155mph. But where the torque is fully utilised is in the climb from 30 - 50mph which is covered in 3.1 seconds. 0 - 60mph is achieved in 5.6 seconds. From driving with enthusiasm to taking a more sedate trip back from town the S4 gives a pleasurable driving experience.
The S4 is available as saloon or estate - strap those labradors down though.... Photograph provided by Audi UK
The six-speed gearbox gives the opportunity to explore any driving condition, while the permanent four-wheel drive affords added security for flamboyant cornering. Within the spacious interior the build quality, is just like the exterior. Superb. An excellent driving position is enhanced with supportive sports seats and a chunky three spoke steering wheel similar to that of the Audi S3, which we recently reviewed. The instrumentation is much the same as the standard A4, but the carbon fibre-effect trim on the dash and doors differentiates the S4. An impressive safety pack includes driver, passenger and side airbags.

For refinement and value for money this is a great car. It offers driving enjoyment with minimum fuss. Another fine S-badged car from Audi. Keep 'em coming.
Murph - 23 April 1999 (Email)

Tasteful, yet sporty interior is all part of the grown up S3 feel.
Photograph provided by Audi UK
Audi S4 specifications
  • Engine: 2.7-litre Biturbo V6
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Power: 265bhp @ 5800rpm
  • Performance: Top speed 155mph / 0-62mph 5.6secs

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