Audi Repositions the S4

Yes we love all things BMW (if you were not aware!), but in order to remain objective we are well versed in the competing marquees; Audi included. We have seen over the last few years that BMW and Audi would go punch for punch with models and performance versions. This now going to be a bit different; Audi has thrown in the towel as it were… they have moved the S4 down market to now compete with the BMW 335. Audi will offer, a turbo 4 cylinder, a naturally aspirated V6 and a Super Charged V6 in the A4/S4 line. This is a giant shift in the market and the main reason we have gone so far as to post this.

The BMW ///M3 will only be challenged by Audi in the much costlier and limited production RS4 which will appear at a later date. The past generation RS4 was not a match in terms of driving dynamics to the ///M3 but we shall all see what the next version will bring to the party. It appears that Audi has realized that what they were trying to do in creating a ///M3 killer was impossible unless they built the vehicles in limited quantities (as in the RS4), this speaks volumes about what the current ///M3 is and what BMW has achieved.

What is also noteworthy is that this new V6 supercharged motor in the Audi is really matching the current BMW inline 6 twin turbo N54 rather than out powering it, as we all know it is well under rated by BMW and has not even seen the expected performance bump yet. Pricing and packaging seem to be in a nice neighborhood and may sway some potential BMW purchasers to the 4 rings, Click on for the full release.

Official Audi USA Release:

HERNDON, Va., Aug 14, 2009-Audi today announced the U.S. manufacturer’s suggested retail prices for the highly anticipated 2010 Audi S4 sedan and A5 / S5 Cabriolet models.The S models arrive at U.S. dealers in late August, while the A5 Cabriolet will be available in the Fall of 2009.

2010 S4 sedan (excluding $825 destination charge, taxes, title, options and dealer charges): S4 sedan (manual)$45,900 S4 sedan (S tronic)$47,300

2010 A5 and S5 Cabriolet (excluding $825 destination charge, taxes, title, options and dealer charges): A5 Cabriolet 2.0T multitronic front-wheel drive$42,000 A5 Cabriolet 2.0T Tiptronic quattro` $44,100 S5 Cabriolet (S tronic) $58,250

The S4 sedan and A5/S5 Cabriolet feature technological advancements as available features that enhance both interior and performance luxury.The 3G MMI (Multi Media Interface) with 3D map graphics and SIRIUS traffic displays the latest evolution of 3D navigation, joystick control for navigation map destination finding, updated graphical clarity, SIRIUS® artist/title preview, and SIRIUS traffic-based navigation.The S4 sedan features voice-based destination input control, and voice inputs such as “I’m hungry,” “I need gas” and “I need coffee” that will point to the closest options.The unique Audi drive select option available in the S4 sedan and A5/S5 Cabriolet also helps the driver customize steering, suspension, and acceleration characteristics.The available performance-oriented Sports Rear Differential package with torque vectoring is reserved for the S4 sedan and S5 coupe/Cabriolet.

The 2010 S4 sedan returns to the Audi U.S. lineup a year after the successful launch of the all-new B8 A4, and marks a strategic enhancement for performance models in the U.S. Audi lineup.

The new S4 features more performance and technology than ever and now enters a hotly contested competitive set that includes the BMW 335i and Mercedes-Benz C350 at a very attainable price.Now equipped with a 3.0T V6 FSI direct injection supercharged engine with 333 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque, the 2010 S4 with a manual transmission offers a 0-60 time of 4.9 seconds, compared to a 0-60 time of 5.3 seconds for the previous generation S4 V8 manual. The 2010 S4 also provides greater fuel efficiency (2010 S4 manual achieves 18 mpg city/27 highway, compared to the previous-generation 2008 S4 V8 manual ratings of 13 mpg city/20 mpg highway).

The S4 sedan will also provide more performance and standard features over its German luxury competitors.Using a continual focus on attention to detail, S4-specific features include distinctive standard S4-embossed heated front sport seats, front/rear bumpers, front grille, wheels, LED tail lights and front xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights.Other unique standard features include rear-biased 40:60 quattro® all-wheel drive, 18” wheels, heated front sport seats with S4 logo embossing, stainless steel and carbon fiber interior trim, contrast stitching on steering wheel / shifter / seats, Bluetooth®, SIRIUS satellite radio, Homelink®, and iPod® Interface.

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  • JonPD

    Interesting move for sure! Could just be me but I seem to remember that BMW has already mentioned moving the M3 away from the V8 back to a V6 once the current M3 is done.

    Still a quite interesting move.

  • TMQ

    I don’t know how many times I’ve read this, but the S4 powertrain has been anticipated for a long time.

    I think this is a very good vehicle, and S4 will surely outhandle BMW 335xi, which lacks a sport suspension and sits higher off the ground.

    Wonder if the supercharger will be reliable?

  • TMQ- I will agree that the powertrain has been anticipated but the pricing is a bit of a surprise….

    It may outhandle a 335xi but I doubt a 335i w/ ZSP.


  • Vlad

    Audi is still primarily FWD car with AWD add-on. Nose heavy – check weight distribution numbers.

    it is not a match to BMW in terms of handling.

    Unfortunately. As i’d love to see some competition in this area.

  • Isaac Uwagwu

    Audi must never lose sight of the focus/positioning/marketing of the S4/RS4 models. The S4 was/should be a BMW M3 rival while the RS4 is Audi’s “Popeye” on spinach!

    Enough said.


  • Chris B.

    The B8 S4 hasn’t really been repositioned in any way nor has it moved “downmarket”. It’s just become more efficient. The assessment that it’s no real competitor to the E92 M3 is on point. The B6/7 S4 just utilized a motor that was deemed most competent in order compete with motors from competitors. In a way we can say that in some way the 335i has become (in a sense) a direct successor to the E46 M3 if you want to go just by facts and figures. Pardoning the artificially aspirated N54 motor, of course.

    Many times I’ve become confused by Audi’s rather seemingly sporadic product positioning, but as time wears on I think Audi is attempting to become more of an exclusive but mainstream luxury brand, at least here in the U.S. Take for instance the only two A4 models on sale for MY10 and you’ll see only the 2.0 and 3.0T motors as options with last years 3.2 out of the picture. The 2.0T, if you look at the numbers caters to most of everyone’s most basic needs wrapped in premium packaging. There are enough options to personalize the car whichever way you choose, so exclusivity isn’t a problem. The S4 is more a bespoke model catering to the performance enthusiast with a fatter bank account than that of your average 2.0T customer.

    Sounds odd but it makes sense after you think about it. Especially with Audi AG concentrating more of it’s focus (as many other marques are) to growing in bigger international markets than here in the U.S. which is by and large saturated, and at this point it’s a matter of generating more conquest sales and marketing to younger customers. The latter Audi definitely has an edge in compared to BMW. Think of Audi as alternative sporting luxury for all people’s in all places.

  • Chris B.

    Oh, I forgot to add to make real sense of Audi of America only selling the 2.0T as oppose to the 3.2V6 as well consider where the automotive market has gone in terms of placing much emphasis on efficiency and environmental computability.

  • ill still take a 330 over an S4 any day of the week. After my friend went through 3-4 different S4’s in a 2 year spree, nooooo thank you. Audi tries wayyyy too hard. Mostly the last few years with them spamming the Audi brand in any freaking movie they can.

  • Mark

    I’ve driven one of these with the new trick diff and it’s an extremely impressive machine. The 335Xi is not even in the same league as this unfortunately. Audi are really raising the bar with their performance variants of late, the new TTRS is astonishing and the news on the upcoming RS4 and RS5 is very interesting. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like they’re bringing in the avant in either S or RS guise which is a huge disappointment to me. The new RS4 avant with the sport diff would be my ideal family vehicle.

  • BMWNut

    “The 335Xi is not even in the same league as this unfortunately.”

    It better be in a different league, they had three more years of technology advances to implement in the car. The e90 model line is 4 years old. If a brand new version of the 3 series was coming out at the same time, it would be a different story. In typically Audi fashion, they usually just one up the competition instead of setting the stage. That’s the difference b/t Audi and BMW. We are first to bring innovations to the market, albeit sometimes a bit premature. That’s the price you pay when your cutting the path and not just following the leader.