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.