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Audi S4 and S4 Cabriolet



  • Response to #94 (kattridge).

    I paid a few hundred dollars less than MSRP once I priced it out with the options. I heard you can get a lower price with some of the SoCal dealerships if you deal with them directly.

    The CarsDirect approach just was more convenient especially if you can't get to the dealerships.
  • uofmiami - There is a big difference between a car which is at the tail end of the design phase, and a car produced for sale. Compromises are always made near the end to make the car sellable (legal, for starters). For example, the previous M3 had 320HP in the factory, but lost 80HP on its way across the Atlantic. Yes, I know BMW says that isn't the case on this issue this time, but similar things can happen.

    Also, about the headlights that turn themselves off (that I am living with on my A6). I don't mind if my lights turn themselves off when I turn the key off. I would like the option of turning them back on without turning on the ignition, like the radio. Call me foolish, but there are times when I want to turn my lights on with the key out. I'll take the risk of draining my battery.

    So in summary on lights: If a system turns the lights off (immediately, no delay) when I turn off the key, great. But I want to be able to turn them back on as an override. I haven't seen a system like that yet.

    sleeves - sounds exactly like your 2nd gear synchronizer cones are busted. Get 'em fixed.

    About the Bose system. Once again, I don't consider this the pinnacle of audio, but it is good enough for me. That having been said:

    I consider the high end imprecise. At times that means too bright (cymbals turn into little explosions of sound), but usually means too quiet. This is typical Bose.
    Midrange is very good. Also very typical Bose. It is little less emphasized than usual Bose (think 501s), and I like it a lot.
    Low end is very good. Both standard systems (Bose and other) have a subwoofer in the A6 (which I have). Neither system has a subwoofer in the A4. the low end doesn't extend all the down to the "boomin' system" range like a 14" kicker would, but then it is hidden in a side pod of the trunk unlike a 14" kicker and extends down quite far enough to me (my guess, 80 hz, might be a bad guess). I would imagine without the subwoofer the low end sounds like typical bad Bose (again think 501s). You should listen for yourself since I can't speak for the A4. However, the A4 and A6 have the same head unit, so the subwoofer output should be available for use if you want to add one. Also, having looked at the subwoofer on the A6, it isn't a technological marvel. Looks like two 6" drivers and a big amp. Still sounds good. I don't know how you replace it, since it is hidden behind a door and doesn't appear to fit through it. You might have to take the quarter panel off!

    rhesse - Audiophiles of the sort you speak of usually are looking for something with a rolloff on top. Infinity used to produce speakers with very flat response to 30,000Hz or above (I am not speaking of Japanese crash-box speakers). They didn't sell because high-end audio freaks thought it made their speakers "harsh". I'm not putting down people who know that they want out of a speaker, just pointing out that usually high-end audio folks often want a tube style (smoothed) sound, not an accurate sound. Accuracy is only your ally until it make the music less pleasing to listen to. I do very much agree that high-end audi folks don't turn on the loudness functionality of stereos which boost the high end (and low end).
  • Um, the problem you described sounds like a synchro problem, if you are experience it while upshifting. If you have to let the revs down while downshifting, that is pretty normal, especially in the lower gears.

    Just wanted to say that, since I don't know which way you are seeing the problem.

    The two-stages of engagement is classic synchro problem description. The first stage is getting through the (busted) synchro, the second is actually getting into gear, since the synchro didn't actually sync you up, you have to sync again to get into gear.

    (Also, above where I say "high-end audi folks" right near the end, I meant high-end audio folks, funny how Audi is just audio without one letter")
  • thanks, steve. looks like i'm in for a visit to the dealership to have this checked out.

    ... sleeves
  • Has anyone compared these two?
  • timd5timd5 Posts: 2
    This isn't exactly an S4 issue, but does anyone out there truly love a sunroof? Are there enough of you sunlovin' drivers to justify 90% of high end cars being built with them? How often do you open it? What the $#@! are they good for?

    I am 6'2" with a very long torso (I take a 31" inseam), and my head hits the ceiling of an S4, because of the sunroof mechanism. I think it steals at least an inch of headroom. Has anyone seen an S4 without a sunroof? I imagine I will need to order one. Anyone know how long this might take? Should I expect to pay MSRP, or less, for a factory order? The dealer was asking $49,000! for the one I saw on the lot in Santa Monica, CA. He said the demand was so great (and this isn't exactly the capital of frugality). Flying somewhere to pick one up and drive home sounds kind of fun. Maybe I could learn to drive a stick before I hit LA traffic.
  • bollingerbollinger Posts: 207
    I love sunroofs. I open mine very frequently, even in less than 50 degree wheather.

    I have an A6 2.7T (S4 engine and suspension, albiet different springrates, bigger car, thus less sporty), and I have a 6'5" friend. He saw my car, saw the curved roofline and the sunroof and said "great car, too bad I don't fit in it!". Well, he fit in the front seat with 2-3 inches to spare, and he fit in the back seat also (although his knees were against the front seat).

    Perhaps you should look at an A6 2.7T w/sport suspension (and six speed). It may be cheaper than an S4, since there is no markup. Mine was definitely cheaper, but I didn't get the sport package (since it didn't have the sport suspension yet, only seats and tires).

    One caveat, I live in a very markup-prone area, so just because A6 2.7Ts are cheaper than S4's here doesn't mean there are everywhere.
  • timd5timd5 Posts: 2
    Okay, I'm glad somebody likes a sunroof. I was figuring everybody was ordering them just because they assumed everybody ELSE liked them. I had one on a Grand Am I owned 7 years ago... when it was closed, it just made the car hotter, and when it was open, it just made a bunch of noise and blew everyhing around. Oh yeah, and it leaked. It was pretty primitive.

    Good idea on the A6! I sat in one with a sunroof today and just managed to fit. About the same as my current A4, without sunroof. My problem is short legs and arms (I bet your 6'5" friend has legs that are at least 5 inches longer than mine). So, I can't put the seat as far back as a normal tall person would. More and more this makes me think a manual transmission is a bad idea. I'm just not going to be able get my hands, head AND feet in all the right places

    So, I guess I gotta say goodbye to the S4. I'm no road racer anyway; I just loved the idea of owning something that was done so well, but without being ostentatious. I never liked the looks of the A6, but started to warm up to it today. I think my tastes are always about 2 years behind the curve, so I'll probably love it in a year. Hell, I didn't like the way the A4 looked when I bought it 3.5 years ago. The only thing I liked was the front profile, which I knew would look awesome in someone's rear view mirror. And, I thought it was a great value. Still do. I went 3 years without a problem, and without putting a penny into it except for gas and wash. I blew it at the end, missed my last free maintenance by a couple weeks and got hit with a $1400 bill--new brakes, battery, a belt and a boot. But still, well worth it to go 3.5 years without a hitch. Oh wait, there was one hitch. One night I could not get the ignition key to turn for the life of me, no matter how I wiggled and jiggled. I was afraid I would bust it, so I called Audi Roadside Assistance. The woman told me to take off my shoe and whack on the end of the key a couple of times, as if I was pounding in a nail. Two whacks and it turned, which was a very good thing. I don't know how they were going to get the flatbed up to the 6th floor of the parking garage I was in.

    Guess, I'll go see what folks have to say about the A6.
  • bollingerbollinger Posts: 207
    The A6 styling grows on you. I used to hate it from the back (the front is fantastic, better than the A4), but now I like it. Perhaps some day I'll love it. It is also good from the side, and the interior is fantastic.

    I've had a sunroof in both the cars I've bought new (Saturn 2-door, Audi A6). Neither leaked. The Saturn was noisy, but didn't blow things around. This was mostly because the back of the 2-door Saturn has no openable windows, so no real airflow into the back seats (where I kepts stuff). In fact, due to the pop-up before slide on the Saturn sunroof, it had almost no airflow at all unless you opened the windows. In that way it was kind of a bust out. I still liked it though. Especially how it was so large that it overhung the rear window when it was open.

    The Audi sunroof is better and quieter. I bet you could live without it though.

    Yeah, I didn't think of the whole torso vs. legs thing until after I posted. Obviously my friend is mostly legs if he is only an inch or two closer to the roof than me and his legs hit the back of the seats in the A6 (despite its ample legroom). Since I'm average height (5'9" is average, although the average will pass me up soon), I don't think about the long torso vs long legs thing much.
  • soxylusoxylu Posts: 6
    I have had an Audi S4 since Oct 27th. Paid MSRP for a car on the lot that had the exact options I wanted. However, I live in Florida not California.

    About sunroofs, I love them. I have never opened one in any car I have owned. I love the openness it gives. I have driven cars without them and felt like I was in a metal can. The sunroof gives an open feeling not a cooped up feeling. I have never had one leak yet.

    Also, think about resale. Many people prefer sunroofs for the same reason I do. I will never buy a car without a sunroof unless it is a convertible (which my wife's car is).

    I am 6'3" and have ample room in the front and back seats. My advice, ask to sit in one.
  • Hmmm... I just got a callback from an autobytel dealer and he said that they have their current allocations all the way through April, completely booked up... and if I wanted, I'd be able to order one for May delivery.

    Now I've been through this before, and what I have found in the past, is that this line is usually nonsense because they usually only have about a three month window of visibility into what they're getting. (This was Toyota, and so Audi may have a different policy...) So you generally have to start getting in their face and pushing for them to find/swap for the car you want. (On my old car, I ordered it in January... they gave me the short supply/high demand story and the three month line... then after I patiently waited for over three months, in May, they gave me this, "I don't think you're going to get one because we only have a three month window, and they're not shipping any more after August..."-story. When I heard that, I went ballistic for those jerks wasting my time. I suppose they didn't like the scene, realized that they were being typical car dealer jerks, and they no longer had a chance of getting what I wanted, probably because they were such bad sales people, that the factory wouldn't send them any more of the easy to sell cars until they sold a mess more 4Runner's, Corolla's, and Camry's, so they ran a locator on the car I wanted, and came up with a list of all the dealers in Northern Cal that had the model I was interested in. Lo-and-behold, there was a dealer not more than 20 miles away that had the exact car with the exact colors/options that I wanted. They were not able to swap for it, because they had nothing he needed that he couldn't get, and so they just gave me the other dealer's name. He was holding on to it in hopes to swap for a different color for the owner of the dealership, but they were willing to sell it to me and negotiate up from invoice... So it all worked out, but I'm not really getting a fuzzy-warm feeling about getting the S4 though...

    Still, is this basically saying that even today the S4's are in extremely short supply with a way high demand, and so the chances of getting one equipped just the way you want it, and in the colors that you want is still close to impossible and not only will you have to luck out in getting one, the chances of bargaining a couple or few percent up from dealer invoice as opposed to a couple or few hundred dollars less than MSRP is just about zero?

    What are people's recent experiences in getting their hands on one of these puppies? It seems to me that the car I would want is the one that the Audi marketing people should be sending over in mass quantities... I want that Nogaro Blue with the Onyx/Blue leather sport interior and loaded with the rest of the options... I'll even take the cell phone if it's compatible with Cellular One... Am I dreaming here? Anyone?

  • ahbutahbut Posts: 1
    I bought an S4 (with all options except for the navigation system) recently, but when I got it, it came without any fog lamp (except for the rear one), and my dealer told me that all the S4 that is going to Canada doesn't have any fog lamp on them, because by law, all cars in Canada are required to have day time running light, and the day time running lights are actually the fog lights on these cars, so I can't get any fog lamp install in my car! Is this true???
    I also heard that isn't the case in US or in the Europe, then I wonder ...
  • I live in Germany and own a U.S. spec S4. It came equipped with front and rear fog lights. Can't imagine what's up with the canucks.
  • This is in response to post #114 (timd5). I own an S4 and before I took my initial test drive I thought I would be too tall. I'm 6'8", weigh 225lbs and trust I match the leg and torso lengths of others shorter than me. The sunroof posed no problem, although it may be the way I've adjusted the 10-way electric seat. We all have personal preferences when dealing with seating comfort. I've been tall most of my life and have learned to adjust to most situations. Just thought I'd throw my story out there, in case there were other people with similar handicaps. By the way, my other car; a '98 Golf GTI, has more headroom than my S4!
  • bollingerbollinger Posts: 207
    Yep. More legroom too.

    I find the A4 disappointing in its provision of interior space. Too much trunk, too low a roof. Sure, it makes the car stylish, but I'd rather be comfortable (actually, I am when in front).

    I like the hatch-style cars better. A Tiny Civic hatchback or Golf can hold 4 people better than larger sedan.

    BTW, US S4's have front foglights also. Just not Canada I guess.
  • mofunkmofunk Posts: 1
    My friend owns an S4 without foglamps, probably for the same reason of Canadian legality (we also weren't allowed Xenons, so I'm pissed that my car doesn't have them)

    However, I was at the local Audi dealer and they just got 4 S4's shipped in last night, all of which had foglight that were in the bumper. Swear it!
    I have to go back this afternoon so I'll check again, and ask them, and take one for a testdrive while i'm at it.
  • eridyneridyn Posts: 3
    Does anybody know who in Southern California suppies / performs chip upgrades? I saw post #67 and a company called ABT was mentioned.. Where are they located? I did a search in Lycos and did not find ABT. Any info would be appreciated.
  • Go to and then go to forums and choose the S4 forum. They should be knowledgeable enough to lead you the right way into chip upgrades.
  • eridyneridyn Posts: 3
    I'll check out the site for more information and ABT. After reading all of the 126 posts above, I did not find one that completely addressed the effect that installing a chip has on a car warranty. I guess common sense would say that it would void all or some of the car warranty. Can anybody validate this? Thanks again..
  • Message #433 on the archived Passat V conference (#1906) has a complete discussion on chips, suppliers, warranty issues, etc. It is a very long message with a lot of links and is a good place to start. I made a copy of it to keep for reference.

    The following will hopefully get you to the conference:
  • There is some good information at

    The guy who runs the site is conducting a nice little survey for people who have installed Chips in either an A4 or S4. All the information he currently has is on the A4s, but it should translate to the same for an S4. He asks the very
    question that you are interested in. The results look good.
  • There is some good information at

    The guy who runs the site is conducting a nice little survey for people who have installed Chips in either an A4 or S4. All the information he currently has is on the A4s, but it should translate to the same for an S4. He asks the very
    question that you are interested in. The results look good.
  • rjennyrjenny Posts: 1
    I am thinking of buying a used 1993 Audi S4 with 90k miles. Would like to know if anyone has experienced any serious repairs, such as the turbo,drivetrain,etc.
  • For chip/exhaust upgrades on the new 2000 Audi S4 check out the website: for (Total Audi Performance).

    Also, check out the S-car enthusiast group site at
  • mrd3mrd3 Posts: 1
    If you really want a killer program for your S4, check out Garrett Integrated Automotive Corp. at

    They have programs for all of the new european vehicles and they stand behind their product. They have an installer in Mountain View. I have one of their chips now and it is the best program that you can buy for your vehicle. Here is the S4 specific page as well:
  • Test drove S4 last night and loved it. Also took out a loaded A4 Quattro to compare. For $4,000 more, I have to go with the bigger engine, brakes, etc... Local dealer is going to find me a yellow one. Only problem - I have never owned a 4 door car, and never planned to! In fact, 3 of my last 4 cars have been convertibles.

    Question - want to put a bike rack on it. Anyone have any ideas? Trailer hitch? Or mount on the roof?
  • I currently own a BMW M3 which I have had from new. I am interested in replacing the M3 with an S4. What are the typical monthly lease payments for a 36 or 48 month lease?
  • eridyneridyn Posts: 3
    Good place to start is http://www.AUDIUSA.COM. Go to the S4 section and build your S4 -exterior color, interior finish and options. When complete, you will see a 'finance' section. You will be able to choose your $ amount down, length of lease in months and number of miles a year. It is pretty accurate. The one thing it does not add in is the monthly tax. So, don't forget to add the sales tax to this amount. Also, the down payment you supply in this exercise is being applied strictly to the cost of the vehicle. Don't forget that there are other fees - sec deposit, first month payment, taxes and licensing, etc. - that will also need to be paid at signing. This can add between 1 and 2 thousand dollars to your total down. Good luck.
  • geo48geo48 Posts: 4
    Hello S4 lovers,
    I am thinking of getting a S4 and I am just wondering what is the cost of the insurance for this car. i live in southern cali. thanks
  • einstreinstr Posts: 3
    I am looking for a sports sedan in the 35-40K range. I have seen many postings for the audi S4 and I have test driven the car, very impressive, but a little pricey. carorders posts the car at $45K. Has anyone test driven the volvo c70 HPT? I have not had the chance. It is posted as 235 hp vs 250 for the S4, so seems fairly comparable. It is also more available and about 5k cheaper. I would appreciate some feedback on the comparison of these cars, or possibly any other car that could be considered in this class. I have also tested the acura TL, nice but no five speed, and a little sedate compared to the audi. Other cars that come to mind are the Mustang cobra, 328i (not as comfortable as the s4), the new 3.2CL (AT only). Any and all comments are appreciated. Thanks
  • rollierollie Posts: 337
    Regarding post #140:

    einstr, these are both fine cars but they are in two completely different segments. The C70 HPT is a high-powered tourer and the S4 is more akin to a rally or GT racer. Performance wise the only thing close to the S4 in the U.S. is the e36 series BMW M3 (out of production). The S4 is a true performance machine with all the warts therein. It is smaller and tighter than the C70. The C70 is more luxurious and has some nicer options (particularly in the audio department). If you're interested in blasting around corners at full-throttle then the S4 is the only choice. Otherwise you might find the C70 a little more habitable on a day-to-day basis in my opinion.


    [email protected]
  • einstreinstr Posts: 3
    Thanks for the input rdo. I am just moving up from some very basic machines, and looking for a car thats fun to drive, has a good amount of pop, and with some civility. A GT racer is not quite what I had in mind (but it was fun on the test drive). other suggestions for a sport sedan in this range?
  • rollierollie Posts: 337
    Regarding post #142:

    It seems to me that you are looking at a vehicle for about $40k or so. The two most notable sedans that come to mind given your description are the Audi A6 2.7T and Volvo S80 T6. The Audi can be had for a little under MSRP now and the Volvo can be had for even more under MSRP (or for factory invoice for the car = MSRP for options if you take Euro delivery which includes airfare and hotel for now). You might want to look at the Lincoln LS V8 which has won some good press as well. I'm sure there are others but these three come immediately to mind. I've tested all of these cars and own a T6 so if I can answer any questions let me know.


    [email protected]
  • Einstr,

    I just bought my S4 on Saturday and I got (I believe) a good price for it. It has the convenience package, upgrade audio system and the navigation system and I got it for $40k. That was about $2k below MSRP. So, you should be able to get an S4 for under MSRP. By the way the colour of the car is the Special Blue with the black leather and blue alcantara interior. Looks pretty mean :-)

    Love the car and for me it's quite comfortable, though I'm only 5'7" and I have no problem with the slightly smaller interior than other cars.
  • I turned it a 97 M3 for an S-4 a few weeks ago and

    got a great lease. $690/mo 36 months,12,000 miles/year,with nothing down but the first payment.This was an Audi lease,but in fairness I did the deal on 12/31/99. Good luck you'll enjoy the ride.
  • klk1klk1 Posts: 2
    I'm really disappointed in the handling ability of my S4 in the snow. It slid at relatively slow speeds in the snow - once going straight about 20-25 mph & a few times around corners. Tonight I slid in snow about 1" going slowly on a curve. Its my first AWD so I don't have a comparison but my FWD celica did better & Jeeps, subaru's were blowing by me! I'm going to call the dealer. Could it be that some computer chip or wire isn't connected? Any experiences of others in snow?
  • mgreene1mgreene1 Posts: 116
    My S4 has just rolled 4000 miles. ZERO problems.

    The stock tires are summer performance tires. They are downright UNSAFE on snow.

    Audi recommends all season or snow tires for S4 winter driving.

    I'm running Dunlop Winter Sports on stock rims and my S4 has been terrific in the snow.

    The handling is also pretty good in dry weather, but I'll go back to the stock tires this summer.

    I had to panic stop on packed snow a week ago for some idiot with his snowblower blocking the road in front of his house at night. The ABS engaged and the car stopped fine (with about 2 feet to spare). Without snows, this would've been ugly.

    Many posts in the S4 forum at also highly recommend snow tires.

    You might want to park that bad boy if there is snow/ice until you get proper winter tires.

    Also, be careful accelerating because an S4 can launch forward with snow tires much faster than it can stop (i.e., it's scary fast in the snow).

    Hope this helps.
  • Anynone out there know whats in store for the 2001 S4?

    Any help would be appreciated.
  • A few questions about chips:

    1. How to they boost HP?
    2. Does this boost increase the wear on the engine etc.?
    3. Based on #2, wouldn't changing the chip void all warranties and/or force you to play cat-and-mouse with the dealership everytime you brought your car in for service?
    4. Any idea on what a 50HP increase in HP would do to the already admirable 0-60mph?

    Thanks everyone for all the interesting and useful information.
  • To those complaining about snow and the S4 - GET SNOW TIRES. It's really that simple. Those Z-rated performance tires are not made to perform in the snow. Remember= 4(wheel drive) X 0 (traction)= 0. It's not the car's fault.

    As for chips, go to and do a search on chips. Too much info to discuss in one sitting. It's up to you to figure out what YOU want.
  • what5what5 Posts: 15
    If you dont know that summer z rated bridgestones are bad in the snow, what are you doing driving this fine automobile.
    What a chip would do is ncrease boost pressure from the turbos and alter the timing. a 50 hp increase could have a very positive effect, or a neg effect depending on how it alters the torque. as far as wear and warranty is concerned, a chi[ will most likely void the warranty, and it will increase the wear on the engine (increased boost)..
  • jk351jk351 Posts: 1
    Does anyone know if Audi makes splash guards for the S4. Will the A4 parts work? I've contacted several parts departments but they don't seem to know.
  • has mudflaps for the S4, they seem to think the rear ones are standard A4, and the front ones are special to the S4. Call them and ask some questions.

    I can't believe the S4 owners who are driving their cars on snow with the stock tires. I saw one up at Tahoe this weekend. Good thing it didn't snow. Those tires simply are not made to grip snow at all. Ask the tire manufacturer, they will tell you so also. Even all-season tires will increase your grip markedly. All-season tires won't even cut your acceleration down on dry, since you have AWD. They will reduce your handling a little on dry vs. the stock tires.

    I'd by far rather have an FWD car with all-seasons in snow than an S4 with those stock tires.

    They are great tires, but people are misusing them.
  • I haven't given a damn about cars until 3 months ago, when I joined a high-tech company that significantly increased my buying power. I purchased a 1999 VW Passat V6 for my wife, but I'm still driving a 1994 American compact.

    I was extremely impressed with my father-in-law's recently purchased A4, but I am in love withthe understated power of the S4.

    I've test-driven it and can't remember anything about the experience. I want to buy it but need some advice from a young husband and new father who might be accused of unadulterated self-interest, which suggests disdain for his wife's home re-modeling plans and his children's educations.

    Any advice from S4 owners who have faced similar perception concerns?
  • This is a self-reply to the questions I posed in post #149. After further poking around I came across the Total Audi Performance website which answered all my questions. Here's a link for those who are interested:

    Sorry to bother you all with additional FAQs.
  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    I'm thinking of getting the M3 as my summer car. How does the S4 stack up to it? All I want is total driving satisfcation. How reliable are Audis these days?
  • S4 is faster in some cases, slower in others (some say always faster). M3 handles better. S4 has 4 doors (few M3s do).

    Both are excellent cars.

    As an added incentive, the M3 isn't in production this year (anywhere), and probably won't be in the US next year either.

    That cuts down your choices.
  • To S4 owners who have the Alcantara seat material:
    How hard is this to care for? Is it suede or man made? What does it take to keep it clean and how easily does it get dirty? Does it appear to be as durable as leather?
  • Alcantara inserts are suede. It's really nice. I imagine it would the same type of care as anything else suede.
  • I a in a similar situation. Joined a small biotech about two years ago and have options that almost instantly increased my wealth beyond what I thought was possible in such a short time. I have two kids and have thier education paid for, have not had a car with more than 100 hp for 15 years (as a high school senior). I test drove the S4 and unlike you remember it vividly. the handling and acceleration were intoxicating. I have not put my order in yet as I am still considering the c70 HT and the 328i (will test drive them this week). If you have it to spend, do it. the education is far off. You worked hard and deserve it (at least that what I keep telling myself!!) Good luck.
This discussion has been closed.