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Audi S4 and S4 Cabriolet



  • bobsc400 - Auto headlights seem to be out of vogue now. If you mean the ones that detect darkness and turn on. If you mean ones that turn on and off with the ignition, yuck, I hate 'em.

    uofmiami - Why do people (you) insist on putting cars up on a pedastal? No car is untouchable. Even when it is unlikely, any car be bested. As to the #1 title, as you mention, there is no real #1 title, but many car experts/magazines seem to think the S4 is as good or better than the M3. Of course, that is easier in a year where there is no M3. I think Audi was a bunch of geniuses to bring out the S4 when there is no M3. This gives this excellent car a head start it would otherwise have had more trouble getting.
  • Since when did I put a car up on the pedastal? I'm not a fan of either the S4 or the M3 so I personally could care less which one of them is #1, but that wasn't my point. My question was what are they #1 of? Best German car? Best pay a lot and get a little back? I never said any car is untouchable but the current S4 will need aftermarket mods to run with a new M3. If that comment makes a car untouchable then I think the world is coming to an end. Every car can be touched, all someone has to do is walk over to it and touch it :) (Little humor to lighten people up) Otherwise spend the $$ and one can make a car a lot faster to best another as you pointed out.
  • Why are you so bent on slamming me? Wait for the IS300, go to your Chevy showroom.... I put together an honest opinion of my test drive, both good points and disappointments. Are you some much of an ego-maniac that you can't believe another's point of view is of any value?

    No need to put down Lexus, they deliver true luxury with more reliabilty than any other manufacturer, that's what some people want. My wife loves her ES300. I've simply graduated to a higher performance level than Lexus can deliver. I know a couple of other people who have SC400's and really love them. They just aren't real performance drivers.

    The one thing I can't stand about my current car is that "floaty" drive you speak of, hence why I want to dump the SC400. After driving a friends 92 S4 (mod), anothers 96 M3, and yet anothers 99 Porsche, I long for feeling those cars deliver.

    The Bose sound system in the S4 would probably be considered decent by many people. I'm not one of those people. I haven't heard a Bose system that I like yet. Wife's ES300 has a Bose system. Don't like it either, but better than the S4. My last car, Acura Legend, had Bose system comparable to the S4. Didn't like it. Again, just IMO.

    As far as the styling goes, if the S4 would simply have a some "ground effects" differences, like thicker rockers, it would put me over the edge. Anyone out there know the aftermarket possiblilities for this? I'm familiar with the chip and exhaust upgrades, which are a no brainer, but I haven't seen anything for styling.

    I'm pretty sure you misunderstood the disappointment with the headlights. I was referring specifically to the feature that turns on the lights on automatically if it's dark.

    I test drove a '99 A4 2.8 Quattro for a whole weekend over the summer. I can understand why you like it. Great car, just not enough power for me.

    Happy Holidays!!!
  • I have the Bose System in my A6 2.7T (sister, slower, boatier car to the S4), and I had never heard any Bose System I liked before. Not in a home, car, boat, anything. Now I have. I was very surprised.

    No, I don't love it, I could certainly do better if I set up my own stereo, but I am willing to live with a little worse sound to have a factory system. This is because the factory systems are better integrated and far less likely to get stolen.

    I have to agree, the treble is still a little faulty. It's better than Bose past, and more along the lines of the super-bright Infinitys I am used to. The bass is excellent. The subwoofer does a good job, although when you turn up the bass level, it makes it apparent that most of it is coming from behind you. C'est la vie.

    uofmiami - The statement I am talking about is the one of "the current S4 will need aftermarket mods to run with the new M3". The new M3 doesn't even exist yet, and you have relegated it to the back seat. Many other people said the same about the current M3, and are finding the two cars are neck-and-neck in many circumstances. Why don't you wait for an actual comparison (or even the existence of the new M3) before you crown a king?
  • This is so far back I probably shouldn't bother, but the Subaru B4 is indeed a twin-turbo apparently. It seems they started with one turbo, and switched to two to get better response. I don't know how many were made with one turbo, or if that was just during development.

    Anyway, if you went and bought a 2000 model, it would be a twin-turbo on the 2.0L Boxer 4.
  • Actually it does exist at BMW's plant in Germany and has run 0-60 times of 4.8 sec in house. It was in Autoweek Magazine 2 months ago or so and Autoweek reported the engine would be tuned down some otherwise it would hurt M5 sales, don't know the exact issue, wish I did. I'm willing to wait for comparisons though, cause it'll be fun to see as a car enthusiast.

    Where and when did I slam you buddy? I don't know where that came from at all. I love Lexus and I drive one too so I don't know what you are talking about. Plus I have the headlights on my car set to go off when I shut the car off and on when I turn the car on, which Bollinger doesn't like :) I never directed any comments directly to you, check the posts above. If the SC400 doesn't deliver the performance you need, try a GS400, I love it but then again you may not want a 4 door. Otherwise pick a car you like cause in the end it's what you think that matters. Later
  • Bollinger,

    Does the S4 Bose system come with a subwoofer? If so I didn't notice it. Maybe it wasn't connected correctly. The dealership literally received the car that morning. It had less than a mile on it for the test drive.

    My issue with the Bose was the overwhelming midrange, even after I adjusted the treble and bass. The lack of "brightness" you speak of was most obvious.

    If it doesn't come standard, a subwoofer has a good chance of taking care of the problem.
  • Bollinger,

    Does the S4 Bose system come with a subwoofer? If so I didn't notice it. Maybe it wasn't connected correctly. The dealership literally received the car that morning. It had less than a mile on it for the test drive.

    My issue with the Bose was the overwhelming midrange, even after I adjusted the treble and bass. The lack of "brightness" you speak of was most obvious.

    If it doesn't come standard, a subwoofer has a good chance of taking care of the problem.
  • >>Very disappointed in the "premium" Bose stereo.
    Not crisp. My wifes Lexus ES300 sounds better, and my SC400 (Nakamichi) sounds much better.<<

    Crisp? would you be describing high, mid, or low -end here? Most people prefer extremely bright (high-end off the chart) systems while others (who are subsequently called audiophiles even if they aren't) prefer neutral systems which neither accentuate either end. These systems faithfully reproduce the recording as it was intended. Some people hate 'em, some people love 'em. Doesn't really matter, because no matter how much dough you plunk down (even aftermarket) you can't get good sound out of ANY car. Two reasons:

    #1 - Acoustics. Just won't work. Too small an area, with weird shapes, and un-sound-friendly material (metal & leather).

    #2 - Electrics. 12v (okay 14v) systems can't touch 110v systems. Just won't.

    So my advice, buy a car for how it drives and what it gives you in return, not the stereo. If that's what you want, buy a pair of $500 sennheiser headphones instead, it'll be better than any car stereo you can buy.

  • dear fellow s4 lovers...

    all my other raves about this car aside, one concern or complaint: my s4 transmission has always been tough to operate _smoothly_. Engaging into 2nd gear seems to have two separate points of engagement to deal with. the tranny also 'feels' as though it's clunking or hitting a gear or something in the transmission unless i let the revs back way down with the clutch depressed and then execute the shift. car only has 1400+ miles on it, and no, i dont abuse this transmission - no track workouts, no red light dragstrip nonsense.

    anyone else experiencing this?

    ... sleeves
  • 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:
This discussion has been closed.