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Audi S4 and S4 Cabriolet

mschwartzmschwartz Member Posts: 3
edited August 2014 in Audi
I just read the Audi press release on the S4,
which is set to arrive next month here in the US.
I have to say, it's got some very impresive
numbers. The engine sounds amazing, 2.7L 30V
biturbo. According to Audi, it puts out 250hp and
258 lbs-ft torque. Audi quotes the 0-60 at 5.9
seconds for the manual, and 6.5 for the auto.
Nice! The interior looks good from the pictures
I've seen. The MSRP is under 40K, this seems like
a lot of car for that price. Could this be the car
to challenge BMW's M3? Granted, the S4 is an AWD
sedan and the M3 a RWD coupe or convertable, but
they seem like they could be very close in

Has anyone else seen or heard anything about this
car? This seems like a car worth saving up for.


  • mgreene1mgreene1 Member Posts: 116
    S4 looks to be an excellent car but M3 apparently is better on the track. S4 looks to be better on the street in everyday driving due to its AWD.

    you may not be able to get one close to $40,000 for a couple years due to expected demand.

    in the sept'99 car & driver, S4 won comparison test of sports sedans, beating M3, C43, and 9-3 Viggen.

    S4 barely edged out the M3 for the win, but the article noted this particular M3 was a little slower than other M3 models they've tested.

    even though its a sedan, S4 is being discussed in topic 311 of the coupes and convertibles forum.
  • roys2roys2 Member Posts: 5
    I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the S4. Based on the advertised numbers, it would seem to offer a lot of performance and value. However, the power to weight ratio makes me a little suspicious of a 5.9 second 0-60 time, and the "limited availability" doesn't auger well for picking up one at a bargain price.
  • 6spd6spd Member Posts: 3
    Depending where you're located of course. I'm in L.A. and have talked with dealers about the car. They all want deposits and tell me there's a four month wait. I think it's B.S. and in a month or so anyone with 40K will be able to walk in and sign a deal. I just want to drive it before I sign on the dotted line. My A4's lease is up this week so the timing is pretty good. I just find the A4 a bit sluggish without any torque, so my hope is that the S4 is really everything they all say. Otherwise...I dunno, I mean I really don't want an M3. I'd rather be in an M Coupe than that. Any other options that y'all can think of would be appreciated but I do like the way that Audi appoint their cars.
  • jwolffjwolff Member Posts: 19
    All around drivability is the S4's forte. I suspect as 6sp mentioned in a few months the S4 fever will quell and dealers should be amenable to bargining. The next M3 should be interesting.
  • fxsfxs Member Posts: 50
    Beaudry Motors of Tucson has a S4 with 16 miles on it for $40K. It's black with I guess the cold weather,convenience,and 6-disc changer packages.
  • fxsfxs Member Posts: 50
    Beaudry Motors of Tucson has a S4 with 16 miles on it for $40K. It's black with I guess the cold weather,convenience,and 6-disc changer packages.
  • richw3richw3 Member Posts: 2
  • judysljudysl Member Posts: 2
    Here are some errors that I noticed:

    No mention of 6 speed manual
    No mention of standard xenon headlights
    Wheels are actually 17 X 7.5, not 17 X 7
    Tires are not all season, they're also Z rated
    Driver and passenger are 10 way powered, not 8
    leather door trim, not cloth
    first-aid kit in back armrest
  • judysljudysl Member Posts: 2
    Many dealers have S4's that are unspoken for and they've started arriving here in the US.
  • cmohr1cmohr1 Member Posts: 1
    I took the S4 out for a test drive and took a posted 15 mph curve at 80 mph. The car started to slide a little but I gassed it and it amazingly held its line very well. The salesman was with me during the test drive and said "had you gone that fast around that curve in an M3 you might not have made it." I must say that I am extremely impressed the S4's handling and performance. Even if the S4 doesn't necessarily beat the M3 "under ideal conditions" (though I'm sure it's very close, if not a little faster than the M3 under ideal conditions), the S4 will surely perform better than the M3 when the weather gets nasty. I'm sure the S4 would do awesome in snow with some all-weather tires, while the M3 is hardly at home on snow regardless of the tires. I currently live in a state that gets a fair amount of snow where it just isn't practical to own a BMW (or any rear-wheel drive car for that matter, unless it's a very heavy rear-wheel drive car such as a huge Mercedes or an old Cadillac) unless you have the money for another vehicle (like an SUV for e.g.) you can drive in the snow confidently. With the S4 you don't need another vehicle. I'm also considering moving to Colorado where the S4 would be a better choice than the M3 for driving on the mountain roads. The car also has very impressive acceleration and a "high-performance-sports-car-feeling" interior. It also is practical since it is a four door sedan and could be used as a family car if there are no more than three children. I see the S4 as being a "practical Porsche" since it handles and performs so well, yet is a four door.
    I also like the fact that the S4 is not pretentious in appearance(interestingly the S4 looks like a lot like a Honda Civic and will likely go unnoticed), therefore it doesn't attract vandals nor cops. The only people that would really notice the car are car enthusiasts who know the S4 is awesome, while to the un-informed it's just another unpretentious/non-standoutish car (Audi's in general are not really "eye-catchers", which in my mind is a positive attribute) or just another A4 to the semi-informed. Don't get me wrong the S4 is definitely a sharp looking car, it just doesn't look like a fast nor an expensive car, it therefore can theoretically remain unnoticed to those you would prefer not notice the car anyway (such as vandals and police). The M3 would, on the other hand, attract vandals and cops, giving the owner a sense of insecurity (but some people love to attract all kinds of attention). However, if you do want the S4 to not be "stealthy", then simply get one in yellow, red, or blue colors and with the dichromatic seats (which I admit are very athletic looking). I prefer the "stealthy" silver S4 (for avoiding cops and vandals) with the single color seats (for vandal avoidance). It really just depends on your feelings of risk (i.e., getting speeding tickets and getting your car keyed/vandalized) versus benefit (i.e., getting a good feeling from noticing people salivate while they look at your S4).
    I definitely have my heart set on purchasing the S4 but am going to wait a year or so in hopes that by then my bargaining efforts won't prove fruitless. I have also decided that if my bargaining is fruitless I'll still buy the car. I must have it, even if I have to pay MSRP! It is a lot of car even at the MSRP.
  • 6spd6spd Member Posts: 3
    I finally found one that didn't have a security deposit on it and so I put my $1000 down and will test drive it today. The one thing I'm slightly apprehensive about is the engine noise. I have a 98 A4 which I frequently stall out in from a stand still going into first. I can't hear the engine and there's very little vibration in the throttle. My understanding of the S4 from reading reviews is that the engine is just as quiet "eerily so" Road & Track put it. Seems odd, but that maybe the one thing that will keep me from buying it. A twin turbo 250bhp 6 should be heard don't you think? I guess on the other hand one can look at it as a delight. Here you have this very powerful engine in a modest sedan frame, it's kind of consistent with the design of the car that it wouldn't roar. After all Audi is nothing if not subtle. The only other car I'm considering at present is the new Boxter S. But I already have a 2 seater roadster. I can't really validate getting another.
  • 6spd6spd Member Posts: 3
    judysl mentioned that they come with Z-rated tires. I looked closely at the S4 yesterday and it was fitted with Bridgestones. Not Z rated ones at that. A bit of a disappointment.
  • schippers1schippers1 Member Posts: 1
    what a great car! The sales guy did a better job than I, but I had my fun. It is definately subtle enough to not be noticed. It did feel a bit short on the shifting, but it kicks in really well on 2nd. Too bad I had no room to take it to 6th.
    ps. Payed above msrp. (not by much, but still..) Oh well.
  • jwolffjwolff Member Posts: 19
    Drove an S4 (imola yellow with onyx leather)without the dealer riding shotgun. Great car better overall than an M3. I really didn't like the short 1st gear or the long throws on the 2-3 upshift. In fact the 5 spd on my 2.8 A4 quattro felt much more connected. Also, wish Audi would have sprung for Bilstein struts as opposed to Sachs.

    A short shift kit would make this car almost perfect. I would hold off buying one for at least 6-12 mos. Would never pay MSRP for one. In time they will be selling for 5% over invoice, esp when the new M3 with 320 hp comes out next year.
  • uofmiamiuofmiami Member Posts: 19
    The new M3's are gonna have 340HP next year, FYI.
  • jwolffjwolff Member Posts: 19
    I believe it when the M3 hit the dealerships. If they run 340hp their prices will be in the low 50's which will make the S4 all the more attractive.
  • jwolffjwolff Member Posts: 19
    I'll believe it when the M3 hits the dealerships. If they run 340hp their prices will be in the low 50's which will make the S4 all the more attractive.
  • sbillssbills Member Posts: 1
    You can get an S4 for $40K, at least here in Raleigh/Durham. I ordered one back in May, and then cancelled to build a new home. It came in last week, and it was $40,823.

    A Laser red S4 just came in 2 days ago, and its the same price. It wasn't pre-sold, either.

    Check out my S4 site at http://www.s4.anyspeed.com.
  • tdiseasetdisease Member Posts: 1
    Silver with gray leather interior, premium sound system, xenon headlights, comfort/convenience (however they call it) package, all for $40k.

    I tried negotiating the price but I got a flat out "no" by the dealer. It was pay or thank-you-very-much you can leave now. The claim made by the dealer? Prices on the S4 are not going down--they are limited on production, so what else can you expect, I suppose.

    Anyway, I love the car. Just to think that the 250 HP 2-turbo engine could beat a 240 HP M3 makes me grin while I am behind the stearing wheel. Then again, never driven an M3 (I owned a BMW before the S4) so I can't really speculate all that much. It would be fun to confront one, though.

    If anybody out there is skeptical about getting an S4 my recommendation is simple: snap out of it, head towards the dealership and get one! Do not delay.

    If there is one thing that I don't like too much is the gas consumption (17/24). Hey, with such an engine I wouldn't expect any more than that so I guess I'll have to live with it.

    To sum all this up: get the S4, is it one HELL of a car.
  • jwolffjwolff Member Posts: 19
    Drove an S4 recently. I have also driven an M3 so here's my 0.02. The S4 is much smoother and feels tighter while the M3 is more raw edge feeling. Also the S4 is sneaky quick. Meaning if you're not careful 100 mph comes up quick.

    Draw backs. Short 1st gear, long notchy 2-3 upshifts. The 5spd in my A4 feels more connected. I believe that after 6-12mos S4 prices will be more reasonable ie 5% above invoice.Another reason to wait is that the new M3 will be out and should also make S4 prices more reasonable.

    As for dealers saying this is a limited edition car, I remain skeptical. I mean to bring over and federalize a new motor just to put in a few cars is not cost effective.

    Mark my words in 1yr S4 proces will come down and there will be plenty of em out there.
  • matthkmatthk Member Posts: 3
    I'm a current BMW 3 series owner(not the lastest E46 model)looking at Audi this time... along with the new 3 series coupe. So far the S4 and A4 seem to be good value for the money and Audi excels in some areas relative to BMW.(more on that later)

    Curious if anyone had an opinion the Audi premium Bose stereo vs the BMW's Harmon Kardon. I have the Harmon Kardon and am not that impressed with it. Are both systems pretty mediocre and aftermarket the only solution?

    I'll probably be talking with a dealer to see what can be done about an S4 order in the next two weeks. Of the dealers in my area, one said they would sell S4's for MSRP and another, that I won't be visiting!, had the gall to ask over MSRP.
  • rollierollie Member Posts: 337
    Regarding post #21:

    matthk, in my opinion both the HK and Bose systems are adequate at best. They are better than say your average GM Delco crap (and in fairness GM's radio systems are much improved but still to boomy sounding) but they aren't stellar. You can do better in the aftermarket for a moderate price. There are some great high-end stock systems out there (Lexus and Volvo in particular) but none of them have Bose or HK components in them and in most cases you can do better in the aftermarket arena.

  • jwolffjwolff Member Posts: 19
    I have the Bose in my A4 but not by choice. I would opt for the stock system and put in MB quart speakers and almost any 4 channel amp. As for the S4 you should be able to pick em up for invoice. I still would wait as prices are bound to come down. See my previous post. For more Audi info visit www.a4.org
  • seanvseanv Member Posts: 1
    I'm currently living in Germany and am dying to get an S4 for the autobahn, only one dealer over here that sells American spec's though so I can't exactly haggle. Any official word on if the S4 will be limited in production or due I have some time to save up.
  • csm72667csm72667 Member Posts: 2
    Has anyone driven both and compared them? I'm thinking of getting one or the other but I don't know if I should wait for the new M3. I'd like four doors if possible.
  • mschwartzmschwartz Member Posts: 3
    Accourding to R&T, Audi will be making between 4000 and 5000 S4's a year for the US, which according to them, should be plenty. Prices will go down once dealers have one or two on the lot that they haven't sold yet.

    I was suprised to see 0-60 times of 5.5 seconds and a 14.1 quarter-mile. Those numbers are identical to a Mustang Cobra. That's pretty amazing for a fairly heavy AWD car.

    As far as the new M3, I would bet with options it will be 50 grand or more. An S4 comes standard with just about everything you could want. Even with options it's about 40 grand. Sure, the M3 will be fast, but overpriced like all BMWs.
  • roys2roys2 Member Posts: 5
    I agree that the 0-60 time (Audi claims 5.6 sec; a C&D article said 5.6 sec) or the rated horsepower is suspect. If a 3.0L 24V twin turbo in a Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 could deliver 320hp, maybe the Audi 2.7L 30V twin turbo is understated at 250hp?
  • matthkmatthk Member Posts: 3
    I also read the Car and Driver article and the 5.6 sec 0-60. They talked about dumping the clutch at high(5000?) rpm and I imagine that gets you started quickly with the tall first gear. Audi claims a more achievable 5.9 sec. I can't figure out why the car is so heavy(200+ lbs heavier than the A4 quattro).

    I'm also following BMW developments and am a current 3 series owner and test drove the current M3. I was not that impressed with it...maybe it's too "raw" for me and not all that fast. However, rumors as you know are for a high output(321 hp?) version next year..in 3 series coupe form.
  • soxylusoxylu Member Posts: 6
    One other thing to consider in this debate. I was at the BMW dealership last week and was told that the new M3 will be 320 HP, but will ONLY be a 2-door model for the first 2-3 years.
    Therefore, it depends on your preference, a 2-door M3 or a 4-door S4.
    Also, where I live, a turbo has a high "burn out" rate due to the heat in Florida. Any comments on that?
    Also, for me, the problem is finding a dealer close by. Where I live, there is a BMW dealer close by, but the Audi dealer is over 50 miles away, a bummer when covered repairs come up.
  • bstaufbstauf Member Posts: 1
    You guys are going to laugh but I test-drove an S4
    here in Denver and I'm scared to buy one. I was
    on Highway 6 going through Golden (straight and
    relatively flat) and drove up severe switchbacks
    on Lookout Mountain. This is all at 5,000+ feet where you need inches or a turbo. I jumped up over 100 mph on the highway without even thinking
    about it. The switchbacks were great especially
    with awd (roads were dry) although the bicyclists
    on the road looked nervous (yuk yuk).
    My point is that I would get way too many speeding
    tickets in this thing. Plus I'd be driving up
    people's backs and flashing headlights like in
    "Ronin". I'm going to get an A4 1.8T with an
    upgrade chip; I think that's fast enough and saves
    a lot of money. Love the car; best sounding
    engine I ever heard and if you can restrain yourself in traffic then go for it. Maybe I'm
    too old and wimpy. Of course, with the money I
    save I'm going to get an A4 wagon for my wife and kiddo and chip that too...
  • creisscreiss Member Posts: 1
    Although I think I could handle the extra power of the S4, I'm not sure I can handle the price tag. Does anyone know how much extra horsepower, torque, etc. adding a chip to the 1.8t adds. Also, how much does a chip cost?
  • mschwartzmschwartz Member Posts: 3
    I think the 250hp is correct. Remember that two turbo's are small ones for quicker spool up. The 3000GT has bigger turbos so more hp.

    What is real impressive is the 258 lbs-ft of torque at 1850 rpms.

    And, I think it was a S8 they used in Ronin. Which is an awesome movie, BTW.
  • taittowerstaittowers Member Posts: 3
    I've been driving 3 series BMW's for 12 years and, maybe I'm getting old, but after driving the new S4 I can't wait to trade my '97 M3 Sedan. The S4 may not be quite as "hair on fire, seat of your pants" as the M3 but it is certainly every bit as capable. I drove the S4 around a rutted, potholed cloverleaf at four times the posted speed limit and never felt a wheel out of place. I perform the same exercise regularly in my M3 and although the car has no problem succeeding in its appointed task the S4 seems to accomplish it with much less drama. Maybe that's what the automotive press calls "less sporting". I was also thoroughly prepared to be disappointed in the gearbox but found that criticism a bit over stated as well. I think that the lack of gearbox precision, the same press core refers to, is in comparison to a gearbox that, if memory serves me, they called "notchy" about six years ago. In any event if the M3's gearbox is a 9 the S4's is at worst an 8. I also can't ignore the fact that a loaded S4 costs about the same thing as a new 328i with Sport and Convenience packages and the rest of the options you have to purchase separately in the 328 to bring it up to S4 level (split fold-down rear seat as found standard in garden variety Honda Accords for example). Never mind the M3 which still runs on a seven year old platform. What you get with the S4 is AWD, an extra 55HP, torque NOW and standard everything. You give up "Key Memory" (the ultimate power seat machine). I can't wait to see the new M3, which I am sure will be an amazing 2-door coupe (BMW seems eager to abandon those of us who require 4 doors and won't say for sure if they will ever produce the sedan again) and cost $10K to $15K more than a comparably equipped S4, but I'm still waiting to see the new M5 which is supposed to be for sale now. I'm not holding MY breath. My S4 hits the beach in two weeks. I plan on burning up the standard Y rated Bridgestone re09 Potenza's and getting a set of Michelin Pilot SX's on it as fast as possible. Maybe that will make it more "sporting". I'll let you know how it goes.
  • billmillsvabillmillsva Member Posts: 53
    I don't know what weight the quattro adds to the A4. The figures for the weight of the A4 2.8 in Edmunds new car section indicate it is 421 lbs. lighter than the S4. I am assuming that weight is sans quattro since it is an option on this model. As indicated, you have stated the A4 quattro is over 200 lbs lighter than the S4. Kind of hard to believe the quattro system only adds 200 lbs. Nonethe less, the turbo hardware/plumbing and a longer list of standard features (bigger wheels & tires, two power seats so more electric motors/wire, CD changer etc...) all add weight. Assuming everything else is equal (from what I have read Audi has not used any aluminum in the S4 vs. the A4) the S4 should be heavier than base A4 2.8 quattro.
  • billmillsvabillmillsva Member Posts: 53
    Does anybody know the affect of these chips on the warranty? Does a company like Dinan exist for Audi's? I have just purchased a '97 A8 and am interested more in a transmission chip than an engine chip currently. (or would they be a set?) Any suggestions?
  • mgreene1mgreene1 Member Posts: 116
    my local dealer said he would will order you an S4 at MSRP. no more and no less.

    he wants a $1000 deposit, but he's only ordering them loaded (everything but navigation and phone)
    for $41,700 + tax.

    www.carpoint.com indicates MSRP should be $41,400 so he's at least in the ballpark.

    www.carsdirect.com price is $2000 above MSRP!?!
    they must be out of their minds.

    my insurance agent tells me the S4 is cheaper to insure than M3; just a little more than A4 2.8Q.

    it would be nice to find an S4 for MSRP (or less) without Bose and CD changer.

    S4 vs. IS300
    CAUTION: based on sketchy data and assumptions

    Lexus is saying IS300 will run about $30 - $35 k. IS300 MIGHT get a manual and it MIGHT have 225 hp (same motor as GS300); rumor says maybe even 245.
    i'd only consider a manual with at least 225 bhp.

    my guess is that a loaded IS300 would be closer to $35k than $30k. another $5k buys you an S4.

    IS300 will be rear drive and have 17" wheels but i'm not thrilled with the idea of driving around in the snow, even with snow tires.

    i'm assuming that the S4 with snow tires would be an excellent winter car even though it has a very low ground clearance. is that true?

    i'll probably still wait to see what happens with the Lexus IS300 next July, but it's looking like the S4 might well be worth the extra money.

    wishful thinking?
    is the body style for A4 was going to be changing a lot for 2001? if so, that MIGHT bring down the prices for the 2000 S4 next summer.
  • csm72667csm72667 Member Posts: 2
    Excuse the ignorance but how do you go about choosing a chip for a car? Where do you get them and how much do they cost?
  • jwolffjwolff Member Posts: 19
    Visit a4.org where they have a forum that reviews all the different chips. Bang for the buck are the Neuspeed chips.
  • billmillsvabillmillsva Member Posts: 53
    you can also find ECU chips and other performance options at vwvortex.com. once you have entered the main page click on the resources button in the upper left for a list of hot links.
  • bbarrymdbbarrymd Member Posts: 6
    Not to be repetitive but...

    Has anyone purchased an S4 below invoice? If so, can you share your strategy with us?
  • mgreene1mgreene1 Member Posts: 116
    I saw a recent post in the S4 forum at www.a4.org where someone said they just paid $550 below MSRP.
    (might have been in D.C. area, but I'm not sure.)

    That message board has a lot of recent posts and there may be other price info / advice there.

    Happy hunting.
  • skightskight Member Posts: 1
    I was offered 1k under invoice from a number of dealers. Dont expect to get a walkon and drive off for 1k under though. If you want it next week you will pay msrp. if you want it in december. 1k is easy.

    HBL, and Tischer offered 1k under.

    week 40 black/onyx-silver. Comfort, convenience, bose (ugh, didnt want it but..) and nav. Should have a vin on saturday, mid-late november delivery.
  • roane1roane1 Member Posts: 3
    $1000 Under Invoice or Under MSRP?

    $1000 under invoice would be a deal, like $35k
    out the door.
  • roane1roane1 Member Posts: 3
    $1000 Under Invoice or Under MSRP?

    $1000 under invoice would be a deal, like $35k
    out the door.
  • cmoreacmorea Member Posts: 1
    I found a dealer west of Philadelphia that is offering me 3% under MSRP (41K for a 43K car). You can email me for the name of the dealership (I will get a small kickback to pass on their name or so I hope). disaster@usa.net
  • moishemoishe Member Posts: 1
    Checked out some dealers in Cincinnati. They want MSRP and to order color and style I want, delivery in January. 500 dollar deposit and pay on delivery.

    Anyone heard better in this area?
  • doktorxdoktorx Member Posts: 1
    The dealer where I drove the S4 last night told me of mods his customers have had done on 1.8Ts.

    He even gave me a list of mods that went from 193HP for $575 (installed) to 265HP. 215HP is about $1500 and includes a muffler (but no exhaust system change). This is advancedmotorsport.com here in SoCal. They haven't yet posted the available options for 2.7T mods.

    There are a number of places on the web where I've found many performance upgrade options from hundreds to thousands of dollars that promise increases of 70HP or more from a chip upgrade alone (tap1.com). There are a few other companies I've found on the web that currently promise 50HP on the 1.8T chip, but don't have any data on the 2.7T option yet.

    I'm only hoping that the upgrades will eliminate the small turbo-lag in mid-RPM off-throttle response... 'course a zippier car wouldn't hurt either!

  • roane1roane1 Member Posts: 3
    This has a S4 forum, so you can ask all kinds
    of questions about the S4. Also, 0-60 mph is
    closer to 5.6 seconds.
  • uworduword Member Posts: 1
    I must withdraw my comments (post #48) on the handling of the new S4.

    I went back to the dealer the day after my disappointing test drive. As I stood there looking at the car, I suddenly realized that the tires were shining black. Indeed, the RE-040's had been "cleaned-up" with Armor-All; right to the outer tread blocks, and right before my test drive. Anyone who has driven a vehicle so treated knows that when you turn the front wheels the lubricant will slip under the tread, and reduce traction to near zero. Hence, the car will follow its own momentum regardless of AWD or anything else.

    So, no-thanks to my dealer for ruining my first test drive. I tried again, and found the vehicle handling to be just fine. The fore/aft weight balance is actually supposed to be 1% better on an S4 than on an A4 1.8T.
  • rande36rande36 Member Posts: 2
    Anyone have any thoughts on the S4 with the 5 spd tip? I live in So Cal and while I do enjoy shifting my '96 M3, it does get tedious in traffic. If the Tip is made by Prosche, it seems it ought to be pretty decent.
This discussion has been closed.