If you dig the understated look of the 2017 Audi A4 but crave more power, then check out the latest S4. The new sport sedan sticks with a V6 but ditches the supercharger in favor of turbocharging to now produce estimated US figures of 354 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. If there’s one downside to the upgrade, it’s that Audi only plans to offer the mill with an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox.
The 2017 S4 is now quicker than before. The run to 62 miles per hour takes just 4.7 seconds, versus 4.9 seconds for the current sedan to reach 60 mph. The top speed remains at an electronically limited 155 mph, but fuel economy is claimed to be improved with a rating of 31.8 miles per gallon on the European testing cycle.
All S4s come with Audi’s venerable Quattro all-wheel drive, and it generally operates with a 40:60 front-rear power split. As conditions change, a maximum of 70 percent of the grunt can go to the front or 85 percent to the rear. Handling is also aided by a tweaked suspension that sits 0.9-inches lower than the A4.
Beyond the different badges, the latest S4 doesn’t visually advertise its prowess. LED lighting is standard, and quad exhausts rest in a new rear bumper with a subtle diffuser. The side mirror housings also get some aluminum-look trim. The interior layout echoes the A4 but with sport seats and a mix of Nappa leather and Alcantara upholstery. Audi’s digital instrument cluster is optional and includes an exclusive sport screen among the three views. The new S4 goes on sale in 2016 as a 2017 model. In addition to the lack of a manual, there’s no intention of offering the S4 Avant in the US.