2018 Audi S4 – review of the first drive


It is a well known fact that Audi’s latest S4 has planted its roots deeply into the automaker’s luxury and sports cars lineup, and that the cult car has, ever since series 1 of S4, grown and “learned” how to dance around relative speed in favor of balanced performance that it has now. But it is not that bad because it also manages to keep its enthusiasm in the process.

As the time passed, it has grown up in a sense that it has surpassed the bad design and color options that were available in 90’s and traveled to the more mature design and colors that actually adorn its frame. This was all thanks to lead designer Frank Lamberty who took the A4’s already serious shape and made it even more rugged with this S4. A body line of the new Audi S4 hints a little bit of the one found on R8 which Lambert collected during his work on it. We can see that this car pulls its front end slightly down which results in a lower nose, and a grill that now has a look of trapezoid instead of the old massive waterfall look.


But the exterior look would be nothing without a serious powerplant that can make it go as fast as it looks. That is why in the 2018 Audi S4 you will find a 3.0 L V6 with a single turbocharger that can develop 354 HP on tap and 369 lb-ft of torque, which pretty much makes this one the most powerful engine ever found in an S4. The most important notice is that this unit has nothing to do with the old bi-turbos, V8s, or superchargers that were put in previous models of S4 and that it lost over 31 pounds over the last-gen Eaton-boosted V6.

Let’s get into some details here. Company’s engineers have managed to tune the turbo in such way that they minimized the lag, almost entirely deleting it which means that now most of the engine’s force comes early — at 1.350 RPM and this makes the car sprint to 60 MPH in just 4.4 seconds. With this improvement, it is exactly 2 seconds faster than the B5 model. All that power is pushed to the driveline in a predictable Audi way – meaning like every S4 before it, the 2018 Audi S4 uses the company’s AWD system, called Quattro which offers a 40/60 split front-to-rear.


To mix things up a little the German carmaker decided that they should bring sport differential that can shuffle power left to right in addition to the center differential that handles the fore-and-aft duty. They also added new adaptive dampers that lower the ride by almost an inch and dictate ride comfort between Comfort, Individual, Dynamic, and Auto settings. The engine is coupled to the ZF automatic which is a traditional torque-converter automatic transmission. Why exactly did they opt for this one? Well according to the company – too much torque for a DCT and smoother takeoffs. To make you stop is the duty of six-piston, fixed front calipers bind to 13.8-inch front rotors for maximum stopping power with 13-inch rotors in the back.

2018 Audi S4 Interior


As far as the inside is considered, the cabin is comfortable as always which is to expect from a company such as Audi. Standard German interior setup, with plenty of tech via Audi’s new wall of screens called “Virtual Cockpit” and standard seat massagers, backed by a minimal engine rumble even when you consider that it has quad-tipped exhausts. This all is also carried to the way it drives on the road. Everything is so modest and tamed even when you set the S4’s stability control to sport mode. If you want to keep the comfort level high, especially on longer journeys than its optional rear differential and adaptive dampers are a must.


With all things said, the 2018 Audi S4 is basically a vehicle that is made to dance through corners not fight them, and it is definitely more of a sedan for a daily duty, not track days. But this might eventually change especially when you consider how the previous variants carried themselves and with the competition like the C43 and 340i.