2005 Audi S4 review and pictures

Posted on Thursday, 18 May 2006 , 10:05:05 byEmil

Filed under Audi

Audi S4

Driving pleasure, superior technology, exciting styling and a level of luxury that even satisfies the demands made in the top car class: Audi is presenting the new generation of its best-selling models - the A4, A4 Avant and the high-performance S4.

This is a new model generation that is obvious at first glance. The front-end styling of both saloon and Avant models is new, with the addition of the characteristic Audi single-frame grille. The rear end, with its emphatically horizontal lines, and the sides, where the shoulder line moulds the panels distinctly into shape, are also new.

The models' technology lives up to the promise made by their new exterior styling: A4 customers can choose from no fewer than ten powerful engines, including four completely new units developing an output of up to 255 bhp. The V8 in the S4 delivers 344 bhp.

FSI and turbo technology represent the most advanced state of the art for petrol engines, as do the revolutionary piezo injectors in the three-litre TDI. The sporty yet comfortable dynamic chassis converts the power delivered by these units into sheer driving pleasure - on every bend, on every mile of the journey.

Innovative and high sophisticated technologies are an integral part of practically all vehicle areas and components: the optional xenon plus headlights with dynamic adaptive light technology are proof of this, as are the continuously variable multitronic transmission, which is still unique, and quattro permanent four-wheel drive. Comprehensive occupant protection systems - including two-stage front airbags and active head restraints - together with the highly complex, latest-generation electronic stabilisation system ESP provide high reserves of safety.

The quality of materials and workmanship in the interior are of a standard that need not fear comparison with the luxury class. The architecture of the driver's area, especially the cockpit - a perfect synthesis of ergonomics, function and design - is pioneering.

The design

Self-assured in appearance: the striking single-frame grille and the newly styled clear-glass headlights with their sweeping bottom edge and inward taper give the new Audi A4 a completely new face. The trapezoidal shape of the single-frame grille is continued in the more prominent contours of the engine hood.

The front-end styling deliberately echoes design elements of the Nuvolari quattro coupe study, signalling that this model also belongs to the same family as the other new Audi models - the A8 6.0 quattro, A6 and A3 Sportback: a new Audi generation.

The formal idiom of the Nuvolari quattro can also be found at the rear end where the low-positioned two-piece light units, which also arch a long way inwards, emphasise the horizontal design of the vehicle body. The saloon and Avant both sit squarely on the road, the muscular-looking bottom section and very flat window area combining to produce sports car proportions.

The side panel sections are also a completely new design. The gently curving arc of the shoulder line - depicted here as a clearly drawn shadow line - divides up the panels, sculpting a three-dimensional structure.

The new-generation steering wheels provide an entirely new visual touch in the interior. Their characteristic element is the airbag cover with its single-frame design. Door sill trims with aluminium inserts and numerous aluminium inlays are a standard feature of all new A4 versions.

Inlays in Walnut, Fine-grained Birch wood grey or Fine-grained Birch wood beige can be ordered as an alternative - attributes that also emphasise the special exclusiveness and sporty elegance of the interior of current A8 and A6 models.

Three new cloth and two exclusive leather grades as well as a leather/Alcantara version can be ordered for the interior surfaces and the seats.

The excellent ergonomics of the previous generation is also to be found in the new Audi A4. The cockpit and interior surround the driver with horizontal, generously sweeping lines that flow from the dashboard into the door area. At the same time, the new Audi A4 offers a high level of interior comfort.

There is also more room than average for luggage: with a capacity of 460 litres, the smooth-floored luggage compartment of even the saloon is well-equipped for tackling challenging transport tasks. Depending on version, the Avant offers up to 1,184 litres of space (with the rear seat folded down).

The high standard of comfort and quality, which more than satisfies the demands made of the luxury car class, is particularly outstanding once again. This impression is immediately conveyed by the high-grade materials and excellent finish of the interior.

Engines and transmissions

The new Audi A4: powerful yet economical petrol and TDI engines provide the basis for excellent performance. All engines comply with the strict limits of the EU4 standard.

Audi is now also offering two newly designed petrol engines with FSI petrol direct injection for the new A4 for the first time: the 188 kW (255 bhp) 3.2 FSI V6 and the turbocharged two-litre four-cylinder 2.0 T FSI, which delivers 147 kW (200 bhp). These combine high performance with a spontaneous response to every movement of the accelerator pedal and a peak-torque range at a high level.

The range also includes three engines which have been tried and tested several thousand times over: the two-litre inline four-cylinder unit, which develops 96 kW (130 bhp), and the 120 kW (163 bhp) 1.8 T four-cylinder version. The 75 kW (102 bhp) 1.6 completes the choice of petrol engines.

The TDI range at launch will include the 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with pump-injector fuel injection and a power output of 103 kW (140 bhp), and the newly developed six-cylinder 3.0 TDI with common rail injection and piezo injectors.

What is currently the most modern TDI engine around made its debut a few months ago in the large A8 and A6 saloons. This immensely powerful V6 delivers 150 kW (204 bhp) in the A4 and makes 450 Nm of torque available between 1,400 and 3,200 rpm.

Probably from the beginning of 2005, a coated diesel particulate filter, or catalysed soot filter as it is known, will be offered for the 2.0 TDI. This does not require an additive and therefore remains maintenance-free throughout the vehicle's entire service life. This additive-free diesel particulate filter will also be available for the 3.0 TDI from the beginning of 2005. All 3.0 TDI versions will already be fitted with a filter provision from launch so that retrofitting can take place at a later date with only very little work involved.

All engines, petrol and TDI versions alike, deliver their power to the road either via the front wheels or by means of quattro permanent four-wheel drive.
5-speed or 6-speed manual gearboxes are available for the various A4 models, as is the continuously variable automatic transmission, the multitronic. This revolutionary Audi transmission technology will be available for the front-wheel-drive versions of the new A4. The now 6-speed tiptronic with sport program is offered for quattro models.

The chassis

The set-up of the dynamic chassis with four-link front suspension and self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension has been completely modified and numerous new components added.

Audi's chassis engineers have made extensive changes in the area of elastokinematics and to the spring and shock absorber settings: several mountings and the dimensions of the front and rear shock absorbers have been adopted from the A6, for example. The rear trapezoidal links and wheel carriers as well as the front track rods originate from the S4.

These modifications add up to a significantly higher level of agility and precise handling, combined with first-class ride comfort - qualities which benefit both drivers of the A4 saloon and the Avant in equal measure. This also applies to the brakes, the dimension and consequently performance of which have been adapted to suit the potential of the new engines.

The equipment

The Audi A4 and A4 Avant offer a standard equipment specification which sets a benchmark in the midsize class. Every new A4, for example, is fitted with deluxe automatic air conditioning which has separate temperature controls for the driver and front passenger.

All five seats are equipped with three-point inertia-reel belts (the front belts have belt-force limiters and belt tensioners plus a seat belt reminder) and head restraints. Active head restraints are integrated into the front seats. These reduce the risk of whiplash injuries in a rear-end collision by a significant degree. The safety equipment also includes front airbags that are activated in two stages, front side airbags and the large-area head airbag system known as sideguard.

Electric front windows (and electric rear windows as well on 2.0 T FSI and V6 versions) are also part of the standard specification, as are electrically adjustable exterior mirrors and central locking with radio remote control.

There are almost unlimited possibilities for combining items of optional equipment. For example, the new Audi A4 can be ordered for the first time with adaptive light technology including xenon plus headlights. This also includes the daytime running lights function which only increases energy consumption slightly: a clear safety bonus. An optional light/rain sensor activates the dipped headlights and windscreen wipers automatically if necessary.

In the field of infotainment, the DVD radio and navigation system plus sets new standards in terms of user guidance and ergonomics: key geometry and menu architecture are based on the MMI standard familiar from the Audi A8 and A6.
The system's range of functions and quality are without equal.

Anyone wishing to experience the acoustic qualities of the audio systems offered for the new Audi A4 to the full can order the BOSE sound system with noise compensation and enjoy a sound quality specifically matched to the vehicle.

Customers can choose from 15 exterior colours, including five new ones. In addition to the standard specification, the wheel range comprises eight summer and three winter wheels of up to 7.5 x 17 J in size, with tyres up to 235/45 R 17. Additional versions up to 18 inches in size are available from quattro GmbH.

The S line equipment packages and the Audi exclusive customisation range also offer countless other visual and functional features designed to make every new Audi A4 and A4 Avant even sportier.