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Audi Unveils Tweaked 2017 S4; Ditches Supercharger and Goes Turbo

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On: Thu, Sep 24, 2015 at 2:01PM | By: Carl Malek

Audi Unveils Tweaked 2017 S4; Ditches Supercharger and Goes Turbo

Looking for a more powerful alternative to the understated Audi A4, but desire an alternate form of horsepower-generating technology? Then look no further than the 2017 Audi S4 which brings new technology and a swap in aspiration gear for the upcoming model year in a bid to not only be more fuel-efficient, it will be faster as well.

While the exterior styling of the S4 still retains the subtle suit of clothes, delicate tweaks to its front and rear fascias help keep the model fresh while standard LED lighting helps brighten the night in style. The mirror housings also get some new faux-aluminum trim to help add a dash of class to the car's profile, and the quad exhausts now reside in a new rear bumper which comes equipped with a subtle rear diffuser. The interior also retains much of its A4 heritage, but, in addition, to the S4 exclusive leather and Alcantara sport seats, Audi's digital instrument cluster also arrives as a piece of optional equipment and offers three different layouts including a sport-oriented screen.

Performance is the biggest chapter in this suite of updates, and while the S4 retains its V6 engine layout, Audi engineers have pitched the old supercharger and installed a brand new turbocharger, which now produces 354 horsepower and a healthy 369 lb-ft of torque. This extra muscle allows the updated S4 to make the sprint to 62 mph in a scant 4.7 seconds, a smidge faster than the current model's sprint to 60 mph. The top speed is unchanged at an electronically governed 155 mph, but Audi claims that fuel economy has increased somewhat, with the S4 now capable of achieving 31.8 miles per gallon when measured on the European testing cycle. All of this power is routed to all four wheels through Audi's familiar Quattro all-wheel drive system, and the car generally operates with a 40:60 power split. However, if necessary the system can also send either 70 percent of the power to the front wheels, or a whopping 85 percent to the rear wheels which aides in acceleration runs.

The one fly in this otherwise very desirable blend of ointment is the brand's plans to offer only an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox, ditching the manual that could be hooked up to the older supercharged engine. While this transmission does promise to deliver the same level of precision and smoothness that has come to define some of Audi's other performance models, it is just not the same as having the full control and involvement that comes with a formal manual gearbox. Audi also does not plan to offer an S4 Avant wagon in the U.S.; this is due to the relatively weak demand for wagons in the U.S. versus Europe, where they still remain a solid choice among buyers, thanks to their practicality as well as their ability to traverse that region's narrow roads, something that cannot be said for many current CUV and SUV offerings.

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