The S4 has huge grip around corners and a natural balance that inspires confidence.
The 3.0-litre V6 fitted to the S4 might have a familiar capacity and cylinder number to the previous S4, but that’s where the similarities end. It is an entirely new engine developed jointly by Audi and Porsche, and set to find itself fitted to a variety of models.
Turbocharged rather than supercharged (as in the old S4) it pumps out 349hp – up 21hp from the old model. Torque has grown 45lb ft and standing at a hefty 369lb ft and that figure is available at 1,370rpm – barely above idle. That translates to a 0-62mph time of 4.7 seconds – one tenth slower than an entry-level Porsche 911.
With help from its slippery body the S4 can average fuel economy of 39mpg and emits 166g/km of CO2 emissions.
Unlike S models of old, this S4 can be pretty comfortable without losing out on its pace
The S4 is equipped with Audi’s quattro four-wheel-drive system, which will prove its worth on Britain’s slippery roads. Rivals seem to be taking notes – the previously rear-driven Mercedes-AMG C43 is now four-wheel drive only and it is optional on the BMW 340i.
Audi’s Drive Select is standard on the S4 and allows for a decent range of adjustments for the steering, engine, gearbox, climate control and, if you go for the optional adaptive dampers, the suspension, too. Fit the latter and in Comfort mode, the S4 is no less comfortable than a regular A4 on big wheels, which when combined with the incredibly hushed cabin makes for hours of effortless motorway driving. Switch to Dynamic and the gearbox shifts get quicker, the exhaust sounds louder and you can feel the car’s suspension tense in anticipation of some fast corners.