Audi has taken the 2008 Paris Auto Show as a chance to showcase its new S4 sports sedan. The S4 has been an enthusiast favorite for many years. In those years, it went from a 5-cylinder turbo, to a bi-turbo V6, to a naturally-aspirated V8 and now back to a force-fed V6. This time though, the boost comes courtesey of a supercharger. The same engine will also power the mid-level A6 sedan.
Still, while it develops a healthy 290-horsepower in the A6, the 90-degree unit has been enhanced with additional boost pressure to provide the latest S4 with a more muscular 333-hp. While this is 11-hp less than its predecessor’s naturally-aspirated 4.2-liter V8, its 325 pound-feet of torque boasts a useful 23 lb-ft more torque than before. This helps cut the sprint to 60 mph by almost a second. The S4 now does the benchmark test in 5.1 seconds as opposed to 5.9 in the V8 S4.
You will also be able to choose between a standard six-speed manual or new seven-speed, double-clutch gearbox with full auto mode. But what’s really noteworthy after all these impressive numbers is that the average fuel consumption of 24.3 mpg is an improvement of 7.2 mpg over the old V8 model.
The new, more balanced chassis and more agressive Quattro all-wheel drive help turn this sedan into a formitable package. The car’s handling is also said to have been improved through the adoption of a new adaptive damping system. It comes linked to Audi’s optional drive select program, which offers three different levels of chassis stiffness: comfort, automatic and dynamic.
While pricing has yet to be announced, expect it to hover around the $50k mark. Audi also has given no word as to when we can expect this new super sedan. My guesstimates say around spring time of next year. Whatever the case, this is one nice offering from the four rings brand.
As usual, Audi’s interiors set the standard for quality and build.