new 2012 Audi S4
new 2012 Audi S4
Good

Impressive fuel economy; superb turbocharged V6 engine; good looking cabin; sharp handling.

Bad

Old Multimedia Interface is standard feature; artificial steering feel; button happy control layout.

Introduction

2012 Audi S4 is a high performance prestigious sedan that offers subtly more aggressive styling, sport tuned suspension and increased engine power. It proves that performance and luxury can live together in one well appointed package. It remains essentially unchanged for 2012 model year; however, some of the optional equipments are now standard features.

Utilizing a blend of TFSI technology, supercharging Quattro four-wheel drive system with Sport Rear Differential, the S4 goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. Its modern design is carried through with trademark S version elements including S badging on steering column and aluminium doorsills. Efficient and powerful LED turn indicator lights are beautifully incorporated in extensive aluminium optic mirror covering and complementing fluid and contemporary design of the S4.

The Audi S4 is basically a performance oriented variant of small exclusive vehicle of the company called A4. The original S4 designed from 1991 was a top of the line version of 100 sedan/saloon of Audi. It was equipped more powerful internal combustion engine, unique badging, styling cues and sheetmetal, larger upgraded brakes, bigger roadwheels and firmer suspension.

Also Read : 2012 Audi S4 – Perfectly Balanced

Like A4, the trim levels of S4 come with front mounted longitudinally oriented engines. The B6 variant of S4 was equipped with power assisted, electronically controlled, rack and pinion, variable assisted Servotronic steering. Some of the high end features on these models include antilock braking system, Anti Slip Regulation also called traction control system mated with dual rate tandem vacuum servo, electronic brakeforce distribution, emergency brake assist and electronic differential lock.

In the automotive world, practical luxury and sporting athleticism hardly ever co-exist in harmony. Based on A4 saloon of the company, the 2012 Audi S4 symbolizes a more enthusiast focused and raucous interpretation. Its 3.0 liter powerful V6 engine generates 333 horsepower and sends power to all the four wheels. The cabin inside the S4 remains quiet and calm and offers decent sized trunk space with comfortable seating for four passengers. There are plenty of other models in the market that offers similar price tag, performance and luxury – BMW 335i, Mercedes Benz C63 models, BMW M3 and Cadillac CTS-V Sedan, but the all S4’s well balanced nature makes it a persuasive choice in its segment.

Variants, Body Styles and Optional Features

The 2012 Audi S4 is a performance oriented premium luxury saloon, which is available in Prestige and Premium Plus trim levels. The Premium Plus comes packed with standard equipments and features, which include 10-speaker surround sound audio system with satellite radio, iPod interface, auxiliary input jack and single-CD player, 18 inch wheels with high performance summer tires, dash mounted MMI (Multimedia Interface) electronics controller, sunroof, Bluetooth, automatic xenon headlights, auto dimming mirrors, LED daytime running taillights and lights, 60-40 split folding rear seat, foglamps, faux suede and leather upholstery, automatic wipers, power sport 12-way heated seats with driver memory functions and automatically controlled tri-zone climate system.

Stepping up to the 2012 Audi S4 Prestige gets hard drive based navigation system with real time traffic, high definition radio and digital music storage, 19 inch wheels, MMI controller mounted on center console, adaptive headlights, blind spot assist, rearview camera, Bang & Olufsen 14-speaker premium surround sound stereo system, keyless ignition/entry, voice controls and rear parking sensors. Many of these equipments are offered on Premium Plus trim level as options.

Most of the equipments and features of 2012 Audi S4 are combined in various packages such as Audi Drive Select Package that gets adaptive suspension dampers, selectable driving settings (drive select and sport differential), enhanced steering system and sport rear differential, which can distribute torque individually to rear wheels. The Titanium Package is equipped with dark exterior trim and 19 inch wheels. Additional features on Prestige variant include power rear sunshade with manual rear side shades and adaptive cruise control. Options offered on both S4 variants are stainless steel or carbon fibre mesh interior inlays, full leather upholstery and rear seat side airbags.

Engines and their Performance

Powering the 2012 Audi S4 is a 3.0 liter turbocharged V6 engine with maximum output of 325 pound feet of torque and 333 horsepower. The engine is paired with six-speed manual transmission with optional dual clutch seven-speed automated manual transmission to Quattro four-wheel drive system designed to send power to all the four wheels. In performance testing, the S4 accelerated from 0 to 60 miles per hour in the time range of 4.9 seconds and offered the fuel economy of 27 mpg highway, 18 mpg city and 21 mpg in combined driving.

Safety Features

The 2012 Audi S4 comes with standard safety features; these include traction and stability control, hill hold for manual transmission, antilock brakes, side curtain airbags and front side airbags. The optional adaptive cruise control features Active Braking Guard that detects imminent collision and alerts the driver, and applies brakes for optimum stopping power. In brake testing, the S4 came to a stop in 109 feet from 60 miles per hour.

In government testing, the 2012 Audi S4 got five-star rating for rollover and side crash protection and four-star rating for frontal crash protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave S4 the highest rating for roof strength, frontal offset and side impact protection.

Special Features and Cabin Design

The 2012 Audi S4 boasts one of the uniquely designed, beautifully crafted and well appointed interiors incorporating excellent build quality and high quality materials. The controls are intuitive, though abundant knobs and buttons might be at times awe-inspiring. The cabin inside is quite luxurious and voluptuous and offers plenty of headroom and legroom for both driver and passengers along with comfortable seating for four passengers. It also provides dual color schemes, comfortable and supportive seats, navigation system and conveniently arrayed Multimedia Interface controls around console mounted shift lever. The maximum cargo capacity behind rear seats is 12 cubic feet, which is on an average as compared to other models in its class.

Driving Impressions

With its tenacious four-wheel drive system, the all new 2012 Audi S4 provides impressive handling and reasonably luxurious ride quality. The suspension is specifically tuned with lower stance, thicker sway bars and higher spring rate for preventing body roll, and further providing track like performance and superior handling without sacrificing passenger comfort. With twenty seven offered vehicle performance and handling combinations, the Audi Drive Select is another example of progressive technology of Audi.

The Electronic Stability Control helps keep the vehicle travelling in intended direction by using Antilock Braking System, electronic brakeforce distribution and Anti Slip Regulation system. Overall, it is a wonderful combination of Olympic gymnast and all weather sure footed agility of snow leopard.

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