All-wheel drive is a staple of the sport sedan segment now, but if you want to know who to credit for that, thank Audi, the company that has been bolting the Quattro AWD system into luxury cars for decades and was doing so with regularity before it was cool.
That four-wheel traction is one of the things that makes the speedy Audi S4 such a fab year-round car: in fair weather, the Quattro system is brilliant at apportioning power to help the car handle corners so effectively, while in wet and wintry conditions it gets the engine’s torque to the wheel(s) with the most grip to ensure the most efficient forward progress possible. Quattro runs in a 40:60 front-to-rear split in normal operation, but can send as much as 85 per cent of the power to the rear axle.
For 2019, the S4 is largely unchanged following last year’s migration to a new platform shared with the entry-level A4 sedan.
That’s not to say nothing has changed. The Audi Connect navigation and infotainment system is now standard in Progressiv trim, and the Audi virtual cockpit digital gauge package is an option in Progressiv models and standard in the uplevel Technik trim.
Both trims use a 3.0L turbocharged V6 engine that makes 354 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque and comes exclusively with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
While Audi’s S cars were once more or less analogous with BMW’s performance-oriented M models, Audi more recently repurposed the S4 to line up against six-cylinder versions of its BMW 3 Series (340i) and Mercedes-Benz C-Class (AMG C 43), while the four-cylinder A4 competes with entry-level versions of the 3 Series, C-Class and others.
The S4’s standard features include 18-inch wheels, LED headlights and taillights, 8.3-inch infotainment display with MMI controller, sunroof, smartphone interface, passive keyless entry, auto-dimming rearview mirror, flat-bottom steering wheel, sport suspension, heated front seats and tire pressure monitoring.
Technik trim adds 19-inch wheels, top-view exterior camera system, Bang & Olufsen sound system, virtual cockpit, power-folding side mirrors, ambient interior lighting and blind spot monitoring.
Notably, if you want a heated steering wheel, it’s an option in both trims and eliminates the standard flat-bottom wheel. And if you want advanced safety features, they’re only offered in the Technik model and bundled into an advanced driver assistance group that consists of adaptive cruise control, traffic congestion assist, active lane assist, traffic sign recognition and automatic emergency braking.
Audi had yet to publish 2019 fuel consumption estimates for the S4 as we wrote this, but we expect those ratings to be similar, if not identical, to last year’s 11.5/8.0 L/100 km (city/highway).
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed
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