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Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2009 Audi S4 sedan

Now that Audi has begun production and sales of the new A4 sedan and wagon, it's time to start rounding out the lineup. At next week's Paris Motor Show the next generation S4 will debut and marks the introduction of a new powerplant for the S-series lineup: a supercharged 3.0L TFSI V6. The supercharger uses a pair of four vane rotors and sits in the valley of the engine block, with air fed through a pair of intercoolers to the combustion chambers where a direct injection system provides the fuel.

With 333 hp and 325 lb.-ft. of torque fed through either a six-speed manual gearbox or a new seven-speed S-Tronic dual clutch transmission, the S4 sprints to 62 mph in 5.1 seconds. Like the more subdued A4, the S4's quattro system delivers 40 percent of the torque to the front axle and the remaining 60 percent to the rear. As with previous S models, the S4 get a more aggressive looking front and rear fascia and a new 18-inch wheel design. Inside, the S4 gets more supportive sport seats and the usual assortment of trim upgrades.

Our European friends will be able to get their mitts on both sedan and Avant wagon variants of the S4 starting next March. Here in the U.S. we'll have to wait until the fall and we'll also have to make do with the sedan only. Pricing should be similar to the current model at about $48,610.

[Source: Audi]


The new Audi S4/S4 Avant

*Three-liter V6 unit generates 245 kW (333 hp)
*Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.1 seconds
*Average fuel consumption of just 9.7 liters

Ingolstadt – Audi is introducing its new sporty top models in the midsize class – the S4 and the S4 Avant. Their engine, a three-liter V6 with direct fuel injection and mechanical turbocharging, delivers a powerful 245 kW (333 hp). It accelerates the S4 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in just 5.1 seconds, but on average only uses 9.7 liters of fuel per 100 km (24.25 US mpg). The quattro permanent all-wheel drive system transfers its power to the road in style, which is then converted by the sport suspension into dynamic handling. Upon request, Audi can equip the new S4 and S4 Avant with innovative technologies that further increase their lead over the competition. The seven-speed S tronic changes gears with lightning speed, and the new sport differential distributes the torque as needed between the rear wheels. The new Audi S4 will be unveiled to the public for the first time at the Paris Auto Show from October 2 to 19.

The heart of the new S4 and S4 Avant is a completely redesigned engine. The 3.0 TFSI, the newest member of the Audi V-engine family, is an outstanding example of how the brand with the four rings blends performance and efficiency. The V6 generates its power from a displacement of 2,995 cc, is equipped with a supercharger, and delivers 245 kW (333 hp). The sedan sprints to100 km/h (62.14 mph) in just 5.1 seconds, and the Avant in 5.2 seconds: they both have an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph).

The "T" in the 3.0's TFSI nomenclature no longer merely stands for "turbo", but rather for the concept of supercharging in general – extensive testing on the big V6 has proven the superiority of mechanical charging. In conjunction with direct injection it is far superior to twin turbochargers, both in terms of packaging and of starting performance and responsiveness.

The compressor is so compact that it easily fits inside the 90-degree V of the cylinder banks, in place of the intake manifold. Two four-vane rotary pistons counter-rotate inside the turbocharger at up to 23,000 rpm. Two charge-air coolers are integrated into the housing and are connected to a separate coolant circuit. An impressive array of measures keeps the noise generated by the compressor to a minimum.

The engine-driven belt that powers the mechanical charger provides full thrust right from idling speed. The 3.0 TFSI delivers its maximum 440 Nm (324.53 lb-ft) at 2,500 rpm and maintains this constantly until 4,850 rpm. In fourth gear, the vehicle accelerates from 80 to 120 km/h (49.71 to 74.56 mph) in just 4.4 seconds. Thanks to the extremely short gas paths, the sonorous, supercharged V6 responds spontaneously to the throttle, even more so than a naturally aspirated engine of the same displacement.

Furthermore, the new 3.0 TFSI achieves exemplary fuel efficiency. On average, the sedan uses 9.7 liters of fuel per 100 km (24.25 US mpg), and the Avant 9.9 liters per 100 km (23.76 US mpg) – an improvement of 3.4 liters (26 percent) compared with its predecessor. The Audi technology of gasoline direct injection was what made this great efficiency possible in the first place. Unlike conventional concepts, it allows the compressor to be located behind the throttle valve. In view of the low density of the intake air at loads below supercharging level and when coasting, its rotors are free-running and the amount of power required to drive them is low.

Dynamism and efficiency: The new seven-speed S tronic

The V6 power in the new S4 and S4 Avant flows into a six-speed transmission, fitted as standard, which shifts quickly and precisely. As an option, Audi offers a state-of-the-art dual-clutch transmission – the seven-speed S tronic is extremely dynamic and highly efficient. The driver has the option of driving in fully automatic mode or selecting the gears with paddles on the steering wheel or directly with the shift lever – all of which provide impressively quick gearshifts. The gearshift feel is dynamic, comfortable and very precise – typically Audi.

The seven-speed S tronic consists of two separate transmissions and uses two multidisk clutches that control the various gears. The large K1 clutch guides the power via a solid shaft to the pinions for gears 1, 3, 5 and 7. A hollow shaft rotates around the solid shaft; it is connected to the compact K2 clutch, which is integrated within its larger counterpart and controls the pinions for gears 2, 4, 6 and reverse gear.

Both transmission structures are continuously active, but only one is powered at a time by the engine. For example, when the driver accelerates in third gear, the fourth gear is already engaged in the second transmission structure. The shifting process takes place as the clutch changes – K1 opens and K2 closes with lightning speed. This process takes only a few hundredths of a second and is completed without interrupting traction. It is so comfortable and smooth that the driver hardly notices it.

The seven-speed S tronic is designed for maximum efficiency. It operates with very high efficiency and its intelligent control system maximizes fuel economy in automatic mode. With its wide gear ratio spread of 8.0:1 the seven-speed S tronic easily exploits the tremendous power and superior torque of the 3.0 TFSI.

The quattro permanent all-wheel drive system transfers power to the road with supreme ease. Under regular driving conditions, it sends 40 percent of its torque to the front wheels and 60 percent to the rear wheels – a slightly rear-biased, sporty characteristic. Where necessary, it can vary distribution within fractions of a second.

The quattro drive system ensures safe self-steering characteristics, high stability and excellent traction in comparison with rear-wheel-drive competitors.

Customized torque distribution: The sport differential with Audi drive select

The new, active sport differential ideally complements the quattro drive system and lends it even greater fascination. When the steering wheel is turned or the car accelerated in a corner, power is redirected in a controlled manner to the outer rear wheel, literally pushing the vehicle through the corner. The system intervenes to counter any signs of understeer or oversteer. For the driver, this means reduced effort at the steering wheel and even higher lateral acceleration.

The active sport differential is a new type of rear-axle differential. A superposition gear was added to both the left and right sides of the classic differential; it rotates ten percent faster than the wheel's drive shaft.

Both components can be connected through a multidisk clutch, which runs in an oil bath, and is operated by an electro-hydraulic actuator. In most driving situations, the clutch can divert almost the complete input torque to one wheel in this way.

Controlled by an array of sensors and a high-speed computer, the active sport differential needs less than 100 milliseconds to redirect power. Drivers can adapt their manner of driving, along with characteristics for the load changes, to three performance maps. Unlike competitors' systems, the Audi sport differential is just as effective when the engine is driving the wheels as it is on the overrun or when the car is coasting freely.

The new Audi S4 and S4 Avant are well-trained athletes. Their five-link front axle and the self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear axle are of a highly sophisticated design; both axles are made almost entirely of aluminum and are therefore very lightweight. The low-mounted steering gear transmits the steering forces to the wheels without any lag time and gives the driver a precise and sensitive road feel.

The spontaneity of Audi's new midsize athletes is fascinating, and they possess the precise reactions of a thoroughbred sports car. In these transmissions, the differential is positioned in front of the clutch, which made it possible to move the engine 154 mm (6.06 in) forwards compared with the predecessor model. This unusual layout perfectly evens out the axle loads, and also affords the long wheelbase of 2,811 mm (9.22 ft) exceptional stability.

The chassis of both new S models received stiffer axle bearings, and the sporty tuning with stiff shock absorbers puts the chassis 20 mm (0.79 in) closer to the road. Huge high-performance and fade-resistant brakes sit behind the 18-inch and optional 19-inch cast aluminum wheels. The black-painted brake calipers – at the front with the S4 logo – grip the ventilated disks with newly developed brake pads.

Audi drive select: The driving dynamics system

The Audi drive select driving dynamics system is a further high-end technology featured on the new S4 and S4 Avant. It accesses the throttle response characteristics, the shift points for the seven-speed S tronic and supports the speed-dependent servotronic steering. With the press of a button, the driver can decide whether these systems should operate in "comfort," "auto" or "dynamic" mode. If the vehicle is equipped with the MMI operating system, a fourth mode is available which the driver can program according to his own personal tastes and preferences.

Audi drive select can only be ordered in combination with one or more of three additional technologies – the sport differential, adaptive control for the shock absorbers, or dynamic steering, which is an additional high-tech solution. Its zero-play superposition gear, which is driven by an electric motor, varies the ratio by almost 100 percent depending on the speed being driven. In terms of driver safety, the dynamic steering assists the ESP stabilization program by using steering intervention to keep the new S4 and S4 Avant on track when cornering at the handling limits. In many instances, the system renders ESP intervention superfluous.

For the adaptive damper control system, hydraulic gas-pressurized shock absorbers are used which operate by means of additional, electrically actuated valves. They control the flow of hydraulic liquid, thus regulating the shock-absorbing characteristics. A high-performance control unit analyzes the signals it receives from 14 sensors, and calculates the damping power for each individual wheel 1,000 times per second.

An athletic look: The design

Both the Audi S4 and the S4 Avant look athletic and muscular on the road. Some of the most striking modifications to the exterior design are the special aprons, the aluminum-look exterior mirrors, the 18-inch S-design light-alloy wheels, the side rocker panels, the restrained spoiler at the rear and the quadruple exhaust system. The xenon plus headlights with daytime running lights and the rear lights are further distinctive touches.

The interior also underscores the sporty expertise that is the hallmark of both new S models. The sports seats have electric lumbar supports and pull-out thigh supports, and the instrument panel features gray dials with white needles. They also bear the S4 emblems, as do the multifunction sport steering wheel and the key. The interior is in black, with brushed aluminum inlays. Carbon and birch wood inlays are also available, as are stainless steel mesh inlays.

Optional assistance systems provide the driver with even greater control on the road. The adaptive cruise control (ACC) regulates the distance to the vehicle in front, and braking guard issues warnings regarding possible rear-end collisions. The Audi side assist makes changing lanes safer; the Audi parking system advanced makes backing into a parking space easier.

With regard to multimedia, Audi offers an attractive technology package. The communications and entertainment technologies portfolio includes the competition-beating MMI operating system, various types of radio and sound systems all the way up to the high-end solution from Bang & Olufsen, two navigation systems, an iPod interface, and a highly convenient Bluetooth car phone.

Luxurious features such as the three-zone deluxe automatic air conditioning and the dynamic cornering light system known as adaptive light round out the optional equipment.

Audi will begin delivery of its new S models in March 2009.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hmm been there done that with my e46 m3.. and I am faster to 60... same hp 333, the bmw has a little less torque... but is lighter and has the SMG!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Audi's Sequential has always been the benchmark (even over SMG). I wouldn't be surprised to see the New S4 as being faster than the E46 M3 when it's properly tested. Audi is known for being conservative with performance specs.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah, because 0-62 is the most important feature of these cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      0-62 in 5.1... Impressive. I can also say it looks better than it's Bimmer and Merc competitors.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm with you guys, looks/sounds great, can't wait to drive it, might just buy it :).
        • 6 Years Ago
        but which merc does this actually compete with?
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Hike15: I would think the 3 series because it's priced in that range, but it looks like the size of a 5 series, so maybe both? Like the CTS.
        • 6 Years Ago
        nice car, but seriously overpriced regardless of how many "standard" features it comes with. I'd rather take a 335xi at 7k less and even with options still probably comes in a few grand less.
          • 6 Years Ago
          Orr... $47,425 when configured with what the S4 has standard (crazy things like leather, lumbar support, 18" sunmmer tires)... then again, for $1,000 more you're getting a faster, bigger care with better mpg...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Glad to see it has decent hp, and can probably be pumped up to 360-370 with software and a different set of pulleys.
      Only thing is, it looks too much like an A4!!! Wish Audi would do a little more to distinguish it from the A4.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The infamous Sport Differential is finally here!!
      Quattro with a torque vectoring rear axle is going to be game changing, fellas!

      Better chassis balance, rear-biased quattro, and now rear torque vectoring.....watch out BMW!

      Can't wait to see the reviews on this one.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Agreed, The press already loves the Drive Select option and says it handles better than the competition. The Sport Differential will make some serious waves, no more over/understeer - just neutral AWD Quattro baby!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, that's pretty awful. Hopefully there's a mistake in this press release. Why pay for an RS4 when a 335i offers just as much for less.
        • 6 Years Ago
        What do you mean why pay for an RS4? The 335 has nowhere near the road presence of an RS4, nor an M3 for that matter. Looks like the basic run of the mill 3 series that everyone and there grandma can go out and lease these days. Thats one thing I like about the new S4 is that it is a 'step' above the basic A4 and looks the part, from the exterior, interior, down to the engine. I like the 335 for what it is, but I'd pay more for the Audi in a heartbeat to have something more exclusive and special. The sport transmission will likely make this a class leader in handling. Wait for the reviews to start coming in.
      • 6 Years Ago
      this car is phenomenal. i'm very happy that they ultimately went with the 6-cylinder choice. it will leave a lot of room for upgrades, while keeping the weight down, and leaving the V8 for the RS4. This car is beautiful and exciting, and i agree with torrent in that it looks much better than it's bmw and merc counterparts...
      • 6 Years Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Who decided that every car in a automaker lineup should look the same?
        • 6 Years Ago
        This will be a tuners dream! Swap some pulleys and an ECU tune and you'll be set!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Not bad.

      Too bad it is so expensive, and no wagon, though.

      Just about the time that mainstream Americans are figuring out that SUVs have their costs... All the wagon alternatives are getting cancelled.

      Maybe CTS wagon will re-invigorate the numbers, and convince the imports to give it another go, also.

      But somehow I am doubting it.

      60% rear bias real AWD, and 7-speed DSG... Finally something for a Subaru owner to aspire to, even if the S4 is a lot more expensive than the Legacy. Not much else on the market for REAL AWD, though. Haldex Faux-wheel drive, rear-wheel assist notwithstanding.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The double clutch in the Q5 only has a 6:1 ratio spread.
      At Audi, someone's 6's must look like an 8.
        • 6 Years Ago
        w00t autoblog's f*ed up comment system ftw!
      • 6 Years Ago
      yes , it looks better than the old S4 . And yes , it's faster than the old S4 . But don't know , i still do miss the growling 4.2 L V8 . Hope this new engine does sound as good as the old S4 .
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'd have thought it would have been bigger news that it uses a seven speed DSG. That will be the first high-torque seven speed dual clutch on the market, right?
        • 6 Years Ago
        325 lb/ft is high?
        • 6 Years Ago
        My guess is the torque put out by the Veyron is significantly more than this 3.0TFSI ;-)

        That is also a 7-speed DSG.

        But, as far as a more widely-available unit, yeah this one is probably one of the first if not the first. Previously, the VW/Audi DSG's(6spd version) were limited to 258lb-ft(350Nm). Or at least that's what VWAG said, many aftermarket tuners have been pushing much more power through them. The GT-R obviously supports more power, but that's a 6spd as well.

        I'm not sure what the torque limits are on the 7spd, but I know up until now, they were only offered on lower-powered cars.
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