4.2 Avant 4dr All-wheel Drive Quattro Station Wagon
2006 Audi S4

MSRP ?

$47,400
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Engine Engine 4.2LV-8
MPG MPG 15 City / 21 Hwy
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2006 S4 Overview

Prod the S4's loud pedal, and chicks and geese and ducks better scurry. With apologies to Messieurs Rogers and Hammerstein, Audi's 4.2-liter V8-motivated surrey offers a soundtrack that borders on automotive pornography. Fortunately, with 340-horsepower and 302 lb-ft of twist routed to the ground via Quattro all-wheel-drive, it possesses the drivetrain bite to match its soulful bark. While not apoplectically quick (0-60 mph in around 5.5 seconds), the S4 revealed itself as a prodigiously talented all-rounder over the course of our weeklong test. Many cars in its class impress with vulgar displays of power but struggle to put their gumption to the ground consistently and efficiently (Cadillac's CTS-V and Benz’s C55 AMG come to mind). Not so with the S4, which is the equivalent of a four-wheeled Sanford Sharpie pen, adhering faithfully to whatever surface passes 'neath its 18" Dunlop Sport SP Maxx tires. Whether the S4 is scribbling its signature on the interstate or autographing a set of undulating twisties in black silica, it leaves with a sound and fury signifying everything. (Click through to the jump for on-and-off track driving impressions and 10 high-res photos!) What's more, we're happy to report that Audi has finally figured out how to assemble a precise manual transmission. In the past, the four-ringed brand has been dogged by substandard DIY gearboxes. And while the short-throw six-speed unit in our Sprint Blue tester won't reorder the transmission universe, it makes for a pleasing tool by which to extract the best out of the Wards 10-Best Engine. The clutch is similarly cooperative. Relatively light and commendably progressive, its linkage is easy to modulate. The fluidity of the S4's driveline and the heady racket of its 40-valver found us seeking out long tunnels with our windows down, if only to drop a cog and keep the engine within spitting distance of its 7,000 rpm redline. It's a sound that never gets old, even on mind-numbing straight-shot freeways. Critically, Audi has improved the S4's performance joneses for 2006 by employing a new Torsen center differential with a 60/40 rear-biased torque split on manual models. Tiptronic pilots will have to make do with a less sporting 50/50 setup, so consider this another reason to go for the self-swapper. Audi's subtle year-over-year change imbues the S4 with a more sporting character and allows for the occasional tail-out antic. The Recaros we raved about in Day 3-4 reassuringly come good regardless of the task at hand-- be it a back-breaking interstate slog, or sine-wave of a b-road flog. Having an array of major controls at fingers' reach on the leather-wrapped wheel is a major plus, as is the multi-function information display nestled between the tach and speedo. With the exception of the occasionally cumbersome MMi, the S4's interior does right by the enthusiast, allowing drivers to concentrate on the task at hand-- righteously fast travel. As one would suspect, Audi's reworked the suspension to cope with the S4's augmented drivetrain and sporting intentions. Ride height is abbreviated …
Full Review

2006 S4 Overview

Prod the S4's loud pedal, and chicks and geese and ducks better scurry. With apologies to Messieurs Rogers and Hammerstein, Audi's 4.2-liter V8-motivated surrey offers a soundtrack that borders on automotive pornography. Fortunately, with 340-horsepower and 302 lb-ft of twist routed to the ground via Quattro all-wheel-drive, it possesses the drivetrain bite to match its soulful bark. While not apoplectically quick (0-60 mph in around 5.5 seconds), the S4 revealed itself as a prodigiously talented all-rounder over the course of our weeklong test. Many cars in its class impress with vulgar displays of power but struggle to put their gumption to the ground consistently and efficiently (Cadillac's CTS-V and Benz’s C55 AMG come to mind). Not so with the S4, which is the equivalent of a four-wheeled Sanford Sharpie pen, adhering faithfully to whatever surface passes 'neath its 18" Dunlop Sport SP Maxx tires. Whether the S4 is scribbling its signature on the interstate or autographing a set of undulating twisties in black silica, it leaves with a sound and fury signifying everything. (Click through to the jump for on-and-off track driving impressions and 10 high-res photos!) What's more, we're happy to report that Audi has finally figured out how to assemble a precise manual transmission. In the past, the four-ringed brand has been dogged by substandard DIY gearboxes. And while the short-throw six-speed unit in our Sprint Blue tester won't reorder the transmission universe, it makes for a pleasing tool by which to extract the best out of the Wards 10-Best Engine. The clutch is similarly cooperative. Relatively light and commendably progressive, its linkage is easy to modulate. The fluidity of the S4's driveline and the heady racket of its 40-valver found us seeking out long tunnels with our windows down, if only to drop a cog and keep the engine within spitting distance of its 7,000 rpm redline. It's a sound that never gets old, even on mind-numbing straight-shot freeways. Critically, Audi has improved the S4's performance joneses for 2006 by employing a new Torsen center differential with a 60/40 rear-biased torque split on manual models. Tiptronic pilots will have to make do with a less sporting 50/50 setup, so consider this another reason to go for the self-swapper. Audi's subtle year-over-year change imbues the S4 with a more sporting character and allows for the occasional tail-out antic. The Recaros we raved about in Day 3-4 reassuringly come good regardless of the task at hand-- be it a back-breaking interstate slog, or sine-wave of a b-road flog. Having an array of major controls at fingers' reach on the leather-wrapped wheel is a major plus, as is the multi-function information display nestled between the tach and speedo. With the exception of the occasionally cumbersome MMi, the S4's interior does right by the enthusiast, allowing drivers to concentrate on the task at hand-- righteously fast travel. As one would suspect, Audi's reworked the suspension to cope with the S4's augmented drivetrain and sporting intentions. Ride height is abbreviated …Hide Full Review