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The S4 Will Save Us All


Recently, Ford announced that it will no longer produce sedans after this model year, opting to focus their resources on pickup trucks, SUVs and crossovers, and the Mustang. This news rang throughout the automotive community as a death knell for production sedans across the market, prompting speculation that many other manufacturers will follow suit.

If the Audi S4 is an example of the future, then I beg to differ with the naysayers.

Last week, we discussed the merits of the TT as an alternative to the more expensive and less practical R8. We briefly touched on a few features of the S5 as a beastly muscle car that outperforms it’s American competition in most aspects. But the real bread and butter of Audi’s saloon is the S4.

The S4 started as an upgrade from the original 100 model in 1991. It introduced a hefty 4.2L V8 into a compact European sports car while BMW was still toying around with the M3 inline-6. Over the course of 25 years and five generations, the S4 was the premier V8 European compact, and it was available in a wide variety of configurations, including a five-door wagon and a convertible coupe. The 2008 S4 was the first year that Audi changed the nomenclature of the two-door to the S5 to differentiate the two options. That year also saw the introduction of a more efficient and more powerful supercharged V6 replace the traditional V8.

The 2017 S4 is a significant step up from the entry-level A4 saloon; the S4 takes a major step away from its more pedestrian Volkswagen beginnings and shoehorns a beefy 354 hp 3.0L turbocharged V6 into a company 4-door body that was only ever meant to house a modest 4-cylinder. The 2017 B9 models include all of the performance modifications of the previous B8, including Audi’s Sport Rear Differential, active steering, and adaptive damping suspension. It boasts an impressive 4.4 second 0-60 mph, putting it well in line with competitor BMW’s M3.

In the face of a changing automotive landscape and a major worldwide paradigm shift towards crossovers in almost every market, the Germans at Ingolstadt maintain a tradition of performance sedans with the S4 that is evolving to fit the tastes of modern enthusiasts while also continuing a commitment to evolution and design. Perhaps it’s finally time for us to look globally for the future of all things sedan, and the future looks bright indeed.

-Trey Fennell

2011 Audi S4 Coco #51 Black & Red

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