2018 Audi S4 and S5 First Drive Review

2018 Audi S4 and S5 First Drive Review Whenever we initial saw Audi’s sexy S5 coupe (on architecture internally recognized as B8 in 2007 like a 2008 model), we fell in enjoy with all the car’s Coke-bottle profile, near-perfect proportions, as well as the company’s brilliant 4.2-liter V-8 that made 353 baritoned horsepower. Later up to date that has a 333-hp supercharged V-6, we felt the auto had misplaced several of its masculine mystique. 

2018 Audi S4 and S5 First Drive Review

Nonetheless, we’re already on record as fans of Audi’s latest A4 2.0 quattro, which recently took second area in our Significant Test of compact luxury sport sedans. Regardless of it currently being the quickest on the bunch in the two straight-line acceleration with its 252-hp turbo-four and about our figure-eight test with its all-wheel drive, we stated the A4 lacked the persona to consider the top rated spot. If that A4’s 0-60-mph time of 5 seconds flat did not blow your hair back, Audi has just the issue: the 2018 Audi S4 with a 354-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 shoehorned to the very same competent chassis but with a retuned all-wheel-drive program, along with the other B9-chassis steady mate, the 2018 Audi S5.

Due to the fact there are many similarities, hence the double-car To start with Drive, it’s tempting to presume Audi’s five-passenger S4 sedan and four-passenger S5 coupe are simply four- and two-door versions in the same auto. In addition to the door disparity, a fast glance at specs exhibits a 2.4-inch variance in wheelbase, 2.one inches in length (S4 is longer), and modest distinctions in width and height (the S5 is slightly wider and lower by about an inch). It is worth mentioning that the S5 is additionally presented in Convertible and four-door Sportback (hatchback) variants. As expected, the sedan has a one.3- and three.0-inch benefit in rear head- and legroom more than the coupe. Plus, its trunk is 1.four cubic feet greater compared to the coupe’s.

As opposed to the A4/A5 twins, and since they are really meant to become above-premium sport-oriented autos, there aren't any front-wheel-drive versions, and also the all-wheel-drive system is biased 40/60 front to rear. For these versions, Audi continues to exclude the typical Premium base trim level and only features Premium Plus and Prestige for both the S4 and S5. As such, standard gear levels are generous and thorough: an intelligent important (locking and ignition are keyless), a sunroof, total LED headlights/taillights/DRLs and interior lighting, auto-dimming mirrors, Audi Drive Choose (Comfort, Car, Dynamic, and Person modes), Alcantara trim, 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats, a rearview camera, low-speed automatic braking, and heated leather front sport seats with powered eight-way adjustability, diamond stitching, electrical power side bolsters, and massage. There is also satellite and HD radio, Bluetooth, and two USB ports that entry Apple CarPlay/Android Automobile as common. The S4 gets a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound procedure, which is optional on the S5. The two come with three-zone car climate control and eight airbags to keep passengers comfy and safe.

The S4 and S5 test automobiles we drove were identically trimmed Prestige variants using the very same options. They included Audi MMI Navigation Plus with touch, a color head-up display, a top-view camera process, and Audi’s benchmark reconfigurable virtual cockpit instrument panel, which supports Google Earth mapping or a constellation of displays/gauges.

2018 Audi S4 and S5 First Drive Review - Interior:

Last year’s S4 and S5 quattros were powered by a three.0-liter supercharged V-6, and gear changes were handled by either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission. All that’s changed for 2018. The new driveline consists of a re-engineered 3.0-liter V-6 (now turbocharged) and an eight-speed automated. There weren’t enough takers for a manual transmission last time, so blame your “I don’t want to be bothered that has a third pedal” neighbors for that. Rest assured, nevertheless, the cars’ new eight-speed automated shifts with the identical quickness and seamlessness since the previous seven-speed twin-clutcher. It also performs the identical throttle-blipping matched-rev downshifts with ease. Displacing the exact same 2,995 cubic centimeters, the new engine opts for the so-called hot-V configuration, where intake is on the outer portion from the engine as well as exhaust manifolds feed the single twin-scroll turbocharger that nests inside. The net result is output that increases by 21 horsepower and a not-insignificant 44 lb-ft of torque. Audi claims a 4.4-second 0-60 time, but we presently clocked a 2013 S4 with that very acceleration and beat the beloved V-8 powered 2008 S5. We’re betting the 2018 S4/S5 quattros will reduce the time to 60 mph by at least 0.two 2nd. At the same time, fuel economy has improved, too. The previous supercharged S4/S5 cars earned 18/28/21 mpg city/highway/combined together with the seven-speed. The new turbo eight-speeds get 21/30/24 mpg ratings from the EPA.

The two S4/S5 ride on precisely the same multilink front/rear sport-tuned suspensions and standard eight.5-by-18-inch alloy wheels and summer tires. Our check automobiles instead wore optional 19-inch wheels ($800), and each featured the S Sport package ($2,500), which includes adaptive/adjustable suspension and red brake calipers clenching the common 13.8-/13.0-inch vented discs. More important, it also includes an electronically controlled sport rear differential that actively (and noticeably) shifts torque between the rear wheels.

Unless variable-ratio steering is linked to the amount of dial on the steering wheel itself (more turn, quicker ratio), we’re generally opposed to systems that only consider their orders from vehicle pace. They tend to provide incongruous responses and behave unpredictably. Yet each of our test automobiles featured Audi’s optional dynamic steering systems ($1,150), and although neither gave us a sense through our fingers of how much work the front tires were doing to turn the automobile, neither one was unpredictable at velocity. (Parking speeds produced the single most unnatural feeling.) We wish there were at least one check car available without variable ratio steering so we could have compared them. Yet at speeds that would (and did, for some) get the notice of your local constabulary, the two cars felt planted yet eager without feeling heavy or darty. Turn in is crisp (a little crisper in the S5, thanks to the shorter wheelbase and wider track width) and authoritative through the friction-free wheel. 

2018 Audi S4 and S5 First Drive Review - Features Transmission

We know part of this crouched-and-ready feeling has to do together with the electronic rear differential in the S Sport package. Quick to respond, the torque-vectoring differential routes energy to the outside wheel to help point it in, but more important, it puts the electrical power down on exit. Mat the throttle on corner exit, as well as the motor vehicle simply sticks and goes where the front wheels are pointed. There’s no tail-out rally-style antics here. It’s all steady and precise without a need for correction, tracking through corners felt almost like a nonevent. The positive spin says this allows a driver to pay attention to his or her chosen line or avoid a large stone or road kill-all of which we did. We even tried unsettling the automobiles mid-corner with deliberate, ham-footed jumps into and out of the throttle. The car or truck simply displayed extremely mild understeer in off-throttle moments and utter neutrality on-throttle. “Smoove” seems to get a theme for these “S” vehicles.

The regular seats, optionally wrapped in Nappa leather, were coddling and appropriately firm. The side bolsters were effective without getting intrusive. From inside either with the vehicles, the exhaust note was sporty and reedy but also somewhat muted and shy of what we’d call snarly. We’ll assume raucous behavior will be reserved for the RS versions-the 2018 Audi RS5 produced its debut recently in Geneva with a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6, but we haven’t heard it yet. The S4/S5’s multivalve dampers have distinct ride qualities between Dynamic and Comfort modes, and Automatic mode is so clever that it doesn’t seem to get flummoxed by much of anything. It is also nice to have two ways to select driving modes: either from the MMI controller or, even more handily, cycling up or down through them using the toggle switches hanging off the dashboard. In Dynamic mode, road irregularities have sharp edges, and in Comfort they are really handled in the classic one-and-done fashion without secondary body motions. Throttle, steering, and damping responses are all heightened in Dynamic mode, yet each cars remained composed, predictable, and ready in their max-attack modes.

Like the previous supercharged V-6s, the new turbocharged engine’s energy delivery was remarkably linear. Nevertheless, contrary to the previous engine where torque peaked at 2,900 rpm and horsepower at 5,500 rpm, maximum torque is now produced from one,370 up to 4,500 rpm. Horsepower now peaks at 6,400 rpm, giving the new engine an even broader driveabilty and longer legs. Rapid as they might prove later on in testing, the new S4/S5 quattros acceleration is not shocking and explosive the way the recent RS three was. They do, nevertheless, feel relentless all the way up to the indicated 6,500-rpm redline and beyond. Remember when turbos used to whoosh and hit hard? Instead, speed piles on in that sneaky “Whoops! I’m going 80?” sort of way. Although it doesn’t have the aural qualities with the long-gone 4.2-liter V-8, this more powerful and more efficient turbo-six feels remarkably similar to that gem of a motor but without the bark or engine braking from the V-8.

The Competition  - 2018 Audi S4 and S5 First Drive Review

Starting at $51,875, the 2018 Audi S4 Premium Plus quattro (354-hp turbo V-6 and all-wheel drive) lands right between the present BMW 340i xDrive (320-hp turbo inline-six and all-wheel drive) and also the Mercedes-AMG C43 4Matic (362-hp turbo V-6 and all-wheel drive). Undercutting them all is the Cadillac ATS-4 Premium Luxury (335-hp V-6 and all-wheel drive). In terms of straight-line performance, interior sophistication, driver engagement, and overall confidence, we’d say the Audi and Mercedes are pretty nicely matched. Even if it could manage to maintain pace on a twisty road, the BMW 340i feels older, heavier, and more ponderous. The Cadillac ATS certainly includes a world-class chassis, but mainly because it lacks a turbocharged engine, it would not likely rise to the occasion if that meant venturing to climes where the air will get thin. To make an objective choice, we’d really have to bring them all in for a proper comparison test.

With a nearly identical relationship in price, performance, and overall execution, at $55,575, the 2018 Audi S5 Premium Plus quattro again would find itself in the midst of a battle that has a Mercedes-AMG C43 4Matic Coupe, to a lesser degree which has a BMW 440i xDrive, and a Cadillac ATS-4 Coupe.

What we can tell you is that the two the 2018 Audi S4 and S5 quattros have added a new level of interior and exterior sophistication to what were currently competent-if a little bland-cars in their previous iterations. We especially appreciate the S5’s finer-line attention to surface detailing along with the instantly recognizable hips and roofline. Check out how the hood’s cutline is now hidden in the front fenders’ character line. So cool. The new turbocharged engine is better in every measurable way from either the supercharged V-6 it replaces or the once-burly V-8 it outpaces. The new eight-speed automatic should not be dismissed out of hand. Its logic when left to its own devices is very good. You can find few if any “C’mon currently!” moments. The transmission responses in Dynamic mode-or when manually forced to swap cogs up or down the scale-are practically indistinguishable from most twin-clutch automated manuals. These two B9-era S variants are finally threatening the best in the class and perhaps have even set new benchmarks in several categories.

Audi is certainly cranking out a number of the best-looking, best-equipped, and most-engaging hardware these days, and these two enthusiast-oriented (just shy of RS hardcore) examples prove Audi knows how to not only create consumer friendly sedans (A4, A5, and A6) and full-on sports automobiles (TT RS, RS three, and R8 V10 Plus) but also how to also fill in the middle bits with these attractively priced, powered, and poised newcomers.

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