The updated 2020 Audi S4 is hot, slow-burning way that isn’t obvious at first. Elegant design and many internal floating features. Some performance car lovers might say that a sports sedan should announce itself. Audi has the S5 Sportback for those attention seekers. The S4 sizzles under the radar.
S4 has been changed quite a lot in this update. The most striking is the large honeycomb design that shares the same sparkle as the nude color mesh of an skater’s outfit. The roof is preserved. The fenders are wider, bumped out in a quiet salute to the original Quattro. S4 has just enough sparkle to catch the eyes of enthusiasts. S4 has just enough sparkle to catch the eyes of enthusiasts. On the back, the S4 badge is trimmed red, featuring four exhaust tips under a brushed silver trim strip.
Vehicles equipped with 3.0-liter V-6 engine familiar familiar 349 horsepower and eight-speed automatic transmission. S4 can go 60 miles per hour in 4.2 seconds and cross the quarter distance in 12.8 seconds at 108 mph. Around the skidpad, the S4 stuck with 0.95 g of grip, which is a respectable number but not much of a threat to sports cars. Even some workaday SUVs and family sedans approach that level of adhesion.
Dynamic steering adds effort and weight to the flat-bottom steering wheel as vehicle speed increases. The standard all-wheel drive system allows the car to accelerate sharply under all conditions. A torque-vectoring rear differential helps the rear end rotate and mitigate understeer. The net effect of the hardware and tuning is that the S4 breezes along the road, unperturbed by pavement imperfections yet responsive to inputs.
Inside S4 equipped with luxurious devices. There is a mix of leather and synthetic material following the diamond stitch pattern. The seats are red like a yawn of a tiger, very soft and fashionable. Drivers will enjoy the ability to adjust and assist the multi-path of the seat, but discover that moving to a comfortable seating position means the armrests are too far back. Audi’s test drivers must be short and thin with long elbows. Even if the seating position isn’t perfect, the standard massaging seats will put you in a forgiving mood.
The driver has a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster with a number of configurable views. The 10.1-inch touchscreen has a tablet-like interface, featuring Audi’s responsive system that provides audible vibration and clicks to help process your request. Hard buttons below the screen to control climate settings, audio system and switch drive modes. In addition, the S4 isn’t as packed with in-car tech to start as some vehicles, and several of the technologies you might expect as standard, such as rear USB ports, a 360-camera view, and adaptive cruise, are only available in higher trim levels.
Folks in the back seat will have to suck it up and deal with uncharged phones and small-car leg- and headroom.
When on the move, the S4 is quite silent, even in Sport mode, you can only hear the grumble of a hungry stomach. This is a hot little car; it’s just not hot in an immature way. It’s a grown-up sports sedan that performs without a lot of fanfare. It has the joy of a Gene Krupa snare drum solo, only it’s played quietly on a practice pad.