Sophistication, style and superfluous power under the hood pretty much sums up everything that we like about the Audi S4. It also doesn’t hurt that the car has four-door practicality and a sub-$50k starting price.
Don’t for a second think that the S4 is as capable as a BMW M car or even one of Audi’s hard-hitting RS models, but if you’re after a stylish sports sedan with German engineering and plenty of luxury then the 2012 Audi S4 is certainly worth a close look.
Note, Audi is set to introduce a facelifted model for the 2013 model year. However, the list of changes are slim and considering how long waiting lists can be, locking down a 2012 model may be a smart choice if you need to replace your current car in a hurry.
So what do you get with the 2012 Audi S4? Well, for starters there’s a high-tech 3.0-liter V-6 engine that is supercharged to the tune of 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. While a few years back the S4 came with a V-8, the new supercharged models delivers loads of torque almost evenly up the rev band, with a somewhat snarling soundtrack to match an otherwise smooth personality.
Drive is sent to all four wheels via a standard quattro all-wheel drive system and the transmission choices include a standard six-speed manual or optional seven-speed S tronic dual clutch. We’d recommend the dual clutch since it swaps gears much smoother and faster than any human wielding the six-speed could, and it’s also the most fuel efficient option. In fact, gas mileage is rather good for such a high-performance car--up to 18/28 mpg city/highway.
Altogether, the S4 shoots past 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, with a limited 155-mph top speed, which means it's as fast as a BMW M3 or a Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG.
Despite the performance, the S4 is still a true luxury car and comes with many items that are well worth the upgrade over the standard A4. S4 additions include a black headliner, a new steering wheel, aluminum trim, and a choice of console and door trim: walnut, aluminum, gray birch, or woven stainless steel. Leather is also standard, along with Bluetooth connectivity, a music interface for audio players, keyless entry and ignition, xenon headlamps, and Audi's MMI controller, which operates audio, climate, and navigation functions.
Unfortunately, navigation remains an option, along with adaptive cruise control, a blind-spot warning system, and the awesome 505-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system.
For a more detailed look at the 2012 Audi S4, as well as the rest of the A4 range, check out the full review over at our sister site The Car Connection.