Frankfurt: 2017 Audi S4

Frankfurt: 2017 Audi S4

Audi has released details of the new “B9” generation S4 ahead of its full debut in Frankfurt this week, rounding out its mainstream, near-midsize offerings.

Like the A4 on which it is based, the 2016-for-Europe S4 gets an overhaul for the coming European model year. Let’s start with the meat and potatoes: The S4’s 3.0L, turbocharged TFSI V6 is heavily revised. It’s lighter, more powerful and more efficient than the engine it replaces, boast 354 horsepower and just a hair shy of 370 lb-ft of torque. The latter is available from 1,300 to 4,500 RPM.

That power goes to the wheels via a new, eight-speed tiptronic transmission and Audi’s time-tested quattro all-wheel-drive. Like the outgoing model, the new S4 features dynamic front/rear torque split via a locking center differential (40/60 Front/Rear during normal driving, with a max of 70% front or 85% rear on-demand), and the torque-vectoring rear differential is still available.

Audi claims the new S4 will do 0-62 in 4.7 seconds, but like most quattro cars, it should beat that figure in rearl-world testing. As is typical of German sedans, the S4’s top speed is limited to 155 MPH. The S4’s consistent formula of offering pony-car-style acceleration in a comfortable, weather-friendly sedan is alive and well here.

Backing up the S4’s day-to-day proposition is its improved fuel economy. Audi claims the engine/transmission combo is good for nearly 32 mpg U.S. in the NEDC cycle. What that translates to in EPA figures remains to be seen.

Buyers who want a more dynamic ride can ditch the standard S sport suspension (which already drops the S4 inch lower than the standard A4) in favor of an active damper setup which Audi calls “CDC” for “continuous damping control.”

Outside, the S4 is as subtle as ever. The signature aluminum-look side mirrors remain, but can likely be deleted with options. Out back, there’s a contrast lower rear bumper insert surrounding quad-tipped exhausts, hinting at the power that lies under the hood.

Stay tuned for live pictures of the all-new S4 from the floor in Frankfurt.

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