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Audi is introducing its new sporty top models in the midsize class - the S4 and the S4 Avant. Their engine, a three-liter V6 with direct Fuel Injection and mechanical Turbocharging, delivers a powerful 245 kW (333 hp). It accelerates the S4 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in just 5.1 seconds, but on average only uses 9.7 liters of fuel per 100 km (24.25 US mpg). The quattro permanent all-wheel drive system transfers its power to the road in style, which is then converted by the sport suspension into dynamic handling. Upon request, Audi can equip the new S4 and S4 Avant with innovative technologies that further increase their lead over the competition. The seven-speed S tronic changes gears with lightning speed, and the new sport differential distributes the torque as needed between the rear wheels. The new Audi S4 will be unveiled to the public for the first time at the Paris Auto Show from October 2 to 19.
The heart of the new S4 and S4 Avant is a completely redesigned engine. The 3.0 TFSI, the newest member of the Audi V-engine family, is an outstanding example of how the brand with the four rings blends performance and efficiency. The V6 generates its power from a displacement of 2,995 cc, is equipped with a Supercharger, and delivers 245 kW (333 hp). The sedan sprints to100 km/h (62.14 mph) in just 5.1 seconds, and the Avant in 5.2 seconds: they both have an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph).
The "T" in the 3.0's TFSI nomenclature no longer merely stands for "Turbo", but rather for the concept of supercharging in general - extensive testing on the big V6 has proven the superiority of mechanical charging. In conjunction with direct injection it is far superior to twin Turbochargers, both in terms of packaging and of starting performance and responsiveness.
The compressor is so compact that it easily fits inside the 90-degree V of the cylinder banks, in place of the intake manifold. Two four-vane rotary pistons counter-rotate inside the Turbocharger at up to 23,000 rpm. Two charge-air coolers are integrated into the housing and are connected to a separate coolant circuit. An impressive array of measures keeps the noise generated by the compressor to a minimum.
The engine-driven belt that powers the mechanical charger provides full thrust right from idling speed. The 3.0 TFSI delivers its maximum 440 Nm (324.53 lb-ft) at 2,500 rpm and maintains this constantly until 4,850 rpm. In fourth gear, the vehicle accelerates from 80 to 120 km/h (49.71 to 74.56 mph) in just 4.4 seconds. Thanks to the extremely short gas paths, the sonorous, supercharged V6 responds spontaneously to the throttle, even more so than a Naturally Aspirated engine of the same displacement.
Furthermore, the new 3.0 TFSI achieves exemplary fuel efficiency. On average, the sedan uses 9.7 liters of fuel per 100 km (24.25 US mpg), and the Avant 9.9 liters per 100 km (23.76 US mpg) - an improvement of 3.4 liters (26 percent) compared with its predecessor. The Audi technology of gasoline direct injection was what made this great efficiency possible in the first place.
Unlike conventional concepts, it allows the compressor to be located behind the throttle valve. In view of the low density of the intake air at loads below supercharging level and when coasting, its rotors are free-running and the amount of power required to drive them is low.
The V6 power in the new S4 and S4 Avant flows into a six-speed transmission, fitted as standard, which shifts quickly and precisely. As an option, Audi offers a state-of-the-art dual-clutch transmission - the seven-speed S tronic is extremely dynamic and highly efficient. The driver has the option of driving in fully automatic mode or selecting the gears with paddles on the steering wheel or directly with the shift lever - all of which provide impressively quick gearshifts. The gearshift feel is dynamic, comfortable and very precise - typically Audi.
Both the Audi S4 and the S4 Avant look athletic and muscular on the road. Some of the most striking modifications to the exterior design are the special aprons, the aluminium-look exterior mirrors, the 18-inch S-design light-alloy wheels, the side rocker panels, the restrained spoiler at the rear and the quadruple exhaust system. The xenon plus headlights with daytime running lights and the rear lights are further distinctive touches.
The interior also underscores the sporty expertise that is the hallmark of both new S models. The sports seats have electric lumbar supports and pull-out thigh supports, and the instrument panel features gray dials with white needles. They also bear the S4 emblems, as do the multifunction sport steering wheel and the key. The interior is in black, with brushed aluminium inlays. Carbon and birch wood inlays are also available, as are stainless steel mesh inlays.
Optional assistance systems provide the driver with even greater control on the road. The adaptive cruise control (ACC) regulates the distance to the vehicle in front, and braking guard issues warnings regarding possible rear-end collisions. The Audi side assist makes changing lanes safer; the Audi parking system advanced makes backing into a parking space easier.
With regard to multimedia, Audi offers an attractive technology package. The communications and entertainment technologies portfolio includes the competition-beating MMI operating system, various types of radio and sound systems all the way up to the high-end solution from Bang & Olufsen, two navigation systems, an iPod interface, and a highly convenient Bluetooth car phone.
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|Article||Image gallery (9)||Specifications|