23 September 2008

S4 to V6

Audi ditches trad V8 in favour of seriously clever new supercharged engine

Audi S4

Audi will unveil the new S4 at the Paris show next week.

Now, we know what you're thinking. It'll be exactly the same as the new S5 but with two more doors, right? Same 4.2-litre V8 putting out 350-odd bhp?

Well it won't.

The S4, which is set to go on sale in the UK in the spring of next year, actually gets a sparkling new version of Audi's three-litre V6.

They call it the TFSI, and it's packed with clever tech including supercharging and direct injection. (The 'T' in 'TFSI', we're told, "no longer stands for turbo, but rather the concept of supercharging in general." Figure that one out.)

It develops 329bhp and 325lb ft of torque, which is some 10bhp down on the previous-gen S4 but slightly up in the torque department - in fact, it'll hit 62mph in just 5.1 seconds, which is half a second quicker than the last S4. That's seriously quick.

Naturally, the S4 gets Audi's four-wheel drive Quattro system, which delivers 60 per cent of the power to the rear wheels in standard driving through either a six-speed manual gearbox or a new seven-speed DSG transmission.

There's also a smart new rear diff which sounds similar to the system in the Saab 9-3 Aero X. It features something called a 'superposition gear'. This is definitely a good thing.

As you'd expect, there's plenty of aluminium on the inside along with myriad 'S' badging, while the exterior gets a smart new set of light alloys, a bigger front apron and an understated rear spoiler. It looks good.

All of which has got us thinking: just how good is the (as-yet-unconfirmed) RS4 going to be when it eventually turns up? And just how quick? And what engine?

We're excited, we are.

 

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