Saturday, January 10, 2009
Audi giveth, Audi taketh away.
The previous-generation Audi S4 sports sedan drew power from a 340-hp, 4.2-liter V-8. A generation before that, a 250-hp, twin-turbo 2.7-liter V-6 powered the S4. When the 2010 S4 goes on sale in the fall, buyers will find an engine more similar to that early turbo six than to the outgoing V-8: a supercharged V-6. While this may look like a step in the wrong direction, Audi claims it's more like two steps forward.
The new S4's supercharged and direct-injected 3.0-liter V-6 makes only seven fewer horses than the departing V-8, at 333—the same power as BMW's E46 M3—but makes 23 more pound-feet of torque 600 rpm earlier. Even though it lost two cylinders, Audi's new engine gives up nothing to the old V-8. The six-cylinder has better low-end grunt and, according to Audi, 27 percent better fuel economy than did the V-8. The power delivery is linear, and the Eaton-supplied supercharger, making at most 11.6 psi of boost, comes on gradually without the normally associated supercharger whine. The whistle can be detected only if you are listening for it.
Keep Reading: 2010 Audi S4 - Second Drive