ROCKVILLE, MD, October 8, 2012 – If a car could be defined as “holistic,” that car would be the 2013 Audi S4. The 2013 S4 sedan offers a driving experience that is a treat for all your senses. This car is about you and your driving experience; it is all the pleasure of the journey.
The designers of the Audi S4 strove to make you think less about your destination and more about enjoying the journey. They wanted to make driving stylish and a joy. They succeeded.
When you slide into the seat, you are immediately rewarded with a luxurious tactile experience. This comes from the blend of soothing textures and patterns on the seats, dash, the steering wheel, and other interior surfaces. Soft leather, rich grained woods, and smooth aluminum inlays combine to delight the hand and the eye. Audi offers a variety of wood surfaces – dark brown walnut, natural ash, or layered oak — along with brushed aluminum or aluminum Trigon inlays.
No matter what your build or posture, twelve-way power seats with lumbar and extendable thigh support will cradle and support you for maximum comfort. The sport seats come in Nappa silk leather, or in two-tone leather with contrasting stitching. The seats provide lateral support, and the integrated headrest is both supportive and wonderfully comfortable.
That comfort will take you a long way, and why not? This car cries out for long, leisurely road trips.
One seemingly minor feature that adds a lot is the lay of the harness seat belt. Instead of resting against my neck as they so often do with women, it draped snuggly over my shoulder, without being irritating.
The optional three-spoke steering wheel goes beautifully with the instrument cluster. It puts shift paddle controls at the driver’s fingertips, and the top cutout allows you to see the dashboard in its entirety. White double stitching on the wheel adds a subtle touch of style.
From the driver’s seat, the reach to center control clusters is easy and intuitive. Within a short period of time, touch recall from the radio to navigation system is easy.
Another excellent feature of the design is the comfort space between the driver and the door panel. It allows for plenty of elbow and knee space. A taller driver will appreciate this extra space, and it adds tremendously to driver comfort.
The pitch of the seats, front and back, adds to the comfort level of the S4. Even when the front passenger seat is pulled forward to provide extra legroom for a rear passenger, it remains comfortable. The front passenger well is deep, and the slant of the dashboard prevents any sense of being cramped or confined. This is a result of excellent, thoughtful design.
Look at the door panel. The aluminum optic side view mirror offers a side assist, or “blind spot” warning system that, as Rockville Audi salesman Dave Robbins says, can “save your bacon on the beltway.” This feature alerts the driver when a vehicle or other object is in the driver’s blind spot. A flashing yellow light on the interior side of the left rearview mirror warns caution. It works well, and it could be a lifesaver when you need to cross over lanes on the highway.
While this car is about enjoying the drive as a journey, Audi knows that there are places you have to go. The Audi MMI Navigation plus system will get you there. The MMI is control central for the car, and from the steering wheel paddles, the driver can control the car’s online technology.
The MMI connects with a T-Mobile account enabling the GPS system. Audi MMI also turns your car into a mobile hotspot that allows access to Wi-Fi for passenger devices.
The MMI features a seven-inch, voice controlled screen located in the center dash. A smaller display can be viewed on the driver’s side, keeping your eyes forward when you check your route. Voice activation of the MMI connected features keeps your hands on the wheel.
But all that is inside. Stepping outside you will appreciate the sedan’s streamlined design. The big front grill and streaming back design of the nose makes you think American Muscle car, not European mid-size four-door sedan. The front grill shines with Xenon plus headlights and LED daytime running lights. They are not only extremely useful, they also look sharp.
The front view sleekly wraps down the side to the S4’s sporty rear, which features large wrap-around rear lights, dual exhausts, elongated tail lights, lower rear bumpers and a sporty integrated spoiler that gives the S4 an enhanced aerodynamic profile, and a drag coefficient of just 0.30.
Depending on your personal preference, the Audi S4 offers the Audi Drive Select option, and you should get it. It helps control the adaptive suspension, transmission shifting, and engine response, instantly changing the damping behavior of the suspension. Choose between “comfort” and “dynamic.” The difference is striking, dynamic mode resulting in a much tauter suspension.
Via the MMI system, Audi Drive Select lets you adjust the steering, throttle response, and transmission to change the “feel” and response of the car. I really enjoyed the drive and pep of the dynamic mode. In comfort mode, the engine quiets down and the S4 takes on the feel of a full-size luxury car.
Adding to the ride quality, the S4 also sports redesigned suspension mounts and retuned shock absorbers. It also has new power steering that has been changed to an electromechanical assist. Audi claims that this improves overall fuel efficiency.
The Audi S4 performs well from full stop to full throttle, with an engine that will keep you easily moving ahead of the pack. There is an option of a six-speed manual or seven-speed Audi Stronic dual-clutch transmission.
The car is nimble enough to catch that tight turn. An on the dime tight U-turn was quick and confident with total driver control.
The car I tested came with the Prestige trim option. The U.S. spec. 2013 motivation is provided by a 3.0L Supercharged V6 engine (333hp/325-ft of torque) with TFSI direct injection paired with a 7 speed S tronic transmission or a manual 6 speed. The S4 is Quattro permanent all-wheel drive with 40:60 torque split.
Base price: $47,600 manual Quattto
$49,900 Quattro S tronic
The 2013 Audi S4 was tested with David Robbins at Rockville, Audi. Reach Dave with your questions, or to arrange a test drive at (800) 315-1408.
Rockville Audi is located 1125 Rockville Pike - Rockville, MD 20852
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.