On the heels of this year's Audi A4 redesign comes the new S4, which Audi announced will appear at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. The 2006 Audi S4, the sport version of the A4, impressed us enough in 2005 to clinch an Editors' Choice. This new version, a 2010 model, shows some radical changes. Where the 2006 model had a 4.2-liter V-8 engine, the new model drops displacement, going down to a 3-liter V-6; but this V-6 is fitted with an intercooled supercharger, which, along with Audi's direct injection technology, pumps up the horsepower to 333. Audi's press release suggests that the 2010 S4 won't suffer from turbo lag, with the engine delivering its 325 pound-feet of torque from 2,500 rpm to 4,850 rpm, and getting the car to 60 mph in about 5.1 seconds. We'll be happy to put it to the test. Audi is also estimating about 24 mpg for the car, an impressive figure for this kind of power.
Audi has another trick ready for the S4: It comes standard with a six-speed manual--a transmission we were pleased with in the 2006 S4--but there is an optional seven-speed S-Tronic dual clutch transmission, a new generation of the DSG. Like the DCT we recently tested in the BMW M3, this S-Tronic uses two gear shafts, one with even gears and one with odd. Each shaft gets a computer-controlled clutch. The driver can either manually select gears or let the computer decide which one is best for current driving conditions. And, of course, Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system will come standard on the car.
For cabin tech, the 2010 S4 gets a Bang & Olufsen 505 watt 14-speaker audio system. Unfortunately, the specs also mention DVD-based navigation--Audi hasn't moved to hard drive-based systems yet. Interior pictures show Audi's standard MMI for controlling navigation, stereo, and Bluetooth.
The 2010 Audi S4 will be available in the U.S. in fall, 2009.