2000 Audi S4
This car looks great standing still. Audi has turned this version of the A4 into a hot rod with lowered bodywork that lets you know it. The 17-inch wheels with Pirelli P zero tires give it a squatty custom after market look. Audi did not stop with the exterior; they reengineered the 2.8-liter into a refined hot rod engine. Audi started with the proven 2.8 liter V6. They decreased the piston bore size to give the block extra strength which is needed to accommodate the twin turbochargers. By doing this, the engine size is reduced to 2.7 liters but the turbochargers more than make up for the loss. The 2.7-liter is an all aluminum engine with double overhead cams and 5 valves per cylinder with two inter-cooled turbochargers. The output is 250 bhp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The torque is what is really impressive; the S4 peak torque is achieved at a low 1850 RPM to help get you off the line. Turbochargers normally have a bad reputation for a slow start but, with this torque achieved at such low RPM and the design of two small turbochargers that are able to rotate faster, there is no feeling of turbo lag. When you nail the throttle from a start, hold on and be prepared for takeoff. The steering wheel needs to be firmly held due to the torque pull from the front wheels as the S4 includes Audi's race proven Quattro technology driveline. Considering how fast you reach 60 mph, it is not overstated.
Audi's next mission was to reengineer the suspension. The front is equipped with 4-link coil springs, gas shocks and a beefy anti-roll bar. The rear has upper and lower control arms, coil springs and gas shocks with another beefy anti-roll bar. This all adds up to a fine tuned suspension unlike the A4. Together with the Quattro drive system, this car handles beautifully, it really sticks around corners and you can nail it hard just out of the turn. The corners have four wheel anti-lock brakes, (standard) that feel very confident with little to no fade. The S4 comes standard with a short throw 6-speed transmission with a 5-speed automatic available.
The interior is laid out very straight forward with good view and lighting enhancements of the gauges. The gauges are analog and come with an extra large 180-mph speedometer and 8000 rpm tachometer. The speedometer dash also has a coolant temperature gauge, oil temperature gauge and voltmeter gauge. The interior has soft luxurious leather seating that provides good support with several adjustments. The rear seats are comfortable where entry and exit is a snap. The dash is trimmed in wood and carbon fiber that really set it off and set it apart from other sedans in this price range.
In conclusion, this car will cause some concern with the competition in this competitive market of luxury performance sedans. BMW, SAAB, Volvo and Mercedes all have good products, but at this price and this performance, you really have to consider the S4, which in the past was never one in this class of vehicles.
The S4 base price is $37,900 and fully optioned around $42,000. The S4 is covered by a 3 year 50,000 mile warranty, which ever comes first. It also has a great rust-through warranty of 12 years unlimited miles. Rust-through means that there must be a hole completely rusted through the exterior panel.