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LORD OF THE RINGS

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Mon, Apr 2, 2007

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

LORD OF THE RINGS By ROY NAKANO

Picture a car about the size of a Honda Civic. Only, instead of a four-banger, drop in a 340-horsepower V8 derived from the same motor that powered Audi to victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in record quantity. Add Quattro all-wheel drive, the S-series suspension, the usual Audi craftsmanship inside and out - and you have an idea of what the S4 is all about.

The car is based on Audi's smallest sedan, the excellent A4. Using the all-wheel drive A4 quattro as its platform, Audi adds swaps in the race-breed V8, an S-tuned sports suspension, an 18-inch high performance wheel and tire package, S-accented exterior trim, an S-trimmed interior with brushed aluminum accents, 12-way power front sport seats by Recaro, a silk Nappa leather upholstery, and a standard moonroof. For 2007, the S4 sedan receives the aggressive DTM exterior bumpers, including front/rear carbon fiber trim as an option. The redesigned Symphony radio on the A4/S4/RS 4 now has the ability to play MP3-encoded CDs in the integrated 6-disc changer, has a larger screen with larger font, and the deletion of the cassette player. Interior Alcantara® color combinations have been increased. This year, both the ebony/ebony and silver/silver combinations will be offered. S4 Sedan/Avant/Cabriolet brake calipers are painted glossy black.

From the moment you turn on the ignition, you realize that the S4 is no ordinary car. The sound coming from the motor is head-turning, and reminiscent of an American muscle car. Only a V8 can make this sound. However, unlike the typical muscle car, the power delivery on this car is extraordinary - thanks largely to the Audi quattro all-wheel drive and the excellent suspension tuning of the S4. Going around corners, the S4 sticks like glue - particularly if you're accelerating around turns. Gently push the accelerator further, and the car will respond with a controlled, composed four-wheel drift - very unlike many of its two-wheel drive counterparts.

The S4 feels like a million bucks. Audi's interiors are considered the best in the industry, and the S4's is right up to par. The exterior has that Audi sculpted artwork look. Both inside and out, fit and finish are first class. The S4 shows that size matters. Only in this case, it's the small package of the S4 body, the large 4.2 liter V8 motor, and the sure-footedness of Audi's quattro all-wheel drive that makes this combination work so well.

SUMMARY JUDGMENT A shining example that good things come in small packages and big motors. For more information about Audi products, go to www.audiusa.com.

SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2007 Audi S4 Sedan quattro MT6 Price: $47,500 base; $57,020 as tested Engine type: 4.2 liter dual overhead cam aluminum alloy V8 EPA mileage estimates City/ Highway: 15/21 (manual) 15/23 (Tiptronic) Horsepower: 340 @ 6800 rpm Torque: 302 lb.-ft @ 3500 rpm Drive configuration: Front engine / all-wheel drive (Asymmetrical/dynamic quattro) Transmission type: 6-speed manual transmission with synchronized reverse gear (6-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic manu-matic sequential shifting and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters optional) Suspension: Front: S4-tuned four-link suspension Rear: S4-tuned trapezoidal link, fully independent suspension Wheels and tires: 18-inch alloy wheels; 235/40-18 high performance summer tires Brakes: Front & rear: HD vented discs, vacuum assist, painted calipers, Electronic Stabilization Program, Electronic Differential Lock on manual transmission equipped S4s, anti-lock braking system (ABS) Overall length: 180.6" Overall width: 76.3" Overall height: 56.2" Curb weight (lbs.): 3869 Top Speed, mph: 155 mph (electronically limited) 0-60 mph: 5.3 seconds (manual) 5.6 seconds (Tiptronic)

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