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2014 Audi S4 Preview

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Pros: The 2014 Audi S4 stands out with a lowered and tightened suspension (featuring an available sport rear differential), sexy looks, standard all-wheel drive, a powerful V6 that's surprisingly fuel-efficient, as well as a rich combination of luxury, refinement, and technology.

Cons: Once again, the multimedia interface will not prove user-friendly to all drivers. Some would have liked a more aggressive design, too. As for driving dynamics, our reviewers say the S4 is heavier and less dynamic than a BMW, yet not as comfortable and accommodating as a Mercedes-Benz.

2014 Audi S4 Price: As was the case last year, the lineup includes two trim levels -- Progressiv, and Technik. The first one starts at $53,000, and the second retails from $57,800.

Audi S4 2014
Photo: Audi

2014 Audi S4 Fuel Economy: Expect to burn 13.1L/100km in the city and 8.3L/100km on the highway with the manual transmission. These numbers drop to 11.7L/100km and 7.7L/100km, respectively, when opting for the dual-clutch autobox.

Improvements and Changes: A new colour can be specified -- Volcano Red. Standard Audi xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights not only create a striking on-road impression, they use less energy and have a longer service life than conventional lighting. Also, an innovative S sound actuator integrated in the exhaust system enhances the acoustics and emphasizes the performance attributes of the engine.

Powertrain: The 2014 Audi S4 accelerates from 0-100 km/h in a mere 5.1 seconds thanks to a 3.0L supercharged TFSI V6 engine with direct injection that channels its 333 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque through a standard 6-speed manual gearbox or the available 7-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission. As mentioned earlier, power is distributed to all four wheels by way of Audi's acclaimed quattro system.

Cargo Capacity: Seat configuration can be arranged to expand cargo room from 352 to 962 litres.

Safety: Six standard airbags keep 2014 Audi S4 occupants protected from the front and sides, while stability control helps secure the trajectory at all times. In the event of a collision, intelligent sensors automatically unlock the doors, switch on interior and hazard lights, and cut off fuel flow to the engine. Audi side assist (blind spot monitoring) and a parking system with rearview camera are optional.

Comparing the 2014 Audi S4: The BMW 335i xDrive, Cadillac ATS Premium V6 AWD, Lexus IS 350 AWD, Mercedes-Benz C 350 4MATIC, and Volvo S60 T6 AWD are all worthy competitors of the S4.