After unveiling the new S4 sedan?based on the redesigned, 2017 A4?at the Frankfurt auto show last fall, Audi has now seen fit to unwrap its wagon companion, the S4 Avant. Unfortunately, as Americans, we can only look on in envy.
The wagon's new mechanicals mirror those of the sedan. The S4 goes turbo, with a new 3.0-liter V-6 replacing the previous supercharged unit. Output climbs to 354 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, and Audi claims 4.9 seconds for the zero-to-62-mph sprint (versus 4.7 for the sedan). In place of the previous seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, an eight-speed torque-converter unit now handles the shifting; it enables freewheeling when the driver lifts off the throttle at speeds between 34 and 99 mph.
The standard all-wheel-drive system is rear-biased (60 percent), and an optional sport differential can apportion torque across the rear axle. Ride height is nearly an inch lower than the standard A4, and continuous damping control is optional. Brake discs of 13.8 inches are vented and perforated up front, and they're squeezed by S-logo calipers painted either red or black. Speed-dependent, variable-ratio "dynamic steering" is optional. The standard wheels are 18 inches while 19s are optional.
The interior features sport seats, diamond-pattern leather and microsuede in black, gray, or red, and brushed-aluminum trim. The exterior is set off with a black honeycomb grille, restyled front and rear fascias, gray and aluminum-look trim. Audi says the S4 Avant is 100 pounds heavier than the sedan but it's also 165 pounds lighter than its predecessor.
Not that it will ever roll across a scale in the U.S. We'll get the new S4 sedan later this year, but the days of Americans being able to buy an S4 Avant are unlikely to return. Instead, Audi would like to direct your attention to the A4 Allroad, the only wagon version of the A4 we'll see. Nice try, Audi, but it's not the same.
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