Feature Listing: 2015 Audi S4

Just the other day, an old car friend of mine contacted our group of enthusiasts with an interesting challenge. He currently owns a Nissan 370Z, and while he really likes the car he’s got a family and needs something a bit more practical. So he queried the group; what car should he get in the $40,000 range that was special, fast, had 4-doors and a manual transmission?

Several thoughts came to mind, and I’m sure that everyone’s head is already spinning like mine did. While immediately several went to BMW M products like the E39 M5, I had an alternate suggestion which also considered where my friend lives – New Hampshire. ‘What about the Audi S4?’ I suggested. He admitted had hadn’t thought of one, in part because he previously owned a S4 – in his case a B5 – and didn’t love the driving experience.

Well, since the S4 has come a long way since the 1990s in power, technology, size and driving experience. And what has emerged is a very impressive all-arounder which flies under the radar. The supercharged V6 in the B8 gave a healthy 333 horsepower an Russian steppe-flat torque curve with 325 lb.ft available from 3,000 rpms straight through 5,250. This power could be channeled through two increasing rare options to find in electronics-heavy cars – a manual gearbox and a sport differential. Okay, 333 horsepower doesn’t sound outlandish in today’s world. But as with fast Audis of the past, the B8 and 8.5 made efficient use of that power and putting it down on the ground, making them capable of 4.4 second 0-60 sprints and a 13 second quarter-mile. This is a car which punches above its weight class, capable of embarrassing unsuspecting muscle cars.

Yet it retains its luxury-oriented character and go-anywhere all-wheel drive options, along with the practicality of offering 4-doors. And like ‘Q-Ships’ from the past, outside of a few extra exhaust ports and slightly flashier badging, most people would be hard-pressed to differentiate this serious performance package from the normal A4 wrapper. But that doesn’t mean that this car has to be boring, and you could select a few beautiful exterior colors such as this Volcano Red Metallic example:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2015 Audi S4 on Audizine


Year: 2015
Model: S4
Engine: 3.0 liter supercharged V6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 43,000 mi
Price: $35,000

Last of the Manuals! I am selling my custom ordered 2015 S4. Extremely rare Volcano Red color combo with manual transmission. Original owner. Factory Maintained. Sadly, never tracked. 43,000 miles. Rear bumper resprayed after parking lot shenanigans by blind driver. Work done by local, Audi certified Audi/Bentley/Lamborghini/Tesla shop. Car is in excellent condition. $35,000 OBO.

Factory Options:
Technology Package
Sports Differential
Black Optic Package
Adaptive Suspension
Bang & Olufsen Sound System
Rear Side Airbags
Carbon Atlas Inlays

Other Options:
S Line Perforated steering wheel and shift knob
Audi Q5 Caliper upgrade with slotted, floating rotors
10mm Wheel spacers
7year/100K mile extended warranty
Audi Car cover and Window shade

The B8.5 refresh in 2013 really improved the look of the S4 – especially the front end, in my opinion. The rectangular lights and revised LEDs look much more purposeful than the early examples. Audi also revised the MMI system, and for its period it was generally considered the best unit on the market. The Premium Plus package bundled that MMI navigation plus with Audi connect, parking system plus and Audi Side Assist. The Technology Package gave you CD/DVD player and HD radio in addition to those driver aids. Selecting the Black Optics package gave you the new 19-inch Titanium V-spoke-design wheels with 255/35 summer tires, while other options included the Bang & Olufsen sound system, sport differential, adaptive suspension, rear air bags and carbon inlays. In fact, the only option available and not selected for this car was Nappa leather, making this car about as loaded as you could spec. It is in beautiful condition, to boot.

Still well within warranty, this S4 represents the sweet spot for these cars. It’s still very much a “new” car, yet you’re over the precipitous drop in initial value through depreciation. It’s a beautiful, luxurious, comfortable and brutally effective sport sedan that can be used and driven throughout the year regardless of weather conditions, and it’s one that will make you feel special without raising eyebrows at every stop light. Simply stated, it’s one of the best overall options out there.

-Carter

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7 Comments

  1. Can’t go wrong.
    Manual, check.
    Forced induction, check.
    Sport differential, check.
    German, check.
    Better color than your average cliche silver/black: check

    I have a B8.5 S5 manual, and I can’t see ever selling it. 5 years on, I still love it to death. Only complaints; the damn ubiquitous VAG electronic parking brake, and the less than inspired grill (which I swapped out for the OEM RS grill).

  2. There goes Carter knocking it out it out of the park again! Awesome car and colors. Also keep in mind this era s4 always dyno’d far higher than their published horsepower. A chip will basically put you in dreamland!

  3. I don’t like the color. I might even hate it. It reminds me of mars red (orange).

    The 3.0T is an amazing performer, but the sound is anemic, as is its styling.

    I agree that the B8.5 is better looking than the B8, but it still looks incredibly bland to my eye. I’m not a fan of the instrument cluster or center stack either. Overall, I’m left with the feeling that Audi cheaped out on the B8+ cars. Or maybe I’m just overly attached to my ski sack, 1st aid kit, and emergency triangle.

    But even if it were better looking, the lack of an avant offering means the B8 is dead to me.

    If I was condemned to drive a $40k sedan of this era it would be a 340i xdrive manual with a red interior, and I’m an Audi fanboy.

    The main benefit of the black optics pack is the blacked out window trim and front grille.

  4. I had a 2010 S4 with dual clutch. I liked it, but never bonded with it. If I had a $35-40k budget for an AWD performance car iI would look at B7 RS4, a CPO S3, Golf R or maybe M235i.

  5. My wife has the same in blue but without the B/O sound. The car has been great and is much more user friendly than my b6 Avant. The size is just right and fits a car seat much better. I do feel like the clutch on the b8 is weak vs. the b6. We are about 60k miles into ownership now and it has been trouble free. The motor does feel a little weenie compared to my 4.2 but it is clearly just as fast. The sport differential is a great feature that you rarely feel but when you do, it is really helpful.

  6. I am the one that has to point out the brilliance of the “SOCR TXI” license plate? I am always late to the party with Easter eggs like that.

    If anything I think the “styling” is too aggressive, that bat-wing front lip on the bumper is too much. I always liked the S4 for being the upmarket AWD Toyota Camry to the uninitiated, bahn-stormer to the enthusiast. Scoops, spoilers, “surface tension” costumers should look elsewhere. My 2c.

  7. Robert Fletcher

    Price drop to $30,000 OBO

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