1) The enthusiast who sees the S4 as a luxury sedan first, sports sedan second. This person obviously wants a luxurious car that's sporty... something that can handle the twisty's without getting upset, yet doesn't kill their back with daily usage. However, it doesn't seem that this person is all that happy about how the B6 S4 turned out.
2) The enthusiast who views the S4 as a sports sedan that should be able to go head-to-head with the M3. To this person 0-60mph is more important than what kind of leather Audi decided to use. Magazine benckmarks are important as having the faster car is more than just bragging rights. However, it doesn't seem that this person is all that happy about how the B6 S4 turned out.
Unfortunately for us, it seems that Audi tried to appease both of the S4 camps and delivered to us a car that doesn't totally deliver what either one was hoping. I think acadia1 hit the nail right square on the head when he talked about Audi giving us more options! This is the only way I can see Audi redeeming itself to both S4 camps. Face it, the S4 isn't going to change much (if at all) visually and dynamically before it's US launch. So all we can hope for is Audi gives us the options to tailor fit the S to each of our own requirements.
As stated before, things such as either the Audi Sport Seats with full electronic control and memory for those more luxury inclined OR manual control Recaro seats for those of us who want to do more speeding than cruising.
However, because of the S4 being a limited production car I don't see this happening - at least with this generation of S4. I wish it weren't so, but as it is it seems now the S4 will fall a little short for each type of future S4 owner.
Or is there something that we can do about this?... I don't know.
09-24-2002, 06:45 AM
That's right, a 5000+ lb ultra luxury sedan, MB's most luxurious car, does 0-60, in 4.6 to 4.8. I think the issue is you believe you can't have the best of both world's. I personally want performance, as much as I want luxury, and when I say luxury I don't mean supple soft rides, or how the leather feels, I'm talking gadgets that will make my driving experience all the more pleasurable, and my car safer from theft, and safer while I'm driving at high speeds.
As the list I mentioned, I wanted led brake, tail, side lights (brighter), proximity remote/finger printing system (unlocks door by proximity, I get in the car faster ;), more secure + controls driver memory settings,seats,steering wheel,etc), sirius radio (i love listening to music, and hate commercials, as well as commercial music), MMI + voice command the easier and safer it is more me the fiddle (change tracks, lower/increase volume, etc ...) the better, lcd navigation(well, arrows are pretty low tech), rain sensing windshield (once again less fiddling), light sensing head lights (once again less fiddling), ... Ultimately, I think the problem arises because some seem to think you can't have a high performance car, that has many luxuries, and I beg to differ. Ultimately, the features I picked are to enhance the driving experience.
You can have the best of both world's, case in point was MB's S600, that's right it's not even the AMG model, but it's going 0-60 in 4.6-4.8. Who says you can't have performance and luxury.
In short, I think Audi should accomodate the varying S4 ideals, by offering a more extensive option list, allow the customer to pick and choose what they want. I think the comprehensive list option and tuning list I created would really alleviate Audi's quandry, or non-quandry in my opinion.
09-24-2002, 08:56 AM
Performance is how well you can control the rear end when you blip the throttle on a hard turn.
Performance is when you can easily control the car on an autocross.
Straight line performance to me, isn't what I'd buy a German car for. However it seems that most people here are obsessing over numbers like that, and to me it's really moot. If I was only interested in straight line performance, as I mentioned before, I'd get a nice Chevy big block and blow all the S4s, RS4s, RS6s out of the water. Or I would go with a 3 rotor Wankel engine, port it, and destroy anything. And I'd still have spent less than the S4 costs.
The S4 is not my car because first, the balance of the car is terrible.. it's not near 50:50 and that's mainly due to the AWD system. Next, the car isn't RWD which is aside from being more fun to drive, actually gives more horsepower to the wheels instead of dividing the horses by 4.
Granted, the S4 has a market where, people will love it. It's a niche and one that Audi has crafted wonderfully. Chipping a V8 is fine, but watch that gas mileage plummmmmmmmmet :) I don't see the obsession with speed, it's a totally American concept (as far as C&D, R&T, etc are concerned). If you pick up a Euro magazine, whichever one.. they judge cars by handling characteristics.
And since Audi's AWD system induces understeer it hasn't been a favorite amongst Euro reviewers. But I think in its niche, it serves those people VERY well.
Not me however... I'd buy a BMW but at this point it's not worth wasting the money for a badge, nor for Audi. Of course, I am a rotary fan too, so you can guess what my next car is :P
09-24-2002, 09:00 AM
The S4 is really a niche car, as I just said before.
I don't think Audi is willing to compromise on weight, safety, or Quattro. Those are some of their trademarks. Quattro is great, but not for sports cars. RWD is the real viable option there, as it makes the cars more fun, and gives more power to the rear wheels instead of distributing the power over 4 wheels.
As far as going head-to-head with the M3... Why is this obsession continuing? The M3 and S4 are totally different cars. If the S4 should have a comparison, it should be another AWD sports sedan. The M3 is a 2 door GT. It has RWD, it's lighter, and granted it's more fun. And it's missing a lot of the luxury appointments that Audi has in their cars.
There is a reason that BMW earns high honors among all car magazines for their drivability. Audi will always get the interior, exterior appearance awards, and build quality. But until they ditch Quattro, go RWD, and balance the car at near 50:50 weight distribution... the idea of going head-to-head with an M3 is really a terrible arguement to make.
09-24-2002, 10:05 AM
not put out a car that can move so blazingly quick, and yet would send the driver over a cliff at the same time? What I'm trying to say is you can have the best both world's, but it will cost you, luxury and performance cost, the S600 cost is $130,000 automobile. But, my ultimate point in selecting the S600 as a model, is the customization available to the customer. The basic shell for it is their, the performance, the luxury, and you can fine tune the car to fit your specific needs.
This idea should be used in the S4, the basic shell for a luxury sedan or sport sedan is there. If Audi would allow the U.S. customer more options he could tune the car to his more sporting needs, or luxury needs, or both, there by satisfying all 3 S4 customer profiles.
09-24-2002, 10:27 AM
For instance, you one assume a V8 eats up more gas than a V6, or I4, or ... this perception is false in that it's case by case basis, the 2.7tt I'd wager ate up as much gas as many v8's. Also, 5.0 v6 will eat more gas than 3.7 v8, from this example, I think you'll understand what I'm getting at with this engine perceptions, the true test is to compare engine X to engine Y, not whether it's a V8 type motor, or I4 type motor, ...
Also, being rear wheel drive, does not make you a better handling car, balance, and a low center of gravity, and weight management make your car better. Sports cars traditional have rear wheel drive because engines are usually in the front of the car, so the mechanics for moving the car are placed in the back, there by negating the weight of the engine. However, a four wheel drive car, could achieve this balance, by choosing to have a mid-engine mounted motor. Hmmm ... there are several sports cars that use 4-wheel, let's see Porsche, lambo, ... even Audi's mid-engine RSR and baby lambo will have 4-wheel drive. Why because, 4 wheel drive does afford you more traction, and control.
Secondly, a low center of gravity, well obviously the lower the base, the sturdier and more balanced the automobile.
And finally, weight management, here is an interesting quandary, the heavier the car the more speed it can sustain, the lighter the car the quicker the car can change direction, it's all about inertia. So, what to do, what to do, speed or agility. The best solution is to find the happy median of both.
In short, only one of these three things does luxury effect, and that is weight, other wise, the issue of producing a capable sport luxury or luxury sport sedan are moot. Now, the comparison between M3 and S4 are very logical. The M3 is not enough of a sport car that it can't be compared to the S4. Although, one the S4 has more luxury and the other M3 has more sport they are still definitely in the same class of car.
However, I digress, my hopes in the S4 is creating a car that is capable as both. If I wanted a pure sport car, I'd choose a viper, or some other derivative that doesn't have "luxuries" such as radio's, etc, ... that will slow you down. The point is I think many try to make the argument to cut and dry.
All, I was saying, Is let us take out the argument, and make the S4 such that it can be configured to each customers baser desire's, more sport, more luxury, or both.
Texas S Vier
09-24-2002, 12:30 PM
I only wished Audi would have thought it out more. Adding a stronger engine and differentiating the car from others only with chrome mirrors and S-type wheels doesn't show much thought.
Reminds me when kids used to drop a big V8 into Dad's old Buick when they got the hand-me-down. Even Mercedes seems to differentiate their "sport" versions (ie. AMG)
09-24-2002, 01:49 PM
...class 1 car. Sure the cars listed above are fast, but they're hardly that sporty. A friend of mine has an S55 AMG and while its a beast on the highway and sounds like a lion when gunned, it drives like its a boat. Its big, its heavy, its fast. But it sure isn't sporty.
My vision of the S4 was a luxurious sports sedan that was both spry and nimble with break neck acceleration if required, yet maintained composure in everyday driving. It would have the necessities that are synonomous with Audi and luxury, yet kept influence leaning towards sporty. For my tastes, the new S4 is ALMOST there... its almost exactly what I was hoping for.
Some of you might say I should just wait for the RS4, but personally if I was to spend RS4 money I would sooner just buy a Porsche.
09-24-2002, 03:02 PM
who wants a sport Avant! For me, getting a sedan or coupe to go fast and handle great is one thing. To get it in a package as versatile as an Avant is another thing and makes it stand out from the competition even more.
Just my $0.02 worth.
09-24-2002, 05:19 PM
AWD is included not for handling but for safety. 9 out of 10 buyers of these exotics (the ones you mentioned) aren't race car drivers and thus, wouldn't naturally be able to handle that kind of power from a car.
That's why TRUE sports cars are RWD, like the McLaren, Ferrari Enzo, Porsche GT2, and I can go on and on. As was said on the Car and Driver forums (the thread went for something like 7 pages), the overall consensus was an AWD car makes a bad driver look good, and a RWD car makes a bad driver dead :)
09-24-2002, 06:27 PM
Audi is looking to make as much money as it possibly can from as many peope as it can. What you might call "compromise" or "lack of focus" is Audi making sure it can have its cake and eat it (or whatever expression your language uses to describe this). At this price range (assume $50k) there are many compromise competitors 330i - M3 I35, IS300, C320 - C32 etc. and most buyers want a little bit of everything.
The RS4 will be the focused no compromise model with the same engine as the current RS6 and a $60K-$65K price tag when it arrives 3 years from now and far fewer competitors.
09-24-2002, 08:10 PM
i don't understand why consumers especially American's seem to simply except being pushed around, so much for free thinkers, many of you are mindless automotones, the very sovereign loving folk that Machivelli precluded was neccessary to state stability. It's rather pathetic if you ask me.
And the RS 4 is even more of a sporting machine, that's not necessirally what every S4 owners wants either.
In any event, thanks for the help automotone.
Auto Union Jack
09-25-2002, 08:24 AM
high standard of luxury in a sports sedan. The 3rd camp finds it very entertaining that the other camps have judged a car they haven't ever seen much less driven. :D
09-25-2002, 09:24 AM
09-25-2002, 11:12 AM
certainly it won't be faster. Even if the North American car has different gearing I highly doubt that it will touch M3 acceleration numbers (and let's be honest...to this market that is VERY important, as are looks). It may handle better (yet to be seen) and it may brake better (yet to be seen). everything else is subjective.
09-25-2002, 11:22 AM
This do to the larger displacement. I liken the concept the Pheaton W12 sure it's slower getting going, 0-60 in 6.3 but after that it's a beast, topping out at more than 200MPH.
Auto Union Jack
09-25-2002, 12:23 PM
Auto Union Jack
09-25-2002, 12:25 PM
09-25-2002, 01:01 PM
09-25-2002, 01:32 PM
both, being satisfied, is not a customer option, that just means your either satified with sport of the car, the luxury fo the car, or both. You still fall into one of those 3 categories.
09-25-2002, 07:27 PM
I'm a Brit and choose to live in the USA where consumers' spending power is the voice that manufacturers listen to.
Unlike the moaning minnies in England (mustn't grumble - it could be worse) Americans know who's in charge. Business listens to consumers and responds - not quite what the British car industry has done over the last 40 years...Morgan? TVR? Oh and Rover...
You might want to try a spell at business school, then you would understand that consumers here don't get pushed around as they do on that little damp island off the coast of Europe.
Auto Union Jack
09-25-2002, 10:32 PM
09-26-2002, 06:08 AM
09-26-2002, 06:14 AM
09-26-2002, 06:17 AM
09-26-2002, 06:39 AM
I'll tell you why because we don't know better, "business" is business mentality is so well engrained in our psychi that we don't ever question the quality of the contents. Sure, we'll question when something goes wrong? But that's not nearly the same thing as being an informed consumer.
When it comes to service, I'd say that the U.S. some times leads the bunch, for instance the concept of a "free refill" might be foreign to you brits. However, do not confuse, these actions with a powerful and aware consumer base.
Simply look at the products that are offered over here, especially electronics, and compare them to area's like Germany and Japan. The consumer in these regions would at the prices we pay for inferior electronic equipment in our "high-tech" Best Buys, Circuit Cities, etc ... we'll spend 3000 on a bose stereo system in circuit city and think it's top notch, when in fact, that is not the case. Why because we don't know any better, the U.S business we'll say as little as you can, in the greatest volumes that we can.
German / Japan we'll sell you something great, the latest, but you'll pay for it. Sure we won't sell as many but so what. And this is the reason why electronics, cars, etc ... that are cutting edge come to our country relatively late. Not as late as the third world, second world, but amongst 1st world nations we get them late, the business man over here is going to milk that 2nd tier product as long as he can, because the U.S. customer doesn't demand better, ASAP. This is not to say it's true for every industry, but when it comes to electronics and cars that is the case.
As for Brits and U.S., I thought we were the same country?
09-26-2002, 07:44 AM
Auto Union Jack
09-26-2002, 08:05 AM
09-26-2002, 09:27 AM
are playing around on the free way, guess, who is going to be playing catch up. The M3.