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A journey to Sepang in the Audi S4 proves that it is equally capable on a long road journey as it is on a quick track attack.

12 Dec 2019

A couple weeks back, we had the curious opportunity of partaking in an eco challenge, with the objective being to drive an Audi A4 from Singapore to Genting and back whilst using as little fuel as possible. That proved challenging, not least because our driving habits were, shall we say, less-than-ideal.

This time round, we're headed back up to Malaysia once more, but in a car that's quite a lot less economical than that Audi A4 we drove. Specifically, we're heading to the Sepang International Circuit in an Audi S4. Thank god, there's no need to be economical this time round. Time to put the hammer down.

Smooth operator

Driven lightly, the S4 is highly comfortable and easy-going
Compared to the A4, this S4 has quite a lot more oomph - it's got one extra litre of displacement after all. The turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine pumps out a very healthy 349bhp and 500Nm of torque, making crunching miles on the North South Highway an effortless affair.

It's also really comfortable. I can certainly attest to this because I spent the first three hours in the car fast asleep, trying my best to catch up on some much needed rest after a pretty hectic wedding banquet the night before. Operated with a light foot, the car trundles along in soothing serenity. And, with so much low end torque available, a light foot is all you really need to easily eclipse the speed limit.

Hard and fast

Demonstrating good balance and control, the S4 can certainly keep up with more potent cars on the track
Get onto the track, set the car in Sport mode, and the S4's performance capabilities come to the fore.

The car handles admirably on the track - good balance and control in corners, plenty of straight line pace, and in the right hands it was capable of shaming some of the more potent RS models that were on the track with us. Turn in is sharp and accurate, and the car always manages to find grip even when you are a more than a little ham-fisted. 

And, because it's all-wheel drive, you can power out of corners early without fear. It's flattering in its ability to hide your driving imperfections. 

The middle line

The S4 delivers a highly appealing combination of daily comfort and track-going performance
Truth be told, the S4 isn't the ideal 'track car'. It's quite long, it's kind of heavy, and after a few hot laps the brakes and tyres start to fade rather dramatically (you'll need to pit and let the car cool off).

But, this isn't a 'track car'. For more hard-core drivers who want full blown performance, there are always the RS models. S model cars straddle that divide between your daily commute and your occasional foray to the track, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

You can certainly see the appeal of a car like the S4. It's a lot more exciting, powerful and involving compared to something like the A4, without significantly sacrificing the overall comfort and refinement necessary for daily use. At the same time, it's more economical and civil compared to the RS4, while still delivering ample performance and track-going capability.

Best of both worlds? We'd be much inclined to agree.

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audi  audi s4  s4  s4 sedan  audi sepang  audisport