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The updated S4 continues to deliver Audi's particular combination of performance and restraint that will appeal to the more discrete drivers among us.

19 Jan 2021

Performance and restraint rarely go hand-in-hand. And why should it? When it comes to performance motoring, the general wisdom is that more is always better. More power, more noise, more everything.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing inherently wrong with that. The world would be a lesser place if carmakers just gave up on making impractically powerful cars that look like they belong on a bedroom poster as much as on the road.

But there is something to be said about restrained performance. And if there's one brand that seems to really get that, it might just be Audi, with their S models that sit between the entry A model line and the high performance RS range. Need proof? Just take this Audi S4, updated for 2021.

Touch up

The sharpened exterior is headlined by a wider front grille 
As with the rest of the model lineup, the S4 has undergone a light facelift. The exterior is now more aggressive looking, thanks to a wider grille design flanked by larger air intakes on either side. It lends the S4 a sharper, more athletic look.

The changes on the interior are consistent with the rest of the range - an updated infotainment system operated via a larger touchscreen, the virtual cockpit plus than has sharper graphics and new display options, and the ditching of the rotary control dial.

The changes are subtle, updating what is already a highly refined and comfortable cabin.

Power up

The MMI touch display has been upgraded, along with being upsized to 10.1-inches
Under the bonnet, you will find a familiar 3.0-litre V6 engine, with power unchanged at 349bhp and 500Nm of torque. Power comes effortlessly, accompanied by a sweet exhaust note.

The car comes fitted with S sport suspension with damper control. There are three damper settings, and we found 'Balanced' to be the setting of choice. In Comfort, the car feels a tad floaty at higher speeds. But, no matter the damper setting, the ride is never overly harsh.

The car handles confidently through corners, especially in dynamic mode. There's ample grip, and what it lacks in involvement and excitement, it makes up for in sheer capability.

Up and go

The S4 is amply quick and highly effective means of getting from place to place in discrete fashion
The Audi S4 is a measured and reserved take on performance. Indeed, don't look too closely and you could easily mistake it for an A4. And that's sort of the point. It might look like just another compact Audi sedan, but hoof it when the lights turn green and you'll be easily ahead of most other cars on the road. Not just another A4, eh?

The facelift brings some light changes that sharpen up the car, without changing its fundamentally restrained and mature nature. It's handsome, premium and easy to live with, while still being highly capable of dropping the hammer when you need to.

The S4 is for a more discrete sort of driver who doesn't want to stand out too much. No need for flared arches and a loud exhaust screaming "look at me!". Sometimes, all you want to do is to just get from place to place, and the S4 gets that done. Quickly. Very quickly.

Car Information

Audi S4 Sedan 3.0 TFSI qu Tip (A)
Rate it


: $330,990

Engine Type


V6 Turbocharged

Engine Cap





260kW (349 bhp) / 6400 rpm



500 Nm / 4500 rpm



8-speed (A) Tiptronic

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption


11.6 km/L

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