Right car, wrong timing? At a glance, it would seem that way. The new Audi S4 arrives in the midst of a global economic slump. It was unveiled in October at the Paris show, where hybrids and electric vehicles stole the limelight, and it unashamedly advertises the motto Vorsprung durch Technik (Advancement through Technology) when everybody is talking low emissions and high mileage. Look closer, though, and the new S4 emerges as a surprisingly sensible proposition. It is expected to cost about the same as the car it replaces and it bristles with torque, yet it should deliver about 24 mpg overall (EPA figures haven't yet been released). At the same time, it's a tour de force that employs trick steering, chassis, and driveline setups to beam you from point A to point B quicker than some of its rivals.
But who, exactly, are these rivals? Audi identifies them as the BMW M3 and the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, but the 333-hp S4 falls between BMW's 300-hp 335i and the 414-hp M3. It also falls between the 268-hp Mercedes C350 and the 451-hp C63.... Read full article