2000 Audi S4: A Reflection on Sports Sedans

LOCATION SPOTTED: Bookhampton (East Hampton Village)

LOCATION SPOTTED: Bookhampton (East Hampton Village)

  • Acceleration 0 to 60 mph: 5.4 sec
  • Braking 70 to 0: 164 feet
  • Quarter Mile: 14.1 seconds
  • Slalom: 67.8 mph
  • Skidpad: 0.87 g

 

Note: this article is not descriptive of the B5 S4, my review of this car is pre-existing on this web site.

The European sport-sedan market is changing a lot in my opinion. Obviously these cars, like all other modern cars sold in America, are modified in their styling year to year, but that’s not the kind of change I’m referring to. I believe that these sports cars (i.e. the Audi S4 and BMW 335i especially) used to be built as enthusiast, or at least somewhat enthusiast, automobiles. Now, companies like Audi and BMW are chasing comfort and volume of sales to better compete with Mercedes which, in general, sells more cars than the others. It makes sense why they are doing this and I don’t actually condemn them for it. Here’s why.

Many enthusiasts in the past enjoyed the fact that not only were the fancy Audi RS and BMW M models very sporty, but the lower end models (not necessarily the very bottom, but the “middle” range sports sedans) were also to certain point. In other words, the guy who can’t afford a M3 can at least get a 335i and get a somewhat sporty experience. Nowadays, it’s pretty difficult to find this option. For example, Up until 2013 the BMW 335i (E92 and E90 in 2011) were sporty with heavy, hydraulic steering and stiff suspension. The newer version of this car the F30 body 335i is much more compliant and even comes in a “luxury” trim (though the Sport and M-Sport versions aren’t that much better). Again, BMW has made their car this way in efforts to sell more of them. They probably will.

With the increased profits BMW will make with their softer mid-range sport sedans, they will have a better research and development budget to help make better more efficient M-cars, I think. Audi will follow suit in the same way. I choose not to make the comparison with Audi (even in an Audi S4 posting) because BMW is inherently more of a driver’s car than the Audis which are known more for all-weather performance as their main selling-point. BMW has changed the most with making their mid-range sports sedans perform much softer to appeal better to the masses.

I understand why some people, some car enthusiasts are disheartened by this change. Personally, I say you should save your money and buy an RS5 or M3 instead, because they are the top of the line performance examples and with the increase in R&D they hopefully receive, these top of the line cars will be better than ever. (Granted the RS5 is much closer to the S4 than the new 335i is compared to the new M4 for example).

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