Evidence mounting that 2010 Audi S4 is underrated

Posted on 28 October, 2009

To many people, Audi is replacing BMW as the go-to yuppie-mobile of choice. For one thing, Walter de’Silva’s designs are almost universally lauded (Q7 notwithstanding) whereas the new crop of Bangled Bimmers are… controversial to put it as nicely as humanly possible. But it’s not just down to looks and interior — it can’t be.

For the past decade or so Audi, BMW and of course Mercedes-Benz have all been engaged in mercilessly meeting each other tit-for-tat. 3/5/7 Series vs. 4/6/8 vs. C/E/S-Class, M/AMG/S, X5/ML/Q7, etc. It goes on forever. But the point is, Audi and BMW appear to be on equal footing and it looks like Audi has taken the copycat game to new heights.

Everyone knows that the BMW 335i is the most underrated car currently on the market in terms of raw thrust and grunt. BMW claims 300 hp and 300 torques, but even dogs know that BMW’s trick 3.0-liter twin-turbo engine puts out much closer to 350 hp and 350 tire-spinning pound feet of torque. Why? Well, lower insurance rates for their customers probably isn’t one of the reasons. However, remember that when the E90/E92 3 Series came out, BMW was still selling the 333 horsepower E46 M3. Meaning that it would be pretty hard to sell an older, $55,000 car with less power than a newer and just as quick $40,000 car. Or so the theory goes, though we should point out that BMW engineers angrily call us liars when we bring this scenario up.

And guess what? Looks like Audi is pulling the same trick with their new supercharged S4. Volkswagen and Audi tuner APR stuck a 2010 Audi S4 on an AWD-dyno and discovered the following. Instead of the 333 hp and 325 torques Audi is claiming, they pulled 331 hp and 336 pound-feet of torque… at the wheels! Figuring that AWD cars have about a 20% parasitic drivetrain power loss, the actual crank output of the S4 is huge. How huge? By our calculations just about 400 horsepower/torques. Gulp. Tip of the Audi driving cap to Brenton!