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2018 Audi S4 offers proper acceleration for a hair over $50,000

The hopped-up S4 is likely the fastest A4 variant the US will receive.

Audi

The new Audi A4 is a technological wonder that happens to drive quite nicely. Throw a little performance into the mix, and the price may rise, but the car gets even better.

The 2018 Audi S4 is the A4's sportier brother. Its 3.0-liter V6 puts out 354 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, improvements of 21 and 44 (respectively) over the old S4. This is due in part to the removal of the V6's supercharger, which gets replaced with a turbocharger. Maximum torque arrives as early as 1,370 rpm.

Every inch of the A4's good looks transferred over to the S4 without issue.

Audi

With standard all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic, the S4 exhibits some proper hustle. It'll reach 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, which Audi claims is best in class. Its segment isn't necessarily large, with its primary competitors being the BMW 340i and the Mercedes-AMG C43.

The A4's embarrassment of tech is unchanged in the S4. You get fancy bits of standard kit like LED headlights, heated power seats and three-zone automatic climate control. Safety features abound, as well, including autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality.

Sounds expensive? It is, but it isn't. The base S4, called Premium Plus, starts at $50,900. That's a couple grand more than the $47,900 BMW 340i, but it undercuts the $52,000 Mercedes-AMG C43. Move up to the S4 Prestige, and the price jumps to $55,800.

The 2018 Audi S4 goes on sale in the US this spring.

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