Hot on the tail of a new Audi A4 is the sharper S4 variant, which hits the road as a 2018 model.
The S4 features a more aggressive exterior, but this is no mere appearance package.
Under the hood, the S4 is powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine making 354 horsepower.
Quattro all-wheel drive is standard for the S4 with a performance-oriented 40/60 front-to-rear split. A torque vectoring sport rear differential, however, is an optional upgrade.
The sport sedan rides on a multilink independent suspension at all four corners. Check the right boxes and it'll also gain adaptive dampers, boosting control.
Audi claims a 0-to-60 mph time of just 4.4 seconds, which is the best in its class.
On the road, the S4's performance can best be described as neutral and controlled.
Acceleration is great and there's plenty of grip. The neutrality comes from the lack of noticeable under- or oversteer during spirited driving. It just goes where you point it.
If I've one complaint about the S4, it's that the V6 engine isn't as loud as I'd like. The competition from Mercedes and Jaguar are just more audibly visceral.
Still, I think that fans of the understated design will appreciate the exhaust not drawing attention with every shift.
The 2018 Audi S4 hits the road this month starting at around $50,900 for the Premium Plus model or $55,800 for the better-equipped Prestige.