ABS, side and head protection air bags standard. ESC standard from 2001.
This high-performance version of the A4 uses a smooth 4.2-liter V8 engine that drives all four wheels. A six-speed manual transmission is standard; a six-speed automatic optional. In our tests we found the ride stiff but not punishing, unlike other sports cars. Handling is quite capable, but the S4 understeers a bit too much at its limits. Audi says it is adjusting the way power is delivered to the front and rear wheels to reduce this. The interior is well-finished and nicely appointed. The leather racing-style seats are supportive and comfortable. The RS4 is a limited-production version with even greater performance levels.