ABS, side and head protection air bags standard. ESC standard from 2001.
Audi's high-performance AWD version of the A4 uses a smooth 340-hp, 4.2-liter V8 engine. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. In our tests, we found the ride stiff but not punishing. Handling was quite capable, but the S4 understeered a bit too much at its limits. Audi claims it now splits the torque with a rear bias to reduce understeer. The interior is well-finished and nicely appointed, with comfortable and supportive leather Recaro sport seats. Wagon and convertible versions, and the more powerful 420-hp RS4 sedan are available.