Our adventure starts with a trip from an uncharacteristically sunny San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge and into Sonoma. While in the stop-and-go bustle of the city, the S-Tronic DSG double-clutch automated manual was so docile and the 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 engine so even tempered, that I almost forgot that the S4 was the performance variant of the A4 sedan line. This is mostly due to Audi’s Drive Select system, which gave me limited control over the suspension tuning, power delivery, and steering ratios, effectively making the S4 two cars in one: a comfortable boulevard cruiser and a rip-snorting canyon carver.
All systems set to comfort, I was able to focus on the third-generation MMI and it’s absolutely beautiful Nvidia graphics. The hard-drive-based system featured traffic data map overlays, 3D building data, text-to-speech turn by turn directions and voice control. The system also integrates into the audiophile quality Bang & Olufsen audio system by allocating space on the hard drive for music storage.