The current B9 generation of Audi’s S4 and S5 fleet hit local shores in early 2017, bringing with it a new turbocharged spin to nameplates that previously enjoyed supercharged six and, prior, naturally aspirated V8 power.
Ingolstadt’s middleweight ‘S’ formula was, is and will continue to be considered Audi’s ‘soft rock’ performance in the company of ‘hard-core’ RennSport-chiseled siblings. Closer to the truth is that they occupy a friendly, livable and satisfying sweet spot between the relatively vanilla ‘A’ gear and the high-performance RS excess.
B9 has been a fine S4 and S5 vintage and still is in its recently facelifted guise. The singular recipe blends a 3.0-litre single-turbocharged V6, doling out a potent 260kW and 500Nm, and a befitting eight-speed conventional automatic as a refinement lift over its dual-clutch forebear, of course, via proprietary quattro drive. And it’s a breed underpinned with arguably the finest and most capable chassis of its premium competitive segment.
It could eventually be had in one of five different body styles: the S4 Sedan and Avant wagon, and S5 as a two-door Coupe, five-door Sportback or drop top Cabriolet.
When this generation arrived, pricing kicked off at just under six figures for a clean-skin S4 Sedan and walked up to around $120k for the convertible, many loaded with pricey options, from appearance packages to sports differentials. The mid-sized, middleweight S breed tends to typically lure a more mature professional buyer demographic so a good many used examples will likely to have been pampered and well maintained.
The big lure in 2021 is that earlier examples have copped heavy depreciation – as much as 40 per cent – for what remains a thoroughly contemporary package with current tech and what’s still thrilling sportiness. Virtual Cockpit digital instrumentation, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto mirroring, all thoroughly new school and minted with Audi’s deft eye and craft for appealing luxury interior appointment.
While the S4 versions, specifically, were treated to expansive sheet metal revisions for the MY21 facelift currently in showrooms, plus a tickle to the equipment list, including larger touchscreen infotainment range(s) wide. But mechanically little has changed since 2017.
It’s of no surprise that the sedan has been the big S4 seller though Audi’s fast (and faster) wagons have enjoyed fair popularity with something of a cult following. In S5, the impressively practical liftback Sportback has enjoyed the most buyer attention, outselling the two-door Coupe five or six to one.
Worth considering, too, is that many used examples will have aged beyond the surety of Audi’s slim three-year warranty period, one key reason why existing buyers will be moving them on.