Been testing....

3.0 V6 24v turbo - 354 bhp
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Fliptop
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Been testing....

Post by Fliptop » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:41 am

I took a deposit on my S4 at the weekend so decided it was time to step my replacement hunting up a gear...until then it had mainly been Internet searching.

[Note - this is copied from something posted on a Saab forum so some of the detail might seem a bit NSS to readers on here....]

I had to pop up to Teesside on Saturday so took the chance to swing by the Audi dealer and try out the new "B9" model S4 to compare with my outgoing "B8.5" car. While I was there they happened to have one of the last of the B8 RS4s on the forecourt, THIS 2015 model. I'd not driven one before, but a pal at work has just replaced his V8 Vantage with one and was raving over it, so I figured....let's give that a whirl too.

It was a very interesting comparison.

Image

Although on the outside it has the very aggressive front end with flared arches and wider wheels/track, inside it's almost identical to my car, except for an all-black interior including headlining (ugh!), real carbon fibre trim on the dash and a thicker rimmed perforated leather flat-bottomed steering wheel. Mine has all the Audi Drive Select features of the RS4 as options, so I could quickly set up the behaviour of the damping, the rear diff, and the exhaust.

The RS4 has a 4.2 NA V8 with a very throaty exhaust. It revs to 8500 and delivers 450bhp at 8250rpm & only 430Nm at 4000-6000.

To drive, it felt much more agricultural and visceral than the S4, with more drive chain chatter from the V8 and a harsher, clunkier gearchange from the DSG but still quite smooth. The exhaust note was just gorgeous, really lush old skool V8 burble with a brutal roar when provoked. That definitely appealed to my inner dad-racer. The ride was very similar to my S4, helped by wider and slightly taller tyres (265/35 vs 255/35). But enough of that, what was it like to drive?

0-60 takes 4.7 and 0-100 10.1. Make no mistake, it's fast, and if you're willing to rev the nuts off it it's absolutely devastating. Yet I found myself underwhelmed. It was just like a big version of Fiona's Civic Type R. You couldn't call it gutless below 5000 but it wasn't impressive. In normal use, on B roads or winding A roads, I think mine would be quicker A to B because its engine is so much more flexible.

This is precisely why I like forced induction engines with lots of mid range grunt, and it's why Saab invented the family-car-with-turbo in the first place. Big displacement power and torque without the downside. And over the years forced induction engines have just got better and better. What's the point in a road car that doesn't really come on song until 5000rpm? That goes for some turbo applications too, like the big Evos and some big turbo Saab applications that we've seen in recent years. I don't get it.

The new car has a turbocharged 3.0 V6 rather than the supercharger on mine, with the turbo mounted close to the heads in the V. This gives it a bit more torque than mine, 500Nm over 440, and power up from 328 to 354bhp. It's certainly quicker. There is a brief throttle lag when you first nail it in the mid range, say 3000rpm, and then it lifts up its skirts and flies. The supercharged engine has, understandably, slightly better throttle response, but there's not much in it. I really like the new one, the ride is smooth as silk while staying firm and controlled. The new 8-speed box is even smoother than my 7-speed. 0-60 is down from 5.1 to 4.9 - and it feels like it's about 10% quicker right through to the ton.

THIS ONE I drove doesn't have the sport diff that I have, and it was noticeable when hoying it into an open roundabout and applying power that it understeered noticeably, whereas mine will do the exact opposite.

Inside, the new car comes with updated Supersport seats as standard instead of being an expensive option on mine. The fancy digital dash display has a huge amount of customisation possible. The central screen is a bit naff though. Good size, but it looks like an afterthough. I don't know why they didn't make it more integral to the whole dash layout. Ergonomics are improved over the old car, particularly the knob you use to scroll through the menus which on mine is suited for a LHD car and use with your right hand - you have to scroll anticlockwise to go down a menu which is counter-intuitive. On the new one they've fixed that.

Image

Performance wise, 0-60 in 4.9, 0-100 in 11.3 so about a second quicker than mine, 354bhp at 5400-6400 and 500Nm from 1370-4500 - that's obviously got more to give with some mapping!

I'm going to try out a few other cars that I'm interested in (I really fancy a Macan GTS but can't quite bring myself to spend the money) but I suspect my search will end up being for a low mileage B9 S4 with the right spec. Or maybe an S5 sportback, again with the right spec...
Long term Saab enthusiast & owner, now turned to the Dark Side with a 2012 B8 S4 Avant...

Also in the fleet:
2001 9-5 Aero "Farting Buffalo 3" - 367bhp, 600Nm
1989 900 T16S track hack
1975 96V4 Silver Jubilee 19K from new meccano set
1972 96V4 - 42K from new

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Fliptop
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Location: North Yorkshire

Re: Been testing....

Post by Fliptop » Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:32 am

I've now tested a Macan GTS and can safely say that it's top of the wish list. Drives as well as the S4, felt a fraction quicker on the road, better visibility being a little higher and a really good noise.... I just can't bring myself to pay ~30% more than the S4, even if the residuals are phenomenal............. :thumbsdown:
Long term Saab enthusiast & owner, now turned to the Dark Side with a 2012 B8 S4 Avant...

Also in the fleet:
2001 9-5 Aero "Farting Buffalo 3" - 367bhp, 600Nm
1989 900 T16S track hack
1975 96V4 Silver Jubilee 19K from new meccano set
1972 96V4 - 42K from new

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Ian_C
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Re: Been testing....

Post by Ian_C » Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:56 am

A year old B9 S4 with a few options for 35 36 37 is a lot of car for the money! Occasionally the 66 plate Audi / dealer demos crop up with virtually all the options!
B5 B6 B7

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Fliptop
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Re: Been testing....

Post by Fliptop » Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:52 pm

It certainly is. The difficulty is finding one wit the right spec. I absolutely want the sports diff. I'd like ADS with the adaptive dampers but that's a nice to have. I really don't want a black interior, especially not the headlining................but if I do it'll have to have a pan roof.

So far, not found one that ticks all the boxes for me. :|
Long term Saab enthusiast & owner, now turned to the Dark Side with a 2012 B8 S4 Avant...

Also in the fleet:
2001 9-5 Aero "Farting Buffalo 3" - 367bhp, 600Nm
1989 900 T16S track hack
1975 96V4 Silver Jubilee 19K from new meccano set
1972 96V4 - 42K from new

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Ian_C
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Re: Been testing....

Post by Ian_C » Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:35 pm

Sport diff is even rarer on the B9 it seems than it was on the B8 S4! :(
B5 B6 B7

doodlebug
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Re: Been testing....

Post by doodlebug » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:39 pm

Take the Macan. It’s a great all rounder and you’ll keep much more money.

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Fliptop
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Re: Been testing....

Post by Fliptop » Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:29 pm

I've done the sums on the Macan and, while I could afford it, I cannot justify the cost. It's a head over heart decision but I'd rather be putting the extra monthly payment into reducing the mortgage on an asset that will only grow in value, rather than into a depreciating "asset".

Still searching for the right B9 S4/5, but now pondering the S6 Avant. Comes with the diff as standard, plus adaptive dampers (with some having the air suspension option) and doesn't seem to carry much of a premium over the S4 when looking at ex-demo cars.

Very few about through, an all have the bloody black interior :|
Long term Saab enthusiast & owner, now turned to the Dark Side with a 2012 B8 S4 Avant...

Also in the fleet:
2001 9-5 Aero "Farting Buffalo 3" - 367bhp, 600Nm
1989 900 T16S track hack
1975 96V4 Silver Jubilee 19K from new meccano set
1972 96V4 - 42K from new

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Fliptop
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Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:56 pm
Location: North Yorkshire

Re: Been testing....

Post by Fliptop » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:30 pm

Off to test a 2017 S6 tomorrow morning. I've saying for ages that I need to scratch the V8 itch, and CoD makes it a less thirsty scratching process....and without the disappointing power delivery of the B8 RS4.
Long term Saab enthusiast & owner, now turned to the Dark Side with a 2012 B8 S4 Avant...

Also in the fleet:
2001 9-5 Aero "Farting Buffalo 3" - 367bhp, 600Nm
1989 900 T16S track hack
1975 96V4 Silver Jubilee 19K from new meccano set
1972 96V4 - 42K from new

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Surrey Sam
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Re: Been testing....

Post by Surrey Sam » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:14 pm

Interesting point of view. I certainly wouldn't call a V8 spinning at over 8250RPM disappointing.

I'm sure the more subdued S series cars, like the S6, will be closer to what you want from a vehicle.
Sepang Blue B8 RS4, MY14, All option packs, B&O, Adv Key, Adapt Cruise, Pan Roof, Akrapovic Titanium Exhaust, + more.
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Fliptop
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Re: Been testing....

Post by Fliptop » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:50 am

It's more about the overall driveability of the car. The RS4 needed to be ragged to get the performance out of it. After driving forced induction cars for 20-odd years and about half a million miles I know what works for me on the road day to day.

Which is why I put a deposit on that S6 today...the car is fkn awesome! Peak torque arrives at about 1500 rpm and is maintained up to about 5000. Its incredible. And had the sports diff and adaptive suspension (air suspension) as standard. It also seems to like going sideways with minimal provocation...!!!
Long term Saab enthusiast & owner, now turned to the Dark Side with a 2012 B8 S4 Avant...

Also in the fleet:
2001 9-5 Aero "Farting Buffalo 3" - 367bhp, 600Nm
1989 900 T16S track hack
1975 96V4 Silver Jubilee 19K from new meccano set
1972 96V4 - 42K from new

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