So I drove the new S4 and my M3 back-to-back..........here's my impressions.(long)

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by curiousgeorgeM3, Oct 4, 2004.

  1. curiousgeorgeM3

    curiousgeorgeM3 naughty little monkey

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    So one of the benefits of being in my business is that nearly everyone has a sweet car. The parking lot of my new employer consists of a regular mix of the following cars: Audi TT, several C and S-Class AMG Mercs, 2 Cayannes, 2 Carrera 4S, 2 Boxsters, couple e46 3ers, couple X5s, couple X3s, 1 Modena....just to name a few.

    So the other day I notice this brand new steel grey 2004 S4. I was wondering who's it was and then on Friday one of my new colleagues comes up to me and asks. "Hey you're the guy with the M3 right? Brad and I were admiring your car the other day and he said it belonged to the "new guy". So I thanked him and asked him what he drove and he tells me he has the S4. I say we should swap cars sometime and he throws me his keys and says, "Let's go!" hahaha.....boooya!!

    So I pull out of the parking lot behind the wheel of the S4 and was kind of being easy on it when the owner says, "Hey, man. Go ahead and hammer on it." Ohhh yea........ I downshift into second, drop the hammer and we are soon doing 100+ through a sweeping righthander in no time.

    Here are the overall impressions:

    Overall the S4 is much more refined not only in looks but in ride quality. The interior is gorgeous and much more luxurious than my car. The seats are not as supportive though and the steering wheel feels a little thin in comparison.

    The Quattro system in the S4 is very confidence inspiring. It just felt so stable and planted to the road. I could only get the tires to squeal the tiniest bit. A big difference from the M3, which easily over steers when pushed hard.

    The gearbox of the S4 is great! The shifts are smooth and precise although the throw is a bit long for my tastes. Nothing a good SSK won't cure. The clutch engagement is also smooth. I will give this to the Audi....it made me realize I really miss a manual...bye, bye SMG for my next car :)

    The S4's engine is sublime. Very, very smooth useable power from the V8 throughout the entire rev range. Almost too smooth actually. It is also very, very quiet. There is no raw monstrous grunt to the power like the M3. But then again this is a different car for a different driver. The whole S4 package is much more refined and behaved than the M. While the M3 fills your senses with feedback from every possible area during every second of the drive, the S4 gets you there quickly without making you feel like you're going too fast or making you uncomfortable. It soaks up every bump so as not to upset your coffee or passengers and offers a very pleasurable driving experience. The brakes are great too.

    The feeling I came away with was smooth. Not powerful, not weak either just...well.....smooth.

    As I got back into my M3 and took my new friend for a ride it was even more apparent why I love the M. It is a beast and acts like one. I feel every bump, when I throw down the hammer the car bucks and bursts forward with aggression and power. When negotiating the same right-hander at over 100 mph in the M the car began to over steer slightly...but not in a way that was dangerous but more like it was saying "Is that all you got?" and hence I dial in even more throttle and the car stayed it's course, sliding ever so slightly in a controlled ballet of speed and power.

    Even my co-worker agreed. I told him to do whatever he wanted while behind the wheel of my car and he did hammer it as much as he felt comfortable doing so. What was the same thing I kept hearing coming out of his mouth?? "Wow!" When going into a turn that seemed a little bumpy he also commented, "I love that I can feel the bumps. I like that. I wish I could feel the bumps in my car. Sometimes it is just too smooth. I feel kinda disconnected." When he accelerated to overtake a couple cars and felt the torque he said, "This is just too fun! It feels so much faster" (even though it isn’t). When finished he equated my car to that of a rollercoaster ride and his to a high speed bullettrain ride down the coast. He actually originally wanted the M3 but since he has to have a 4-door he never even bothered checking the BMW out. Even after we parked he continued to admire and compliment how my car looked so much more aggressive sitting next to his. I was like, “Ah geeze, you’re car is tight. It’s new. It’s the latest and greatest.” He agreed that he loves his S4 and doesn’t regret getting it because it satisfies his needs but that it is simply not as sexy and the BMW.

    So in summary, although I honestly think comparing these cars is like comparing apples to oranges, since so many people inevitably will compare these cars I felt it necessary to take this opportunity and drive them back-to-back…and who wouldn’t??

    I would say that if you need four doors, are looking for the latest in great looks and luxury appointments, want a smooth refined ride even over rough roads that will not upset you and your passengers while you are all singing "Koombya", has gobbs of grip, yet want to get to your destination in a big hurry without feeling like you're in a hurry then the S4 is a no brainer. Also, Audi support and customer service is head and shoulders above BMW and that is important to some especially when spending $50K+ on an automobile.

    On the other hand, if you want a car that attacks every sense with each movement and every input, bursts to its 8000rpm redline and then just keeps asking for more, you don't need or want passengers while you blast Rage Against the Machine as you fly down your favorite canyon, the car dancing and gliding along as if it can read your mind....then the M3 will not disappoint. I will say this for the S4, it did make me walk away wishing for something my current car does not have…………..a manual tranny :big grin:
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2004
  2. Chris87

    Chris87 flatoutperformance.com

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    Interesting quote. :cool:

    Good comparision. :bigthumb:
     
  3. Dr. Woo

    Dr. Woo Guns don't kill people

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    Awesome story...and while the Audi is a magnificent machine, it just goes to show you how well BMW did with the M3 that Audi has altered the S4 for the B7 model to compete more directly with the M3 in terms of a sporty suspension.
     
  4. waspride

    waspride Can't this wait till I'm old, can I live while I'm

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    you could write for car and driver
     
  5. curiousgeorgeM3

    curiousgeorgeM3 naughty little monkey

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    haha....thanks.:)
     
  6. curiousgeorgeM3

    curiousgeorgeM3 naughty little monkey

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    Ummm.....yea...I was driving a stock S4.
     
  7. T-T

    T-T Born Into Retirement

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    That's great Johnny, now finish your supper dear.

    Seriously though, get me a nice cushion job at your work? I can staple.
     
  8. Merli

    Merli gplus.to/merli OT Supporter

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    Nice write-up :)
     
  9. curiousgeorgeM3

    curiousgeorgeM3 naughty little monkey

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    Well given what you did to your M3, I'm sure your S4 is sounding nice and mean by now :bigthumb:
     
  10. JMG

    JMG Guest

    nice write up! Depending on how the B7 and the new style 3series will look my replacement for the A4 I currently drive will def. be the S4 or M3.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2004
  11. Phil02E46

    Phil02E46 mystash.org

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    nicely written. i've driven m3's but have yet to drive an s4. would love to try one out though :cool:
     

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