Audi is still chipping away at its reputation for being unable to equip anything other than its RS-badged cars with the chassis to match their performance, but on this evidence much work remains to be done.
At first that might seem a harsh judgement. Drive it and you’ll be awed by its traction and not much less impressed by the amount of grip available, especially in the dry.
More impressively, especially with anyone familiar with the way older ‘S’ products tend to handle, the car is properly damped, giving it the ability to breathe a little with undulations in the road which, in other words, provides the ability for it to feel pleasant on the road rather than just simply quick around a track.
But others are more accomplished still. While the S4 is not the dogged understeerer we’d once have expected it to be, not does it yet offer a truly interactive driving experience.
In particular there’s too little feedback through the steering wheel and almost no opportunity to use additional power to modify your line through a corner. Snap the throttle shut in the middle of a turn and it will tuck in a little, but rear-drive rivals from Mercedes and BMW in particular offer better balance and better steering by far.