S4 Avant handling

Simon

Registered User
So admittedly I have been driving around in a Nissan GTR for the last 6 years so my perspective is at least slightly skewed but now I am starting to use the S4 I am finding the handling to be a little bit well, boatlike.

I drive in dynamic and the springs have been changed for a slightly stiffer and lower set of H&R items so while I wasn't expecting the last word in precision chassis dynamics I was expecting less roll and perhaps more pointy steering.

Is this usual or is something broken somewhere?

Simon
 

mercules

Registered User
To reduce roll you need to stiffen the chassis. Some ideas - strut brace, uprated front, rear roll bars. Upgrade the drop links from plastic to metal. Just be mindful that the suspension will take a hit and be less comfortable but coming from a GTR it's a moot point.

Sent from my LYA-L09 using Tapatalk
 

Dippy

Registered User
"slightly skewed" is a joke right? Take a knife to an apple and you can make it look like a pear...
 

Simon

Registered User
I was being tongue in cheek with that certainly, I have no frame of reference for what the handling should be like so was hoping to get some insight.

The closest thing to the Avant that I've owned before was a Grand Cherokee that was more akin to a Oil tanker than a boat so apart from the year I spent driving that over the last 20 years I have only driven performance coupes, the S5 (V8) is comparable in engine performance but not handling.
 

Dippy

Registered User
I came from a tuned B5 S4 to my B8 S5, but on the way I considered a GT-R. Amongst the reasons I decided against a GT-R was that I felt that whilst it might be fantastic on the track, it was just too compromised on the road.

I did a lot of test driving before I ended up ordering a new S5. I found that of the B8s, the S5 coupe handled the best, followed by the S5 sportback, the S4 saloon, and unfortunately the S4 avant was the worst. I do find that the adjustable dampers and sports diff in dynamic mode do help the handling a lot.
 

Simon

Registered User
It depends on what revision of GTR you go for as to how well they handle on the road, the later versions have suspension revisions that improve their behaviors, the early models up to 2011 (the DBA models) are considered to be the most raw. I have done barely any track work with the GTR, a couple of runway charity days giving high speed runs and a training session at milbrook to better understand how to drive it and that is pretty much it.

The biggest problem for me with the GTR is that it has grip for days so in order for it to excite you need to be going extremely fast, or being extremely stupid (most often both) in order for anything dramatic (fun) to happen. That said I can't see me getting rid of it because £ for £ I am unconvinced that the performance can be beaten.

I had a B8 S5 (manual but no sport diff sadly) and rather enjoyed that but found it nose heavy and the steering vague but it could certainly eat up the miles in splendid comfort, directly prior to that a 450bhp RWD converted one off Skyline R33 GTR that went sideways more than forwards which lead to it's ultimate demise along with two other innocent parked cars.

My partner had a B8 A5 3.0d S-line (manual again) for about 6 years that I think handled better than the S5 in the steering feel department. She changed that for a DB9 about 18 months ago now and we had a little Mini One as a runabout/dog car but it was unsuitable for the long trips she sometimes needs to do for work and I have a new job that dramatically increased my weekly mileage that I didn't want to put onto the GTR (as the second owner I have already put 55k miles on it in the 6 years I have had it)

Thus the requirement for a "sensible" car that would suit the dog better, be properly capable of handling long journeys and at the same time be quick enough to keep me entertained as a daily driver. I had read such good reports on the S4 that I think my expectations were too high and too coloured by the Saloon handling reviews.

All that said it does have a very **** mixed set of tyres on it that need to be changed, I think the strut brace is cheap enough to throw on there and see how much it tightens up the front end (though I do have an idea that involves some carbon tube and machined alloy ends that I think would work well in that role) so I'll do that and see how we go. I can always do the ARB's and see if they do the trick later, they seem easy enough to change over.

If all else fails the S4 was cheap enough to just be relegated to pure runabout/dog car and I've been itching to get my hands on an RS5 for ages so I'll investigate that option.

It would be really interesting to get some views from Avant owners on handling and driving characteristics, it may be that I am just driving it all wrong.
 

Dippy

Registered User
I think the GT-R I test drove was a 2010 (one of the first "UK" models?). It was basic and if I had gone for one then likely I'd have looked for a later model, however price was the issue. That 2010 was going for about £40K at the time (this was 6 years ago) and one just a year or two newer was in the £50K plus range. I bought my brand new fully loaded S5 sportback for £43K, and then for about £2K more MRC gave it 480PS/585Nm. I know that most GT-Rs are a lot more powerful than that, but based on your description you confirm what I thought - a GT-R was not for me. My S5 is plenty fast enough for me and it also has comforts I like too - like rear doors!

Nose heavy and numb steering are both justified criticisms of Audis. The compensation is quattro, especially with sports diff. It's all a compromise.

If you have the time I suggest that you go to: https://www.audizine.com/forum/forumdisplay.php/163-B8-S4 it's mostly US-centric and they didn't get the avant, but there are a lot of discussions on modding and you'll get plenty of opinions about handling.
 

Simon

Registered User
a 2010 GTR would be a CBA, they were still testing the waters with those. from 2011 they got some revisions to the suspension which helped on UK roads and again in 2014, 16 and 17 onwards they got the EBA which was a bigger facelift and more suspension revisions.

£2k in the GTR would have taken it from 540 to around 600 or so bhp, the depreciation has been very kind to GTR's in 2014 I bought my 2011 DBA for £48.5k and would probably get high 30's for it now, but the current new price is north of £80k!

I am registered on Audizine so do read the threads on there just don't tend to post tbh...
 
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