In Reply to: M3/4 vs. S4? (Longish, and PLEASE no flames!) posted by Steve on October 19, 1999 at 22:38:42:
I agree with most of what Bjorn says, except:
1. S4 was faster than the M3 in C&D, but they have idential 5-60 speeds so I bet they're about equal.
2. For day-to-day driving S4 will be faster b/c it has lower peak torque with the quattro soaking up small road perfections. Peak torque (258 ft-lbs) is at 1850 RPMs! As a result, the S4 does 0-30 in 1.8 seconds!!!
3. In the rain, traction control takes away power to keep you from slipping. Quattro adds power! The S4 will leave the M3 way, way behind......
4. The BMW is a better handling car hands down! It's lighter, RWD, and has a 50-50 balance, so it's a "purer" sports car. Although...while the M3 corners significantly better, you can get back on the gas faster with the S4 because of the traction of quattro.
5. You hear the engine on the M3 more and it sounds pretty dang cool! Although the S4's twin turbos sound cool as well...........
6. I think the S4 has the edge in luxury (M3's steering wheel doesn't even telescope, doesn't have xenons, nav?, etc.). Most auto rags state that Audi now exceeds BMW in fit and finish.
I agree with Bjorn, the S4 is a much more modern looking car. Although I think the 328Ci is slightly better looking than the S4.
Audi cabins just look more luxurious than BMWs overall. While the 3 series cabins are getting better, they still look kind of plasticky, IMO. I've sat both in a 2000 328Ci (which I seriously considered buying) and in a 2000 S4. The S4's cabin wins hands down.
7. You can tune (just add an ECU chip) an S4 to 325 hp or more for under 1K!
In sum, I would say that the S4 and most other Audis (except the TT) are more about luxury/sport, while the M3 and most BMWs are about sport/luxury.
It depends on what you want. Apples and oranges!