Video Review: 2013 Audi S4 Manual – 6 Speed – Premium Plus

In the following video, we examine the 2013 Audi S4. This Audi S4 had a manual transmission, upgraded technology and a bit of magic known as a sport differential. The S4 ticks almost every box when it comes to a compact sports sedan; it’s fun to drive, and the ride is composed. Under the hood is 333hp of supercharged V6 that provides more force than the number might indicate.

When speaking about a $50,000+ sports sedan, it needs to be good in all categories. When you spend that kind of money for a small car the ride should be composed, it should handle better than the average econobox, power should be more than enough, interior comfort and styling should be far above average. In the following video, we do not include any of those categories. Why? This S4 was unique in that it has a manual transmission and the upgraded $1250 sport differential. As a result, we spent the day going through those two features in detail. The second reason we didn’t talk a bit about any other content is because we have purchased a 2014 Audi S4 Premium Plus with the dual-clutch transmission as a long-term test car. Stay tuned for a comprehensive review and deep dive into the newest member of the Autosavant garage.

Author: Kevin Gordon

Kevin is Autosavant's owner and Editor-in-Chief, responsible for setting the overall strategy and editorial direction of Autosavant. He's also the primary contributor to Autosavant's YouTube channel (youtube.com/autosavant) where you can find a comprehensive library of new-car reviews.

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9 Comments

  1. Great review. I’ve been waiting for someone to talk about a manual transmission 2014 S4.

    I have a 2014 S4 with manual transmission (no sport dif) on order. Cant wait.

    Quick question: I have only driven the S4 with an automatic transmission, which is where my question lies and is somewhat vain in nature. What I loved about the car was that exhaust note, especially in dynamic mode. More specifically that “fart” sound when upshifting and on power. My fear is that the manual wont have that sound or it may be less often. Does the manual still have that “fart” sound?

  2. Vincent, the manual will not make that noise. The only reason that the dual clutch version makes that noise is it retards throttle timing (and a few other things) while keeping the throttle open during shifts. The only manual cars that would have a chance of making this noise are the ones with a “no lift shift” function like the Camaro ZL1. While that noise is fun, you’ll still be happy with the sounds the car makes during throttle lift off/deceleration.

  3. Kevin, Thanks for the quick reply.

    Like you said that sound is really fun. Truth be told, that sound is what basically sold me and made me go with a car that is at the top of my budget.

    I’m sure when I get the car there will be be plenty of other things to keep me happy. Just a little bummed I guess; I thought I might be able to recreate it with some practice.

    On another note (pun intended): I know you mentioned modifications down the road. I myself plan to perform a stage 1 ECU flash. I am concerned with Audi warranty claims but the lure of substantial power gains without having to bolt on aftermarket products is too enticing. I have a few software vendors in mind. APR seems to be the front runner at this point. What plans to do you have for your S4. I look forward to more videos.

  4. Hey Kevin,

    I’ve had the 2014 S4 a month now; I figured I’d shoot you some quick impressions. The car delivers in so many ways. It is completely satisfying to drive. More so, it’s truly addicting and I find myself seeking opportunities to drive it over just normal daily use. Another addiction that I seemingly suffer from now is extracting more power from its willing and capable motor. In the one month I’ve owned the car, I’ve since done an APR Stage I ECU upgrade, an APR Stage II ECU upgrade and supercharger pulley upgrade. All told I am led to believe that the power is something in the area of 450 hp at the crank and from what I read, the latest generation Quattro only suffers from approx 12% power loss(?). Call it about 400 at the wheels. With seemingly little effort and relatively little investment the car has now transcended the segment and now competes with a different cast of characters. Simply put it’s a true beast now. Anyhow, like I said I thought I’d give you a quick update, while at the same time reminding you that, you mentioned you would continue to dive deeper into what its like to own the car day to day and more importantly, from my perspective; performance modifications. Looking forward to it.

  5. Hi, I have question about gear shifts in the manual, specifically the downshifts. Does S4 auto-blip the throttle like the 370z? I saw a few videos where it seems to be the case, seemingly perfect throttle blips, but I can’t find any concrete information about it online. I’ve only driven the automatic version as the dealer didn’t have any manuals available at the time, so I’m curious if this is the case.

  6. Hi Kevin,

    I pre-ordered the manual 2014 S4 to receive it in Aug’13. I have been driving it for 6 months now and I enjoy it. Like you have mentioned, I have found myself wanting to push it to the next level by chipping it. However since I am leasing, the payback for APR I&II and Pulley Upgrades to gain 70Hp for 3 years really did not make much ROI sense. So instead I just drive in Dynamic mode 100% of the time. (haha)

    My question is regarding the feature which prevent stalling upon releasing into 1st gear. It annoys me a bit because the vehicle can accelerate to 10-15 mph without my foot even being on the accelerator. So I must constantly brake just to exit my parking garage safely. Is there anyway to disable this automatic fool-proof feature?

  7. Waiting with bated breath for your long-term review of the 2014 Audi S4. Really enjoyed your initial, short-term review of the car with a 6-speed manual transmission and rear sport differential. Will the long-term review be on the same 6-speed manual, or on the 7-speed, S-Tronic version of the car? One curious thing I noticed about the EPA ratings of the two versions (6-speed manual vs. 7-speed S-Tronic) is that the auto transmission is slightly more fuel-efficient than the manual. It used to be a GIVEN that manuals were more fuel-efficient than automatics, but I guess times have changed. The situation may differ from one car to the next.

    Today’s auto gear boxes, at least Audi’s, seem to respond so quickly and seamlessly so as to make manual shifting an inefficient and laborious thing of the past. In other words, there’s nothing to be gained by having a 6-speed manual over a 7-speed S-tronic, except, perhaps, for the sheer visceral experience of doing everything yourself. Not so good in local, stop-and-go traffic.

    But what about the rest of the car…the overall, big picture with respect to the Audi S4? Obviously, there are many aspect to a car that go far beyond the simple 0-60 and braking distance benchmarks. In your opinion, is it superior, equal or inferior to, say, the BMW 3335ix? Does the engine eventually start to “burn oil” as many have complained with respect to the A4?

  8. Kevin: Are you doing anymore S4 content? It would be great to hear more about it from you.

  9. Kevin, I too am interested in your long term review of the S4. I’ve been driving my 2015 S4 6MT since early May and I have to say your comments earlier about your first month match my experience! I love this car and plan to hold on to it long enough to get the APR upgrades after warranty.

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