Every time I step on the gas in the Audi S4 TDI, the groundhog says hello. It nods to me and asks: What do you want with a battery-powered car when you enjoy this diesel so much and mercilessly demonstrate its qualities to you in all of the car tester criteria? Namely: sheer endless range, a euphoric acceleration thump and with all the dynamism a pronounced gas station phobia: The Audi S4 TDI offers everything your driver's heart desires. And even your environmental awareness will be satisfied with the strict Euro 6d emissions standard.
Battery mobilists will now shout “Halt!”, Driving an e-car is no less enjoyable and CO2 emissions of 0 grams are almost optimal. The argument about driving pleasure is unquestionably true. That with zero grams of CO2 is wrong, see below. The driving dynamics are only correct for the first few 100 meters because the maximum torque with the electric motor immediately jumps out of the speed cellar. But that's it then too. Always wanting to be dynamic on the move, the energy reserves of the battery shrink faster than the debiting of your account balance. Seriously: Hardly any electric car with a battery achieves the range promised in the brochure. I overtook many of them on the autobahn because they were driving below the recommended speed of 130 km / h to save battery life. That is perfectly reasonable, but in the Audi S4 TDI I don't have to worry about how far I can still get and how fast I can drive in order to take advantage of the optimum range. There are diesel pumps at every petrol station, and refueling takes only a few minutes.
Not only is fuel becoming more expensive, the price of electricity is also skyrocketing
But we don't really want to talk about e-mobility here, but about a top drive at the top of the motor vehicle food chain. No, I am not an opponent of battery cars. But I actually feel obliged to give the high-tech fuel diesel the honor it deserves and its engineers. I assume that the e-dynamic on the market will weaken as soon as the car buyers are no longer (have to be) convinced with high premiums, but have to pay the full price. The exorbitantly rising electricity prices will not exactly boost sales of pure e-models either.
"100 kilometers in an electric car for 13,80 euros in long-distance transport, less than 9 euros with the diesel: The development of charging current prices is endangering the energy transition on the road," warns the editor-in-chief of the renowned magazine for electric cars, "Edison". Let's ignore the economic side and turn to the ecological perspective: If we think critically about the fact that 40 percent of electricity in Germany is still generated with coal and oil, the CO2-Rucksack from battery production is significant, then the “climate” balance of the battery car consists only superficially of “green sustainability”. That the car companies advertise their e-models using the CO2- Specify emissions as 0 grams, significantly exceeds the obligation to the truth.
Diesel bashing is very unfair
It is the pure truth and nothing but the truth: My eyes water when I think about how badly the Diesel image is still being attacked today. The fraudulent defeat devices that simulated clean emissions on test benches using sophisticated software have long been history. Oxidation catalytic converter, diesel particle filter, exhaust gas recirculation, SCR catalytic converter with AdBlue injection make this V-6 three-liter engine a Euro 6d model boy. 341 hp and a maximum
Torque of 700 Newton meters between 1.750 and 3.250 revolutions make it clear what the developers have achieved here. The three-liter turbodiesel shows such a spontaneous power development when accelerating that it is a real pleasure. The intelligently controlled quattro drive and the 8-speed automatic transmission, which is very well matched to the engine character, add up to a driving experience that used to be only experienced in real sports cars. The standard value from standing to 100 km / h in 4,6 seconds is more than impressive. The sealed off 250 km / h are just the icing on the dynamic cake of the drive.
An electric compressor makes turbo lag obsolete
The fact that the Audi hangs so well on the gas and starts without the turbo lag that was common in the past is due, among other things, to an electrically driven compressor in the intake tract. Electrically powered, it shovels oxygen into the combustion chambers before the exhaust gases bring the turbo blades up to speed. The advance starts almost immediately and proves that the fine-tuning work on the diesel is still bringing more efficiency to light. It would be regrettable if Audi actually let the further development of the diesel fall asleep. Especially since he can even continue to live with the blessing of the traffic light coalition if he is with CO2-free e-fuel is operated. The aim is to stop combustion engines only affecting engines that run on fossil fuels. Audi is also working on the development of synthetic fuels and one day may be happy to be able to offer highly developed piston engines.
The accelerator decides the efficiency
Of course, we did not achieve the official consumption figures even with a cautious driving style. The combined consumption should be 6,9 liters. Our experience has always been between 7,5 and 8,5 liters. If we had driven even more sportily, we would certainly have exceeded the 9-liter mark. In fact, anticipatory driving is the best recipe for rarely having to go to a gas station. In this respect, the official values are only a vague guide to consumption. Ultimately, the foot on the accelerator pedal decides how efficiently and economically a vehicle is on the move.
We have already mentioned several times what else the S4 TDI has to offer. A wealth of driver assistants, the optional virtual cockpit, an ergonomically perfectly shaped dashboard design, the proverbial workmanship and a high-quality selection of materials. This time we were not satisfied with the traffic sign recognition, which worked extremely well in other Audi models. We are always enthusiastic about the predictive forecast: the A4 takes the gas off when it enters a 50 km / h zone or when a roundabout requires slower driving. The driver can also switch off this regulation, but in thoughtless moments it has prevented me from jumping into the Flensburg points card index several times. The choice between several driving programs from sporty to economical, a stiff or comfortable chassis as required; numerous systems are intelligently linked so that we could enjoy the optimal driving behavior at any time.
The latest version of the Audi S4 TDI sedan is a highly developed vehicle that offers everything your heart desires between comfort and sportiness. However, the S4 is not a cheap offer. The base price of 66.750 euros was clearly exceeded by almost 16.000 euros for our test car. The built-in optional equipment was definitely worth it. We would hardly have wanted to do without one.
Diesel will live on if we run on e-fuels
Why does Audi build such excellent diesels, even though the Volkswagen Group, and with it Audi, alone consider battery-powered e-mobility to be sustainable? However, we can delete the word “alone” because, as I said, Audi is also researching synthetic fuels. Our suggestion for goodness: The TDI with its wonderful 341 hp propellant in the Audi and CO2-free e-fuel in the tank. That would be our ideal of individual mobility without the nerve-wracking search for an e-charging station. Because the world will not live up to this idea for a while, we have to be content with the fossil burner and still note enthusiasm on the verge of euphoria. The fact that there are still more customers who prefer a combustion engine to a pure electric drive gives rise to hope that the time until e-fuels are ready for the market can be bridged.