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Lurker tries to post again (who was that masked man?....)
Just bought a new (to me) '92 S4, Tornado Red, 48,000 mi. My last Audi --
ten years ago -- was a 5k diesel: some difference!
Initial impressions after 4k miles: Runs STRONG. With three guys aboard
and four kayaks on the roof charged up and down the White Mountains in NH at
warp speed. Quiet, comfortable, and relaxed at indecent speeds on
indifferent roads. IMHO all this technology is Very impressive (until it
Picked up a guy on a shuttle run to the top of the Swift River, steep
mountain road (gorgeous Kancamangus Highway). Gave him the 2nd gear windup
to redline. "What kind of car IS this, anyway?" he says, "feels like some
kind of rocket ship." Fortunately for the racoon population, it also stops,
and handles. The little kamikazee b##trds were out in force, mostly around
blind corners. Love the traction: went right thru the snow closing Bear
Notch pass. Getting 25mpg highway, with kayaks on top, but only 17-18
around town (my foot is in it: new car joy!).
Likes: Effortless power (my old Saab Turbos always felt like they were
working at it, and my SHO was only good from 4,000 rpm+). Room for my wife,
kids AND the 90lb dog. Short turning radius (34 feet, about the same as an
MGB!). Feels solid, you always know where it is. Unobtrusive (except for
the "Hello Officer!" Tornado Red). Good for surprising "M" cars. Real fun
to keep on boost if you could only find the roads on which to do it.
Dislikes: Black leather, too dark and slippery. Sports seats a bit narrow
for the broad-of-beam (no, I don't mean *you*, dear!). Has 225/50-16
Goodyear Eagle GT+4's that I hated on my SHO: they're slippery when wet,
especially when worn. Steering a bit numb, but certainly direct. People
who ask "What's an S4? Oh, you mean that cute little "A4" Audi?" Ride is a
bit jiggly, but it's the price you pay... Maybe new tires will improve?
Problems: No real problems, yet -- say a prayer to God of Audi.
Multifunction guage (OK + warning messages + radio readout) will sometimes
light up with total hash (especially when cold <50 degrees). Any remedies
out there? Also, appears that the headlight washers don't fully seat after
they deploy. Is this normal?
Upgrades: Pending feedback, I'm looking at wheels/tires to start with. I
see lots of listers using Dunlops to good effect. Most of my driving is
around narrow New England roads, punctuated by interstates. Any
recommendations for summer tires? I'll use 4 snows in the winter. What size
steel wheels should I fit for winter?
2) Also interested in the usual engine upgrades (intake, chip, exhaust).
I'm sure everyone but me knows everything there is to know about tuning the
turbo five! I've been scanning the back lists, but would like user feedback
on chips, etc. for street use: this means winters! Certainly the
"overboost" turbo mode seems to be getting the most out of the 2.2 liters.
I've seen 2.1 bar indicated, with superpremium gas.
3) Brakes seem quite strong, at what point should I begin to worry about
capacity? I don't drive fast that often, but I do drive loaded with bodies.
I don't race, but I do mountains: Is fade an issue?
Probably too many ideas for one posting, sorry to abuse bandwidth, but all
"Remember, kayak is kayak spelled backwards"
'92 S4 (mine)
'95 Saab Turbo Conv (hers)
'91 Sentra SE-R (theirs)
'61 Alfa Giulietta Veloce Spider (ours)