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No, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen an Audi S4 B9 test mule out and about, but it is the first time it’s been snapped undisguised. Perhaps it was the new A4’s already revealed status or perhaps it was that the S4’s expected debut at the Frankfurt IAA is little over a week out that these Audi engineers didn’t see the need for the usual psychedelic vinyl wrap often associated with such mules.
How do we know it’s the new S4? Well, while much of the S line bodywork such as more aggressive front bumper and side sill blades have been retained as expected, the car also has a more aggressive rear diffusor with the trademark S-car quad round exhaust tips.
We also noticed a few other things. Unlike previous S4 models produced alongside S line variants, the S4 appears to get more ventilated inserts in the S4/S line front bumper’s intakes, complete with vertical air splitters that seem to hark to the current RS 6 and RS 7 models.
Interestingly, this car does not appear to have a larger and more aggressive trunk lid as did the B8 S4 sedan. That’s not critical to the engine testing this car is likely still completing, so it could be a measure to make it look less unassuming… or it could mean that the S4 will go for a subtler look this time around, or perhaps an add-on lip spoiler like the S3 sedan has and like we’ve seen on previous generations of S4.
Speaking of engine testing, we expect the S4 will mark the first appearance of a new 3.0-liter turbocharged engine. Displacement is influenced here by Chinese tax law, though we believe the move to turbos was a late decision as some of our sources had still been seeing the supercharged V6 for this car up until not too long ago. Still, expect with 3.0 turbo with hotter version to come in the RS 4 and RS 5.
Check out more photos from this set in our photo gallery archive linked below and also to the right of this story.