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Old 11th July 2012, 14:32   #31
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Default Re: Audi Launches S4 in India @ Rs. 45.31 lakhs

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Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
I'm not interested in 2 pedal cars for sporting work. About the only exception I can think of was at race tracks at some very difficult slow speed corners where I couldn't consistently nail the braking steering and shifting perfectly all at the same time. In those corners, it always felt like DCT/DSG was made by god for these corners. But, outside of that, for me, DCT/DSG is just a stupid automatic without the rubber band windup effect that torque converter equipped automatics have, which is a good thing on the move, and not so great in creep situations where the DCT's clutch slipping and engaging/disengaging isn't nearly as linear and consistent as the smooth take up of a torque converter.

All in all, for luxury cars and commuter cars in India, DCT/DSG is alright. For sporting cars, no way in hell.
Habir,

I agree with you on the infrastructure, but it seems like I'm just not able to understand what you've put across in bold. I think i might have misunderstood it or it just isn't clear enough for me.

The DSG you say is alright for luxury and commuter cars in India, but at the same time you say it's not good for creep situations, which I would imagine would be quite often in a place like India.

What do you mean by creep situations? I'm given to understand that it's to do with sudden braking from low or crawling speeds? Sudden change is speeds? Immediate reaction requirement? I don't quite understand.

In the same breath you say that DSG is good around corners where it is hard for you to nail the steering/cog-swap/pedal motion accurately thereby losing some time? And you also say "For sporting cars, no way in hell."

I'm not able to understand these bits.

Also, I agree with you when you say MT is always the way to go if you're an enthusiast. But when driving in India, the traffic and roads in general seem to favour the need for an AT. Not just a regular AT. Something that works with the driver for the benefit of thrill. You know, something that allows you to rev all the way up to the red-line and gives you command over changing gears.

I think it's pure convenience. If it's a daily-driver, I'd say a torque-converter/DSG AT with paddles will make sure you're not frustrated in traffic, and ensure that you get your fun.

But if it's a weekend car that you're considering, a manual is always the way to go!

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Originally Posted by Harbir View Post

In my view, the 295hp, the 300hp, the 310hp and the 333hp ratings are all marketing driven ratings for the same 333hp engine.
Are you sure about this? Does this mean that the S4's engine is identical to the A6's. But the A6's engine is mated to a TQ AT and the S4 gets going via a DSG. Also, is it possible that some engine components may be different? Some lighter perhaps? A different exhaust naturally and maybe a different air-box?
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Old 11th July 2012, 15:41   #32
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Default Re: Audi Launches S4 in India @ Rs. 45.31 lakhs

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Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post

The DSG you say is alright for luxury and commuter cars in India, but at the same time you say it's not good for creep situations, which I would imagine would be quite often in a place like India.

What do you mean by creep situations?
By creep I mean when you want to move the car mere inches, such as when maneuvering into a parking space, that gray zone between completely stopped and freely moving, particularly if there is an obstacle the tyres have to traverse (say a slope or the edge of a low sidewalk). This is a zone of clutch slippage. Where conventional automatic can just absorb the non-linearity in resistance and throttle into the rubber band like torque converter, and the driver of a manual transmission car can feather and finesse the clutch as he feels necessary, DSG/DCT transmissions clearly show the confusion the electronics face they try to finesse the clutch without being able to perfectly predict how you will respond on the throttle to the movement of the car your brain perceives. (this is why true off roaders still have not received DCT/DSG transmissions).


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In the same breath you say that DSG is good around corners where it is hard for you to nail the steering/cog-swap/pedal motion accurately thereby losing some time? And you also say "For sporting cars, no way in hell."
THe mistake is mine for not being clear. If the objective is to nail the most consistent lap times, DCT is the best transmission there is. However, if the driver wishes to the maximum pleasure of driving a car, which essentially includes the experience of the mechanical management of the driveline and its effects on the chassis, the 3 pedal manual transmission is best because the DCT/DSG isolates the driver nearly completely from the mechanical heart and soul of the car. There are almost no DCT/DSG cars that are faster when driven by the driver shifting himself rather than letting the car do it, and on the road, DCTs quickly make apparent that there is little pleasure, reward or feedback in shifting for yourself using the switches. For a typical enthusiast driver, where a manual transmission with a clutch pedal can please the driver virtually all the time, the DCT/DSG can do so only under certain circumstances where when the circumstances and speed coincide to actually allow the driver to nail, shift after shift, the right time and the right gear selection, which in my experience is in fact quite rare. Typically, its best to just put the DCT/DSG in sport mode and let it shift for itself.

When I mention the difficult corners where I DCT seemed desirable to me, I was wanting a DCT to cover up my own insufficiency as a driver. But I would prefer to learn to drive better so I can in fact do the braking/shifting/steering properly instead of just letting an electronic brain do the job for me.

lots of people have been seduced by the idea that the DCT is a luxury convenience during the week and a manual like pleasure on the weekend, but in fact, it doesn't work like that and there is still no magic solution that will let you have both pleasures in one car without serious dilution of either pleasure.

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Also, I agree with you when you say MT is always the way to go if you're an enthusiast. But when driving in India, the traffic and roads in general seem to favour the need for an AT. Not just a regular AT. Something that works with the driver for the benefit of thrill. You know, something that allows you to rev all the way up to the red-line and gives you command over changing gears.

I think it's pure convenience. If it's a daily-driver, I'd say a torque-converter/DSG AT with paddles will make sure you're not frustrated in traffic, and ensure that you get your fun.

But if it's a weekend car that you're considering, a manual is always the way to go!
My view is that road conditions in India are so poor that sporting manual transmission cars are mostly a waste in India for most people. I believe that people should buy cars that are suited to the conditions here, which always favors isolation and luxury to sporting performance. but if you are buying a car that is one of the absolute greatest examples of sporting car, then you ought to buy it in its optimal form and enjoy that form when and where you can, and accept the trouble when you can't. If that is not a compromize you're willing to make, then why accept other compromises that the sporting car comes with, such as hard ride, cramped interiors, etc?

I see no reason for me to buy an S4 unless I can enjoy it to the max. but I am a purist. most people are not. most people are mentally healthy enough to make compromises. I have trouble with that perfectly normal human behaviour.

If I can't have a great drivers car with a manual box, I certainly will not settle for a DCT. I'd rather just keep waiting till a car I like is offered with a manual box. I am starting to think that if I want a manual transmission 3 series, I am going to have to buy an automatic and convert it myself. An E90 330i with 3 pedals would be just what the doctor ordered.

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Old 11th July 2012, 18:10   #33
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Default Re: Audi Launches S4 in India @ Rs. 45.31 lakhs

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Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
By creep I mean when you want to move the car mere inches,...

...l respond on the throttle to the movement of the car your brain perceives. (this is why true off roaders still have not received DCT/DSG transmissions).
Pretty much what I assumed.

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Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
lots of people have been seduced by the idea that the DCT is a luxury convenience during the week and a manual like pleasure on the weekend, but in fact, it doesn't work like that and there is still no magic solution that will let you have both pleasures in one car without serious dilution of either pleasure.
That's obvious. I mean, you will never be able to enjoy a manual-transmission (i.e. the joy of shifting gear by engaging the clutch. What I'm saying is, you get both worlds. It's certainly better than a regular AT, isn't it? It perhaps isn't as 'involving' as a manual but it's not like it's completely devoid of fun either.

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Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
My view is that road conditions in India are so poor that sporting manual transmission cars are mostly a waste in India for most people. I believe that people should buy cars that are suited to the conditions here, which always favors isolation and luxury to sporting performance. but if you are buying a car that is one of the absolute greatest examples of sporting car, then you ought to buy it in its optimal form and enjoy that form when and where you can, and accept the trouble when you can't. If that is not a compromize you're willing to make, then why accept other compromises that the sporting car comes with, such as hard ride, cramped interiors, etc?
Well, for one thing sports-car manufacturers avoid selling cars with proper manuals citing expensive clutch-repair/replacement bills. These clutches are expensive and often fry quickly if used in stop-go driving/traffic conditions like what we have in India.

Also, these sports-cars are almost certainly bought mostly by people who WANT automatic trannys. And that's because most of them aren't purists. They're satisfied by the rush they get from a powerful engine and are delighted by a gearbox that's clever and gives them convenience and a spot of fun when they desire.

And this is sufficient for them. There is a bigger market for automatics than manuals, when the cars in question are expensive and 'niche'.

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Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
If I can't have a great drivers car with a manual box, I certainly will not settle for a DCT. I'd rather just keep waiting till a car I like is offered with a manual box. I am starting to think that if I want a manual transmission 3 series, I am going to have to buy an automatic and convert it myself. An E90 330i with 3 pedals would be just what the doctor ordered.
Well, then I'm sorry to burst your bubble Habir, but there will come a time when we might not see MTs anymore. Companies are slowly leaning towards automatics and I'm sure there will come a time when well-engineered ATs would eradicate manuals.

You already see it happening with Audi, Lamborghini, Ferrari and unfortunately, Porsche looks like they'd be taking the same route in the future. Converting a complicated AT into an MT is just not the answer. There may be so many reliability issues to deal with, not to mention the electronic-trickery, voiding warranty, etc.

What I'm trying to say is, purists can keep crying from roof-tops but we have to come to terms with the fact that technology is changing the way we drive in cities, on highways, around race-tracks et al. And as much as I hate to admit it, this technology is designed to make life and driving more efficient, greener and easier in the long run.

20 years back, we had air-cooled Porsches and the purists shouted from balconies when they switched to water-cooling with the arrival of the 996 type 911. Whatever said and done, it has benefited the brand and its customers in the long run.

I'm an ardent fan of manual-gearboxes don't get me wrong. It pains me to see them slowly losing their popularity. But it's just going to make way for newer things. It may not seem better in the face of it, but I think human-kind and enthusiasts can live with it.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 11th July 2012 at 18:12.
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Old 11th July 2012, 18:15   #34
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Default Re: Audi Launches S4 in India @ Rs. 45.31 lakhs

we're all free to make our own choices. I drove a 1993 MX-5 in delhi a few months ago and it was the most fun I've had in any car in close to 3 years. It IS possible to have a tremendous amount of fun in this country if one has the right sort of car. I'll hold out for the sort of car I can have the most fun in.

For me DSG equipped sporting cars are out of the question. You can choose whatever car serves your needs best. I was called to explain my views, and I did that. I did not at any point say that other people should accept my preferences as any sort of universal truth.

You want to drive an automatic sporting car because you think the flappy paddles are adequate for fun on the weekends, you go right ahead.

as far as the future goes, in time, we'll all be driving boring electric cars. and then we won't be driving at all because cars will drive themselves. and in time we'll all be dead. Enjoy what you can while you can and don't worry too much about the impending future that will destroy what you can enjoy today.

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Old 11th July 2012, 18:25   #35
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Default Re: Audi Launches S4 in India @ Rs. 45.31 lakhs

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Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
we're all free to make our own choices. I drove a 1993 MX-5 in delhi a few months ago and it was the most fun I've had in any car in close to 3 years. It IS possible to have a tremendous amount of fun in this country if one has the right sort of car. I'll hold out for the sort of car I can have the most fun in.

For me DSG equipped sporting cars are out of the question. You can choose whatever car serves your needs best. I was called to explain my views, and I did that. I did not at any point say that other people should accept my preferences as any sort of universal truth.

You want to drive an automatic sporting car because you think the flappy paddles are adequate for fun on the weekends, you go right ahead.
I'm just trying to look at it from other perspectives, i.e. living with a product.

You're completely entitled to your views and in no way am I forcing mine on you. As you can see from the general tone in my post, there is no shoving so I hope I'm not misunderstood.

If I buy an enthusiast car for the weekend, it will undoubtedly be a manual. No question about it! But if I'm buying an enthusiast's car for daily driving, I'd seriously consider the AT option if it has one because as much as I like driving a stick-shift, I don't want to be spending a lot of money on clutch repair and sessions with my physiotherapist for a sore left leg and left arm.

City driving stresses you out and in a sports-car I'm sure, you're constantly worried about who's coming close to your baby. You're constantly worried if you'd clear that enormous speed-breaker or that crest on the road. With an AT, I'd rather have one less thing to worry about.

This is of course ONLY if I'm going to use it as a daily-drive.**

Getting back to the topic, I think the S4 is a great piece of kit. It IS an enthusiast's car. It has 4 doors and 4 seats and a comfortable AT so it's a great car to drive on a daily basis. But when you want that seat-of-the-pants feel, it will deliver.

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Old 11th July 2012, 18:30   #36
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I'd buy a swift dzire automatic to get around town on weekdays and blow my money on a sporting car that does everything I want, one that is not compromized by the mundane concerns of mere transport.

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But when you want that seat-of-the-pants feel, it will deliver.
No DCT/DSG car I have ever driven has delivered the feel of driving a car that I expect. not even 911s, caymans and M3s. They all drive like automatics with an insignificantly improved level of shift control.

Thats my view. As they say, your mileage may vary.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 11th July 2012 at 19:33. Reason: Merged, as requested :)
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Old 11th July 2012, 19:58   #37
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Default Re: Audi Launches S4 in India @ Rs. 45.31 lakhs

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If I can't have a great drivers car with a manual box, I certainly will not settle for a DCT. I'd rather just keep waiting till a car I like is offered with a manual box. I am starting to think that if I want a manual transmission 3 series, I am going to have to buy an automatic and convert it myself. An E90 330i with 3 pedals would be just what the doctor ordered.
OT -Are you actually considering an E90 330i MT conversion? It won't be that hard, just maybe a bit expensive. And I'm sure you can get a mildly used 330i at a good price.

And I know VAG does underquote the power of their engines, be it TSI or TDI or TFSI, but I think they actually might have tuned the 3.0t differently for the different applications. I find it a bit hard to believe that the 3.0t in the normal A4 at 270bhp actually puts out the same power as the S4 at 333bhp.
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Old 11th July 2012, 20:13   #38
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immediately, no. eventually, yes. Between my dad's A6 and my new Pajero, both paid fully out of pocket, we're a bit drained right now. However, I want to own a manual trans 3er with with the SP spec chassis tune. With the new F30 having joined the BMW drift away from "ultimate driving machine" and lost the magic steering that defines what the BMW chassis magic used to be. With there no official 3 pedal E90s offered in India and the F30 imminent, it is clear that if I want a good 3er with 3 pedals, i'll have to do the conversion on an E90 myself, unless I come across a good 3 pedal E90 or earlier at time when I am ready to buy

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I find it a bit hard to believe that the 3.0t in the normal A4 at 270bhp actually puts out the same power as the S4 at 333bhp.
The a4 3.0 rated at 265ps is not supercharged. It is a 3.0 FSI, not TFSI.

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Old 11th July 2012, 22:19   #39
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Default Re: Audi Launches S4 in India @ Rs. 45.31 lakhs

There's quite a few E46 and E90 imports that are MTs. A bonus is that they tend to be coupes

Regarding manuals, I am happy to learn that Chevrolet is going against the tide and promoting them to young buyers.

MediaPost Publications Chevy Sonic Takes The Stick To College 06/08/2012
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Old 11th July 2012, 23:21   #40
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Default Re: Audi Launches S4 in India @ Rs. 45.31 lakhs

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Habir,
Are you sure about this? Does this mean that the S4's engine is identical to the A6's. But the A6's engine is mated to a TQ AT and the S4 gets going via a DSG. Also, is it possible that some engine components may be different? Some lighter perhaps? A different exhaust naturally and maybe a different air-box?

The S4's engine block IS identical to that of the A6 and to repeat myself they are infact in a different state of tune. The S lineage of cars would not be in the same state of tune as a normal A4/A6 would.
333ps isnt a huge step up from 300ps in the first place considering the torque is nearly identical but the difference in size ,weight ,advancement in the Audi spaceframe (even more generous use of aluminum etc) is where the real difference lies.
About some components being lighter please understand that with every new facelift or update , these cars would only get lighter with better packaging inside the engine bay and better use of light weight components. Best example being - the NEW A6 3.0 TDi has the same engine as my car but it is around 22 kg lighter as a result of which the current A6 3.0 TDi is as quick as my car inspite of being bigger ,wider.
The 0.4/0.5 sec difference seen in the A6 3.0T & the S4 (to the ton) comes down to outright power, weight difference, dual clutch vs single etc.
An S monikered Audi will always necessarily have more sporty orientations compared to its A siblings.

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Old 12th July 2012, 00:56   #41
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The S4's engine block IS identical to that of the A6 and to repeat myself they are infact in a different state of tune. The S lineage of cars would not be in the same state of tune as a normal A4/A6 would...


...The 0.4/0.5 sec difference seen in the A6 3.0T & the S4 (to the ton) comes down to outright power, weight difference, dual clutch vs single etc.
An S monikered Audi will always necessarily have more sporty orientations compared to its A siblings.
Tell me something I don't know, PT.

I'm completely aware of the fact that they're in a different state of tune. It's as obvious as it can be. I also knew they were similar. But that's just the block we are talking about. The entire engine can never be identical. There will be minor differences. And I'm completely aware of how technology takes forward 'the car'.

Now when someone says two engines (the A6's and the S4's) are identical, it can't be true. Sure the block is the same, but c'mon. There are so many differences, like how the power is put down on to the road.

There is no denying that VAG share engines. It's a common fact.

I hope you understand what I was trying to convey.
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Old 12th July 2012, 01:10   #42
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The a4 3.0 rated at 265ps is not supercharged. It is a 3.0 FSI, not TFSI.
You were talking about the 3.2 fsi which was replaced for the 3.0t a year ago. That is rated at 270 or 275ps and is supercharged.
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Old 12th July 2012, 03:13   #43
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Default Re: Audi Launches S4 in India @ Rs. 45.31 lakhs

Yet another thread dives into the never ending manual v/s automatic debate ! Guys, lets just say it's purely a personal choice and get back to the topic !

Audi has not mentioned much about the features that will come standard on the S4. Have bookings begun?
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Old 12th July 2012, 06:16   #44
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You were talking about the 3.2 fsi which was replaced for the 3.0t a year ago. That is rated at 270 or 275ps and is supercharged.
I have been unable to find information on the A4 3.0T. It does not appear on the Audi US, Audi UK or Audi India websites. I don't know of any such model existing. Do you have more information?

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The 0.4/0.5 sec difference seen in the A6 3.0T & the S4 (to the ton) comes down to outright power, weight difference, dual clutch vs single etc.
the difference to 60mph (96km/h) is just 0.2 seconds. The difference in the quartermile is just 0.3 seconds. If the S4 already has the advantage of lower weight and manual vs torque converter automatic (NOT A DSG in the test car!), and it also has ~40hp more, there should be a much larger difference than 0.2 seconds in the 0-60mph or 0.3 in the quarter.

Also, powerful engines tend to LOSE power when fitted to smaller cars because there is less space to make the most efficient routing for the intakes, intercooling, and exhausting. Certainly, it is likely that the exhaust system and the intake system of the A6 and S4 are slightly different. Different enough to cause a ~40hp loss? I don't believe it.

I could of course be very wrong. to me the measure performance does not show a 40hp difference on top of the weight and transmission advantage. but that doesn't mean there isn't one. I am just not buying audi's claim. the argument that its an S model and so MUST in fact be more powerful doesn't wash with me. Now if somebody can dig up actual information on what is different, or shows dyno charts that show that the engines are making differing levels of power, I will be happy to eat crow and admit that I was wrong.

EDIT: I just found out that the A8 will be offered in the US in 2013 with the 3.0T, rated at 333hp. So there it atleast one non S model that will be carrying an engine identical in spec to an S model. If there are differences, such as boost levels or breathing efficiency, it should be easy to find references on the internet. Its like the 525D and 530D. These cars have IDENTICAL engines, except for the ECU programming in the 525D restricts boost and fueling to keep the performance lower than the 530D. Or the two variants of the A6 3.0TDI. One is rated 245ps, the other is rated 313ps. The differences in these engines are easy to find on the internet.

I have not found any information on what is different between the 290, 295, 300, 310, and 333hp rated versions of the 3.0T. If somebody can find information that proves that these are infact true ratings and not marketing pap for the same 333hp, I'd be glad.

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Old 12th July 2012, 08:08   #45
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Default Re: Audi Launches S4 in India @ Rs. 45.31 lakhs

OK, further research shows that the german website does list a 200kw (268hp) 3.0T.

Naturally, I cannot contend that the 268hp rated engine in this car is in the same state of tune as the 333hp in the S4.

However, I remain convinced that the engine in the A6 3.0T is essentially the same as the one in the S4 for reasons I have already shared (1. performance difference is too small. 2. There is no data to be found on what the actual differences are) But I am happy to keep an open mind and be shown otherwise.
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