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s4dreamer

R32 - First impressions

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Picked up my R32 from Exeter yesterday and had a 240 mile drive home smile.gif.

Traded in our old V6 4-motion for the new car, so my first impressions are largely based on the differences between the 4-motion and the R32.

Firstly then, the looks:

Both cars are 5-door and black, so the bodywork differences are quite subtle changes when viewed from the side - wider side-skirts and a deeper front valance. However, the wider sills do add quite a lot of impact, strangely enough. It's the wheels that make the biggest visual difference though - only 16" on the 4-mo and 18" on the R32. I've no idea how I'll wash them, but they do look luverly and a good match for the car.

From the front, the difference between the two cars is most noticable - the very deep front valance and spoiler set the car apart from the 4-motion, and indeed the Anniversary GTI. It definitely gives the car a more aggresive appearance - perhaps a little close to being "Max Power'ed", but not quite smile.gif

From the rear, the first things you notice are those massive "drain-pipe" exhausts. The rear roof spoiler is very subtle, and whilst adding to the overall look of the car, does not take it too far.

Inside, there are some obvious striking differences. Aluminium trim around the centre console and door trim - looks superb and far, far better than the fake wood trim in the 4-mo. My wife approved of this as well.

But it's the seats which are most visually outstanding, with their bigger thigh bolsters and the huge side bolsters, they really look the part of a performance car. Not only that, but they are extremely supportive and almost comfortable smile.gif

In the rear, it's more of a bench seat, which I found surprising. I sat in briefly, and didn't find them that comfortable. Not only that, but the rear seets don't really offer any side support at all. So, if you want to throw the car around, don't do it with rear seat passengers. That said, the kids said it was comfortable in the back.

On the comfort front, although the front seats are extremely supportive, after a 4 hour drive, I was quite stiff when I got out - particularly my left shoulder and both legs. Whilst I suspect the shoulder problem was because I didn't have the seat rake set quite right, I'm pretty sure the leg stiffness was because there is no extending seat squab like in the A4 sports seats to support the backs of my legs. As a comparison, I drove to Cornwall last summer in the A4, taking around 5 hours, and got out with no stiffness at all.

Driving...

The first thing you notice when you start the engine is that deep rumble from the 3.2. This is actually quite a lot louder than the 4-mo, which you can barely hear when the engine is idling. I assume that this is because of the exhaust system. It does sound rather nice though, and doesn't seem to have that edgy rasp that the 2.8 has when revved (which I didn't like).

As I drove out of the dealers, it was immediately noticeable that the steering is much improved over the 4-mo - even on those huge 18" alloys. Turn-in, even at low speed, is much more positive. Point it where you want to go and plant the "go" pedal smile.gif

The suspension is much stiffer than the 4-mo, but having said that, it isn't harsh. Whilst you feel bumps more, this could be because the tyres are much lower profile than the (16") 4-mo.

But the engine is the true revelation. A slight touch of the throttle and you surge forward, and before you know it you're over the speed limit.

Around town, it is very comfortable and easy to drive, which I was quite surprised about. I'd heard some stories about it being difficult in 1st, and whilst I did have a kangaroo hop after filling up (with Optimax wink.gif) at the services, it was a one-off. Let's hope my wife copes okay smile.gif

On the open road, the car handles like a dream. Very flat and poised on the motorway, but it's the engine which makes it worthwhile. Press the accelerator slightly at 70 and the needle gently pushes up toward 80. However, press it some more and 80 comes rushing up grin.gif. But that's not the end of it - you can really feel the engine urging you on "push me, push me". It just wants to go and go. It was all so effortless and without any sense of stress as in some cars. The torque difference between the R32 and 4-mo is considerable and very noticeable. Whilst the R32 can't match my tractor for torque, it makes up for it by being lighter and being able to deliver the available torque over a wider range.

On the downside, as many have mentioned before me, the exhaust is boomy between around 2200rpm and 2800rpm. It's only when the engine is under load, but it does get tiring if you are having to drive at around 60mph on the motorway. I'm quite puzzled by this noise as it's obviously resonance rather than the natural sound of the exhaust, but I can't imagine why the VW engineers would set it up like that. I know some of you like it, but to me it's an annoying "boom" rather than something which should relay the character of the engine to you. If you want to know what it should sound like, take a drive in the 4.2 S4! Anyway, we'll see how it goes as the engine loosens, and how annoying it is for my wife, who'll drive the car as much as me, before attempting to do anything about it.

Also, on the way home, the traction control light came on whilst I was going up the (wet) ramp from the M5 onto the M42. Unfortunately, it stayed on for the rest of the journey home. Something which I'm not too happy about. I'm hoping it was a one-off glitch - we'll see.

Overall though, I'm very happy with the car and look forward to putting it through its paces on the twisties through North Derbyshire.

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Good review - I thoroughly agree with you about the exhaust, and am considering changing mine to see if it improves this as most of my driving is done with this resonance droning through the car.

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I'll have the Miltek fitted this time next week, so will let you all know what difference it makes to the booming (which I am gradually getting a bit tired of!)

beerchug.gif

JT

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Yeah it is just too loud isnt it... I actually dont mind the sound as a driver (actually quite like it UHOH7.GIF), but i hate the fact that when you drive through town everyone stares at you. I know it has something to do with it being such a cool car but the sound is what makes the majoroty turn around in the first place. With the miltek, i recon it will be fairly quiet in low reves, then creep louder up further down the range, making it more of stealth machine for round town...

Good review S4 and glad to see you enjoy the car...ass it is hard not too wink.gifbeerchug.gif

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I also made the transition from a 4Mo and your comparisson is spot-on. I've have mine for three weeks now and I love it, the 4Mo is a great car but the R32 is on another level and just makes me grin like an idiot all the time laugh.gif

I have had the traction light "stick" on once but a reset (turn the ignition off!) cured it and it has never come back. I've triggered the traction a few times since and its been ok. I just hope it stays that way.

Once you get some miles on the car you can feel it start to loosen up. Something happend to mine at 600 miles - the fuel consumption has got better and it just wants rev and pull hard FIREdevil.gif

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so trev... after selling me your build slot you finally decided it was the way forwards?!?! (sorry i don't read as much as i should!!) so what made you change your mind?

glad your generally finding the joy with it anyhow smile.gif

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Nick, I saw one in the "flesh" as it were at our local VW dealers when I was picking the wife's 4-mo up after a service. Thought it looked the dogs, so I went home and chatted to her about it.

Don't know how we got onto it, but she suggested that as I work from home, we could just have one car. Good plan, I thought wink.gif

I would have preferred the 4.2 S4 Avant, but she wasn't comfortable about parking such a big car in Sheffield, so we went with the next best thing - the R32. I'm afraid the A3 3.2 was a none-contender as it got a bit of a bad write up in a review I read, only comes in the two-door variety and cost a shed-load more.

We'll see how it goes with the one car family thing, and maybe pick up a used S4 this time next year if finances allow.

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[ QUOTE ]

I also made the transition from a 4Mo and your comparisson is spot-on. I've have mine for three weeks now and I love it, the 4Mo is a great car but the R32 is on another level and just makes me grin like an idiot all the time laugh.gif

I have had the traction light "stick" on once but a reset (turn the ignition off!) cured it and it has never come back. I've triggered the traction a few times since and its been ok. I just hope it stays that way.

Once you get some miles on the car you can feel it start to loosen up. Something happend to mine at 600 miles - the fuel consumption has got better and it just wants rev and pull hard FIREdevil.gif

[/ QUOTE ]

Glad to hear it's not just me with the traction control light, and I'm kinda glad fuel economy improves as I only got 27mpg on that 240 mile journey, compared with nearly 30 in the 4-mo on the way down (this is with 2 adults, 2 kids and overnight luggage, BTW). And I was very light-footed on the way back.

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[quote

Glad to hear it's not just me with the traction control light, and I'm kinda glad fuel economy improves as I only got 27mpg on that 240 mile journey, compared with nearly 30 in the 4-mo on the way down (this is with 2 adults, 2 kids and overnight luggage, BTW). And I was very light-footed on the way back.

[/ QUOTE ]

Generally I find the fuel consumption is about 10% down on the 4Mo. 27mpg is pretty good, you must have been very gentle with your right foot.

One other thing, it goes a lot better on Optimax, it hates regular unleaded. That new BP ultimate seems pretty good too.

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Very lucky on 27mpg. I have to try hard to keep mine over 20. With 22 i am very happy, and anything more is phonominal. With hard driving down my faverate twisties, i am unfortunatly looking at around 14mpg. I still belive the remap has improved econermy (yet i dont know how, more power means more fuel used smashfreakB.gif)and made the car alot lot better. I highly recomend it espehally if you feel the car lacks that bit of grunt??? Hard for you to know yet i suppose. You really need at least 6000 miles on the clock before the car fully frees up and can really show you what it has. If you start to feel the car has a bit of lag in lower reves then get the remap. I have posted some charts here...

84956-bhp.JPG

84958-lbs.JPG

Cheers for letting me ramble beerchug.gif

And yes optimax is a must, which can not be stressed enough. I was once told that running on 95 ron can reduce 50bhp from the car. At the time of course i thought it was a pile of dung.gif, but then after switching to the max, after a few tanks the car had 40% imporved perfomance wise... (still dont know about that 50bhp though???)

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My av erage since I got the car is showing ont he DIS is over 26mpg, my usual journeys return 32mpg - just to and from the station at the moment kill the consumption.

At the weekend I did MK-Cambridge - Cromer - Hunstanton (all country roads) - peterborough - MK and averages 29.8 so cant complain.

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Do you think there could be something wrong with my car... or just my foot yelrotflmao.gif

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Thanks for posting those graphs.

Very intresting to see a plot of the standard power curve.

I've always found the power to be lacking (coming from a chipped turbo Anni Gti) in the R32, and have tried to convince myself that it is indeed just as fast as my old Turbo.

However a brief trip in my friends simarly chipped up Anni convinced me that his car would waste me in a straight line.

Proof to me that the R32 is slower that my previous car most of the time, is in those graphs.

Looking at the everyday rev range of 3-4k revs, the R32 produces a mere 130-160bhp, and only making over 200bhp well up in the rev range. I think that it's this lack of punch from 3-4k that makes it a totally different beast to drive on a day to day basis. And in some ways, makes it feel alot slower.

Still that AMD remap does, on paper, redeem some of the loss to a turbo car..

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[ QUOTE ]

Generally I find the fuel consumption is about 10% down on the 4Mo. 27mpg is pretty good, you must have been very gentle with your right foot.

One other thing, it goes a lot better on Optimax, it hates regular unleaded. That new BP ultimate seems pretty good too.

[/ QUOTE ]

Yeah, we were doing a steady 80 most of the way back, plus some sections (M42 & M1) of 50-ish, which boosted it. It'll be interesting to see what my wife averages over the school runs - she normally got around 20mpg out of a tank in the 4-mo shocked.gif

I filled up with Optimax on the way up the M5 (84.9p/l shocked.gif), but I think the missus will be filling up at Sainsbury's in the next week or so frown.gif - We don't have a Shell station nearby, and even the local BP station doesn't sell Ultimate frown.gif

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[ QUOTE ]

My av erage since I got the car is showing ont he DIS is over 26mpg, my usual journeys return 32mpg - just to and from the station at the moment kill the consumption.

At the weekend I did MK-Cambridge - Cromer - Hunstanton (all country roads) - peterborough - MK and averages 29.8 so cant complain.

[/ QUOTE ]

Are you sure you're not driving a TDI lol.gif

I don't think I've ever seen 32 in the average consumption display.

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Just drove home from the office, Ave Speed = 62mph, Ave mpg = 27.7.

Had a burst along A4 / M4, bar that just cruisin along in 6th. Quite easy really.

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[ QUOTE ]

Are you sure you're not driving a TDI lol.gif

[/ QUOTE ]

No TDi - althogh best seen is actually over 37mpg.

Drive it careful and you will be suprised - i can usually get over 30 tho on any journeys over a couple of miles.

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No but let me set the scene - flat cap, tweed jacket, pipe and slippers - you getting the picture - I make your average sunday driver look fast on many occasions!!!!

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Back for the the dead for no reason whatsoever!!!

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Back for the the dead for no reason whatsoever!!!

What, this thread or you after you Euro trip...? :P

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