The S4 sure looks sharp, with those flat-spoke wheels and creased fender flares, but it doesn’t give much external indication that it’s one of the first smaller sport sedans to pack a V8 under the hood. Since most of its competitors have forced-induction fours or plain sixes, the S4 doesn’t just set the bar high—it knocks the bar over completely as it blows by. With standard quattro all-wheel drive, the motor’s not-fooling-around 340 horsepower doesn’t overwhelm the chassis, and makes the S4 surprisingly balanced. Of course, the primary characteristic of the S4 is the masterful refinement of all Audis, meaning that the S4 doesn’t misbehave like the manic musclecar it looks like on paper. Classically understated and seriously powerful, don’t underestimate the S4.