Audi has evolved over the years. As they grow older, Audi has continued to get better at producing fine cars, smooth and sleek like wine.
They have proven to the rest of the automotive industry that they are a manufacturing force to be reckoned with.
Audi has chosen a rather complicated name for its lineups. They use the alpha-numeric system to distinguish between the different models they have.
Wait a minute; I just saw an A series Audi pass by. Oh no, there is another one, this time the S series. Is there a difference between the Audi A and S series?
Audi has impacted the automotive industry with its high performance and luxury sedans, including Sport utility vehicles (SUVs).
It has cemented its place at the pinnacle of the global industry with other brands such as the Mercedes Benz and BMW.
Don’t get lost trying to differentiate between the Audi A series and the S series. Grab popcorn if you can and get your screen rolling. No, I mean scrolling.
We will explain the difference between the Audi A and S series in detail. But first, let us explore Audi as a company.
Table of Contents
- The AUDI Company
- Audi Car Nomenclature
- The difference between the Audi A and S series
The AUDI Company
A lot of people probably don’t know this. Audi AG is the full name of the famous German carmaker we know today as Audi. The company has focused on designing and manufacturing luxury vehicles, including sedans and Sport Utility Vehicles.
Audi has its headquarters in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, in Germany. The Volkswagen Group owns Audi as one of its subsidiaries, with about nine production facilities worldwide to produce its cars, and it is a vast car manufacturing company.
In the early 20th century, August Horch founded the enterprise Horch and the Audiwerke. This enterprise would join two other manufacturers, DKW and Wanderer, to form the Auto Union in 1932, and the Auto Union belonged to Daimler-Benz.
In 1960, the Auto Union was acquired by Volkswagen from Daimler-Benz, and Volkswagen relaunched the Audi brand in 1965 with the Audi F103 series. After that, Volkswagen merged the Auto Union with NSU Motorenwerke in 1969, forming the company’s current structure.
The name Audi is a Latin translation of the founder’s surname, August Horch. Horch means “listen” in German, and “listen” is translated as Audi in Latin. Audi’s four rings logo is no coincidence.
The logo was thoughtfully designed to present the four car companies that established the Auto Union, Audi’s parent company. Audi’s breakthrough in technology comes from a sustained adherence to their motor.
Audi’s slogan is “Being ahead through technology,” which reads as Vorsprung Durch Technik in German. Today, Audi is among the best-selling luxury car brands in the world.
Setting its own pace, it has rivaled other companies such as BMW and Mercedes Benz in different car categories.
Audi Car Nomenclature
Before we look at the difference between the Audi A and S Series, lets us briefly discuss the terminology of Audi cars. I believe this will explain how Audi cars are named and why they are named that way.
Audi’s chosen nomenclature has meaning for the models it represents. Audi has the A, Q, R, S, RS, and TT series.
Audi A series
We will discuss this series in more detail. You’ve probably seen an Audi drive-by with the badge A4 or A6 or A7, and these badges represent Audi’s hatchbacks and full-size sedans.
The philosophy in this naming is that the higher the number, the bigger the car.
The A8 sits at the top of the A models, and it competes directly with the Mercedes S-class and the BMW 7-series. This is one difference between the Audi A and S series, and the A1 becomes the smallest car in this segment.
Audi Q Series
The Q series is the SUV lineup of Audi. The series comprises Q3, Q5, and Q7. As with the A-series, the size increases as the number gets higher, making Q3 the smallest car in this segment.
The Q series models are designed on different platforms. The Q3 uses the A3 platform, and the Q5 uses the MLB platform, while the Q7 uses the Porsche Cayenne platform.
Audi R Series
The R8 is the only vehicle in this series. Several variants of the R8 have been manufactured over the years, including the R8 LMS Ultra and the R8 Spyder. The R8 is comparable to the Lamborghini Gallardo.
The R8 is Audi’s flagship supercar, and it shares many features with the Lamborghini Gallardo. It has impressively surpassed the Porsche 997.
Audi RS Series
RS stands for RennSport. It is the Racing Sport car lineup for Audi. The RS models have the most powerful engines and premium interiors among all Audi models. They are manufactured exclusively by Quattro in an entirely different plant.
Quattro is a subsidiary of Audi. The RS models compete with the Mercedes AMG and the BMW M series. A common feature in the RS models is the oval-shaped twin tailpipes.
Audi S Series
The engine is a significant difference between the Audi A and S series. The S series models are relatively faster vehicles, including hatchbacks, mid-size sedans, and full-size sedans. They have a quad-exit tailpipe across all the models.
The S series lineup includes the S3, S4, S5, S6, S7, and the S8. Their sport trim package improves road performance over the A series.
Audi TT Series
The TT series models are small sports coupes, and they are available as 2-door vehicles. There is only one model in this series with no variants, and the only variation is in the engine. The TT model can either come with a high-performance 2.0-liter TFSI engine or a 2.5-liter turbo five-pot engine.
The difference between the Audi A and S series
Now to the core of the subject. We will discuss the difference between the Audi A and S series under four main categories: body styling, engine, interior/exterior, and performance. This will hopefully leave you equipped with industry knowledge.
The Audi A series
The A-series was introduced in the early 90s. The first car in this lineup was the Audi A2. The car came equipped with several features and impressive upgrades that attracted this luxury vehicle to many people.
The A2 was equipped with the popular turbocharged direct-injection (TDI) engine.
The only car segments not in the A-series are the Sport utility vehicles and trucks. The car models that have brought massive success to the A series include high-quality sedans, coupes, and a few hatchbacks.
There is no A series truck or SUV. This does not mean that there are no spacious cars within the A-series lineup. Some vehicles might surprise you with the space they come with, especially the five-door hatchbacks.
I bet they could offer more space than some SUVs. The A6 has a saloon-style sedan variant that can be bought if you need extra comfort and space. But there is an even bigger variant available for the A series. Trust me, and you probably haven’t heard of it. This is the more reason you need to read all of this article to learn about hidden features of the Audi.
The Audi Avant is a wagon in the A series, and it seats five passengers. It is a very stylish and sleek wagon that packs a lot of power, uncommon for its class. The Avant is the only A series original in the wagon body style.
The Avant variant has been switched to the RennSport lineup, but it was initially an A series model that turned heads at its debut.
The engine type is significantly different between the Audi A and S series, propelling the car forward. In modern times, drivers are not just interested in engine capacity; they are also interested in the feel and feedback they get from the steering wheel.
Modern drivers don’t want to drive cars that feel like moving bricks. They want to appreciate every twist and turn they make and feel the engine’s power and fluidity.
The Audi A series comes equipped with different capacities engines ranging from 1.2-liter 3-cylinder engines to the massive 6.3-liter W12 machine that powers the A8 Long wheelbase.
The 6.3-liter W12 engine produces almost 500 horsepower, which is a lot of power.
500 horsepower is enough to get you anywhere in no time. But maybe, that power is too much for you, and you need something less powerful and less fuel-consuming.
Audi offers 2-liter, 3-liter, 4 liter, and 5-liter engines with different cylinder configurations and power to accommodate many drive requirements.
The engines mentioned above are designed for different A series models. The A series is designed to balance comfort, luxury, and drive power. Sitting in an Audi A series means that you are sitting in a highly luxurious vehicle that is also powerful.
The smaller the model, the more power you have. How you feel inside as a driver or passenger makes a clear difference between the Audi A and S series. There are many upgrades and modifications available for the Audi A series.
Getting these upgrades doesn’t come cheap, though. But if you have the bucks to spend, especially if you love comfort and luxury, then go right ahead and apply for one. Even the engines can be upgraded to give you the desired performance.
Interior and Exterior
The interior is where the comfort lies. But you want your car to turn heads as you drive by. The sleek curves, the alloy wheels, the high-tech headlights, and backlights are some of the features of a luxury car.
Luxury and comfort have to be perceived from the outside. Even before you step in, the exterior should scream premium. The difference between Audi A and S series exterior is in the aggressive details found on the S series, and the A series is subtler in design.
The A series models are more rounded. This results in more cabin room and passenger legroom. Tall people need the legroom. More extended legroom allows the passenger to stretch and sit comfortably. The knees don’t press towards the body. In comfort, posture is essential.
The Audi A series is well known for its aggressive headlights and dancing LED bulbs. The four-ring logo is large and pronounced at the center of the gaping mouth grille. Digital technology is the signature of the A series interior, and you can find a screen just about anywhere. No, I’m just joking.
The seats come clad in high-quality leather that will leave a lasting impression on anyone who sits on them. The Audi A series has been focused on luxury from the very introduction of the series in the early 90s.
Audi does not compromise on comfort in the A series, and both front and rear passengers are sure to enjoy any trip in an Audi. Furthermore, the A series comes equipped with enough space for luggage and even dogs.
You won’t hear someone talk about Audi without mentioning the A series. If they don’t, you might want to ask them which planet they are from. The Audi A series is top-rated among Audi fans and the automotive industry.
The A series has won multiple awards, from the A1 to the full-size A8. Some awards include the best car in its category, won by the A6, best compact car, won by the A1, and luxury cars of the year, won by the A7 and the A8.
From day one, models rolled out by Audi for the A-series have seen massive popularity among professional drivers and everyday drivers. The reviews have been nothing short of excellent, and they are manufactured to be worth every penny you spend on them.
The Audi S Series
The introduction of the S2 coupe in 1990 gave birth to the Audi S series lineup. The coupe outperformed so many two-door sports cars in its class. Such an impressive record created a ripple that led to the reputation of the S-line as a high-performance vehicle.
The performance is a massive difference between the Audi A and S series. The S series was about speed, and everyday drivers still enjoyed it. But for anyone who needs something more powerful than the A series.
One difference between the Audi A and S series is the diverse lineup over Audi A series. Like the A series, you will find five-door hatchbacks, sedans, and coupes, and they have been covered at almost any angle.
Audi aims at offering you a vehicle in any category you desire. The S series has an Avant wagon variant as well. You can also find performance versions of the well-accepted Q series in the S series. These are good crossover SUVs to ply the road or daily drive with.
The five-passenger Q series are already dominant on the road, and they have become even faster and more innovative with the influence of the S series philosophy. The S series turns the large Q series SUVs into quick, sporty SUVs.
Besides the large and compact SUVs modified from the Q series, the S series also boasts a super-compact and impressively sleek roadster. The roadster is a two-door, two-seat sports car, and it is a vehicle that pulls you through traffic with ease.
The roadster comes equipped with an engine that offers power like never before. Getting behind the steering wheel of the roadster is like sitting on top of a T-rex dinosaur, and no, it is not like that. The roadster is an incredibly powerful and high-performance car—a car for true Audi fans.
There is no S series without its engine. The engine is one of the defining features of the S series. The engine must match the expected performance to give you the sporty feel, and the engine must be the right fit before we talk of performance and handling.
There is a diverse range of engines available for the S series. Each engine coupled to the high numbered range is more powerful than the previous. There are four-cylinder engines as well as eight-cylinder engines.
The V8 engines can crank out 700 horsepower. No, you aren’t flying a plane; you are driving a car. The S series doesn’t joke with its engines, and the engine power makes a huge difference between the Audi A and S series.
The S8 is equipped with powerful twin-turbo V8 engines that produce 700 horsepower. In just 3 seconds, the S8 can go from 0 to 60 mph. Now you know how fast the S8 is next time you see it drive by, and it is one car designed for speed.
Maybe the 700 horsepower is just too much for you. With such engines comes high mileage. There are 2 liter and 4-liter engines that produce 200 to 300 horsepower, and they retain the power but are still suitable for everyday driving.
You can speed up when you need to, as well as slow down when you have to. They still have the fun that comes with fast cars but are more moderate in performance, and you can drive them without any worries.
All the power and performance of the S series do not neglect comfort and luxury. The S series models are one the prettiest performance cars available.
Interior and Exterior
The S series is fond of stepping up the looks of the series they are based on. The S8 and S6 look way more relaxed and stylish than the A8 or A6. Audi, why? Maybe they want you to buy the S series instead. If you’re not a fan of sports cars, stick to the A series, and you will be fine.
Have you seen the SQ5? It looks way more aggressive than the regular Q5. So, the s series picks up the base series and improves it in any way possible, from the engine to the performance and handling and even the interior and technology.
The S series is designed to be more aerodynamic than their base variants. They have enhanced and aggressive edges that scream for space as it drives by. They pack advanced lighting features, and the Audi logo is still pronounced on the front grille.
Digitally, the S series has one of the most advanced interiors. Lots of digital upgrades can be found in these models. The leather upholstery is premium, and you even get a panoramic sunroof. How cool is that? The seats are so comfortable you sit on, and you will barely feel any pain.
The luxurious interior of the S series makes a slight difference between the Audi A and S series.
The Audi S series may not have won many awards like its sibling, the A series, but it has become a favorite to many professional drivers. It is also in the good books of many automotive critics worldwide.
The Car and Driver and Automobile Magazine love the S series models. I mean, who wouldn’t be? The striking balance between luxury, comfort, and performance is enough to attract any car enthusiast, and they are just good.
Awarding the better car between the Audi A series and the S series is a choice I leave entirely to you. They are great vehicles in their own right.
If you prefer comfort and stability to speed, the Audi A series model is where you’ll be searching.
The S series is the ideal lineup to choose from if you love the thrill of speed, quick turns, and aggressive acceleration.
Regardless of the difference between the Audi A and S series, both series score high on luxury and style. From the moment you set your eyes on them to when you step out, they sure will leave a lasting impression.
The Audi S series is slightly more expensive than the A series. Yes, someone has to pay for extra power and performance capabilities, and that extra horsepower to have fun on the road or the track comes at a cost. If you are not interested in the extra power, save up and buy the A series instead.
Neither the S series nor the A series is better than the other, and it simply goes down to personal preference. So, relax and take your time to learn about what you want out of a vehicle.
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