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What’s the Difference Between the Audi A and S Series?

A row of silver Audi cars on display at a car show.

Trying to find the right Audi is hard, but only because each one is more impressive than the next. Every series that Audi puts out is high-quality, luxurious, and completely performance-focused. The vehicles are gorgeous, whether it’s a car or SUV, and they’re great for everyday drives–if you’re wanting to be a little flashy, of course.

If you’ve looked at Audis recently, you probably noticed that they have both an A and a S series of cars. While they look somewhat similar, it’s clear they’re two totally different series. But… what’s the difference?

If you’re not familiar with the difference between the Audi A and the Audi S series, we have you covered. Below, we’ve broken down both series in-depth by their body styles, engines, appearance, and overall performance.

All About the A Series

After several decades of experimenting with vehicle production, engines, and different body styles, the A-series was born in the early 90s.

The first car of the series was the famous A2, which came with various features and upgrades that had many people yearning for this luxury vehicle.

Even in the early 90s, Audi was known for its turbocharged direct-injection (TDI) vehicles, and their A2 celebrated that whole-heartedly. However, we’ll get into that in a second.

Body Styles

Within the A-series, you’ll find different types of cars–not SUVs (and certainly not trucks). The A-series is actually known for its high-quality sedans and coupes, and they even have a few hatchbacks that are worth noting.

This means that even if you need a little bit of extra space, just because they don’t offer SUVs in this series, doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Some of the cars are much more spacious than you’d think, especially the five-door hatchbacks. You can even purchase the A6 in a saloon-style sedan for added comfort.

Audi does offer one even bigger vehicle within the A-series, and that’s the Avant. The Audi Avant is actually a sleek and stylish wagon, meant for five passengers and a whole lot of power. These spacious vehicles are the only wagon body style that Audi offers, and they’ve recently switched over to the RS line, but they’re an A series original that we couldn’t help mention.

A close look at the engine of a brand-new Audi car.

Engines

Next up, you can find engines ranging anywhere from 1.2L three-cylinders all the way up to a massive 6.3L W12 nearly 500 horsepower in the A8 L.

This means that, yes, you can also find engines smackdab in the middle for whatever amount of power you’re comfortable with. They offer 2.0L, 3.0L, 4.0L, even 5.0L engines with varying cylinders and horsepower depending on the A model.

These models are on the smaller size, so the bigger the engine, the more power you’re going to experience. The A-line is all about giving you comfort and luxury while still offering power that’s hard to get from other sedans or coupes.

Essentially, whatever amount of performance you’re looking for from your Audi, the A series offers. Plus, there are always upgrades and enhancements you make to the engine upon purchase.

This is a close look at the interior of a 2016 Audi A4.

Interior & Exterior Appearance

The exterior of the Audi A series, when compared to the S series, is going to be a bit more bubbly but still just as aggressive and sleek as other Audi vehicles.

These cars have a slight round look to them, but this helps to give the cabin more space and your passengers even more legroom. The Audi A series boasts the classic aggressive, sharp headlights and dancing LED bulbs that they make is known for, as well as the large four-ring signature right in the center of the booming grille.

In the interior, the A-series is full of digital technology and quality leather upholstery that will impress any passenger. Even the oldest Audi vehicles look brand-new on the inside, showcasing luxury since the very start of the A-series’ production.

Every Audi is incredibly comfortable, both in the front and back, and has more than enough cabin space for your luggage, passengers, or even four-legged friends.

This is a close look at the rear of an Audi A7 featuring its tail light.

Overall Performance and Reviews

The Audi A series is one of the most popular lines that Audi has produced. From the A1 all the way to the A8, this series has won award after award, from Best Car in its Category (the A6), to Best Compact Car (A1), and Luxury Cars of the Year (A7 and A8).

It seems as though every car that Audi has produced in this category has been a hit with both everyday drivers and professionals, and that says a lot about a car brand.

All About the S Series

Next up, we’ve got the S series. Audi’s S series was also introduced in the early 1990s–1990 to be exact–with the production of the S2 coupe.

This coupe was an impressive two-door sports car that out-performed so many other cars in its class. An immediate hit, the S-line quickly became known for its power and performance.

While they were (and still are) great for the everyday driver, the S series is all about speed. After all, it’s simply the high-performance version of the well-loved A series.

This is a black Audi S8 on the road.

Body Styles

Within the S series, you’ll find a much more diverse line of cars than the A series has. Like the A-series, Audi’s S series offers five-door hatchbacks, coupes, and sedans.

They even have an Avant wagon as well. However, the S series also offers performance versions of Audi’s well-loved Q series, which is full of beautiful crossovers. These five-passenger vehicles are monsters on the road, and with the S series sporty influence, they’re even more innovative and speedy than ever before.

On the flip side, the S series also offers a super-compact and incredibly sleek roadster. This two-door, two-seat sports car is perfect for anyone looking to cut through traffic effortlessly and experience power like never before. Audi’s roadsters are for true fans of driving only, as their power and performance are not to be underestimated.

This is the engine of a brand new Audi S8.

Engines

Just like the A-series, Audi’s S series offers quite a diverse range of engines, each one more powerful than the next.

You’ll find four-cylinders all the way up to a powerful V8 that puts out up to 700 horsepower. The S8, for example, is known for its 700 horsepower V8 twin-turbo engine that goes from 0 to 60 mph in just about three seconds. If you didn’t realize that the S series was all about speed, you surely do now.

Again, you can easily find 2.0L or 4.0L engines that put out 200-300 horsepower, perfect for everyday driving. This allows you to drive without a worry, speed up effortlessly, and cut through traffic with ease.

Plus, you get to do all of this in incredible style, as these luxury cars are easily some of the prettiest on the market.

A look at the interior of an Audi S8 with brown leather seats.

Interior & Exterior Appearance

The interior and exterior of the S series are sleeker than the series they’re based on. The S8 or S6 both look like sleeker, sharper versions of the A8 or A6, and the SQ5 looks even more aggressive than the regular Q5.

The outside edges are more enhanced, features are less bubbly, the vehicles overall just look a lot more aerodynamic and ready for the road ahead. They still have the signature Audi logo at the front of the grille, and their light features are more advanced than ever.

On the inside, you won’t find more digitally enhanced vehicles than within the S series. Like the A-series, you’ll find beautiful leather upholstery, panoramic sunroof, and some of the most comfortable, form-fitting vehicle seats you’ll ever experience. Simply put, the inside of the S series screams luxury–even more so than the A-series.

Overall Performance and Reviews

The Audi S series hasn’t appeared to have won as many awards as the A-series, but it has sure won over the hearts of professional drivers and automotive reviewers everywhere.

Compared to the A-series, it appears as though those at places like Car and Driver and Automobile Magazine are head over heels for S series vehicles. After all, who wouldn’t be? These cars are speedier than you’d ever expect and produce power alongside comfortability, unlike any vehicle you’ve experienced yet.

Which is Better: The A or S Series?

So, which is better? That’s totally up to you. If you’re someone who prioritizes comfort and stability over speed, Audi’s A series is the best line for you to shop from. But, if you’re itching to go fast and speed around the cars on the highway, the S series is going to be ideal for your needs.

Regardless, both series are some of the most high-quality, luxurious vehicles on the market, and they’re sure to impress every person that steps foot inside. Once an Audi turns on, too, it’s a whole different experience.

Directly comparing their prices, the S series is also a bit more expensive than the A-series. But, again, this is because the S series is a bit more supercharged than the A-series. If you’re willing to pay just a bit more for some added horsepower, the S series is ideal. If you don’t care, either way, save your cash and take a look into the A series instead.

Again, neither the A-series nor the S series is better than the other: they’re simply just different. Once is quickly literally the sporty, performance-enhanced version of the other, so if that’s what floats your boat, that line is perfect for you. You just have to take the time to learn what you want out of a vehicle, and then Audi will help you with the rest.

An Audi S8 n the road seen from the rear.

Finding Your Perfect Audi

All in all, finding your perfect Audi may be easier than you think. While the S series and the A series are somewhat different, they both offer luxury, style, and performance beyond any other car brand out there.

From coupes to sedans to wagons, the A-series and S series off everything you need out of a vehicle, one is just a bit sportier than the other.

If you’re still curious about Audis or specific Audi models, Lemon Bin has you covered. We know how sought-after these luxury cars are, so we’ll help you learn everything you need to know about these two different Audi series.

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