Originally Posted by newbmwuser
Have to admit, the S/RS was genius on Audi's part.
To everyone else, a 335 is 'just' a 3 series, while S4 is perceived as a ///M rival. Even on the forums, Ive read of people comparing S4 with the M3 (In some thread about track times). Hell, I don't blame them, even the S4 has 4 exhaust tips, while a 335i only has 2. (not saying more exhaust is necessarily good, but it gives it a higher perceived value)
The A5 is also a great example, while technically being a 3-series/c-class coupe competitor, the higher numerical value makes the impression of a higher-end car. Luckily BMW has realised this and is now naming it the 4-series instead.
I like how BMW has named the M135i, not quite an 1M, but still an "M" nonetheless, it would have been interesting if they named the 335i the M335i..
This is it exactly. I have a friend who has an S4 and one of his reasons for getting the Audi was that he felt it was comparable to the M3. He test drove a 335i and liked it but the perceived higher status of the S4 won him out.
With 300hp the 335i is anything but ordinary and yet non-enthusiasts do not distinguish between it and the base 328i. This same non-enthusiast crowd DO know that an S4>A4 and if showing off to the neighbors is important to you (it is to many...) then Audi's strategy works brilliantly.