RS4 B5 with a 5-cylinder engine / Words Davy Lewis / Photography Andreas S Jansson and Bjorn Eirik Odegård
This track-prepared RS4 is running a #5-cylinder-engine
that makes 939hp – now there’s something a bit different…
RS4 B5 940hp 5-cylinder swap
Doing things differently is a risky business. Get it right and you’ll win the respect and admiration of your peers. Get it wrong however, and people will tear you apart on social media. This couldn’t be more relevant than in the car scene. From choice of wheels, to the tricky subject of rear wings – an upgrade that wins the internet with its ingenuity and originality is only a hairs breadth away from a total balls-up that incites derision and hate. People are funny, eh?
So where am I going with this? Well, one of the most fiercely loyal of all Audi enthusiasts are the RS4 B5 guys. Many view this as the only true RS4. The real deal. The big kahuna. The daddy. And you know what – I’m inclined to agree. There’s something about that wide arched, 2.7 biturbo-powered avant that is bang on the money. Never mind the fact that most of them will spend an inordinate amount of time in the garage, simultaneously emptying your wallet and making you cry into your Aldi value beans (cos that’s all you’ll be able to afford as a B5 owner). But, they’re a passionate, dedicated bunch and I applaud that.
So what on God’s earth are they going to make of an RS4 with a naughty secret under its bonnet? You see, this track-focussed RS4 has a cylinder missing. Or, to put it more clearly – it has one less cylinder than it should. But why would anyone remove a perfectly good V6 biturbo and replace it with an old five-pot?
Well, for starters the V6 wasn’t perfectly good. The owner had been through numerous turbos and frankly he was sick to the back teeth of removing the damn thing to fix it. The B5’s engine may be a masterpiece when working well, but get a recalcitrant unit that has frequent issues, and you too could grow to hate it. Add to this the fact that Aslan Eshanov is based in Norway and it becomes clear. These guys don’t think like us.
They go their own way, which is why so many insane cars appear from the frozen lands of northern Europe. Anyway, when you’ve got a nice five-cylinder sitting in the garage, it would be rude not to make use of it. But there’s more to this story than a simple track project build…
The RS4 was actually impounded by the police after they discovered it had a false chassis number. Aslan was prosecuted and fined 23,000 euros (the price of the car’s import tax to Norway). Gulp. So, he hired a lawyer and fought the case in court, proving it was the previous owner who had committed the fraud. However, after a total of 60,000 euros had been spent, Aslan was told that he still could not use the RS4 on the road unless he paid a further 23,000 euros. “I could not afford to do this, so I decided to build a full track car,” he says. So before anyone shouts, “what a waste of an RS4” – it was either build a full-on track weapon, or it would never be used at all.
The project began in July 2014 in Aslan’s basic, unheated garage with only ordinary tools. “I worked a lot in the summer, but not so much in the winter as it was -20 outside and still -10 in the garage.” He spent around 14 months on the car, having to work much of the details out for himself as well as fabricating many bespoke parts.
You can read the full engine spec on the last page of the feature, but it’s based around a 2.5 TDI block, with forged rods and pistons. There’s an AAN cylinder head and CatCams that allow this strong bottom end to withstand a 10,000rpm rev limit. Everything needed to be strong, because Aslan likes to give it a serious kicking. You may have seen videos of it being nailed sideways around the track at various Gatebil events.
Watching this RS4 performing brutal four-wheel power slides never gets old and with 939hp on tap, it’s some crowd pleaser. Listening to that beefy, Precision turbo snorting and chuffing away, accompanied by the roar from the 3.5in exhaust really is something special. It’s a raw, unrestrained sound that is all the better for being produced by an engine with an odd number of cylinders.
Thankfully, the outside has been left pretty much OEM. The only additions are a Leon Cupra front splitter, some tow straps and US-spec side marker lights. The fact it isn’t covered in some crazy livery or emblazoned with sponsor’s logos, only adds to the appeal of this RS4.
Inside it’s a different story. The dash remains, but pretty much everything else has been removed to make way for a comprehensive roll cage and the fuel system, mounted in the boot. There’s even a rear-mounted radiator, inspired no doubt by the Group B cars of the ’80s. Sensibly, Aslan has installed a firewall, to keep himself away from the fuel system.
The wheels are as wide as possible to allow for maximum traction – they measure a girthy 10.5x19in all round, wrapped in 275/30 semi-slick track rubber. However, a set of 18in Rotas are used for drifting with smaller 235/40 tyres.
There’s plenty more to come from this rather immense RS4. It’s an unconventional car, with a chequered past, but there’s no denying that it is 100% savage. Aslan reckons there’s another 200Nm of torque to be had, so it’s set to become even more of an animal on track. It’s a shame it can never be used on the road in Norway, but I guess that means that it’s never going to be a compromise. This RS4 is all about going insanely fast (often sideways) and for that, I give it a big nod of respect.
SPECIFICATION / #Audi-RS4-B5
Engine Self build 5-cyl 2.5 20v Turbo, 2.5 TDI long block from 94-97 A6 (same block as Transporter T4) with custom CP-service pistons and #Rosten-Performance
H-profile rods, #Audi-Ur-S4-AAN
cylinder head from S4 C4 91-94 rebuilt to mechanical lifters and #CatCams
for higher lift on valves and can run 10,000rpm, modified #AAN
intake manifold from 2.2 20v S4 C4, Nuke fuel rail with 1600cc #Bosch
injectors, custom exhaust manifold for B5 with 5-cyl engine, #Precision
turbo, Tial 60mm wastegate, #Tial
Blow-off valve, 3.5in exhaust all the way and 2x 3.5in tailpipes (Diesel look), 4in intercooler, big oil catch tank with return line for oil back to the oilpan, #Autronic-SM4-ECU
, Audi R8 coils, #Accusump
oil accumulator (stabilizes the oil pressure in engine)
Transmission OEM RS4 B5 transmission, OEM drive shafts, Tilton 2-plate clutch good for 1500hp
Power 939.8bhp and 983Nm at 2.3bar of boost on E85 fuel
Brakes RS4 B7 brakes in front, OEM rear brakes, hydraulic handbrake
3-way coilovers, #H&R
ARBs front and rear, #PowerFlex
bushings / #Öhlins
Wheels & Tyres #BBS-CH
10.5x19 with 275/30x19 semi slicks, OEM RS4 and Bola B1 (Rota grid) drifting wheels with 235/40x18
Interior OEM dash, #Sparco
black seats, Sparco 4-point red belts, full “rally” roll cage, rear mounted radiator with water pump in boot, 3x #Bosch-044
fuel pumps for E85 fuel, 60-litre fuel cell, Nuke fuel catch tank, 2x #Nuke
fuel filters, firewall between boot and rear of cabin
Exterior Leon Cupra front spoiler, US side marker lights, tow straps, tinted windows, OEM paint
Tuning contacts/thanks Tuned by #RFS-Performance
in Norway. 939.8bhps and 983Nm at 2.3bar of boost on E85 fuel (not finished with the tuning, need to adjust cams to push out around 200Nm more)
Top: Cheeky on-road shot of this epic track car
Below: The plate gives the game away...
Left: Rear firewall and extensive roll cage Below Left: Interior is driver focused.
Bottom: Just a regular RS4...
Above: Aslan kicks the RS4’s arse on track.
Action photographs: Bjorn Eirik Odegård
Below: Rear-mounted cooling system.
“The RS4 was actually impounded by the police...”
Below: View through the rear window gives the game away.