LIVING THE DREAM #Audi
Our Finnish photographer, Jape Tiitinen, creates some stunning images of cool Audis, but he also owns one – this immaculate, 592hp RS4…
Finland has produced an extraordinary number of world class rally drivers. In fact, the list is seriously impressive when you consider the country is so diminutive. In no particular order, there’s Markuu Alen, Marcos Gronholm, Mikko Hirvonen, Jari-Matti Latvala, Timo Salonen, Ari Vatanen and WRC Champs Tomi Makinen and Juha Kankkunen. Then there’s the small matter of F1 World Champions Kimi Raikkonen and Mika Hakkinen. They must put something in the water in Finland to breed so many outstanding wheel men.
But, when you think about it, growing up in the kind of hostile landscape that sees snow for half the year, it’s not surprising that so many Finns can pedal a bit. After all, if your daily commute involves icy stretches of road that require left foot braking and power slides to stay on the road, then you’ll quickly learn to become a bit tasty behind the wheel.
But there’s more to it. These guys are passionate about cars and going fast, and Audis have always figured highly in the list of tuned machines. Now, Finland is a bloody long way to travel to see these quality cars. Fortunately, we have our own man on the scene, Jape Tiitinen (pronounced ‘Yapay’). His main job is taking awesome images of cool cars (as well as weddings and pretty much anything you want to pay him for – within reason!). But when he isn’t behind the camera, you’ll find him in his own, stunning Audi – a B5 RS4. Jape takes up the story...
“I am quite a passionate Audi enthusiast. I bought my first quattro in 2004 and all my cars have been quattros ever since. The first one was B5 A4 1.8T. It got a total makeover and I sold it a year after. Next in line was a C5 A6 2.7 biturbo in 2005. This is where my OEM game kicked in; I bought an RS6 front bumper and sideskirts to make it look fresh. Eventually we replaced the turbos with B5 RS4 ones to make it faster. My hunger for power kept on growing, so I sold the A6 in 2007 and bought this B5 RS4 which was already tuned for 550hp – but the work was very poor. So I took it to my friend Mikko “Okkim” Välitalo who rebuilt the engine with stock internals to make it even faster than what the previous owner had done.” Jape ran it with this spec – a Supersprint cat back exhaust and a remap – for a couple of years, but the need for speed soon took hold of him.
“The RNS-D navigation started to feel kinda old, so I bought an RNS-E unit from my friend’s A3. I also ordered a Kufatec digi TV tuner from Germany with OEM kit, which gives you an opportunity to use RNS-E original buttons to operate the TV,” he says. Very trick. “The brakes were upgraded to RS6 calipers with B7 RS4 discs in January 2009 when my front discs came to an end. “I ordered a pair of brand new RS6 turbos from Germany. Okkim did the labour and installed them. He also manufactured me his signature 3in downpipes from stainless steel.”
With a fresh mapping session, the RS4 made a very healthy 592hp with 802Nm of torque. A 3.25in straight through exhaust is key to helping it breathe, while Wagner intercoolers keep the charge temps down, and there’s a methanol injection system to further cool things and aid reliability.
With a fully rebuilt and reliable engine that made significant power, Jape could have been content to leave it at that. But our Finnish correspondent likes to drive his B5 hard, and in 2012 his engine blew. “Obviously even the RS can’t take super-hard driving for too long!” he laughs. “An exhaust valve snapped and went through a piston damaging the whole engine. It took a year and a half to get all the parts and build the engine to where it is today,” he shrugs. “This current set-up is still looking for the final touches in software from Richard Weir at Viper Tuning. I just love the fun that flatshift and launch control brings me with all the bang, bang.” Jape is a bit of a perfectionist, to say the least, so his own car had to be something extra special.
“I’ve had lots of different wheels on my RS during the years. The latest, which are also my favourite, I bought from eBay – BBS LMs in 10 and 11x19in. I knew they would fit in the arches of the RS, so I bought them with no hesitation,” he laughs. “They needed a 30mm spacer at the front to clear those massive C5 RS6 calipers and 15mm at the rear to sit right,” he adds. Some may question the logic of staggered wheels on a quattro, but Jape is happy with the set-up and has experienced no adverse effects. The wheels really do make the car and it’s hard to find anything that offers the same classy looks, and motorsport pedigree of these sublime splits rims. “I am a true wheel whore,” confesses Jape, “there must have been at least 20 sets of different wheels on my RS. In my garage I have two sets of Audi OEM wheels in 9x19in and 9.5x20in and Rota Grid 9.5x18in for winter. The BBS LMs are my favourite wheel of all time.”
When it came to the exterior, Jape was well aware that with a B5 less is definitely more. The wide arches and subtly aggressive front bumper, with vents, combine to give the avant a stealthy, but purposeful look. The factory colour is a very shiny and well maintained black, but Jape wanted decided to try it with a white wrap. “My brother-in-law, Eero, from Eteippi.fi wrapped it in 3M 1080 gloss white.” This high-quality vinyl wrap was very carefully applied and transformed the B5. It’s great to see something that’s not matt and the gloss really works with the lines of the car. In fact it was so effective, it left Jape with another problem.
“After the car was wrapped my faded headlights started to look really old,” he smiles. “I found a right side light from a local Audi forum, but the left one was a bit harder to locate. Eventually I found one in Germany but the seller didn’t want to ship to Finland. Big thank you to Patrick Hille in Germany for taking care of this and shipping the missing light for me.”
With a fresh wrap and sparkling new headlights, Jape had the grille surrounds plastidipped to de-chrome it. Then some very subtle touches were added such as the Polo rear wiper, SEAT Leon Cupra front splitter and some carbon mirrors. The overall effect is stunning – an immaculate white RS4, with some serious power to back it up. Inside this B5 was given a full refresh, including a set of Corbeau seats. A self confessed gadget freak, Jape has also fitted a Kufatec OEM+ TV tuner and upgraded the navigation unit from a newer A3. It really does give the B5 a contemporary feel.
So what’s next for this stunning white B5? “This car has been with me for eight years now. For the first four years it was my daily ride. After I jumped into the RS6 turbo game, I had to get another car to be my daily. The RS needs so much care, it can’t be a daily any more!” Wise words – how many B5 RS4 owners are nodding sagely at this comment..?
Since the photoshoot, the 3M wrap has been removed, but even this brought out the sense of fun in Jape. “We had Audi club Finland’s ice track day and I felt like doing something different. I thought that if I just peeled off some of the wrap and added some graphics and lights to the car, it’d look like a US police car, with my own funny twist. So I peeled off the wrap just leaving the doors, bonnet and the roof white. Eero at Eteippi.fi cut some stickers and voilà quattro Trooper was born! Now that’s one police car you’d struggle to outrun!
With its stint as a police trooper at and end, Jape fully removed the wrap and the B5 is now back to its original and some might say best colour. “After I peeled off the wrap Antti Piri from Shineld came to my garage with his crew and polished the beast for 2 straight days.
So there we have it. Our man in Finland is not only an ace lensman, and genuinely nice fella, he’s also a massive Audi tuning fan. Living the dream? You bet!
CALL THE COPS
Rather than simply remove the entire wrap, Jape thought it’d be fun to take some off some of the 3M gloss white vinyl to reveal the original black paint underneath. He then decided it’d be funny to create an RS4 police car, and project RS4 Trooper was born. A set of lights from eBay, some graphics and he was done. The car is running its winter wheels in this pic, some 18in Rota Grids (even his winter wheels are cool!).
Far Left: The golden arches beckon! Above: The V6 biturbo powerhouse.
Above: Corbeau RRS seats Right: Moody, ‘golden hour’ shot is stunning.
Above: Upgraded navigation and Kufatec TV.
“Even the RS can’t take super-hard driving for too long”
Top: A vest in Finland? He must be nails! Above: It’s all about the details.
ENGINE 2.7 V6 biturbo, RS6 turbochargers with #Fin-Turbo
custom made billet wings, #Autospeed
exhaust manifolds, Schrick stainless over size valves, 2.8L heads, 3in stainless downpipes by Okkim, Supersprint 3.25in cat back exhaust, cats replaced with straight pipes (v-band), Devil’s Own methanol injection, 630cc #Deka-injectors
fuel pump, #Wagner
carbon intake kit with big ITG air filter, TFSI coils, 034 snubmount front bushing
POWER 592hp and 802Nm
TRANSMISSION 034 Motorsport carbon synchro kit, Stern engine and gearbox bushings, #JHM
BRAKES B7 RS4 discs, C5 RS6 8-pot calipers, braided steel hoses, VW Phaeton cooler kit for brakes, stock brakes rear with braided steel hoses
Variant 1, #H&R
stiffer springs, hard bushes
WHEELS AND TYRES #BBS
10 & 11x19in, Continental 5 235/35 and 265/30 tyres, 30mm spacers in front, 15mm in rear, red/gold Japan edition centre caps.
EXTERIOR Wrapped in #3M
1080 gloss white by Eteippi.fi, brand new headlights, front grille surrounds #Plastidipped
in black, fog light delete, front licence plate recess delete, Cupra R front lip, carbon side mirrors with RS4 logos sandblasted, VW Polo rear window viper, tinted windows.
INTERIOR Corbeau RRS seats, OEM Alcantara steering wheel and gear knob, custom made Alcantara gear gaiter, #RNS-E
navigation system, Vems EGT & AFR in pod gauge on steering wheel, another EGT gauge with warning light moulded into trimming left side of the steering wheel, #Kufatec
OEM + TV tuner, #Audison
3-way speakers in front doors, garage door opener in cigarette lighter, interior lights replaced with LEDs.
TUNING CONTACTS JTmedia.fi, Audiclub.fi/audifinns, cdlc.co, instagram.com/ jap3, fb.com/jtmedia.fi, eteippi.fi