- Post is under moderation/ #Audi 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 / #Audi-RS4 / #Audi-A4-B5 / #Audi-A4 /
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 / #Precision-6466CE 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
Suspension #Øhlins 3-way coilovers, #H&R ARBs front and rear, #PowerFlex bushings / #Öhlins / #Ohlins-Racing
Wheels & Tyres #BBS-CH / #BBS 10.5x19 with 275/30x19 semi slicks, OEM RS4 and Bola B1 (Rota grid) drifting wheels with 235/40x18
Interior OEM dash, #Sparco / #Sparco-Pro-2000 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.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationEXTRA RARE CITROEN BX 297bhp, supercharged GTi
This immaculate BX was saved from the scrappy and now makes a very healthy 297bhp... Words Midge. Photos: Matt Woods.
“There are so few of these cars left now, it’s even more impressive”
It could be argued that the #Citroen-BX-GTi-16V is one of the most underrated hot hatches of all time. It’s certainly one of the rarest. That’s not to say they didn’t make a few, between 1987 and 1993 they rolled-out around 3000 of ‘em, but the fact is nowadays there’s probably only about 30 left and, by anyone’s standards, that’s a pretty rapid demise. On the face of it this motor had all the performance credentials. Along with its ‘in-house’ brother, the Peugeot 405 Mi16, it was the first French car to be fitted with a 16V lump. It was slightly faster than the Pug too with a 0-60 time of 7.2-seconds and a top speed in excess of 140mph… and don’t forget that was way back in 1987. The special edition bits and pieces on the body, especially when it came to the 1990 Phase II model, were sweetly distinctive and the all-round disc brakes that had been fitted to the whole BX range since 1982 didn’t go unnoticed either. Some say it was ahead of its time. I’m pretty sure they’re right.
So, what happened to them all? You would think that enthusiasts would be all over these right? Well, the trouble is they’re unbelievably complex and, being from #Citroen , when they went wrong it was generally something a tad more expensive than a thermostat. Fitted with Citroen’s hydropneumatic suspension system (albeit one of the coolest inventions ever) it wasn’t exactly a car that was easy to fix and that’s probably why over the years many have donated their Mi16 innards to keep a 405 or the odd converted 205 ticking along. It just goes to show that sometimes being totally different to the competition doesn’t always help with longevity. And that’s a massive shame.
Of course the other reason may have a little to do with the styling. Like many of the older Citroens the BX has always been something of an acquired taste. Some, like myself, think the shape is extremely cool, in a retro kinda way. Others say these look like the bastard child of Robocop and your nan’s Zanussi washing machine. Either way there’s no denying they all have a face that only a mother could love.
Ian Nixon, the creator of this particular supercharged beast agrees with me on that. He fully admits he’s never been a fan of Citroens but equally he couldn’t step away from the serious performance the BX GTi 16 offers. “I hated them until I realised the potential. I tried to blow one of these off in my Audi 80 when I was a kid and before I looked round it was gone. I couldn’t believe it.” Years later Ian had a Xantia run-around and was impressed by the handling the hydropneumatic system serves up so, with that in mind, an old school BX build was always on the cards – the only trouble was finding one.
Locating a base car that’s rarer than a load of hen’s teeth nestling in a pile of rocking horse shite is one of those neighon impossible tasks. I guess Ian was lucky coming across a car collector that wasn’t exactly impressed with his. Then again ‘lucky’ is a relative term and a blown head gasket on the drive home kicked off an epic re-build quicker than he may have imagined.
Still, like many of us, Ian isn’t the type of fella to pull off a head, chuck on another gasket and leave it at that. Being an engineer and a bloke who looks after all sorts of highend exotica, race cars and performance motors he asked himself the eternal question “why just repair when you can improve?” And I suppose the rest is history.
If you read through the engine spec you’ll see it’s extensive to say the least. Even though Ian specifically states that on a car like this “everything’s a mission” he’s managed to squeeze 297bhp from the 1.9-litre lump with the help of everything from a fully re-worked head, forged internals and a custom Rotrex supercharger install. There’s even a 6-speed box conversion! What’s more, the real talent lies in how it’s all been put in – if you ignore the fact it’s not covered in oil like many an old Citroen out there, it almost looks factory. That’s not an easy task to pull off.
The rest of the car is just as immaculate because it’s taken nearly as much work as under the bonnet. Then again, you don’t go throwing 8-grand’s worth of lump in a 400-quid motor with over 20 owners on the logbook without wanting to sort out a few bits along the way. Ian contracted the bodywork out to a local restoration shop and I’d like to say the rest was easy, but unfortunately it wasn’t. With the car stripped and not a whole load of work completed in 6-months he actually had to go and get it back before they destroyed the whole thing.
Handily they managed to lose most of the special 16V parts too meaning Ian had to find another whole BX 16V, just to get the bits needed to compete the job. It was another seriously lucky find, even if the circumstances were a little infuriating. The second time around Ian enlisted the help of paint supremo Steve Bell, and after a serious amount of welding (yes, it’s a proper Citroen) and fettling it left the booth pretty much as you see it today. With the stunning Dolmen Grey respray and a few exterior touches it’s clear that he’s chosen to keep the styling true to the original. Even the 17-inch BBS wheels are somewhat reminiscent of the standard 14-inch Speedlines fitted at the factory. A subtle but undeniably nice touch.
In all, it’s not been the simplest of jobs but you have to commend Ian for his never-failing persistence. Without bringing that quality to the table this could have so easily been yet another BX 16V relegated to the scrappy. Instead he’s not only built himself one of the sweetest retro motors in the UK but, perhaps most importantly, he’s kept another super-rare French legend on the streets.
TECHNICAL DATA SPECIFICATIONS #1991 #Citroen-BX-GTi-16V-Phase-II / #Citroen-BX / #Citroen-BX-GTi
Engine: 1.9 #XU9J4DFW engine ( Mi16 ), stage 5, high flow head, big valve #Siamese ported cylinder head, #Kent-PT81 inlet cam/ PT82 exhaust, #Kent VS34 double valve springs and titanium retainers, Kent vernier pulleys, #Richard-Longman 4-1 manifold, #Cosworth-57X exhaust manifold fixing kit D6C block with #DFW pistons (comp 9:5:1), PEC performance H section light weight conrods with #ARP bolts, #Peugeot-Motorsport GPA 1:1 oil pump, Constella Sump baffle, Mocal oil breather system, #Accusump 4 quarts oil accumulator system, #Rotrex SP30/74 centrifugal supercharger, Pace charge cooler from RS turbo, Range Rover P38 intercooler, #Samco intake and discharge pipe work, #Baker BM coolant hoses, #Baker-BM engine hung mounts and solid stabiliser mount, Standard #Bosch-Motronic 4.1 ECU live mapped by Wayne Scofield of Chipwizards, #Astra-VXR injectors, #Sytec high flow fuel filter, Sierra #Cosworth GPA fuel pump, #FSE fuel pressure regulator.
Transmission: Peugeot 306 GTI-6 BE-6 gearbox, #Quaife-ATB differential, Royal Purple oil.
Chassis: 17-inch #BBS-RX alloys, 205/45 R17 tyres.
Interior: Standard 16v Le-Mans cloth trim, #VDO boost gauge, Quaife nylon gear knob.
Exterior: Extended bumpers to accommodate intercooler, additional air intake on NSF wing, fog lights removed and turned into brake ducts, steel bonnet, Mk3 Golf gas bonnet struts, resprayed respray in original Citroen Dolmen Grey.
Thanks Steve Bell for the paintwork, Peter Greenwood for the fibreglassing expertise, Wayne Schofield for the mapping and advice and Jackie for spanner passing, making tea and towing around the country on trailer.
“I hated them until I realized the potential...”
Period interior is also in decent nick. #BBS 17s look almost OEM.
The fat pipe gives you a clue...
Mi16 unit makes 297bhp.
“There are so few of these cars left now, it’s even more impressive”
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