- Post is under moderationFive star. This ballistic B5 is packing 500bhp so has the go to back up all that show… Words Davy Lewis Photography AJ Walker. AUDI RS4 500hp B5.
There’s something about an original that gets under your skin. The first version of something – whether it’s a trainer, a film or a car is somehow special. It’s odd when you think about it, as quite often, the first version of something isn’t quite right. It’s not until it’s refreshed and V2 is releases that everything comes together. This may be true of smart phones, TVs and other tech gadgets, but with cars? I’m not so sure.
On the one hand, you can’t deny that each time Audi releases a new version of a well-loved model, it will be bristling with technology. It’ll be more powerful, more reliable and generally better all round. Yet many of us still hanker after the original. Nowhere is this more so than with the RS4.
The original B5 was released in 2000 and immediately made a statement. Here was a 375bhp, four-wheel drive estate car that could outflank a Porsche. It boasted a Cosworth-tuned, twin-turbo V6, fantastic blistered wheel arches and a presence that oozed understated aggression – something #Audi does so well.
But here’s the thing: the B5 RS4 is now 17 years old. Two further generation of RS4 have been released, with another, the B9, due to drop later this year. But, for many, the original B5 is still the one.
Forget the fact that it’s been eclipsed dynamically by the newer models. Ignore the issues with reliability inherent in a highly-tuned-from-the-factory machine like this. Put to the back of your mind the horror stories you’ll hear from B5 fans who have almost bankrupted themselves attempting to keep their pride and joy on the road (times this by ten if you’ve tuned it) and focus on the good bits. Of which there are many. Which is why there’s such a healthy appetite for these things.
So when serial Audi tuner, Julian Loose and our man, Adam Walker, spotted this in-your-face RS4 in Austria, I was keen to find out more.
On the face it, this is ‘just’ another RS4 with a fancy wrap. It has a taste of the Jon Olsson about it– he of the extreme RS6 and R8 Gumball fame. However a bit more investigation revealed that this was a proper build, featuring a 500bhp engine, tuned chassis and more.
Let’s kick off with that engine. The twin-turbo V6 needs no introduction. The 2.7-litre unit came with a factory fettled 375bhp and went very well indeed. But, as the years pass, this highly-tuned lump needs plenty of TLC to keep it running as it should. It’s a complete arse to work on and needs to be dropped for many, even routine jobs, which is why it can end up costing a small fortune in labour rates alone. Plus there are numerous documented issues that will occur at some stage from corroded pipework to blown turbos.
So, it you’re really going to do it, you may as well get stuck in and go for more power right from the off – and make sure you uprate all the necessary parts in one hit. That way, you (hopefully) won’t be spending more time in the garage than on the road.
The owner, Ilkka, has gone for a tried and tested setup of RS6 hybrid turbos to provide the boost. There are 630cc injectors and a TFSI coil conversion, plus Wagner intercoolers, a cold air intake and custom made exhaust with the cats removed – a sure fire recipe for big fun. With around 500bhp on tap performance is best described as brisk.
The whooshing of those twin-turbos, combined with the snarl from that unrestricted exhaust means this thing emits the kind of V6 howl that makes you smile. It’s a special B5-ness that you simply can’t find anywhere else.
The stock transmission copes admirably with the extra grunt and the tough sixspeed box takes it all in its stride. Again the manual gear lever is part of the reason so many people love these things.
With significantly more power than when it left the factory and with the ravages of time, the chassis needed updating to cope. A full complement of poly bushes was fitted, to remove that saggy, vague feeling that occurs when stock bushes wear out.
Again it’s a pain in the ass job to complete, but it makes a big difference, especially on older Audis. With less play in the suspension and steering components, the B5 feels tighter and more responsive. To allow the suspension to be finetuned, a set of KW Variant 3s were ordered.
These multi-adjustable units allow full control over bump and rebound, to provide a sporty, yet forgiving feel. The geometry has been professionally setup to give this RS4 a more dialled feel, with far more adjustablity than the neutral, understeer focused stock set up.
The final upgrade for the chassis is a set of brakes nicked off a Porsche. These meaty calipers were designed to stop a 170+mph sportscar, so do a fine job on the RS4 teamed up with ECS Tuning discs and Ferodo DS2500 pads.
Styling wise Audi got it right first time and there’s no need to add bits, aside from the odd splitter or maybe vent if you’re into that sort of thing. So this B5 remains stock, aside from a wrap. Now, it’s not going to be to all tastes, but Ilkka wanted something to make the car stand out at events and the Jon Olsson-inspired camo wrap certainly ticks that box.
One thing that had to be bang on the money was the wheels. The 3-piece, multispoke Rotiforms fill the wide arches very nicely – and at a girthy 10.5-inches, they should. Some work was required to get them to fit right, but they look great.
Inside, the stock seats have been replaced with some of the best in the business, Recaro Pole Positions. These fixed back efforts not only look great but also save weight. The GT-inspired interior is completed with a suede steering wheel and gear knob.
So there we have it – another wellfinished RS4 B5 that reminds us how much love there is for these things.
TECHNICAL DATA SPECIFICATION #2000 / #Audi-RS4-B5 / #Audi-RS4 / #Audi-A4 / #Audi-A4-B5 / #Audi / #KW / #Rotiform
Engine 2.7 twin-turbo V6, #RS6 hybrid turbos, #Wagner intercoolers, cold air intake, custom turbo back exhaust with cats removed, custom map, #Siemens-Deka 630cc injectors #TFSI coil conversion
Transmission 6-speed manual
Brakes Porsche 911 calipers with #ECS discs and Ferodo DS2500 pads, braided lines
Suspension #KW-Variant-3 coilovers, polybushed, full geometry set up
Wheels 10.5x19in #Rotiform-INDT 3-piece wheels with 255/30 Michelin Pilot SuperSports
Interior Recaro Pole Position seats, suede RS4 steering wheel and gearknob, PLX a/f ratio meter FIS control in the OEM screen to show boost, exhaust temp etc
Exterior Full Avery charcoal matte metallic wrap
“There’s still so much love for the B5”
Above left Recaro Pole Positions.
Above Alcantara-clad wheel.
Above top: Porsche brakes sit behind 10.5x19in Rotiform INDs.
Right: The 2.7 #V6 heart pumps out around 500bhp.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- 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 moderationAUDI RS4 AVANT
Year of manufacture 2001
Recorded mileage 120,101
Asking price £15,000
Vendor Abir Mirza, Bedford; tel: 07960 992991
WHEN IT WAS NEW #Audi-RS4-Avant / #Audi-RS4 / #Audi-A4 / #Audi / #Audi-RS4-B5 / #Audi-A4-B5 /
Max power 375bhp
Max torque 324lb ft
0-60mph 4.9 secs
Top speed 155mph
The B5 RS4 was the first Audi-developed RS, which came only as an Avant. This one seems well maintained and tidy, plus it’s been kept bone stock. There’s main-agent service history until 2008 with the same dealer up to 99k miles, in the hands of the second owner from ’04. They covered only minimal distance, and their name is still on the V5C. There are 13 stamps in the book, most from Northern Ireland, the last three being from Eurocharged Performance UK of Watford, the final one at 116,000 miles dated 25/11/2015. The last (Northern Irish) MoT, when it was registered DBZ 650, expired in March. It’s said to have had a clutch and dual-mass flywheel plus a fuel pump not long ago, though there were no bills evident.
It looks never to have had paint and isn’t marked under the chin. There’s a tiny dent in the nearside rear door and the back bumper has a few light scratches from loading. The lower front grilles were changed because the fixing prongs broke; the old ones are in the car. Its alloys are unscuffed, but the rear centre caps are a bit corroded, as are the window fillets on the back doors. The half-worn front tyres are dated mid-2014; those on the rear are much older and cracking, but the vendor says he’ll change them. Inside, the leather looks younger than the car’s mileage, plus the dashboard plastics and carbonfibre inserts are all excellent.
There are no obvious leaks from the driveline, but some paint is flaking off the engine covers. The oil is 4000 miles old and dark, but the coolant is nice and pink and at the right level. It starts instantly and the clutch bites well, with strong synchros and performance. It seems to build full steam by about 6000rpm and keeps coming right through the six gears. There are no whines or unpleasantness through the quattro drivetrain, but the brakes are juddery and the vendor says he will replace the discs and pads. Temperature is steady at just under 90ºC. All the dash graphics function. As well as the service book, the car will come with a fresh MoT.
EXTERIOR Mostly very smart, bar a minor ding and a few blemishes
INTERIOR Really nice overall condition
MECHANICALS FSH; clutch and flywheel claimed
For Iconic; well kept; standard
Against Slightly underwhelming; would like to see bills plus history
SHOULD I BUY IT?
This future classic appears to be in fine order. There was another for sale less than 30 miles away for £2k more, so the price looks keen.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationNO COMPROMISE RS4 B5 Mint, 500bhp daily driver RS4 B5 One of the most complete UK B5s. With a solid 500bhp and some careful chassis upgrades, Carl ‘CJ’ Johnson proves you can use a tuned B5 RS4 every day… Words Davy Lewis. Photography AJ Walker.
Daily driver. For many of us, this means something boring – the kind of vehicle that’s sole purpose is to get you from A to B as reliably and cost effectively as possible. For many of us into tuning our Audis, the daily is just a run around. There’s no emotional investment. No quick look over your shoulder as you walk away after parking up. No love.
Which is totally understandable. Think about the mileage; the depreciation, and the fuel that a big-power Audi would incur. Who’d be crazy enough to run something like that every day? Say hello to Carl Johnson or CJ, as he’s better known.
CJ is a committed B5 fan and knows these things inside out. Having owned a tuned S4 for several years, he fancied moving up the B5 ladder – into the holy grail of RS4 ownership. “I’d always wanted one since I MoT’d them when they were three-years old,” comments CJ. “I’d actually gathered many of the parts needed to do a B5 ‘RS4’ widebody conversion,” he continues, “then my missus said, ‘Why don’t you sell all the parts, plus your motorbike and just buy an actual RS4.’” With the green light from the missus, he wasted no time in looking for a suitable car.
“I wanted something bone stock that I could put my own stamp on, “ he explains. “I looked at some 500bhp tuned B5s, which were great, but they were already done. Plus I didn’t know how well they’d been built.” Determined to find the best example he could, this black model ticked nearly all the boxes. “It was really well specced and even had the Alcantara steering wheel and gear knob options, as well as the nav; the only thing it didn’t have was the sunroof.” Most importantly it was 100 percent standard. All was not well though…
“When I drove it, I thought I’d made a big mistake,” laughs CJ. “It felt slower than my 360bhp S4!”
The initial disappointment soon became a positive, as CJ began planning how to make it faster and more exciting.
“First came a Milltek exhaust system complete with de-cats and a modified air box, before I took it to MRC Tuning for a remap.” The RS4 was now much more fun and had the power to see off his old S4. But there was more to come.
“I fitted larger intercoolers, bigger injectors and uprated fuel pump, and with an MRC Stage 3 map, it made 500bhp and 700Nm,” smiles CJ. “The power with the Stage 3 is aggressive and the traction control kicks in in first, second and third. The mapping is second to none and the 0-60mph is less than 4-seconds.”
Although CJ takes advantage of the flat-shift function, he admits to only using launch control on three or four occasions to preserve his clutch. This thing really is an animal when you want it to be. But it’s also docile as anything when you don’t.
Part of the reason this RS4 handles so compliantly on the road is due to the chassis upgrades. CJ lives in an area littered with speed bumps, and although he fitted lowering springs, they didn’t suit him as they were too crashy. At the time of writing, a set of Bilstein B8 dampers are ready to go on the car to complement the OEM RS4 springs.
There’s a lot more to it underneath, though.
034 Motorsport anti-roll bars have been added, along with an AWE drive train stabiliser, which CJ says has transformed the way the B5 handles. You’ll also find an 034 snub mount. With a full complement of new bushes and a geometry set up, this RS4 now offers pin sharp steering and can be persuaded to corner at phenomenal speed. It feels tight and responsive – not at all like a 15-year old car. In fact, the only area letting it down now was the brakes.
“The stock brakes were useless,” admits CJ, “so I got hold of a set of B7 RS4 brakes front and rear.” The calipers have been painted bright yellow and feature the logo of a rather high-end Italian supercar manufacturer.
Throughout the entire build CJ has been careful to keep everything very OEM. One area where he was prepared to go aftermarket was the wheels. “I had the original RS4 wheels refurbed as two were buckled,” recalls CJ, “but I really wanted something to show off the big brakes better.” Not wanting anything too fussy, good mate and serial Audi tuner, Julian Loose, suggested a set of quality MTM alloys in the perfect size and fitment for his B5. These nicely understated wheels are different enough to notice, yet subtle enough not to spoil that OEM look of the car. And with 10mm spacers they fill the arches to perfection.
The rest of the exterior has been left pretty much as Ingolstadt intended, except for a SEAT Cupra splitter and Wagner foglight delete grilles. The glossy black paint receives regular TLC using Auto Finesse products, as well as a full Scholl Concepts three-stage mop several times a year. “I get the wheels off and clean them with Ph-balanced cleaner, as well as regularly doing inside the arches – it gets pampered!” smiles CJ. But then it should.
As we’ve said before, the only way to keep on top of an older RS model like this is with regular, preventative maintenance and cleaning. This is doubly so with it being used daily. Incidentally, when pressed on the matter of fuel consumption, CJ confesses that he gets about 16mpg, which makes the fact he still uses it all the more remarkable. But he sums it up by saying, “What’s the point of being into a car for £20k and not using it?” It’s this refreshing attitude that has seen CJ get to the heart of the B5 community. He looks after the maintenance for owners across the UK and has worked on many of the UK’s finest B5s including Julian’s B5 wide body from the cover of AT013. He can regularly be found on the Audi SRS and B5 owners’ forums.
Inside, as you’d expect, things are very OEM. The sat nav unit has been upgraded to the later RNSE system, and there’s a boost gauge nestling in one of the air vents, but aside from that it’s all standard RS4 fair. Even the Alcantara steering wheel and gear knob were factory options, which CJ sent off to be refreshed – “they were black,” he adds.
The RS4 is now at the stage where CJ is happy with it and he’s even booked his first track day at our own event, VAG Tuner Live at Donington on 10 July. “I only live five minutes away, so if I break it, I can walk home!” he laughs. We don’t think that’s likely though and can see him continuing to have one of the best commutes to work of any of us.
SPECIFICATION #Audi-RS4-B5 / #Audi-RS4 / #Audi-A4-B5 / #Audi-A4 / #Audi / #Audi-RS4-Milltek-B5 / #Tanoga-Engineering / #MTM-Bimoto / #MTM / #Carl-CJ-Johnson /
Engine 2.7 biturbo #V6 , #Milltek dual exhaust system, Originial Fabrications 3in catless downpipes, #Siemens-Deka-630 fuel injectors, #Bosch-413 fuel pump, #Wagner intercooler kit, #MRC-Tuning panel filter with MRC modified air box, 034 silicone intake hoses, 034 TFSI coil conversion with copper plugs, MRC Stage 3 remap with launch control and flat shift, Devil’s Own water methanol kit
Power 500bhp and 700Nm
Transmission 6-speed manual box with #Tanoga-Engineering short shifter
Brakes B7 RS4 brakes front and rear with braided lines
Suspension #Bilstein B8 dampers, OEM RS4 springs, 034 Motorsport front ARB, 034 rear ARB with billet strengthening brackets, 034 snub mount, AWE drive train stabiliser, new bushes throughout
Wheels MTM ‘Bimoto’ alloys in 9.5x18in with 255/30x19in tyres and H&R 10mm hubcentric spacers
Interior RnsE headunit conversion with 2015 maps and factory integrated Bluetooth, Podi boost gauge mounted in air vent, Alcantara refreshed
Exterior Stock RS4 with SEAT Leon Cupra front splitter, Wagner foglight delete grilles, genuine Audi headlight protectors, stubby roof aerial, tinted windows, Jaguar front wing stone deflectors
Contacts/thanks MRC Tuning for the map, Cookie and Caddy for the detailing, Julian Loose, WOT Motorsport and my long suffering wife Natalie
Above: A man who knows his B5s Bottom: Audi gecko.
Above: B5 perfection? It can’t be far off Left: Original interior has been subtly updated.
“This thing really is an animal when you want it to be”
Above: Water/meth kit in the boot Below: Alcantara wheel has been fully renovated
Left: Who doesn’t love the front end of a B5 RS4? Above: Fog light delete Below: Those brakes aren’t shy!Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderation2016 #Audi B5 RS4 530hp and an interior you won't believe
Words Davy Lewis Photography Urban Style Fotographie.
GREEN MONSTER RS4 B5 With an amazing interior.
We spotted this stunning B5 RS4 at the Essen Motor Show – fortunately we managed to track it down…
Of all the Audi models that we feature, there’s one that seems to get people going more than any other. It not the newest and it’s certainly not the fastest. In fact, it’s become known for its general recalcitrance and ability to drain your wallet faster than teenage kids. The car is, of course, the B5 RS4. Things got off to a good start when the car was launched back in 2000. In these more innocent times, RS models were few and far between. The RS badge was only ever available on one model at a time (imagine that now) and for a very limited run of no more than two years. They were then, pretty exclusive cars.
The B5 had a couple of aces up its RS sleeve – namely the fact it’d been tweaked by engine gurus Cosworth and featured a hefty 375bhp out of the box. Add to this a subtly aggressive, wide shouldered style and it was clear to see why people loved them. The thing is, they still do. In fact, I’d got so far as to say B5 RS4s are loved more now than when they were first launched.
Part of the appeal is the fact they are getting on a bit. With new car design dictated by crash test performance, resulting in higher bonnets, chunkier A pillars and much larger overall dimensions, the distinctly old-school B5 harks back to a less complicated age.
It has a regular six-speed manual gearbox, that you operate via a clutch (yes, how novel). There’s no fancy electronic steering gubbins – just a regular PAS unit that allows you to feel what the front wheels are doing. There’s no keyless entry; nowhere to hook up your smart phone (unless you want to charge it) and if you find one with original sat nav – you’re best off using google maps on your phone. And did I mention they can be a tad – how can I put this – temperamental? Anyone that’s owed a B5 RS4 will know what I’m talking about.
These cars needed regular maintenance when they were new, but now, fifteen years later, you need to be on good terms with your Audi specialist if you want to enjoy your B5. It’s all age related stuff – boost leaks, turbo seals blown, oil leaks, suspension failure – but it all adds up. The fact it’s an engine out job for many, seemingly simple issues is what drives the costs right up. So, let’s look at the facts: on the face of it, a B5 RS4 is quite ordinary looking. It tends to break a lot. And holds its value well. Plus spares are very hard to find. Sounds like a terrible proposition for a project car. So why do so many people in the UK and abroad love them more than a free bar at Christmas?
The owner of this immaculate Goodwood Green example certainly agrees. He’s a member of the Hanover Hardcore club (most famous member, one Philipp Klaess – he of the 225mph, 1000bhp B5 widebody). It was on display at last year’s Essen Motor Show and attracted crowds of admirers. And with good reason. It has to be one of the finest RS4s we’ve ever seen. It looks like it just rolled off the production line at Ingolstadt and has an interior that you will not believe.
From the outside, it looks like a very well presented RS4. The Goodwood Green paint has a mirror finish and has clearly seen more prep and pampering than most. As should always be the case, things have been pretty much left as intended here, with the few, subtle changes including the black Audi rings on the front and gloss black lower intake mesh. The front RS4 badge has also been removed for the ultimate in stealth. With many favouring the all black look, it’s refreshing to see plenty of bright work done in matt silver. The roof rails, window and grille surrounds all contrast well with the deep green paintwork.
The biggest eye catcher outside is the ride height. Dropped very low over a set of mouth wateringly tasty BBS splits, you’d bet your last buck that this was on air-ride. It isn’t. The Gepfeffert crew have worked some voodoo with some KW V3 coilovers to create an ultra low ride height. It looks great for shows, but has to be said isn’t much fun on the road. That said, it can easily be adjusted when owner, Ewe wants to drop the hammer.
Going back to those wheels, they really are rather delicious. A beefy 9x20in split rim with gold centres, they suit this 15-year old car to a tee. Look carefully and you’ll spot some rather high-end Lamborghini brakes tucked up behind them.
Being an RS4, this car had to offer decent grunt as well as immaculate looks. The 2.7 biturbo has been treated to a pair of TTE turbos, which together with supporting upgrades to fuelling, and uprated freer flowing y-pipes and exhaust, give this B5 a healthy 537hp and 710Nm.
Now, at this point I usually begin to talk about the interior, but in this case, it’s not so easy. The thing is, the inside of this RS4 is nothing short of stunning. Literally every piece of interior trim, whether cloth, leather or plastic has been redone in a fantastic tan colour scheme. Open the door and the car is awash with soft touch, high quality materials – you can even smell it. The front B7 RS4 seats are done in leather and Alcantara, as are the door cards, the centre console and the dash itself. A late-spec flat bottom steering wheel has also been lovingly covered, complete with natty RS4 badge. But it doesn’t end there. The roof lining and all pillars are also covered. Then there’s the carbon. You’ll find it on the doors, the dash, centre console even the steering column and seat bases. Inside, this RS4 feels more Bentley than B5.
So there we have it – a possible contender for best interior of
2016. Not bad considering it’s only February…
SPECIFICATION #Audi-RS4-B5 / #Audi-RS4 / #Audi / #Audi-A4-B5 / #Audi-A4
Engine 2.7 V6 biturbo, uprated downpipes, full 3in exhaust system, 630cc injectors, #TTE turbo, uprated #Wagner intercoolers, uprated fuelling, custom remap.
Power 537hp and 710Nm
Transmission 6-speed manual with uprated clutch.
Brakes Lamborghini brakes front and rear.
Suspension Gepfeffert by #KW-V3 .
Wheels and tyres 9x20in #BBS-E88 magnesium split rims with gold painted centres, 235/30 Hankook S1 Evo tyres.
Interior Full retrim in tan leather and Alcantara; includes B7 RS4 seats, dash, centre console, door cards, pillars, roof lining and flat bottom steering wheel, carbon trim added to doors, dash, centre console and steering column as well as seat bases.
Exterior Full respray in Goodwood Green, refreshed headlights, black Audi rings, de-badged grille.
Above: BBS split rims are simply stunning.
“The 9x20in #BBS alloys are truly amazing”
Above: B5 was one of the stars of the 2015 Essen Motor Show (note Goodwood green paint looks very different under the show lighting).
“One of the finest looking B5 RS4s around and that interior is on a different level”
Right: RS4 handles like a go-kart Bottom Engine now makes 537hp.
Above: Side view shows the stunning interior Below left: Carbon has been used extensively Below right: Late spec steering wheel has been retrimmed.
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- Post is under moderationTUNING GUIDE – #Audi-RS4-B7 / #Audi-RS4 / #Audi-A4-B7 / #Audi-A4 / #Audi
One of the best loved RS models ever made, the B7 RS4 has even greater potential with some careful tuning…
AUDI RS4 B7
Launched in 2006, the B7 RS4 was a revelation. It featured an all-new aluminium 4.2 V8, which revved to 8000rpm and delivered a claimed 414bhp. But there was more to this car than a sweet engine. The rest of it made equally exciting reading. A proper non-electric steering system which gave great feedback, a sweet 6-speed manual, and it handled fantastically well too. Add to this the understated, muscular looks and it’s clear why they sold so well. But, as ever, there’s plenty you can do to make these great cars even better. We spoke to some of the UK’s top Audi tuners to find out what you need to know…
Being naturally aspirated, the 4.2 V8 is never going to deliver huge gains, unless you go forced induction (see later). That said, there’s a lot you can do to make the most of what you’ve got, remove some restrictions and create a car that drives better. The direct injection 4.2 FSI is a light, high-revving and compact unit with lots of character. Performance is strong, although the factory quoted 414bhp (420PS) is rather optimistic. 380bhp is a far more realistic figure, so bear in mind you’re starting from a lower level before you begin tuning. delivers smooth and gutsy power and revs to 8,000rpm. A 0-62mph of 4.7sec and top speed of 170+mph (delimited) is very respectable.
Before embarking on any tuning work, there are some known issues that you may need to take care of first.
The first is the build up of carbon in the inlet manifold/intake ports. This is more likely on cars that are not revved to the redline often, where oil builds up around the inlet valves. It can be fixed with a simple, but labour intensive, carbon clean. Specialists such as #MRC-Tuning , #QS-Tuning and others can carry this out for £500-800. The build up leads to a loss of power due to the restriction caused and B7s can be down to 350bhp or even more. There’s no point chasing higher power figures if your car isn’t even making stock power!
There have bee cases of bits of carbon (which is very hard) breaking up and ending up inside the cyliders, leading to engine failure. If it’s suffering from rough idling, get it checked out as this can be caused by failed breathers, lambdas, or solenoids – again essential before you begin tuning it. Vacuum leaks can occur, which also manifest themselves as rough idling, hesitation under load and may throw up fault codes (not all cars). It’s worth borrowing or investing in a fault code reader such as a Vagcom unit to check the health before you start hunting for extra power. An engine suffering from vacuum leaks and carbon build up could be down to as little as 300bhp. Coilpacks are known to fail, which again will show as poor running issues. Finally with running issues, early cars were subject to an ECU recall to cure a lumpy idle, so check that this has been carried out before you spend money chasing the problem in other areas. Oil coolers were fitted as standard, which is great from a performance perspective, however, the pipes can corrode, leading to leaks, so check for any fluid around the cooler, which can lead to catastrophic engine failure if not fixed. An uprated cooler from the likes of Forge Motorsport is a very wise upgrade as this will resist corrosion.
A solenoid opens a set of flaps at 5,000rpm for the exhaust, but these are known to stick shut due to vacuum issues, solenoid or corroded bush in the exhausts worn actuator rods, broken flap arms and carbon build up. The other issue (that is different to exhaust flaps and operate under different conditions) are the inlet manifold flaps. These can have worn actuator rods, broken flap arms, and carbon build up. These are only used on idle for better mixtruer for emmsions. These are not like dual runner manifolfds for torque/ power gains. Again, it’s not the end of the world, but it is another labour intensive (and therefore costly) job to remove them. Most RS4 owners get this done, along with the carbon clean and an ECU remap as a whole package. At this point it makes sense to have a performance exhaust fitted as a remap will be needed if the lambda sensors do not have 400 cell cats before them.
Not only will a larger bore, freer flowing exhaust system allow the engine to breathe better, it will also transform the sound it makes. There are many systems available, from Milltek who have about every option available for whatever sound you want and Scorpion, to some truly evil sounding non resonated systems from Capristo and AWE. You can go for a simple cat back set-up; a full system with high flow downpipes and sports cats, or go the whole hog and fit a de-cat system. This will create the most gains, but will need swapping come MoT time.
Be careful with aftermarket induction kits as these can change the calibration of hte maf and this needs to be corrected in the remap to correct mixture and any part throttle hesitations. Any increase in airflow from these can be negated by them being open and sucking in hot air from the engine bay. A quality inlet system with carbon fibre air box from the likes of AWE, Gruppe M, APR and others will help to feed the engine more effectively, while again making a nice noise as it sucks in air on the throttle. They look great in the engine bay.
NA tuning will never give huge gains and for many, just getting the factory quoted figures will be enough. For significant gains, you’ll need to consider forced induction. Several supercharger kits have been produced for the 4.2 V8 including units from APR, PES and TTS Performance, but the TTS kit is the only one currently available. All offer a full bolt-on solution that includes cooling system, all pipework, brackets, inlet manifold, pulley, belts, hoses and fuel pumps. With the correct mapping, a supercharged B7 RS4 can make up to around 600bhp, depending on fuel, conditions, map and other variables. You’ll need a decent budget though. A fully installed TTS kit retails for £11,400 plus fitting and mapping.
The 6-speed manual gearbox is a strong and reliable unit and should stand up to big power upgrades, although an uprated clutch such as a #Sachs or #Loba unit will be required. Stock clutches should last to around 40k miles, but hard used or tuned cars will wear their faster. A quick shift can improve the throw with #JH-Motorsports shifters available.
Although a far cry from the weaknesses found with the C5 RS6, the RS4’s adaptive suspension can still throw up issues. If dammer fails it’s around £250, plus £140 for hydraulic lines, so it makes sense to upgrade to coilovers. KW Variant 3s are one of the best systems available, offering a multitude of adjustability, from nice and compliant for the road, to a harder set-up for track. A drop of around 30-35mm will provide the best ride characteristics, although you can go lower if you accept a compromised ride. As with all suspension upgrades, a full geometry set-up is vital to get the most out of it.
As ever air -ride system are available, and depending on your viewpoint are either a great solution to a problem or a complete waste of time on an RS4. Air-Lift Performance, and AirRex offer systems for the B7 platform, with companies such as Plush Automotive able to install them.
The B7 RS4 came with 9x19in alloys as standard with an ET29 (although 18s were an option). With 255/35 rubber, they suit the car, but many people will want to upgrade. A set of lighter 19s makes sense as any reduction from the unsprung mass makes s big difference to the way the car handles. There are several respected brands to look out for depending on your budget. At the top of the tree is stuff like ADV.1, Avant Garde, HRE and Vossen offering a multitude of stunning, forged wheels from the US. The optimum size is 9x19in for handling, but we’ve seen cars with 10x20in fitted (although this will take some work). BBS and OZ are all well suited to the RS4, as well as high-end Audi-specific MTM and ABT models. OEM items such as the A8 RS4 look, B8 RS4 (with spigot rings) and C6 RS6 also work well and there are literally hundreds of more ‘style-focused’ designs from the likes of Rotiform.
As you’s expect the RS4 came with decent stoppers. The 365mm discs and 8-pot Brembo calipers do a great job on the road, stopping the 1650kg car with ease. If it’s been used hard, then discs can warp, developing a lip, which will create judder under braking. With OEM discs and pads up to £2k from a main dealer, this it the time to upgrade to performance items. Brembo and Performance Friction offer larger 380mm steel discs, with pads, for around £1200. For hard use on track, then some bigger brakes that resist heat build-up are a wise move. AP racing, Brembo and MovIt all make kits for the RS4. We’ve also seen Porsche Cayenne brakes used – if they can stop a lardy big SUV, they’ll have no trouble with an RS4, and add braided lines.
The ultimate brake upgrade is a set of carbon ceramics (an option on the RS4). If they’re off an S8 or R8 they’ll need adapting to fit, but will offer serious, fade free stopping power, create very little dust and look amazing to boot. Figure on around £3,500+ for a used set on eBay or advertised on popular forums. Also look at the highend MovIt carbon kits.
The outside is bang on the money. Wide arches give the B7 a muscular look and with deep vents to the front bumper and trademark oval tailpipes at the rear, they look great. But there are things that can be improved upon if you so wish.
If your RS4 didn’t come with the Black Optic pack, then you’ll have chrome window surrounds, front grille surround and roof rails (avant only). These can easily be wrapped to a matt black finish or even painted. The RS4 is pretty stealthy anyway, but some owners removed the RS badges for the ultimate wolf in sheep’s clothing - although those that know will still spot the wide arches, front bumper and oval tailpipes. Many people choose a full wrap, to make their RS stand out, but also to offer protection. There are a number of approved 3M dealers that can transform your car in a day from around £1200.
There’s also plenty of carbon available to liven up your B7, from the likes of Carbon Goodies.co.uk, including front lower splitter, to badges, wheel centres, B and C-pillar covers, and boot strip. A few RS4s have popped up with vented bonnets, particularly supercharged cars, which run quite hot. The effectiveness is debatable as air flow is a complex area, but they certainly look mean.
If you’re fortunate to have an RS4 with the wing back Recaro sports seats, then lucky you – cos these are some of the finest seats ever made. If not, you can fit a set, but factor on at least £2k (assuming you can find a set). With early B7 interiors getting on for nine years old now, they do tend to wear, so a retrim is a good option. A full front and rear seat retrim in leather and or Alcantara, including door cards, starts from around £3k rising to £5k+ if you want the pillars, gear gaiter, dash and centre console doing – a significant outlay, but it will make your car feel like new inside. OEM steering wheels had a silver plastic bottom section that can also wear and perhaps isn’t in keeping with the high-end feel to the car. A replacement flat bottom wheel with carbon section can be sourced, although you’ll need to budget at least £500, plus another £200 or so to have it fitted. Companies such as Awesome GTI can do this, but it’s quite involved making sure the multi function buttons all work correctly. A later spec B8 RS4 wheel is another option, but again this would be around £1000 fitted.
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- Post is under moderationLIVING 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.
SPECIFICATION #Audi-RS4-B5 / #Audi-RS4 / #Audi-A4-B5 / #Audi-A4
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 , #Bosch-044 fuel pump, #Wagner intercoolers, #034-Motorsport 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 short shifter
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
SUSPENSION #KW Variant 1, #H&R stiffer springs, hard bushes
WHEELS AND TYRES #BBS / #BBS-LM 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
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- Post is under moderation202mph wide-body #Audi-RS4-B5 #Audi-A4-B5 based
MRC Tuning’s 202mph B5 #Audi-RS4
MRC Tuning’s Doug Bennett has not only created one of the world’s finest B5 RS4 saloon #Audi-A4 conversions, he’s also reached over 200mph in it… Words Davy Lewis Photography Dan Pullen.
People always want what they can’t have. From that big house with the pool, to the Italian supercar with a screaming V10 – it’s human nature to desire the unobtainable. It’s the very thing that keeps many of us motivated and encourages us to get out of bed in the mornings. With the right opportunities, plus a hefty does of talent, a little bit of risk taking (plus good old fashioned luck of course) it is possible to achieve your dreams and buy what you really want. But what if the thing you really want isn’t for sale? What if it doesn’t technically exist? Well, then you need to think laterally. Doug Bennett is co-owner of renowned Audi performance specialists, #MRC-Tuning . He is one of the most passionate guys in the business when it comes to four-ringed machines and I suspect that if you cut him in half, he’d have Audi stamped through him like a stick of rock.
Doug lives and breathes Audis, from the moment he steps foot in the workshop, to his lunch break (“When I’m lucky enough to get one!”) to when he gets home. Whereas some tuners switch off when they’re not in the ‘office’ Doug will be working on his own cars, of which he has several. In fact, he’s first to admit that he finds it impossible to let a car go. Which kind of explains the enviable collection of Audis parked outside MRC Tuning’s HQ.
There’s his original S2 – the car that started it all, now packing a cool 700bhp. His R8 turbo, which is currently having a twin supercharger kit fitted; his daily driver – a 500bhp B8 S4 saloon on ceramics, and the family ‘run around’ a C6 RS6 avant that’s currently running a cool 751PS. But there’s another car... It’s something so special that it gets pride of place in the garage at Doug’s home. This car has been a true labour of love, and for me, it’s the most special of the lot.
Doug’s widebody #Audi RS4 saloon has been around for a good few years now. But it’s one of those cars that Audi enthusiasts still talk about and one that most people have at least heard of. Having seen some widebody conversions, Doug decided he wanted to do one properly. In case you were wondering, that adds up to a whole heap of work.
To have spent so much time, effort, and expense creating such an immaculate, one-off creation, and then go and hammer the life out of it on a stone-ridden airfield in the pursuit of an insane top speed is staggering. The fact it became unstable and could so easily have ended in disaster is something else entirely. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Doug bought the S4 back in 2010 and the build took around a year. The base car was a tatty silver S4 that looked like it had seen better days. But that didn’t matter, as pretty much every part of it was going to be renewed or replaced.
You can see the boxout for the full details of the bodywork, but the main work involved grafting RS4 wings, sills and bumpers onto the saloon.
Renowned bodywork specialist, Greg Howell, carried out the work – of which there was a hell of a lot to get those 12mm wider arches to fit. There was much deliberation about the colour, with Doug asking the AudiSRS.com members what they thought. His final decision of Ibis White is perfect. Incidentally the entire build was detailed on AudiSRS.com and you can se it here – http:// audisrs.com/ftopic10977-0-asc-0.php.
And so to the engine, which is Doug’s specialist area. The bay looks like it just came out of the Ingolstadt factory. There are black hoses to keep it OEM and everything looks brand new, including the fluid bottles and associated clips, screws and other items.
Underneath, a serious rebuild of the RS4 lump has taken place. The Cosworth-built engine came with a healthy 375bhp from the factory, so it was a good place to start. A stroker has been fitted to take the capacity to 3.0-litres. Fully reworked heads and inlet manifold allow the thing to breathe more freely, while MRC’s own ceramic-coated tubular exhaust manifold offers massively improved airflow. There are beefy 3in downpipes (naturally) to get those twin K16 turbos spooled up fast.
To feed the hungry V6, an MRC 750 fuel pump kit, plus 980cc injectors get the Momentum 99 in fast. With the hardware in place, it was time for MRC’s Mihnea Cotet to work some magic with the map. It took around three days to get it spot on, fully utilising the Hitachi MAF. To ensure this thing is even more devastating when you drop the hammer, launch control and flat shift has been worked into the ECU.
To get that power down, a Spec clutch kit with hardened gearset was fitted, together with a custom sixth gear for the 200mph run. This RS4 saloon is a truly immaculate beast. So it’s all the more mind blowing when Doug kicks its arse on an airfield! The noise when those twin turbos wake up and the anti-lag kicks in is incredible, and of course, there’s a pair of flames from the RS6 tailpipes too.
Rather than focus on big peak numbers, Doug wanted this car to be savagely quick in the real world, so that meant big torque. This thing pulls from low down and just keeps on going in one relentless charge. You can see it in action in the video links we’ve added, but the way the rev counter sweeps around the dial as the speedo goes off the clock is something to behold. You’ll also see in the video a cool slow-mo of all four wheels spinning as it launches off the line. Part of the appeal for me is that the B5 is one of the last smaller saloons ever made. It’s also one of the best looking with its curvy shape and looks like it’s ready for action. The wide arches and beefy 20in wheels merely add to the sense of impending violence that oozes from this Ibis White weapon.
Inside, this RS4 saloon is very special indeed. There’s a real highend feel to the cabin with swathes of soft-touch Alcantara adorning the dash, door cards and steering wheel. It feels like an Aston Martin or Bentley rather than a 15-year-old Audi. But it’s the rear seats that really set it apart.
It would have been easy to get the rear bench trimmed to match the stunning Recaro Pole Position front seats. However Doug doesn’t do easy and tasked Greg Howell with removing the rear seats and custom fitting another pair of Pole Positions. There was a lot of custom fabrication involved, but the results are stunning. The rest of the B5’s interior was given a full on refresh with leather and Alcantara used for the roof lining, pillars and dash inserts. With ballistic performance on tap, it seemed fitting to add a chunky B5 RS4 steering wheel, too.
As I said, the B5 widebody has lived a pretty cushy life since the infamous top speed run. All that’s been done is a regular oil change and plenty of cleaning. But recently that changed. In fact, it was this development that proved the catalyst to us featuring it. I spotted an update on facebook showing the car with a set of mean looking ADV.1 alloys tucked up in the big arches. I asked Doug if they were really going on the car and he said “of course”.
That sums up this stunning B5 really. It’s had the very best of everything and is still Doug’s pride and joy – plus it’s done over 200mph, too, which is pretty cool!
Engine 2.7 V6 biturbo from B5 RS4, 3.0 stroker kit, K16 hybrid turbos, ported heads, ported polished and reworked inlet manifold, ceramic coated MRC tubular manifold, custom #Milltek exhaust with 3in downpipes and C6 RS6 oval tailpipes with ceramic black tips, 100mm Hitachi MAF housing, ITG custom cone filter inside OEM adapted airbox, 980cc injectors, #MRC750 fuel pump kit, MRC Stage 3 map with anti-lag, launch control and flat shift.
Power 721bhp and 885Nm
Transmission 6-speed manual with Spec clutch kit, metal slave cylinder, hardened gearset, MRC custom 6th gear for 200+mph top speed.
Brakes AP Racing 6-pots front and 4-pots rear with DS3000 brake pads
Suspension Bilstein BSS9 coilovers Wheels and Tyres ADV.1 alloys.
Exterior Full, metal RS4 widebody conversion by Greg Howell, RS4 front bumper, RS4/S4 rear bumper blended with C6 RS6 rear diffuser, de-locked, headlamp wahers removed, rear number plate recess shortened, side repeaters removed, painted Ibis White.
Interior 4x Recaro Pole Position seats trimmed in leather and Alcantara, retrimmed B5 RS4 steering wheel, roof lining, pillars, door cards and dash inlays trimmed in Alcantara.
Tuning contacts MRC Tuning www.mrctuning.com Southam Bodies (Greg Howell) 01926 813676
Top 200mph and sheep do not mix! Below: Those arches took a LOT of work...
THE 200MPH RUN
Doing 200mph sounds easy. It isn’t. For starters you need a suitable car. Many ‘200mph’ cars simply can’t get near that figure. Remember, 200mph on a speedo, isn’t a true 200mph on a Performance Box or similar GPS-based device. The next issue is space. You need a long way to achieve 200, and be able to brake safely. In the UK, that means there’s only a handful of airfields (we don’t recommend the M1!) long enough to do top speed runs. So, assuming you have a car that can achieve 200 and an airfield that’s long enough, you then have to contend with aerodynamics. At big speeds, even slight cross winds have a big effect on a car. Add to this a poor surface and often inclement weather, and you can see that it’s not an easy thing to do. Not safely anyway. It’s for this reason that the V Max days have become so popular. Run by true supercar enthusiasts, these days give owners of big-power cars the chance to try and max them out at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, near Leicester. This ex-WW2 airfield is one of the longest available in the UK at almost 2-miles, so it’s ideal.
It was at one of these events that Doug achieved 202.4mph in the RS4 saloon. “It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done,” he confesses. “We had removed the spare wheel well to fit the dual-exit exhaust and the reduction in weight made the back end go light.” Doug won’t be drawn on specifics, suffice to say there was a spin and he’s very thankful the car stayed the right way up. The B5’s top speed days were called to a halt here. “I’d proved it could do over 200mph,” says Doug, so that was that. You can see the car in action by searching “MRC Tuning B5 widebody” on YouTube or heading to www.mrctuning.com
“The noise when those twin turbos wake up and the ALS kicks in is incredible”
Above right: Interior is awash with leather and Alcantara Above: Buckets in the rear is a very cool touch.
CREATING AN S4 WIDEBODY
As conversions go, this is one of the more involved. It’s not simply a case of fabricating some wide arches and blending the bumpers in to match. Not by a long shot! To carry it out properly, first you need a genuine B5 RS4. It helps of course if the RS4 is a bit tatty, or even broken as you’ll need to pinch its front and rear bumpers and sills before attacking those iconic arches.
The arches were cut out of the donor car and carefully grafted on to the saloon. It took a lot of careful measuring, offering up and expert welding to get spot on. The doors in particular were a headache as they had to be a blend of S4 and RS4 to get sitting right. The rear bumper is a blend of S4 middle section, with RS4 corners and a C6 RS6 diffuser.
It was an immense amount of work to achieve, but it all looks OEM – which fulfilled the brief perfectly. The fact it still looks factory fresh is testament to the quality of the workmanship all round.
Top: The view is much improved by the RS4 Left: C6 RS6 diffuser and tailpipes.
“A sense of impending violence oozes from this Ibis White weapon”
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