- Post is under moderation702bhpS2 #MTM-Talladega-R / Words Davy Lewis / Photography AJ Walker
More power than an original Ferrari Enzo - MRC Tuning's original stealth bomber!
HUMBLE BEGINNINGS MRC TUNING S2
This stealthy looking S2 was the catalyst that led to #MRC-Tuning being born, and now it’s been fully refreshed – with a monstrous 712ps (702bhp)
Always remember where you came from – that’s a phrase that you hear a lot in these celebrity obsessed times. From Hollywood stars that started out as waiters, to world champion boxers that used to clean cars for a living – it’s amazing how far you can come in life. But staying true to your roots isn’t easy. The pressures of success can change people – and not always for the better.
Having worked on performance car magazines for over 16 years, I’ve seen this happen many times over. Tuning enthusiasts grow into a commercial entity and become a bit ‘corporate’. They lose touch with the very people they should be appealing to. Which is a shame.
One company that has managed to grow, and stay in touch with the real Audi fans, is MRC Tuning.
Set up in 2005, MRC is the collaboration of S2 enthusiasts, Doug Bennett and Mihnea Cottet. As a regular on the well-respected S2forum.com, Doug reached a point where no one in the UK could modify his S2 to the level he wanted, so he decided to do it himself and get Mihnea over from Europe to tune it.
The 1995 Coupe, which he purchased in 2002, had already been converted to RS2 spec and was running around 330ps. With further work from Doug, it got to a K27 turbo level of tune, and offered a good balance of power and drivability. However, as is often the case with these things, once a business takes off, a tuner’s own car tends to get left behind.
And MRC Tuning has certainly taken off. These guys are now one of the world’s most respected performance Audi specialists, with a huge flow of S and RS models going through their Banbury workshop. Always at the cutting edge of Audi tuning, MRC has created the UK’s first 1000bhp RS6 C6; cracked the 200mph barrier in a B5 widebody and an R8 turbo at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground; and they continue to the lead the way with everything from B5 RS4s, through to the very latest RS6s.
Over the last 11 years, Doug has been fortunate enough to indulge his passion for fast Audis. His S4 widebody, R8 turbo and RS6 C6 have all been featured in #AudiTuner and reinforce the fact that he’s an Audi enthusiast first and foremost. However, one car will always remain extra special.
“It’s the car I’ve owned the longest and will never get rid of,” confirms Doug. “It always gives me a buzz – from the old school lag of nothing – then bang – all the power and torque in a small power band,” he smiles.
Although the S2 was well cared for, it didn’t have the ‘wow’ factor that befits an MRC staff car. So, when team member, Stuart Fourie, offered to carry out the custom fabrication necessary to take it to the next level, Doug didn’t hesitate. The S2 was officially ‘reborn’ in 2014, but it was only relatively recently that all of the finishing touches have been completed ready for a feature.
To the man in the street, it may look nothing special – just another mid-90s Audi. But those in the know will appreciate the latent violence that simmers just below the surface of this unassuming Coupe.
The current engine spec is a master class in how to achieve reliable, big power and, more importantly, immense torque, from the venerable 2.2-litre ABY lump. At 2bar of boost, this 20v turbo delivers a sledgehammer blow of 712ps and 717Nm – more than a Ferrari Enzo.
However, don’t confuse this with the linear and relentless surge of torque that you get with a modern RS6 running similar power. In the S2, it’s much more aggressive, with the power coming in with a bang. There’s nothing progressive about this thing. It has a very old school feel – an almost Group B savagery – that is guaranteed to shock the unprepared. In fact, at last year’s AudiTuner Expo, Stuart brought the car along to display, and his mate, who was riding shotgun, recalled how he’d almost been sick when the boost kicked in on the journey to Donington. This sort of animal is, of course, not for everyone. But when you spend each and every day tuning and testing some of the most powerful Audis in the world, you need something a bit special to get your own kicks.
The engine itself is a work of art. Dominated by the big external wastegate and GTX3582 turbo, it looks as if it just came out of some special projects division at Renn Sport. Everything, from the black crackle finish on the cam cover and inlet manifold, through to the shiny alloy goodies (even the clips and hoses look immaculate), it’s clear to see a hell of a lot of care has gone into this engine bay.
The prodigious power is transferred via a B5 S4 6-speed gearbox, which is mated to a strong, 6-puck Sachs clutch and solid flywheel. It’s a tried and testing combination, that’s able to handle the immense force created with such a powerful 20v turbo. Talking of which, it doesn’t half sound good.
A stock 5-pot is a very sonorous thing to behold, but this is on an entirely different level. It’s part jet fighter, part Group B rally car – you really need to hear it being driven in anger to appreciate it. It chuffs and snorts in a real old school fashion – there’s no modern Audi noise suppression here – and it’s all the better for it.
The whole car has a very raw feel to it. In this digital world where everything from the weight of the steering, to the firmness of the dampers, the speed of the gear changes to the sensitivity of the throttle can all be controlled by a computer; this is a very analogue beast. You get in, turn on the ignition, put it into gear – and drive the bugger.
Aside from the specialist fabrication work to the exhaust, intercooler, catch can and breathers (all thanks to the talented Stuart), the rest of this S2 is dripping with tuning goodies, but as with all MRC projects, everything is fitted with performance in mind first and foremost. The chassis, in particular, has received lots of attention to ensure the power can be controlled and corners attacked with aplomb. From the #AP-Racing 6-pots nestled behind the gorgeous BBS CH alloys (which look like they were made for the S2), to the H&R coilovers and uprated ARBs, this thing is ready to rock whenever you need it to. Not wishing to spoil the fantastic 90s styling of this curvaceous Coupe, Doug has been careful to add only OEM parts to give it a little lift. The front end has been treated to genuine RS2 door mirrors, plus grille and front bumper, which look both more aggressive and affords better airflow to the hard worked engine. The rear end simply wears a neat alloy MRC badge – there’s not even a clue that this is an S-model Audi.
Inside, you’ll find a set of factory optional RS2 leather seats. They have the creases and patina you’d expect from a car made in 1995, but they’re all the better for it. In fact, the whole of the cabin has that certain feel and even smell of a mid-90s performance Audi. It feels very solid and has real character – something that’s arguably missing on the latest crop of S and RS models. It’s part of the reason that S2s, along with RS2s, B5 S/RS4s and C5 RS6s are still so well loved by enthusiasts.
So there we have it. This is kind of Doug’s life’s work. He’s owned the car since 2002 and it’s the one he’ll never let go. Considering the amount of unbelievably quick and desirable Audis this man has access to, it speaks volumes about what this S2 means to him. From humble beginnings – the car that started it all.
Top: You’d never guess it had over 700bhp. Below: Doug’s other ‘toy’ see the RS2 next issue.
SPECIFICATION #Audi-S2-Coupe / #1995 / #ABY / #Audi-ABY / #Audi-S2 / #Audi / #GTX3582 / #Garrett-GTX3582r / #Garrett-GTX3582 / #Garrett / #Audi-80-B4 / #Audi-Typ-8C / #Audi-S2-B4 / #Audi-8B / #Audi-S2-8B / #Audi-80 / #Audi-S2-Coupe-B4 / #MRC-Tuning / #Bosch / #Audi
Engine 2.2 ABY overbored, uprated rods and REC pistons, ported head with oversized valves and lightweight valvetrain, #Wagner inlet manifold (modified for throttle body to fit at 90deg), 850cc #Siemens injectors, High Octane tubular exhaust manifold, #Garrett-GTX3582R-turbo turbo, HKS wastegate, stock ECU with 4bar map sensor, #Bosch-413 fuel pump, custom intercooler, full custom exhaust, custom catch can and breathers through brace bar, #MRC-Tuning-Stage-3 remap
Power 712ps and 717Nm at 2bar / 627ps and 685Nm at 1.65bar
Transmission Audi S4 B5 gearbox, #Sachs 6-puck clutch with solid flywheel
Front: #AP-Racing 6-pot calipers with Phaeton discs
Rear: VRS Porsche 4-pots and Brembo handbrake calipers
Suspension #H&R coilovers, RS2 front #ARB , Whiteline rear ARB, #Powerflex polybushes
Wheels 19in #BBS-CH with 235/35 Yokohama tyres
Interior Factory optional RS2 #Recaro seats, RS2 steering wheel, boost and EGT gauges, RS4 Alcantara gearknob, RS2 dash and aux gauges
Exterior RS2 front bumper, RS2 wing mirrors, RS2 grille, MRC badge
Contacts and thanks MRC Tuning www.mrctuning.com, Stuart, Chris and Mihnea for helping look after it over the years, S2forum.com, Dhyllan at Automotive Addiction for the wheel refurbishment
Top: RS2 seats were a factory option Above: Gauges in custom vent housing.
Above: Interior is solid and has that special 90s feel to it.
“It’s part jet fighter, part Group B rally car – you really need to hear it driven in anger...”
GTX3582 turbo supplies ample boost. Catch can and breathers are bespoke items. Custom MRC Tuning intercooler.
Left: AP Racing 6-pots and 19in #BBS alloys – perfect Main pic: Not even an S2 badge to give the game away...
“It’s the car I’ve owned the longest and will never get rid of”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 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 moderationAUDI RS6 C5 2015 TUNING UNLEASHED
Stunning C5 is packing 573ps, 881Nm C5 perfection. Absolute Perfection. Not much can beat the appeal of a really well done C5 RS6 and this 573ps beast has to be one of the finest examples in the world…
Reputations mean everything. In this day and age of social media, if something isn’t right, then someone will quickly post an online review or comment to tell the world exactly what they think. This poses something of a quandary. On the one hand, an honest review can help – after all, who wants to buy something that’s likely to break? On the other, just because an individual has had a bad experience doesn’t mean you should run for the hills.
The C5 RS6 is a classic example of this interweb hysteria. Yes, the big, biturbo avant can be devilishly expensive to put right if it breaks. The weak points – the DRC suspension, gearbox, intercoolers – are all well documented. Make no mistake, if you buy a poor one, you will face some big bills. But there’s more to the C5 RS6 than a list of known faults.
You don’t buy a C5 if you’re after something sensible and cheap to service and maintain; if that’s what you’re after, buy a new A6 TDI. People buy C5 RS6s with their hearts.
The combination of V8 twin-turbo performance and that iconic wide-shouldered style, means it’s still one of the best looking and most desirable RSs ever made. Add to this the fact that they can be tuned to over 600bhp, and are available in both saloon and avant form, and it’s clear to see why they are still so well loved.
Darren Burt, owner of this immaculate C5, has always loved Audis. We displayed it on our stand at this year’s AITP, which is where we caught up with him to find out more.
“Me and my pals used to walk past a brand new Noggy-blue RS2 on the way to school, so I’ve always likes avants; especially the C5 RS6,” he smiles. Having run a D2 4.2 A8, he really wanted an RS6 and often looked at them in the classifieds.
“I left it for a while, then had a quick squiz one day and spotted this one for sale in London,” he recalls. “I was working offshore, so I thought, I’ll leave it to fate – if it’s still for sale when I get back, then it’s meant to be and I’ll buy it.” Then, barely 24 hours into his trip, he flew down to London and did the deal on the tidy C5.
Previously owned by a guy on the AudiSRS forum, it had been well looked after. “It was lowered, remapped and had some MTM Bimoto wheels,” says Darren. “It was in decent condition with 80k miles; it had a few knocks on the paint and a chip on the windscreen, but I loved it; this was my dream car,” he smiles.
However, his fun was short lived. A spirited 165mph run was caught short when an errant hare ran into his path, destroying the front bumper.
“While the bumper was replaced, I decided to get a full respray as I wasn’t happy with the rest of the paintwork,” says Darren. This is where things began to get expensive.
“The parts bill was over five pages long,” he laughs, “every time the bodyshop removed a grille or piece of trim, a clip or bracket would snap.” Fortunately everything was readily available, but came with the usual high dealer prices. So many parts have been replaced on this 2003 car, that much of it really is like new. The door trims, alloy boot lid trim, plus numerous clips and fittings are all factory fresh.
When it came to the paint, it could only be Daytona Grey. This original hue suits the C5 to a tee and the full, glass-out respray looks fantastic.
The optics, including window and grille surrounds, plus roof rails have also been painted. “They’d been wrapped by the previous owner, but they didn’t look right, so I had them done in gloss black,” says Darren. “I didn’t do them in matt like an RS6 Plus, as I wasn’t trying to make this look like a Plus,” he adds. The final touch was having the mirrors done in Daytona grey. This RS may be over 12 years old now, but it looks like it just rolled out of Ingolstadt.
With a fresh paint job, Darren has been very particular about how it’s maintained. His missus, Mandy, explains, “We were out for dinner and Darren noticed a bird had poo’d on his car, so he drove home to clean it, leaving me in the restaurant!” To be fair it’d only just come out of the paintshop and home was only around the corner, but it goes to show the care he’s taken with this RS6. Unfortunately, the bird-poo incident was about to get a whole lot worse.
“The gearbox decided to let go on the way back to the restaurant.” laughs Darren. Not one to mess around, he sent the C5 over to respected Audi tuners, #Unit20 , to have a reconditioned box with uprated torque converter fitted.
Of course, he couldn’t leave it at that. “While it was in, I decided to get some #TTE650-hybrid-turbos fitted, together with Milltek race downpipes,” he smiles. “I also had some #Wagner-intercoolers ready to go on, so they were fitted too.”
With a freshly uprated engine and a stronger gearbox ready to take some punishment, the RS was then shipped off to MRC Tuning for a pair of ITG filters and its custom map. Here it made 573ps with a corresponding 881Nm of torque.
So, how did this compare to the previous spec? “90 to 190mph is ferocious,” says Darren. “I had 196mph out of it before the TTE turbos were fitted and it’s geared for over 200mph – I’m just waiting for a dry day to really test it!” he laughs. In a world where every other Audi we see appears to have airride, it makes a refreshing change to see something dropped very low on a static set-up. But this is no ordinary kit.
Put together by Simon Sweetland from Still Static, this bespoke system has been designed to get the RS6 as low as possible, without ruining the handling. “It annoys me when people say ‘that must drive really badly; it’s too low’” says Darren. “They don’t know what they’re talking about. Everything has been custom modified for the C5 by AH Flachwerk.” The H&R race ultralow coilovers have been re-valved, with shortened damper bodies. With Hotchkiss anti-roll bars, and a full geometry set-up, the suspension is both low and compliant. There’s a lot more to this bespoke kit than a set of off the- shelf coilovers wound down as far as they’ll go.
The set-up allows Darren to drop the car hard over the beefy set of 10x20in alloys, which came off a Q7. These OEM wheels really do look the part with polished lips and ceramic coated centres. Look behind the fronts and you’ll find a set of Brembo calipers gripping 380mm discs, which were kindly donated by a Lamborghini Gallardo. The C5 is no lightweight and with 190+mph on tap, it needs good stoppers.
Pop your head inside and you’ll find a typical RS6 leather interior. But look more closely and you’ll notice it looks brand new. The leather was removed, stripped back, re-dyed and treated before being re-fitted for that factory-fresh look. “I’ve got a set of Recaro CSs to go in it,” says Darren, “but I’m still not happy with the retrim on them; they’ve been done three times now,” he grimaces. But, aside from the Recaro issues, the RS6 was looking truly awesome and ready for its first show.
Then, just weeks before Audis in the Park, disaster struck. “I’d been sanding the headlights and on the way home noticed a rubber smell,” says Darren. Thinking he’d run over a plastic bag, he continued. “When I got home I could really smell burning and see smoke, so I opened the bonnet and the engine was on fire!” he exclaims. “I ran inside, got an extinguisher and managed to put it out very quickly.” A roll of tape had been left in the bay and the V8 had cooked it, along with part of his engine. Fortunately, the damage was relatively limited – the radiator overflow pipe had melted, some of the loom, and one of the coils.
The car was rushed down to MRC Tuning to have it all fixed ready for AITP. While it was in, Darren had all the coils replaced, together with the cam belt, water pump, vacuum pipes and alternator. It was finished, ready for the show, where it took pride of place on the AudiTuner stand.
“This is my first show in two years,” says Darren, “I just want to drive it and enjoy it now.” With plans for uprated manifolds to maybe unleash a bit more power, there’s plenty more to come for this stunning RS6. It really is a credit to Darren and the companies involved in tuning and maintaining it. The fact he drives it properly is just the icing on the cake.
SPECIFICATION #2003 #Audi-RS6-C5 / #Audi-A6-C5 / #Audi-A6 / #Audi-RS6 / #Audi-RS6-Avant / #Audi-RS6-Avant-C5
ENGINE 4.2 FSI biturbo V8, #TTE650 custom hybrid turbos, #Milltek race downpipes with 100cell cats, full #Milltek exhaust system, #Wagner intercoolers and shrouds, #ITG air filters, MRC Tuning custom ECU map
POWER 573ps and 881Nm
TRANSMISSION Unit 20-supplied recon gearbox with uprated torque converter and gearbox map
BRAKES Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggara #Brembo upgrade with 380mm front discs, #Ferodo race pads
SUSPENSION #AH-Flachwerk modified #H&R race ultralow coilovers from Still Static , #Hotchkiss anti-roll bars, 034 diff mount
WHEELS AND TYRES #Audi Q7 10x20in Speedlines with ceramic polished centres and hand polished lips with silver powder coated barrels, Michelin Pilot Supersport 245/30x20s, H&R adaptors
EXTERIOR Full windows-out respray in factory Daytona Grey pearl, all exterior trim (windows, grille surrounds, rear plinth, roof rails) painted gloss black, mirrors colour coded Daytona Grey
INTERIOR Factory Euro Recaro interior fully re-Connolised in original silver, full Audi S6/RS6 plus blue flash carbon interior pack, highly polished and re-fitted
TUNING CONTACTS Grizz and the crew at Unit 20, Doug and the crew at #MRC-Tuning , Simon at TTE, Del at Optimus Trimmers, Dave at Prestige Leather, Colin at Performance Bodyshop, Si Sweetland at Still static, Mike the polisher and Stevie Bryce
“This is my first show in two years, I just want to drive it and enjoy it now”
Top: Darren is happy, but there’s more to come.
“90 to 190mph is ferocious... I had 196mph out of it before the TTE turbos...”
Left: Milltek pipe, polished of course Below: Interior is mint Right: The V8 powerhouse.
Left: Rear ends don’t get much better Above: Twin TTE 650 turbos are inside Below: Static drop is impeccable.
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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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