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…
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.
Above: Attention to detail is superb Right Custom trimmed steering wheel.