Auto Sport Werks
The winner of our S4 shootout was a strange mix, truly awesome in some ways and completely screwed up in others. First among the good things is the RS4 body conversion. Almost any Audi fanatic knows the RS4 was available only as a wagon, which makes it much more difficult to apply its flares to a sedan. This car's conversion was flawless, allowing the use of monster 265/35-18 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires, which gave huge grip, its second big advantage. Third is its engine. Completely built from the crank out, it was the only one of this group we drove that behaved like our idea of a performance engine, pulling harder and longer. At those points on the track where other cars left us with a decision to upshift briefly before the next turn or sit on the rev limiter, the Sportec engine kept going. It was way more fun. The car's interior was also serious, with Alcantara-covered Sparco Milano seats and five-point harnesses in addition to some fancy reconfiguring of electronics.
This S4 was sixth on the drag strip, sixth in braking and only fourth on the dyno. But with Kevin Schrantz driving, it was fastest on the road course by an overwhelming 2.47 sec. Properly sorted, it would have been even faster. In one fast lap, Kevin overheated the 15-in. front brakes to the point that he went off the exit of Turn 2.
Pilot Sport Cup tires are sensitive to chassis balance. Auto Sport Werks hadn't had time to take this car to a track since assembling it, and it understeered badly. The springs were too soft; the outside kicked up and landed back on the bump stops through Turn 1. However, there was so much grip that it still went fast. Even after bleeding the system, the pedal was long, and the fronts wanted to lock up, the ABS pulsing early. It seemed front brakes were the one place on the car where overkill wasn't helping, as they were not properly balanced by the separately produced rear upgrade.
Like Ari Mosisoglu, this car's owner is a young enthusiast, fortunate enough to be able to buy cool toys. Auto Sport Werks came out in force to support its creation, but Ben Abrams paid for all of it, because it was what he wanted to drive. With a large degree of adjustability built into its suspension, getting the handling dialed in should be easy. Add a few diffs and balance the brakes, and few other S4s could touch it. This is a beautiful car. Even as a work in progress, Dan Barnes wants it. You want it. Any S4 fanatic wants it. Did we say how cool the fenders are?
2000 Audi S4
Balanced, Saenz rods, ARP rod bolts, Swain Tech coated pistons, Sportec cams, RS4 heads ported, polished, port matched to intake and ceramic coated
RS4 intake manifold, Sportec RS4 turbos, Sportec intercoolers, Hyperboost bypass valves, Sportec exhaust, Auto Sport Werkes intercooler mister
Engine Management Modifications
Sportec dyno tuned
UUC shifter, RS4 clutch, aluminum flywheel, Red Line final drive lube
Front: JRZ single-adjustable damping coilovers
Rear: JRZ single-adjustable damping coilovers, Neuspeed anti-roll bar
Front: Sportec 380mm rotors, Brembo eight-piston calipers, braided stainless-steel lines and Motul RBF600 fluid
Rear: Auto Sport Werkes composite rotors and brackets, four-piston Brembo calipers, F360 e-brake calipers, braided stainless-steel lines and Motul RBF600 fluid
265/35-18 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup