The Audi S4 is, to many, the ultimate expression of a refined European sport sedan. It has all-wheel-drive traction and combines the benefits of turbocharging with displacement. The S4 is also luxurious, with stellar execution of world-leading interior and exterior design. It is a beautiful car, capturing much of what european car strives to be about. Shaking down a bunch of S4s on a dyno, dragstrip and road course was a natural follow-on to our 1.8T Challenge.

This S4 Shootout followed a format similar to the 1.8T Challenge, but with improvements. Kevin Schrantz, driver of the Hagestad Racing Volkswagen Jetta in SPEED World Challenge, again made his services available for the road course and dragstrip. Having fewer cars made it possible for the magazine staff to gather all the performance data, and we added braking distance. Using GIAC's four-wheel Mustang made it possible to dyno all the cars in one day. We used a better method of calculating scores that is more linear and separates performances more meaningfully.

We initially planned on six or seven entries, but as the event drew near, we found ourselves unable to say no to 12. The cars from Achtuning, AWE and Chris Clark should be familiar to regular readers of european car, as they have previously been featured within its pages. Several well-known and respected enthusiasts joined the group. The rest of the cars were from tuning companies we've seen good things from in the past.

Dyno
Garrett Lim shut down GIAC and opened the facility to european car, generously providing the use of his dyno and his staff's time. GIAC's Mustang four-wheel chassis dyno uses a combination of inertia (inescapable due to the mass of the rollers) and electrical resistance loading. The time required for a pass and the resistance offered by the dyno are determined by Mustang's software, partly using factors entered by the operator. We entered the numbers used by GIAC for all S4s and left them alone. Torque output reacted by the electrical load units is measured with load cells on lever arms. Garrett reports that, after calibration by a Mustang engineer, GIAC's dyno in two-wheel mode yields results very close to a Dynojet 248's numbers. Unlike most four-wheel dynos, the Mustang's front and rear rollers are mechanically linked, so they always turn the same speed. There would be no problem managing front-to-rear torque split.

For this contest, Garrett and Andrew did the hard labor of strapping down the cars safely, but left the operation of the dyno to european car. GIAC was more concerned than we were that competitors might claim bias due to the choice of venue.

The dyno score was split between peak horsepower and torque delivery. The first is simple enough; it's the biggest number. The second is more complicated: Imagine each car has a gear that tops out at 100 mph, then add up all the torque available to accelerate the vehicle from 40 mph to 100 mph in that gear. The area under that curve was scored for power delivery. Most cars make more torque at redline than at 40% of redline, so it is an advantage to be able to spin faster. Simply extending the width of the rpm range is also helpful. In the real world, being able to keep accelerating for a longer time before shifting makes a car faster.

With half the cars making 350 hp or more, nitrous ruled the day. Ari Mosisoglu turned his car from a 353-hp "pussycat" into a 430-hp winner at the press of a button. It was the first of several surprises from this young enthusiast, as he backed up his formidable enthusiasm with equally formidable results. Todd Sager, from AWE, was later seen with treadmarks from his own Adidas on his forehead. He had chosen not to open the bottle on his "Silver Bullet," thus allowing himself to be beaten by a customer. The torque delivery score, not calculated until later, salvaged his bragging rights. The only notably low figure came from the B&M car, which was determined to be suffering from a faulty MAF and repaired before the second day.

We don't know how the Mustang's calibration compares to that of the Dynapack used in the 1.8T Challenge. Subject to that caveat, it is interesting to compare the results. Horsepower is tied closely to air mass flow, and stuffing a V6 in the little A4's engine compartment doesn't leave much space for air to move around it. Not one of these S4s matched the peak horsepower of APR's 2.0-liter S3, but thanks to the 2.7's displacement, seven of the 12 beat the Auto Sport Werks A4 Avant 1.8T's winning power-delivery score.

Dragstrip
Day two began before sunrise at Los Angeles County Raceway in Palmdale. In the cool morning air, intercoolers were at their most effective for acceleration testing. Cars were lined up in an order determined by pulling names from a hat, with the sequence repeated four times. Each car had time to make adjustments and cool down while waiting for its next turn. Everyone got the same weather for each round.

On the drag strip, the S4s were clearly split between contenders and also-rans. Fully half the entries can claim to be legitimate 12-sec. street cars. Everyone thought Ari might win this event when he posted a 12.55-sec. run, more than three-tenths under the next fastest time. Then AWE knocked out a 12.39. Avalon Motorsports had the fastest car in the bottom half of the field, with a 13.88. The rest were scattered out at intervals all the way to Keith Rust's completely stock car, which ran 15.81.

Braking
No one could predict what would happen when the cars turned around and came back at the radar gun to measure stopping distance. To make the test more demanding of the brake system's ability to deal with heat and less a contest of the tires' grip on the asphalt, we measured stopping distance from 80 mph instead of 60 mph, as is usual for road tests. Toward the same end, four stops were done back to back, putting serious heat in the system. While some cars faded after the first stop, others had big-brake systems with pads chosen to work for a full 5 minutes on a road course. They actually needed a few stops to begin working properly. For consistency and efficiency, we had Kevin Schrantz drive all the cars for this test.

We scored the best of four stops. This number shows what happened in this contest, under these rules. Making definitive judgments about which brake systems are better requires strict adherence to a more rigorous and completely specified test procedure than we used, and reasonably sophisticated statistical analysis. It can also include a variety of subjective factors.

Chris Clark's S4 won this braking test by a surprising margin, taking 218.6 ft, versus the second-place AWE car, which took 221.2 ft. Ari Mosisoglu surprised everyone again by being right in there with a 223.0-ft distance with stock brakes, good for third place. All but three of the cars stopped in 230 ft or less. This was the one event in which Keith Rust's stock car did not finish last. There appeared to be something seriously wrong with the big-brake system on Stan Liu's Topspin car, causing it to take nearly 20 ft longer than stock to get whoa'ed down.

Road Course
The afternoon of the second day was spent at The Streets of Willow Springs, a not-too-fast but technically very challenging, and, of course, fun road course. A turbo oil return line blew off the AWE car during a practice session, causing a fire that could have destroyed the car if it hadn't gotten stopped 20 ft from an extinguisher. ABD Racing's Dave Anderson showed awesome sportsmanship by handing AWE the key to his shop, enabling them to get the car running and ready to compete, 24 hours later, in Sport Compact Car's Ultimate Street Car Challenge. Chris Clark discovered that one of his car's axles, while failing to make the expected sudden and expensive noises, had nonetheless ceased delivering its share of 403 hp to its wheels on the dragstrip.

Nitrous is nearly useless on a road course, so Ari Mosisoglu was down to 350 hp, leaving the Auto Sport Werks/Sportec car as the most powerful. Its 378 hp was magnificent. It breathed freely and pulled hard all the way up, feeling like a good, naturally aspirated engine but with serious poke behind it. The RS4 body conversion enabled the use of 265/35-18 Michelin Pilot Sport Cups. Big power and huge grip helped Kevin Schrantz get the Sportec car around the course in just 91.54 sec., 2.5 sec. ahead of second place, in spite of not yet fully sorted chassis and brake setups.

Next was Hartmann Motorsports, at 94.01 sec. Kevin Schrantz noted the yellow car's Brembos were especially effective and easy to modulate. With a traction-aiding diff in front as well as the rear, it pulled itself around corners under power like a Quaife-equipped front-driver, putting every one of its 322 horses to the ground.

Though well down on power, Avalon Motorsports' H&R coilover-equipped S4 was corner-balanced and set up with alignment specs from Champion Audi, which knows a thing or two about making the B5 chassis work. When I drove it, I was stunned to find it had BMW-quality steering feel, building huge driver confidence. Gary Sheehan, holder of the U.S. Touring Car Championship, drove a 94.12-sec. lap in the Avalon car.

The Achtuning car benefited from extensive development work by Stasis Engineering, supplier of its suspension and, especially importantly, rear differential. It handled like a perfectly balanced rear driver, and its four-wheel Stoptech brakes were peachy. Stasis' Jon Prall pedaled the car to a 94.42-sec. lap, and a few observers speculated it may have been even faster with a driver who had more laps on the Streets course.

Eibach's Dave Royce helped set up, and drove, ABD Racing's mildly prepared entry to fifth place. The only entrant who drove his own car was Topspin's Stan Liu. He should have done much better but was handicapped by Falken, which sponsors him with tires but asked that he run this event on already worn FK-451s. Falken's Azenis Sport offers vastly more grip.

Overall Results
When the dust settled, there was more than a day of sorting through data before we would know who won. Everybody was invited to enjoy a final dinner and part as friends, having learned new things, met new people, forged new relationships and moved humanity a tiny increment closer to world peace.

The chart at the bottom of this page shows how the chips fell. Audi Sport Werks backed up its strong showing at the 1.8T Challenge by winning our S4 shootout. Those people know how to build engines. Achtuning's S4, built entirely with off-the-shelf, bolt-on parts, was a superbly sorted, all-around car and finished second. Ari Mosisoglu put in some spectacular shots for the little guy, finishing third and showing you don't have to tune Audis for a living to have a darned fast one. Perhaps the most amazing outcome is that AWE's Silver Bullet finished fourth, despite scoring no points for one of four events. Though Hartmann Motorsports has 0.01 point more than ABD Racing, we're calling it a tie for fifth.

european car will have already done another big comparison test by the time you read this. We learn a lot doing events like this, and we think they make good reading. Let us know if you agree.

Car Dyno HP HP Points Torque Points Total Dyno Points 1/4-mile ET, sec. 1/4-mile points Braking Distance, 80-0 Braking Points Road Course Time, sec. Driver Road Course Points Final Score
Auto Sport Werks/Sportec 378.2 10.15 9.91 20.06 12.97 21.18 225.7 21.09 91.54 Kevin Schrantz 25.00 87.33
Achtuning 362.9 9.45 9.15 18.60 12.88 21.78 224.9 21.53 94.42 Jon Prall 18.94 80.85
Ari Mosisoglu 429.6 12.5 12.29 24.79 12.55 23.95 223.0 22.58 99.82 Jon Prall 7.59 78.91
AWE 428.6 12.46 12.50 24.96 12.39 25.00 221.2 23.55 - - - 73.51
Hartmann 322.1 7.58 7.95 15.53 14.03 14.21 224.6 21.67 94.01 Kevin Schrantz 19.81 71.22
ABD Racing 349.8 8.85 9.10 17.95 12.90 21.65 227.6 20.05 97.93 Dave Royce 11.56 71.21
Chris Clark 403.9 11.32 10.31 21.63 12.95 21.32 218.6 25.00 - - - 67.95
Avalon 283.6 5.82 5.76 11.58 13.88 15.20 230.4 18.48 94.12 Gary Sheehan 19.58 64.84
B&M Racing 192.7 1.66 1.70 3.35 15.00 7.83 224.1 21.98 101.58 Kevin Schrantz 3.89 37.05
Terry Tang 222.7 3.03 3.28 6.31 14.71 9.74 236.0 15.38 101.27 Gary Sheehan 4.54 35.97
Topspin 242.8 3.95 3.87 7.82 14.26 12.70 259.4 2.50 102.23 Stan Liu 2.52 25.54
Stock 183.8 1.25 1.25 2.50 15.81 2.50 240.4 12.97 102.24 Kevin Schrantz 2.50 20.47

Editor's Choices
Every car running at the end of the test was driven by at least one editor. Les Bidrawn liked the understated, undemanding nature of ABD Racing's daily-driven car, which finished well in spite of its mildness. Dave Anderson and his crew sipped sodas in the shade while most other teams worked on their cars, fixing problems or simply making adjustments to squeeze the last bit of performance from them. Pressed to pick one, Dan Barnes would choose the Achtuning car, but it's his job to obsess on the possibility of perfection. He says the Avalon chassis with the Auto Sport Werks motor and RS4 body conversion, Hartmann's diffs and Achtuning's four-wheel Stoptech brakes just might get him to stop fantasizing about supercharging a U.S.-spec Elise. But probably not.

12th Place
Keith Rust's Virgin S4
It's a good idea to remember your roots. That said, we decided it would be a good idea to invite a perfectly stock S4 to see just how far the other 11 cars had progressed. There was some trepidation as we wondered if some people made their cars different, not better. Maybe they would have been better off leaving things alone like Keith Rust and his unmolested Pearlescent White S4.

As evident, Rust's S4 came in last place. It produced the least power, took longer to go, and made it through the road course at the slowest pace. We loved it anyway.

What this Audi did was to remind us just how fundamentally good the S4 chassis really is. Despite its relatively modest output, the car is a joy to drive, both on the street and track. Both Barnes and Bidrawn agreed this car had wonderfully smooth power delivery and was the quietest of the lot. Compared to the other contestants, the car had significantly more roll and tended to understeer during the tighter stuff. However, it was a very balanced and predictable car, very forgiving if pushed beyond its limits. Keith's beautifully maintained S4 is testament to Audi's engineering prowess. It is everything good about German-made cars and reminds us why we remain in this business.

2000 Audi S4
Engine Displacement
2671cc
Internal Modifications
None
External Modifications
None
Engine Management Modifications
None
Drivetrain Modifications
None
Suspension
Front: Stock
Rear: Stock
Brakes
Front: Stock
Rear: Stock
External
Wheels
17x7.5-in. Avus design alloy
Tires
225/45-17

11th Place
Topspin Design
If you wanted an example of a utilitarian Audi, look no further than Stan Liu and his 2001 S4. Stan's car pulls triple duty, serving as an active competitor in SCCA Solo II, an instructor car during Audi Club events and as Stan's daily driver. Stan's company, Topspin Design, began by making parts for the golf industry but has recently focused its attention fabricating parts for the racing industry. A Topspin mini-cam was installed on the nose of Stan's S4 and provided an outstanding video of his car in action. The footage was both clear and very smooth, devoid of the jumpiness usually seen during in-car video. The Topspin car also included its proprietary, four-point racing harnesses and carbon-fiber shoulder harness bracket, nicely engineered parts that are easily removable during street use.

Although the setup of Stan's car netted him several wins during the Solo II championship, it did not lend itself well to our venue. The car was great fun on the road course with its tail-out handling bias, but it did not make for the quickest way around a track. Moreover, the tires were in terrible shape, which could also explain why Stan's huge Brembo F50 brakes did not work as well as expected. Stan's tire sponsor, Falken Tire, asked him to finish off an older set of its basic street tuner tires, rather than mounting new Azenis Sports, for this event. A simple tire change would have made a huge difference in scoring-this car had the horsepower to do better.

2001 Audi S4
Engine Displacement
2671cc
Internal Modifications
None
External Modifications
APR Bi-pipe intake, Magnaflow cat-back dual exhaust, Mocal oil cooler
Engine Management Modifications
Software
Drivetrain Modifications
B&M shifter, Clutch Masters aluminum flywheel and FX400 clutch disc
Suspension
Front: Stasis Track Sport coilovers, adjustable upper control arms
Rear: Stasis Track Sport coilovers, modified anti-roll bar with Neuspeed reinforced bracket
Brakes
Front: Brembo F50 caliper, 355mm rotors, braided stainless-steel lines, Pagid Orange pads, Motul RBF600 fluid
Rear: Brembo 328mm rotors, braided stainless-steel lines, Pagid Orange pads, Motul RBF600 fluid
External
Wheels
17x8.5-in. SSR Competition
Tires
255/40-17 Falken FK-451

10th Place
Terry Tang
Terry Tang is a financial planner who knows a good deal when he sees one. It was not surprising then that he chose an Audi S4 for a superb balance of value and performance. Terry freely admits he's got far less cash in his car than the other competitors, about five grand at last count. But as he explained it, the car represents "the everyday driver who wants more performance from easy bolt-on components that are affordable". This includes popular items like the APR dual-program ECU, Neuspeed suspension and exhaust, and Stoptech brakes. He plans to take the money he saved and invest it in an interest bearing account with plans to retire on its earnings. While that makes sense 20 years from now, his car could have used the resources today-it scored 10th in the field despite the outstanding efforts of pro driver Gary Sheehan. One item setting it back considerably was the soon-to-expire turbo, letting itself be known by a high-pitched whistle coming from beneath the hood. Still, this clean, red car managed to pull respectable numbers and was a very nice ride. We liked where Terry was coming from-his car likely represents the majority of S4 owners.

2000 Audi S4
Engine Displacement
2671cc
Internal Modifications
None
External Modifications
Neuspeed cat-back exhaust, Samco TBB and F-hose, Bosch bypass valves, Abt filter
Engine Management Modifications
Software
Drivetrain Modifications
Neuspeed shifter, Greedspeed engine snub mount
Suspension
Front: Neuspeed Sport springs, Bilstein dampers
Rear: Neuspeed Sport springs, Bilstein dampers, Neuspeed 19mm adjustable anti-roll bar
Brakes
Front: Stoptech 332mm upgrade kit, Motul RBF600 fluid
Rear: Neuspeed braided stainless lines, Motul RBF600 fluid
External
Wheels
17x7-in. Flex TDR
Tires
225/45-17 Falken Azenis Sport

9th Place
Erik Thureson/B&M Racing
Erik Thureson, from B&M Racing, offered his car as a last-minute replacement for a dropout. Erik serves as B&M's webmaster and found this car through an e-Bay auction. Much like Terry's, its performance has been enhanced largely with bolt-on components including an APR ECU, Remus exhaust, Ha&R coilover suspension, Autometer gauges and the requisite B&M short shifter. Erik's car also includes an Evolution Garage carbon-fiber hood, Euro-spec lighting, Topspin harnesses, and an impressive stereo (JVC head unit, MB Quart drivers, Kicker amps-installed by Tweeter Team, Daytona Beach) that was no doubt the best in the field. The car was actually part of a stereo installer's competition, which explains the elaborate sound system. Despite the extra weight, Erik's car was very balanced, capable and comfortable. Sitting in air-conditioned comfort, we enjoyed rowing the B&M shifter while sorting though Erik's CD collection. This car is just getting started; its development is a work in progress.

2000 Audi S4
Engine Displacement
2671cc
Internal Modifications
None
External Modifications
Remus cat-back exhaust
Engine Management Modifications
APR software
Drivetrain Modifications
B&M shifter, Unorthodox Racing aluminum flywheel and Stage II clutch
Suspension
Front: H&R coilovers
Rear: H&R coilovers
Brakes
Front: Mintex red box pads
Rear: Mintex red box pads
External
Wheels
18x8-in. HP Racing
Tires
235/40-18 Toyo Proxes T1-S

8th Place
Zev Barnett/Avalon Motorsport
Zev's 2002 S4 represents the most significant points leap from a previous contestant. Avalon Motorsports, Zev's Colorado-based tuning shop, spent significant time and effort on the development of this Audi and it shows. The car made it through the road course at a blistering pace, garnering the third fastest time of the day. Considering the car was producing significantly less horsepower than the next contestant, this spoke volumes about proper chassis setup.

Although still running the original turbochargers, Zev dipped into the RS4 parts bin for injectors, fuel pump and intercoolers. Avalon Motorsports intercooler misters were a welcome addition in the desert heat, which was thankfully only in the low 90s. The engine also includes MTM thick head gaskets, aluminum flywheel, Autospeed trans-stabilizer bar and an exhaust comprised of UUC and Autospeed components.

The Audi is suspended via H&R Ultra coilovers, augmented with Intrax swaybars. 3R Automotive aligned it to Champion's specs before corner balancing it. The result was the best steering feel of any B5 car we've driven.

Avalon's S4 wears an RS4 nose and an M3 rear spoiler. The body also includes Valeo Euro-headlamp housings, a Fiber Images carbon-fiber hood, and Hagus sport mirrors. The interior was kitted out with Topspin harnesses, Defi-boost/timer system, and a Halon fire extinguisher. Zev had a rocking A/V system installed including JL Audi subs, MB Quart drivers, Rockford Fosgate amps and the factory's RS4 NavSat Plus system with an in-dash Icon TV/DVD player.

Dan Barnes loved this car, and with good reason: "It sounds perfect, pulls hard and makes great power. It inspires awesome confidence at speed." Coming from a hard-to-please guy like Barnes, that's means it's damn good.

2002 Audi S4
Engine Displacement
2671cc
Internal Modifications
MTM head gaskets
External Modifications
RS4 intercoolers, Avalon intercooler sprayer, Autospeed 3-in. downpipes and ceramic cats, UUC Velocimax exhaust
Engine Management Modifications
RS4 injectors and fuel pump
Drivetrain Modifications
Tanoga shifter, RS4 clutch, aluminum flywheel, Autospeed transmission stabilizer
Suspension
Front: H&R Ultra coilovers, Intrax 27mm anti-roll bar
Rear: H&R Ultra coilovers, Intrax 22mm anti-roll bar, Autospeed adjustable end links
Brakes
Front: Stoptech 355mm upgrade, Pagid orange pads, Motul RBF600 fluid
Rear: RS4 312mm discs, Motul RBF600 fluid
External
Wheels
18x8.5-in. Champion Motorsport
Tires
225/40-18 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup

7th Place
Chris Clark (aka The Bollocks)
Comic relief in the S4 fraternity comes from Chris Clark, a well-known member of the AudiWorld Web site. We featured Chris' S4 in the September 2003 issue, and in some ways, it was responsible for this little shindig. Although we sampled Clark's S4 on public roads, its performance reminded us just how far the envelope can be pushed.

This car suffered a broken CV shaft and DNF'd, but not before producing a whopping 403 hp and flying through the 1/4-mile in less than 13 sec. Clark's Audi also stopped extremely well, netting the best numbers from 80 mph-those Stoptech brakes really work.

Chris' car is largely the same as when featured, and it's a shame it broke before the road course. We're sure it would have placed well.

2002 Audi S4
Engine Displacement
2771cc
Internal Modifications
Audi Motorsport pistons, RS4-style heads, RS4 cams, MTM head gasket
External Modifications
RS4 intake manifold, MAF housing, bi-pipe, Y-pipe, oil cooler, turbos and intercoolers, custom stainless exhaust
Engine Management Modifications
RS4 injectors, fuel pump, GIAC custom tune
Drivetrain Modifications
RS4 clutch, AWE drivetrain stabilizer, Istook Racing snub mounts
Suspension
Front: H&R coilovers
Rear: H&R coilovers, Neuspeed 22mm anti-roll bar
Brakes
Front: Stoptech 332mm kit
Rear: Audi S8 calipers and rotors
External
Wheels
18x8-in. O.Z. Superleggera
Tires
225/40-18 Yokohama Parada Spec 2

6th Place
Dave Anderson/ABD Racing
Of all the kids that came to play, ABD Racing's S4 spent the least amount of time in the nurse's office. While other contestants were busy removing seats, adjusting suspensions or fixing broken bits, Dave's S4 sat under a tent, untouched and all alone, its air conditioning set at full blast.

Built over a 3-week period, the ABD car includes proven hardware from AWE with GIAC coaching to guide the muscles. The body appears largely stock, save a Kamei grille and Euro-spec lights. BBS Champion wheels do most of the smack-talking on cruise night. Dave Royce, Eibach Springs' chief development driver, helped ABD set up this car's suspension and drove it on the road course. Royce said his objectives for the car were good balance, with safe, predictable behavior near the limits. Perhaps our only gripe was with the lack of side bolstering in the stock S4 seats. The car was fast, and produced enough cornering grip to leave the driver slipping from side to side.

"We built this Audi to be a fast and reliable daily driver," said Anderson.Mission accomplished.

2000 Audi S4
Engine Displacement
2671cc
Internal Modifications
None
External Modifications
K&N air filter, RS4 turbos, injectors, upper and lower intake tubes, AWE MAF housing, 3-in. downpipes w/high-flow cats, AWE driveline stabilizer, Supersprint cat-back exhaust, 996 TT bypass valves
Engine Management Modifications
Hitachi MAF upgrade, GIAC tuning
Drivetrain Modifications
RS4 clutch
Suspension
Front: Eibach springs, dampers and anti-roll bar
Rear: Eibach springs and dampers
Brakes
Front: stock
Rear: stock
External
Wheels
18x8-in. BBS Champion
Tires
225/40-18 Toyo Proxes RA-1

5th Place
Fabryce Kutyba/Hartmann Motorsport
The crew from Hartmann Motorsport almost missed this party. Two days before it began, their S4 basically blew up, leaving chief mechanic Casey Allinder with the brutal job of putting everything back together. He succeeded, doing an admirable job rebuilding this remarkable car. The Hartmann car relies on an APR Stage III turbo upgrade, which netted great power but was still 100 ponies south of the most powerful entry. Fabryce also had Casey install a set of motorsport cams, which, for lack of a better word, were quite randy. Barnes whined about the idle being "lumpy and stanky" when he was trapped in the dyno room with it. Those must be engineering terms.

Despite the choice in bump sticks, this S4 had a highly developed driveline featuring limited-slip differentials at both ends. It also sported gigantic Brembos fore and aft, which left Kevin Schrantz in awe. "These are some of the best brakes I've ever seen," said Kevin. "They seem to be fade-proof and get better the harder they are used. They are simply amazing." If used lightly, however, the Pagid orange pads squealed like little piggies. The suspension wasn't what one might expect from the owner of Intrax, but it was nothing that couldn't be fixed by having more time to twiddle the damper adjusters.

The Hartmann S4 netted the second fastest time on the road course and, while its 1/4-mile was less than stellar, that's not what this car was about. It's what you'd expect from a company that campaigns cars in the GrandAm Cup Series.

2000 Audi S4
Engine Displacement
2671cc
Internal Modifications
None
External Modifications
APR Stage 3 kit, downpipes and exhaust, HMS RS4+ kit, RS4 intercoolers
Engine Management Modifications
APR software, Audi Sport fuel rail and injectors
Drivetrain Modifications
UUC shifter, HMS clutch and flywheel
Suspension
Front: Intrax coilovers, Intrax Cup anti-roll bars
Rear: Intrax coilovers, Intrax Cup anti-roll bars
Brakes
Front: Brembo GT kit w/14-in. rotors, F50 calipers, Castrol racing fluid
Rear: Brembo GT kit w/13-in. rotors, Lotus calipers, Castrol racing fluid
External
Wheels
18x8-in. BBS CH
Tires
225/40-18 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup

4th Place
AWE Tuning
Todd Sager, of AWE Tuning, has become something of "The Godfather of S4 Tuning." His Silver Bullet is legend among legions of Audi fans, a reputation earned with solid engineering, Kenny McNeil's brilliant fabrication, and blistering performance. It is quite possibly the world's quickest S4 and has the time slips to back it up. Plus, Todd's a good guy and helps Bidrawn with his VR6 Corrado problems.

Sager and crew get the never-say-die award in this event, overcoming several catastrophes and yet still going on to place with an impressive performance.

Two weeks before the S4 Challenge, the hood blew off the Silver Bullet during high-speed testing, severely damaging the windshield and roof. "It'll be there, but it won't be pretty," said Sager. AWE and crew transported the car via big rig from the east coast, traveling the longest distance of all. They get an award for that, too.

As expected, Silver Bullet did an incredible dyno dance, pulling a thundering 429 hp and garnering the most torque points. It went on to smash the 1/4-mile with a game-winning 12.39, almost 2/10ths faster than the closest competitor. It also demonstrated impressive stopping power, going from 80 mph to dead standstill in 221 ft, the second best number. At this point, the Silver Bullet was almost assured a top seated placement. Tragedy struck during the road course practice session, when an oil return line came off a turbo, dousing a glowing manifold with combustible hydrocarbons. Thanks to the quick thinking of pro driver Chad Block, the car was limped from the furthest point of the track (nearly a mile away) to a spot just a few yards from the fire crew. A few gallons of foam prevented the car from becoming fully engulfed in flame. AWE immediately began rebuilding the car while it was still hot, in an effort to compete in the "Ultimate Street Car Challenge" hosted by sister publication Sport Compact Car. With help from ABD Racing, they patched up the Silver Bullet and made the competition. Are these guys studs or what?

In addition to its highly developed power plant, the Silver Bullet has been shod with SGI bumpers and a CCP carbon-fiber hood. The serious interior includes Recaro Sport Seats and M&R harnesses, and a full complement of Omori gauges, a few mounted artfully in the vents. AWE's sportsmanship and enthusiasm sets a standard for tuners everywhere.

2000 Audi S4
Engine Displacement
2671cc
Internal Modifications
None
External Modifications
K04/16 turbos relocated above heads, headers, AWE/McNeil downpipes and exhaust, liquid/air converted intercoolers
Engine Management Modifications
Larger injectors, GIAC software
Drivetrain Modifications
AWE clutch and light flywheel
Suspension
Front: H&R coilovers
Rear: H&R coilovers, Neuspeed 28mm anti-roll bar
Brakes
Front: Stasis 332mm rotors, Audi S8 calipers, Goodridge lines, Porterfield R4 pads, AP551 fluid
Rear: Stasis 298mm front rotors, Goodridge lines, Porterfield R4 pads, AP551 fluid
External
Wheels
18x8.5-in. HRE 446 R
Tires
245/35-18 Hoosier

3rd Place
Ari Mosisoglu
In a field of cars built by companies that keep their doors open making S4s faster, there was no reason to expect all that much from this daily driver. Ari isn't even a track-day fanatic like some of the other private entries. He just likes the feeling of putting his right foot to the floor in his S4.

It could be compared to a classic musclecar, with lots of power and just enough other modifications to keep it from breaking itself. Bigger, bolt-on turbos and a free-breathing exhaust made the S4 a formidable performer, but when nitrous was added, it became truly fearsome. Ari beefed up the clutch and flywheel to handle the power, and then made sure he wasn't shy.

Chassis prep was simple, with what many consider to be the best suspension and also what many consider to be the best lightweight, forged wheels. The tires could be stickier for better cornering but are plenty for straight-line acceleration with Quattro.

Ari's third-place finish could be due to good luck, following the KISS principle, or a combination of the two. He put down the biggest peak number on the dyno and was second on the drag strip. He amazed everyone by posting the third-shortest braking distance with stock brakes. He had never had the car on a racetrack with corners before, and his car's performance showed it. With affordable street performance tires and stock brakes, this S4 was the fastest of the slow cars around the Streets of Willow. A few seconds off the lap time, perhaps achievable with stickier tires or a big-brake kit, would have closed the gap to second. But woulda-coulda-shoulda is a losing game, because others often play it better. This is a darned fast car in spite of its simplicity and, arguably, one-dimensionality. That's enough for its owner to find a little inner peace on his way to the office.

2001 Audi S4
Engine Displacement
2671cc
Internal Modifications
None
External Modifications
AWE KO4 turbo kit and downpipes, nitrous oxide injection
Engine Management Modifications
GIAC software with nitrous control
Drivetrain Modifications
Spec Stage 3 clutch, AWE light flywheel
Suspension
Front: Stasis coilovers
Rear: Stasis coilovers
Brakes
Front: Stock
Rear: Stock
External
Wheels
18x7.5-in. Volk Racing LE37
Tires
225/45-17 Nitto NeoGen

2nd Place
Achtuning
Achtuning's S4 was featured in european car exactly 1 year ago. Tim McKinney thought he had reached automotive Valhalla when he drove it. He was certainly close. Les Bidrawn hated this car's suspension, but he must have taken too many painkillers for his broken wrist that day. The Stasis coilovers are stiff, but the damping is so good they are plenty comfortable. Dan Barnes had a hard time noticing the bumps on the skidpad. It skipped sideways a little over the bumpiest hairpins of the Streets course, but not as badly as some of the more aggressively sprung cars. Its ride was exactly what he'd want in a street car. Stasis Engineering has done a lot of work helping Achtuning dial this car in, and it's done a great job. The suspension and rear differential (Stasis manufactures its own diff to its own specs, based on extensive racetrack data acquisition) give the car a nicely neutral handling balance, just like a well-set-up rear driver. It turns in well and will step the tail out just enough under power. The brake pedal feel is excellent with the Stoptechs; firm and easy to modulate.

Fifth in dyno scoring, this car was second among the cars still running at the end. Though its engine didn't have quite the top-end zing of the Sportec motor, all the RS4 bits work superbly together with AMS' software, and it pulls hard throughout the rev range. Underlining that the Europeans tend to get the good stuff, Achtuning's O.E. Euro-spec Recaros (optional on the S4) are super comfortable and supportive. Does Audi not understand that people like nice cars here?

This red S4 didn't rank outstandingly in any one category, but it did well, at the good end of the bell curve, in all of them. Its superb handling is largely due to the efforts of Stasis Engineering, and Josh Decker allowed Stasis' Jon Prall to drive the car for the road course portion of the event. Jon is a great driver, as anyone can tell from his SPEED World Challenge results, but he'd had only a handful of laps on the Streets of Willow at that point. Some observers thought there were seconds left in the car, maybe enough to be fastest.

Taking all the cars here, as they are, this is the best-balanced, best-sorted. It is refined and understated, yet it carries a set of big brass ones. It is complete and finished inside and out, closer to perfect than any other. It's what an S4 should be.

2000 Audi S4
Engine Displacement
2671cc
Internal Modifications
RS4 cams
External Modifications
AMS/Achtuning Stage 6 kit with RS4 turbos, intake manifold, throttle body, air intake and piping, Achtuning oil cooler, Forge dual exhaust, Dub Engineering FMIC
Engine Management Modifications
AMS/Achtuning Stage 6 software
Drivetrain Modifications
UUC shifter, Spec Stage 2 clutch, oil cooler, Stasis rear LSD
Suspension
Front: Stasis coilovers and upper control arms
Rear: Stasis coilovers and upper control arms, Neuspeed 22mm anti-roll bar
Brakes
Front: Stoptech 355mm kit
Rear: Stoptech 328mm kit
External
Wheels
18x8-in. O.Z. Superleggera
Tires
245/35-18 Hoosier

1st Place
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
Engine Displacement
2671cc
Internal Modifications
Balanced, Saenz rods, ARP rod bolts, Swain Tech coated pistons, Sportec cams, RS4 heads ported, polished, port matched to intake and ceramic coated
External Modifications
RS4 intake manifold, Sportec RS4 turbos, Sportec intercoolers, Hyperboost bypass valves, Sportec exhaust, Auto Sport Werkes intercooler mister
Engine Management Modifications
Sportec dyno tuned
Drivetrain Modifications
UUC shifter, RS4 clutch, aluminum flywheel, Red Line final drive lube
Suspension
Front: JRZ single-adjustable damping coilovers
Rear: JRZ single-adjustable damping coilovers, Neuspeed anti-roll bar
Brakes
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
External
Wheels
18x8.5-in. Sportec
Tires
265/35-18 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup

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