Sport Wheels Audi A4t
Though this A4 1.8t quattro borrows styling cues from Audi's factory race cars, it isn't just another lowered car plastered with decals. This A4 has the handling and performance to match.
For software Sport Wheels chose the German firm of Wetterauer, which offers a number of different chips for the 1.8t engine. The chip in this car delivers 0.8 bar of boost and 180 dyno-tested hp (the chip was tested in a front-wheel-drive Passat that shares the same 1.8t engine).
An optional dash-mounted toggle switch enables the driver to switch between the stock chip and the Wetterauer chip. Engine breathing is further improved with a Ramair filter and custom B&B 2.5-in. cat-back stainless-steel exhaust system. The front valence features an integrated scoop to force air onto the stock intercooler.
With 180 hp at your disposal, acceleration is dramatically improved over stock. The power comes on smoothly and builds much more quickly, and it does so without creating the sense of unleashed fury which characterizes over-boosted turbo systems. Much of the drivability can be attributed to Wetterauer working closely with Sport Wheels on the engine management system. (For those who can never get enough, Wetterauer offers a second chip which delivers a full bar of boost and puts out a purported 200 hp.
It is easy to change how a car handles, but improving a good handling car takes a bit of work. Rather than go with off-the-shelf suspension components, Sport Wheels had a set of custom Bilstein Sport shocks designed and built for this car (Bilstein doesn't offer an over-the-counter fitment for A4 quattro models). Sport Wheels is also working with Bilstein to develop large, threaded body coilover shocks. The day after this photo shoot, Eibach was prototyping a new set of springs.
Inspired by touring cars, this A4 wears a set of 8x17-in. MSW/O.Z. alloy wheels shod with Pirelli P7000 performance radial tires, size 225/45-17. As a matter of convenience, Sport Wheels uses a set of studs instead of bolts to mount the wheels. Stuffed inside the front wheels is a set of AP Racing brakes featuring 330mm diameter discs and 4-piston calipers, fed fluid via Goodridge DOT-spec stainless steel braided lines. Dave has tried a few different brake pads up front, ultimately choosing Ferodo for all-around good performance.
The only changes to the passenger compartment are related to safety. Up front a set of Sparco Supersport seats are mounted to Sparco sliding rails. These seats are a hybrid design offering street adjustability along with provisions for racing harnesses--here Schroth Rallye four-point units.
External changes are both subtle and striking. Subtle are the European headlamp assemblies and clear corner lights. Striking is the Eucra Racing rear wing and BTCC-style graphics. Sport Wheels designed the computer-cut vinyl graphics by using photographs and models to position the rings. The four rings of Audi are the most noticeable feature, and they also demand the substance behind the right to wear them. Sport Wheels has succeeded.
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