The Pearl Effect White A4q shown here served as a test mule for some of TAP's race hardware, though in current state it's a tad more street friendly. The suspension was changed to include Koni shocks and struts and progressive-rate Intrax springs. The Koni units are externally adjustable (which must be removed to change damping rates), and the Intrax springs lower the chassis by1.5 in.. The factory's swaybars were uprated with larger, solid units with 40 percent more torsional rigidity; polyurethane bushings reduce geometry changes where the suspension pieces fit together. Running gear is comprised of 8 x 17-in. TSW Type R wheels and Toyo Proxes rubber sized at 225/45ZR17.

The revised suspension makes the car corner more precisely, retaining a predominantly neutral attitude with a tad more oversteer than exhibited by the 2.8 V6. Ride quality can be described as firm though not punishing; overall, the A4q behaved admirably, though an off-road excursion during our photographic session resulted in two bent wheels. Though the damage wasn't severe enough to unseat the tire, it reminded me why anyone thinking about bolting on a set of 18s ought to reconsider; there's just not enough meat there to provide protection against the rigors of daily driving.

The front brakes are four-piston units from AP Racing (the same people who provide binders for Touring cars), and they grip 330mm cross-drilled rotors. The AP Racing system includes aluminum hats, stainless-steel lines and the mounting bracketry necessary for installation. The calipers have been filled with Performance Friction pads with an aggressive street compound, and the entire AP Racing system retains the factory's master cylinder.

TAP offers five stages of trim for the 1.8t engine, ranging from simple chip and filter element swaps to more involved systems with larger turbochargers, revised cams, headwork, massive intercoolers and drivetrain modifications. The featured car was kitted out between Stage II and III levels and featured TAP's own chip, which both increased boost and revised the ignition parameters. The intake was reworked to include a Jamex open-element cone filter, but the lion's share of the power comes from the exhaust end, where the factory has purposely restricted flow so the V6 can keep its horsepower edge. TAP replaced the factory's manifold and downpipe with a free-flow unit and used a Scorpion stainless-steel muffler at the tail. The TAP program includes a modified turbo, which features a bigger housing and a larger wheel with clipped vanes.

According to TAP literature, these mods should have produced some 240 bhp. To my seat of the pants assessment, some of the ponies failed to show, presumably lost within the A4's automatic transmission. Though exceptionally smooth, Audi's independently controlled, five-speed automatic transmission was all over the place, neither providing sport nor economy shift modes. Rowing through the gate was of little help, and the car felt exceedingly sluggish. Perhaps the transmission computer was trying to compensate for the revised output, or maybe these modifications have no place on an automatic. Whatever the case, Wigham's currently building up a similar A4q, though this time it will be based on the five-speed manual (it's what he wanted to begin with, but five-speeds weren't available at the time). When it's finished, we'll give you a full report.

In addition to new car hardware, TAP also carries lots of performance stuff for older Audis, including the 80, 90, 200, 4000, 5000, Coupe and GT series cars--and S4, S6 and A8 owners will find TAP has hardware (and software) for them, too.

A Gallery of Tuned A4s from the pages of european car
MTM Audi A4 GT 286 hp
Greedspeed Audi A4
Sport Wheels Audi A4
H&R Audi A4
Abt Audi AS4
Abt Audi A4 1.8Ti

Total Audi Performance
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