While Global Motorsports Group is known primarily for its well-honed Porsche tuning services and its Speed GT racing efforts, the company is no stranger to other German-bred machinery, including Volkswagen and Audi. GMG Vice President Fabryce Kutyba started tuning VAG-engineered cars long before co-founding the company with James Sofronas in 2001.
"I have always been an Audi nut. I learned how to drive in an '83 Ur Quattro," says Kutyba. "My parents owned an '87 5000CS Turbo Quattro. For a large sedan, that car was an awesome performer. It was so ahead of its time. We clocked more than 300,000 miles on it. "
When asked about his thoughts on cars built in Ingolstadt vs. Stuttgart, Kutyba says, "As opposed to Porsche, which I love and equally admire, Audi has always been viewed as an underdog, but that's starting to change."
A diehard fan, Kutyba admits to owning more Audis than he can remember and, with GMG, currently holds the keys to a few prime examples, including Derek Bell's former '03 S4 Comp Evo-X Champion Motorsport car (one of only three in existence), a prior-generation B5 A4 and this stellar '06 A4 S-line.
With its purchase in 2005, GMG was among the first U.S. tuners to tinker with the B7 chassis A4. What they found was a rock-solid platform and an even better engine in the FSI 2.0T. The combination made for an ideal foundation on which to base a performance program suitable for flat-out heel-and-toeing or the rush-hour rigors of stop and go.
Considering the tuning potential of the new turbocharged 2.0L, enhanced engine performance was easily achieved with the use of a newly developed software program for the B7 A4 by APR (GMG is Southern California's premier authorized APR tuning partner). The stage two direct port setup is about as good as it gets, offering substantially more punch with great overall drivability.
Using the cruise control stalk, you can switch from the system's multiple programs, including 91, 93, and 100 octane. Carbonio/APR's cold-air intake and a cat-back APR sport exhaust round out the package with pleasing results. The engine sounds throaty and healthier, and eliminates the 2.0L's inherent TDI-like chatter. APR says the 91-octane program (with intake and exhaust) provides 260 bhp/310 lb-ft of torque versus the stock 200bhp/207 lb-ft rating. An addition of roughly 60 horses is welcome and quite gratifying when hard in the throttle, but switching to 100 octane is a different ballgame altogether, increasing total output to 280 bhp and 330 lb-ft of torque.
S4 owners beware. Overall, this car reacts to tuning more like the B5 2.7-liter S4 than the 1.8T model it replaces. Another refreshing aspect of the B7 A4 is the addition of a sixth gear with the manual tranny. In addition to a GMG lightweight flywheel, the stock clutch was replaced with a GMG/Sachs Racing unit with a full-faced disc with metallic linings. GMG also developed a short shifter with B&M, which tightens up the throws and also helps ensure smooth gear selection, especially to second and third. Suspension and traction was aided with a number of refinements, including Ohlins/Stasis Motorsport dampers with corner weight and sport alignment specifications by GMG, a Stasis center/rear differential, and a Stasis anti-roll bar kit.
The Stasis sport diffs help keep the power planted and noticeably improve the car's ability to turn-in, reacting more like a rear-wheel driver with great overall weight distribution. When flat-out in the corners, you'll think that you shouldn't be pushing that hard, but the car just squats down and goes.
Stopping power is equally impressive with the addition of an Alcon/Stasis big brake kit, massive Alcon monobloc calipers, and stainless steel braided lines. The package allows you to stop on a dime and brake much deeper in the corners. They also look cool through the sporty Rennworx RSL 19-inch wheels, which offer excellent clearance for the bigger binders. The wheels are appropriately mated to set of Michelin Pilot Sport 2s.
GMG found no fault in the A4's gorgeous, well-designed and highly practical interior. The S-line option afforded the car with lots of wonderful features too, including leather Audi sport seats and brushed aluminum trim. The car is also equipped with a nice leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel and the full nav-plus option, which offers both Sirius and XM compatibility, as well as a separate CD changer. No need to change anything here.