The deals between Chesapeake, VA resident Steve Brown and the guys at New German Performance in Aberdeen, MD have been epic. Exchanges between the two parties involving cars and performance parts have been ongoing for the better part of a decade, but it all started with a transmission repair for a '96 Mk3 GTI back in 2003. However, that almost immediately evolved into a 250hp transformation to create the car of Brown's dreams.
A couple of years past and Brown was again at NGP, tending to his performance addiction, when his attention wandered over to shop co-owner Ed Sheets' 600hp VW Golf Rallye.
One ride in Ed's rare Rallye was all it took for Brown to search for one of his own. His inside track at NGP led to first refusal on a low-mileage, original '89 Rallye that happened to make its way through the roll-up doors at the NGP shop.
With finances ready, the dealing commenced and Brown's next build was underway. NGP co-owner Dave Graf oversaw the mods as if it were his own, highlighted by an engine upgrade from the little 1.8L G60 to a 2.9L VR6 turbo. By the time Graf and Brown finished it in '07, it was good enough for a feature in eurotuner magazine and can now be found at www.eurotuner.com.
Brown, who's been into the VW/Audi scene for 18 years, was content with that Rallye for two years but by 2009, things were about to change as Graf was putting the finishing touches on another project: a 2007 Audi RS4. Brown and Graf - now longtime friends - decided to trade cars. The Rallye returned to its original owner, along with some cash, while the RS4 made its new home in Brown's garage.
The Audi offered exactly what he'd been missing in his previous rides. "It's not easy to find things to improve upon; after all, this is one of Audi's best creations," said Brown. "After going over every inch of the car, I replaced only the things that needed attention. I was going after a subtle look but wanted high performance."
At the time of Graf's build, supercharger kits weren't available for the naturally aspirated 4.2L V8 engine. So NGP had worked closely with APR, offering the RS4 as a test bed to design the components for the company's first application.
The APR/NGP blower is rated to 590hp at 454 lb-ft. And with the free-flowing 3" exhaust fabbed with Magnaflow mufflers, the sound emanating from the black tips makes the musclecar guys take notice.
Said Graf: "When I took the car to the local hot rod events, guys would come up and ask if I'd swapped some American big-block under the hood. They were shocked to see a supercharged Audi V8!"
The RS4 is capable in the handling department as well. In fact, both Brown and Graf will tell you it's one of the most surefooted vehicles NGP has unleashed on. "To get the car out of control or even to drift takes an act of God, or a blatant disregard for pedal and steering control," said Graf.
Its stability was enhanced by KW Variant 3 coilovers at all corners, with grip provided by 275/30 R19 Hankook Ventus V12 Evos mounted on modular 19x10" Rotiform MGH alloys, although our photos show the previous BBS CH-R and Conti tires combination.
The drop required to close the gap between tire and fender was about 2", but the improvement to how the car looks and responds is like night and day.
It takes more than a cursory once-over to appreciate the details that make Brown's Audi stand out. Working with the factory silver paint, Brown added carbon fiber wrap to the roof and pillars, along with matte black paint on the grille, emblems, headlight housings (with amber signals removed), antenna and mirrors. After that, a Vorsteiner carbon fiber hood was color-matched by painter Eric Cash, while a carbon-fiber splitter and rear window spoiler were sourced from Eurogear USA.
After several VW builds culminated in magazine features, now followed by his RS4, Brown claims he makes no attempt to keep track of the hours or dollars involved. In his own words: "If I tallied it up, I think I'd want to puke! So I focus my attention and invest for the enjoyment factor. But when I see the end result, it has to put a smile on my face."
2007 Audi RS4
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Occupation: Petty Officer, US Navy
4.2L FSI V8 with APR stage 3 supercharger system, NGP CAI, 034 Motorsport induction hose; NGP Racing 3" exhaust system with high-flow downpipes, cat-delete and Magnaflow mufflers
Getrag six-speed manual transmission with Spec stage 3+ clutch and lightweight flywheel, JHM short-throw shifter with weighted Delrin shift knob, HD linkage cross-rod and solid linkage, 034 Motorsport driveshaft support, motor mounts and transmission mount, Apikol diffe mount, USP Motorsports clutch line and metal slave cylinder
Alcon Mono 6 six-piston front calipers, 370mm rotors, Goodridge G-Stop stainless lines, Project Mu HC+ pads. Stock rear
KW Variant 3 coilovers
Wheels & Tires
20x9" BBS CH-R wheels, 265/30 R20 Continental ContiSport tires
Vorsteiner carbon fiber hood, Eurogear USA carbon splitter and rear window spoiler, 3M carbon fiber vinyl roof wrap, black headlight housings, grille and Audi emblems, satin black mirrors and antenna, clear corners, HID foglights
European RS4 seats, TT RS steering wheel with RS4 badge
Anna, Brian, Big Will, Lunch Box and the Checkered Flag boys, Eric Cash, Brenphoto and Natchez Fotography