You either love it or hate it. The redesigned Audi A4 B7 chassis was unveiled in '04, but the new face received mixed reviews. While it shared the same platform as the previous generation B6, the upgrades made it either more or less attractive, depending on your taste.
Exterior-wise, the front grille changed to a tall trapezoidal-shape, which was the most controversial update. Other alterations included more muscular tail lights and 2.0T FSI motor. For these reasons, the B7 had great potential for tuning, and we finally tracked down Alex Andonian from San Diego, CA who was one of the first to transform his B7. In fact, to our surprise, this is the first B7 we've featured.
For Alex, he loved the new body style. "I've owned a BMW 3-Series and Mercedes before the Audi," he explained. "I wanted something a little different and when the new A4 came out, I knew I wanted to explore it. I also wanted a turbocharged car."
He took delivery of his A4 in late '05, when the first batch hit these shores. He didn't waste time applying his personal touch.
One of his first mods was the suspension, but being a new chassis, there were no parts available. "I did a little research but was unsure whether the B6 and B7 were the same," he said. "It was a toss up, so I figured I'd try it. As it turns out, the suspension fits the same for the B6 or B7." So Alex installed a set of H&R coilovers originally intended for the B6 S4. After lowering the car, a set of BBS CH wheels was mounted.
With minor modifications, the A4 was utilized as a daily driver, but Alex decided to shift the focus for occasional track use. The 2.0T received a software upgrade, thanks to Revo. Creative Autoworks in San Diego then worked on prototype parts to improve the engine's performance. The main upgrades include a Race-Tec front-mount intercooler and a full exhaust system with test pipe to derestrict gas flow.
The power upgrades were a first for the B7, but Alex didn't stop there. He became acquainted with Brembo and the company prototyped a 355mm big brake kit using four-piston calipers. Alex later upgraded to a six-piston caliper for even more stopping power.
With performance upgrades so slim, Alex began modifying the appearance. Wheels were an important component and although he had BBS, things quickly changed. Amazingly, Alex changed his mind so often he's gone through eight sets of wheels on the car, finally settling on the current set of 20x8.5" front and 20x9" rear Modulare wheels. "I wanted to go with a different look and the Modulare M7 wheel was new when I bought them," he told us. "The brushed face with black accents and black lips with brushed pinstripe meant they were different from everything else."
With the new dubs, tire sizes were limited, but he opted for Falken FK452 tires. Although Alex also has a set of smaller rims and stickier tires for the track.
The exterior was transformed with Abt aerodynamics. The side skirts were molded to the body, while the roof and Euro mirrors were painted black.
Continuing the transformation is a silver carbon hood, secured by Aerocatch flat hood pins. Alex decided to paint the outer portions of the hood body color to reduce the contrast. The factory grille was then swapped for a 25th Anniversary S4 part in black, which looks a lot less obtrusive.
The headlights were also upgraded because the first B7s weren't equipped with HIDs. "In order to retrofit Xenons, you needed to do a projector upgrade," Alex explained. "A new wiring harness, mounts and levelers were required." Once that was done, he had Creative Autoworks prototype an angel-eye kit for a unique headlight.
Working on the interior, Alex installed a GReddy turbo timer and Auto Meter boost gauge. To keep him secure, a set of Schroth harnesses can be fitted for use on the track.
Interior upgrades weren't limited to performance enhancements, though. Since the car is daily driven, a good sound system was warranted. Retaining the OE navigation, Alex created a custom iPod interface using a Dietz video adapter. This enabled him to play iPod videos through the in-dash nav screen. "It's really simple but not many people do it," he noted. "It's one of my favorite mods on it."
For improved audio output, two JL Audio 10" W7 subwoofers were mounted in a custom trunk enclosure, with a JL amplifier supplying the power. To achieve a classy look, Alex wrapped the enclosure in suede with a custom Audi logo on the side panel.
"The car was built to be a daily driver for occasional track use," Alex explained. "I've driven it on Laguna Seca, Buttonwillow, Willow Springs and a few Dallas tracks. On the track it was amazing, but it's definitely become more of a show car in the end."
With both show and go capability, it was interesting to see how Alex's B7 has turned out. And with the B8 being introduced later this year, we hope to see more bold Audi enthusiasts follow a similar route.
2005 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro
Owner: Alex Andonian
Location: San Diego, CA
Engine: two liter 16v turbocharged with Revo stage two software, Race-Tec front-mount intercooler, Creative Autoworks test pipe and cat-back exhaust with quad tail pipes, K&N filter, Forge Motorsport blow-off valve, Sun Systems Hyper voltage and grounding kit
Drivetrain: six-speed automatic transmission
Brakes: 355mm Brembo Gran Turismo big brake kit with six-piston calipers
Suspension: H&R coilovers, OE RS4 front and rear sway bars
Wheels & Tires: 20x8.5" front, 20x9" rear Modulare M7 wheels with custom brushed and black finish, 235/30-20 front, 245/30-20 rear Falken FK452 tires
Exterior: Abt front spoiler, rear apron, molded side skirts and three-piece deck spoiler, OE S4 25th Anniversary Phantom black grille with filler plate, OE Euro mirrors, painted black roof and side mirrors, painted reflectors, smoked tail lights, OE Audi projector headlights with Apexcone 8000K D2S HID head- and foglight bulbs, Wet Works M3 roof spoiler, Creative Autoworks angel-eye kit, Eurogear silver carbon fiber hood, Aerocatch flat hood pins
Interior: GReddy turbo timer, Auto Meter boost gauge in custom fiberglass vent housing, Schroth Rallye 4 harnesses
Audio/Visual: Oe Rns-E navigation unit, Dietz video adapter and in-motion adapter, Monster wires and capacitor, two JL Audio 10" W7 subs with 1000/1 amp, custom iPod interface, custom suede and brushed aluminum trunk enclosure with neon and strobes, bass knob
Thanks: Mother, Father and family, Giorgio and Alan, James and Robby at Creative Autoworks, John A4RCE1, Peter Nickel, Justin, Nine1twoinc, Leif at Apex Cone, Adham, Europrojektz, Sam at Auto Talent, Del and Bernard at Hoehn Audi, Gary at Brembo, Modulare Wheels