There's one thing you should remember about us: we hate stickers. One or two inconspicuous stickers is OK to support the tuners who helped most, but there's a fine line that's crossed when stickers detract from the rest of the car.
When we first came across Heral Patel's '04 Audi A4 V6, it looked exactly as you see it now, but with a plethora of logos across the windows and body. With a little hesitation, he removed them for us, and we're grateful he did because under the vinyl was this stunning show car.
It was even more exciting because the B6 Audi A4 has largely disappeared from the Euro aftermarket scene over the past few years.
Heral's story started with friends in Carrozzeria Design and the TWCompetition (TWC) car club. It's no secret that every year, TWC attends shows from coast to coast with an array of new Euro show cars. And because the team is heavily involved in import shows, the cars tend to be less hardcore Euro than we're accustomed to, but that's what gives them their distinct character. TWC is about bright colors, wide fenders, high-end wheels and extravagant electronics. And Heral's A4 is no exception, even gaining respect from enthusiasts outside the show scene.
Still in his early 20s, Heral's a full-time student. He lives in Orange County, CA and enjoys the company of his friends, and this led to his first project car. "All my friends used to be into car shows like Hot Import nights," he told us. "That's how it started for me. I used to have a mercedes ml320 with minor modifications, but it wasn't too much fun to drive or show and I always liked the shape of the B6 A4, so I bought one back in '04."
The majority of Heral's modifications weigh heavy on the exterior. The V6 platform didn't offer many engine parts at the time, so Heral decided to focus primarily on the styling.
The Audi follows a trend set by previous TWC feature cars, such as Darrick yu's '04 ClK320 (et 4/06) and Eric Shih's '03 BmW m3 (et 4/06). "I liked how the widebody cars looked and knew I wanted something similar," we were told.
Heral left his Audi with Auto Explosion in gardena, CA, where weeks of body- and paintwork ensued. The shop extended both the front and rear fenders using metal, while the roof was painted black.
To give the shell its aftermarket look, an Abt body kit was fitted including front and rear valances, side skirts, a two-bar grille and carbon door pillars. Work on the exterior didn't stop there; DTm Autohas provided its Karbon bser hood, while chrome Kamei mirror caps and a EuroCode roof spoiler completed the list.
The paint is perhaps the dominant aspect of Heral's project. The color was from the lamborghini gallardo and the same as fellow teammate Eric Shih's m3 - Caelum metallic blue, applied with the exception of the roof and center of the carbon hood.
To improve night vision, Heral retrofitted a set of S4 headlights and upgraded the bulbs with 6000K HIDs. The lights were also tinted blue to match the paint. The tail lights weren't stock either, swapped for lED clusters, while the side markers were smoked so as to attract less attention.
Next on the list was the wheels. After trying five different sets, Heral sought the help of his teammates and Carrozzeria Design, settling on 20" modulare m3 wheels. Painted black, the dubs sit perfectly inside the massive fenders, thanks to 9.5" front and 10" rear widths. Pirelli PZero nero tires wrap the wheels, giving the quattro impeccable traction.
Behind the front wheels are enormous Brembo rotors and silver calipers. Heral opted for top-of-the-line parts, including 14.1" front rotors and four-piston caliper to improve stopping power and to provide a contrast to the 20s.
To give the A4 a better street and show stance, the suspension was dropped using KW Variant2 coilovers, allied to OE RS4 sway bars.
Let's move on to one of our favorite aspects of Heral's car: the interior. He didn't add impractical parts, but ensured everything flowed nicely. The front and rear seat inserts were reupholstered in blue suede to match the exterior, while dark grey suede was implemented on the headliner and pillars to replicate the OE S4.
The stereo isn't gaudy, either. This is actually Heral's third setup and he claims it's his best. The head unit is a Pioneer AVIC-Z1 touchscreen which plays DVDs and mP3s, and was connected to the Boyo reversing camera.
MB Quart premium component speakers improve the sound quality within the cabin, while rockford Fosgate subs and amps reside in the trunk. Completing the list of upgrades is an Optima battery, Sony PS2 and 10.5" trunkmounted monitor.
Last but not least are the engine upgrades. The 3.0 liter V6 hasn't been exploited by many tuners until recently, so Heral kept the mods to a minimum. He stuck with basic bolt-ons, such as the BoostedTech intake and a custom quad exhaust utilizing magnaflow muffers. PowerChip software was also uploaded to improve the powerband and extend the limiter.
Following so much work, we were surprised to learn he doesn't leave the pampered car at home. Instead he drives the car to and from school, or wherever else he goes. Despite daily driving, Heral manages to clean the car for the large number of shows he attends thoughout Southern California with TWC.
He also mentioned his next project would be a BmW 335i, and while we're onfident it will look as stunning as his Audi, let's hope he continues to keep stickers to a minimum!
2004 Audi A4
Owner: Heral Patel
Engine: 3.0 liter V6 with BoostedTech cold-air intake, custom quad exhaust with magnaflow mufflers, PowerChip software
Drivetrain: five-speed automatic transmission
Suspension: KW Variant 2 coilovers, OE rS4 sway bars, CPP control arms
Brakes: 14.1" Brembo Gt big brake kit with four-piston calipers
Wheels & Tires: 20x9.5" front, 20x10" rear modulare wheels with 245/30-20 front, 285/25-20 rear Pirelli PZero nero tires
Exterior: lamborghini Caelum metallic paint, black roof, custom widebody conversion, Abt front and rear valances, side skirts, grille and carbon door pillars, DTm Karbon hood, EuroCode roof spoiler, Kamei mirror caps, blindspot mirrors, window tint, lamin-X blue headlight tint, OE S4 headlights, 6000K HID upgrade, Ion yellow foglights, lED tail lights, ECS Tuning smoked side markers
Interior: blue suede seat inserts, dark grey suede headliner and pillars, light grey suede trim
Audio/Visual: Pioneer AVIC-Z1 head unit, Boyo VTl-100 reverse camera, two Rockford Fosgate 12" T112D4 subwoofers, T10001bd amplifier, T8004 amplifier, mobileworks 10.5" HD monitor in trunk, mB Quart premium components, Optima yellow Top battery, Sony PlayStation 2, DVD player, Clifford matrix RS 3.5 alarm, Valentine One radar detector with stealth display
Thanks: Carrozzeria Design (www.cdesignllc.com), Auto Explosion (www.autoexplosion.net), Supreme Power Parts (www.supremepowerparts.com)