Audi Special Issue
It's not until you devote an entire issue to the Audi A4 that you begin to appreciate just how many of have been modified beyond the level of average bolt-ons. While it's sometimes claimed that A4 owners are less inclined to mod than BMW 3-Series owners, this issue proves there are plenty of exceptions to the rule.
While many of the wilder A4s have been built for the show circuit by owners with, shall we say, healthy checkbooks, others have been assembled over long periods of time with old-fashioned hard-earned money - Sarasota, Florida resident Shawn Grawunde's 2004 B6 A4 1.8T is a perfect example.
Shawn is a co-owner of the recently revived fiftten52 v.2, but don't think that's the reason the A4 is so well-sorted. Minus the big GT3076R turbo upgrade, the rest of the car was built before Shawn and partner Brad Beardow had met, and all parts were paid for by Shawn's savings account. Having the wherewithal to install all the parts himself certainly saved a great deal of money, but don't for a second believe this is another big-dollar purpose-built show car.
Did we just say GT3076R? Yes, but that's getting ahead of ourselves. Shawn bought the B6 Audi A4 1.8T Ultrasport FrontTrak (FWD!) in the fall of '04 and began modding right away. The plan was to keep the car almost stock. "I had a modded Mk4 Jetta 1.8T before," Shawn said, "so I figured the A4's looks and handling with the Ultrasport package would keep me satisfied for a long time." Yeah, right.
No doubt you'll noticed this A4 isn't a quattro. "I would have preferred a quattro but when my local dealer got this car I knew I wanted it."
Without AWD, Shawn planned only minor performance mods. An APR flash and a Forge BOV were the first mods. For about a week.
The truth is, Shawn saw more potential with the A4 vs his Jetta, and the urge to mod was overwhelming. He knew he'd eventually go for big power and FWD wasn't going to stop him. "I'm the kind of person who likes doing things differently and the challenge of building a big-turbo FWD A4 appealed to me. The FrontTrak chassis is capable enough and could easily handle extra power."
Extra power was a gradual process. From K04 to GT28RS to GT3071R to GT3076R, Shawn has taken an evolutionary approach to 1.8T power gains. "It's not like I'm a scientist looking to quantify every change; it's more like I consistently fail to recognize my tendency to always want more of everything," he admitted.
He's not just referencing his growing appetite for bigger turbos, either; he's also been through six sets of wheels (finally settling on the 19x8.5" and 19x9.5" HRE C20 wheels seen here) and a variety of different audio set-ups.
During the GT28RS to GT3071R upgrade, Shawn built the 1.8T's bottom end with a set of Integrated Engineering forged connecting rods plus a forged crank from an AWP 1.8T.
Strong internals are important, but the tune is equally crucial and Shawn has been using Revo GT30 software with excellent results. "Revo's great to work with because they considered all the variables in my set-up and looked at various datalogs to come up with a tune that's safe and performs great, even as a daily driver."
Running the GT3076R at 23psi is hard work even for a quattro, so it's obvious the FrontTrak would be challenged. So a Southbend stage 4 clutch, Tein Super Street coilovers and a set of 235/35-19 Kumho Ecsta tires do an admirable job. "With this much power but two-wheel drive, I need to rely on my own brand of traction control - my right foot." He also points out the nature of the GT3076R's fairly late power delivery makes for less drama than you might imagine.
In the handling department, a set of Hotchkis S4 sway bars complements the aforementioned Tein coilovers, while a set of monster-sized Stasis/Alcon big brakes can provide incredible stopping power. "I love the brakes," Shawn stated.
"You can't go wrong with Alcon, so we [fifteen52] think are we're about to launch our own line of Alcon-based VW and Audi BBKs."
Since the Ultrasport includes special bodywork, Shawn didn't go crazy with the cosmetic mods: "I really like the Ultrasport air dam, so I got Tee from Don't Stare Customz to mold it into the bumper for a smoother look." He also added an S4 front grille and rear valance, a rear window spoiler and an LLtek front splitter to round out the exterior.
"The interior was next on my list," Shawn told us, "but fifteen52 has a few projects to complete so I've decided to consider the A4 finished and sell it."
He won't say what's his next project car will be, but he assured us it will have four rings on the grille. We like the sound of that, and since we're hoping to put together another Audi-specific issue in the future, we'll be setting aside a few pages for whatever Shawn and fifteen52 come up.
2004 Audi A4 1.8T Ultrasport Fronttrak
Owner: Shawn Grawunde
Location: Sarasota, FL
Occupation: fifteen52 v.2 co-owner
1.8 liter 20v four-cylinder with Garrett GT3076R (.63 A/R, 4" anti-surge inlet, 3" V-band exhaust flange, T3 turbine flange), ATP T3-flanged manifold, custom 3" V-band downpipe, Tial 38mm external wastegate, Tial 50mm blow-off valve, custom FMIC using 22x11.3x2.5" Garrett Hi Density core, 2.5" charge pipe, 3" intercooler to throttle body, Integrated Engineering connecting rods with ARP 2000 rod bolts, AWP forged crank, Snow Performance stage 2 water/methanol injection with MAP controller and 375cc injector, custom Revo GT30 software with SPS3, Siemens 630cc injectors, custom 3" SS exhaust with dual Magnaflow 14816 quad tip mufflers, GReddy remote power steering cooler, '02 upper rain tray cover, RS4 side engine cover
five-speed manual transmission, fifteen52 short shifter, Southbend OFE SS stage 4 clutch
Stasis/Alcon 355mm two-piece floating rotors with Alcon Mono 4 calipers front, 305mm rear rotors, Ferodo DS2500 brake pads, Goodridge braided lines, Motul 5.1 brake fluid
Tein Super Street coilovers, Hotchkis S4 35mm front and adjustable 22mm rear sway bars
Wheels & Tires:
19x8.5" front, 19x9.5" rear HRE C20 satin charcoal wheels with 235/35 front, 245/35-19 rear Kumho Ecsta SPT tires
molded/shaved Ultrasport front air dam, LLtek carbon splitter, OEM S4 rear valance modified for quad tips, DTH carbon roof spoiler, OEM S4 grille, Texon 8500K HID kit
Turbosmart e-boost2 electronic boost controller, Innovate XD16 with LC-1 wideband controller
Alpine IVA-D310 head unit, JL Audio 500/5 amp, XR650-CSi components and 10W7 subwoofer
Brad, Adrian, Sam at fifteen52, Janelle, Mom & Dad, Eric and Adam at Supreme Power Parts, Greg and Mike at DTH, Tee at Don't Stare Customz