1999 Audi A4
Audi Most project cars with more than 190,000 miles on the odometer are busted and beaten. But Mike Huff's '99 Audi A4 1.8T is an anomaly. His menacing Audi racked up 19k miles a year on its 110-mile round trip to work each day. But despite the long process of building his A4, Mike has finally completed what is surely one of the most memorable Audi show cars in the Pacific Northwest.
Project cars are in Mike's blood, "ever since I was 16 and everybody else was excited about getting their license, I was excited about putting stuff on my car," he began. "The Audi is just one of 13 project cars I've built, from Japanese to Euro. I even dabbled in American cars back in the day."
Thirteen projects is a lot to grasp but Mike's completed some impressive transformations, such as a Mitsubishi Evo 4 and a Silvia S14 conversion. "I usually jump between Japanese and Euros," he continued. "I love both. Right now, I'm building a VIP-style Infinity Q45."
In 2001, Mike sold the Evo 4 and picked up a used Audi after borrowing a friend's A4. Like most enthusiasts, he wanted it simple at first. "When I bought the Audi I went for wheels and exhaust. I didn't want to go past that but things spiraled out of control."
It got out of control to the point where this Audi is Mike's most extravagant project to date, but he credited Team Menace for pushing him with the car. "I changed or added something every year," Mike explained. "In fact, it's now on the fifth transformation."
The most dramatic element of Mike's A4 is its blatantly intimidating appearance. It started with the widebody fenders, which give the car its wide, aggressive stance. Team Prototype in San Diego constructed the fenders for Mike from fiberglass. The buff arches are 3" wider on each corner. "I just wanted it more aggressive than the OE RS4," he said.
The front and rear bumpers needed to complement the theme, so Mike fitted Uberhaus RSR parts from the Rieger RS4 bumpers that didn't flow as well with the stretched arches.
You've probably noticed the abundance of carbon weave as well. "I like carbon," he asserted. "It's nice on a dark car, as long as it doesn't overpower everything else." So the A4 sports a composite bser hood, door mirrors, roof and trunk spoilers, front splitter and door pillar covers.
Before Mike was done, he convinced himself to repaint the A4 but kept close to stock. "The car was Volcano black and I didn't want to go too far from it, so chose Black Cherry pearl, which turns into a deep plum color in sunlight," he said.
Brembo big brakes up front ensured that his high-mileage A4 could stop on the dime. While a set of staggered 19" iForged Aero wheels filled the blistered fenders. Interestingly, they're Mike's fourth set of wheels and were originally silver but were later powdercoated black to look more anti-social.
Mike knew he needed to back up the menacing ambience with a solid performance package. At first, he flashed GIAC software but more upgrades would follow, eventually rebuilding the 1.8T with a new block, valves and anything to extend engine life after its high-mileage use.
He was then able to source a hybrid RS4 turbo which, "is basically a milled-down K03 turbo," he explained. "It uses a bigger turbine wheel in a small housing to spool quicker." The new turbo, along with high-flow injectors, MTM downpipe, Techtonics cat and Borla exhaust, is claimed to produce 280hp.
Mike installed a Forge Motorsport front-mount intercooler and blow-off valve plus Samco boost hoses to guarantee the new turbo setup would operate without any problems.
The stock transmission wasn't engineered to cope with such power, so Level Ten built a custom five-speed automatic tranny rated to 600hp. According to Mike, it shifts quicker and harder than the OE box.
The performance upgrades were completed with H&R coilovers and sway bars to keep the chassis planted on the pavement.
Inevitably, the carbon theme was continued inside, including custom headrests, seat backs and armrests. He then opted to reupholster the seat inserts and pillars in suede.
Blitz boost and oil pressure gauges were mounted on the A-pillar, while a turbo timer was concealed in the center console. An AEM air/fuel gauge was additionally placed on the steering column and wrapped in suede.
Last but not least was the stereo. Occupying the entire trunk area were two JL Audio 10W6V2 subs, plus three Phoenix Gold amps. Eight sets of mids and tweeters were then located inside the car to provide maximum high-quality sound.
Making use of the rear seats, Mike installed two 6.5" headrest monitors, controlled via a control panel in the rear armrest. This means, people in the back can play video games from either the Xbox or PS2 on separate monitors, while the passenger up front can watch a movie from the Kenwood double-DIN head unit. The icing on the cake was the carbon panels and red LEDs in the trunk to tie in with the theme of the car.
Mike told us he'd changed the system five times, going from conservative to show-stopping. And he attributed friends Ray and Pete Pocaigue for the craftsmanship.
"I have to keep changing things so it flows or until I run out of money," he laughed. So after 13 project cars and seven years owning this evil Audi, you'd imagine Mike would be done. But he already has new project cars underway, making him a real menace to society!
1999 Audi A4
Owner: Mike Huff
Location: Tacoma, WA
Occupation: VP of clothing company
1.8 liter 20v four cylinder with hybrid RS4 stage 2+ turbo, GIAC software, injectors, Forge Motorsport front-mount intercooler and BOV, Carbonio intake, MTM downpipe, Techtonics high-flow cat, Borla cat-back exhaust with custom 3.5" dual tips, 5-bar adjustable fuel pressure regulator, NX intercooler sprayer, Samco boost hoses, GReddy boost controller, carbon fiber engine cover and trim pieces, Optima Yellow Top battery
Level Ten five-speed automatic transmission upgrade SUSPENSION: H&R coilovers and sway bars
Brembo Gran Turismo 13.1" front brake kit with four-piston calipers, drilled rear rotors
Wheels & Tires:
19x8" front, 19x9" rear iForged Aero wheels with 235/35-19 front, 245/35-19 rear Dunlop Sport Maxx tires
widebody fenders, Uberhaus RSR bumpers, Rieger side skirts, carbon fiber bser hood, rear wing, mirrors, pillar inserts and chin spoiler, OE RS4 smoked grille, polished fuel cap, Hella side markers, Black Cherry pearl paint
carbon fiber door inserts, seat backs, headrests and armrests, suede seat inserts and pillars, Blitz boost and oil pressure gauges, Blitz turbo timer, AEM air/fuel gauge, suede steering column and A-pillar gauge pods, Momo steering wheel, shift knob, e-brake handle and boots, removable headrests, LED accent lights
Kenwood double-DIN 7015 DVD head unit molded into dash,two Sony 6.5" headrest monitors, control panel in rear armrest, eight JL Audio component speakers, two 10w6v2 subs, two Phoenix Gold four-channel and one two-channel amps, LED lighting, carbon fiber panels, custom enclosure
Dunlop, Valvoline, S&P Designs of Redmond, Rich and Amber at G&L Body Shop, Cantrell Motorsports, TKO Motorwerks, Hartmann Wheels, Compustar, Herold Upholstery, CNC Customz, Intec Racing, Fastlane, RGC, Ray and Pete Pocaigue, Jin, John Morimoto, Krakory, Dave Kwon, Miss Benilda, Kandice, J Solo and Team Menace