More than almost any other Euro, it appears the B6 Audi A4 provided the bridge for large numbers of import owners to crossover to the Euro scene. We regularly find these cars owned by former Honda or Toyota drivers, who were enticed by the A4's quality and solid style.
As if to prove our point, the owner of this '05 Audi A4 1.8T Ultra Sport quattro came out of a Civic by way of a Cadillac. Actually, he was about to purchase an Escalade for the Colorado winters when he discovered the dealer had jacked the price on him. So he drove to the next AWD dealer and went home in an A4.
Having tuned cars for 15 years, 32 year-old Scott Chau was determined to build one to the max; one that might get magazine coverage and possibly put his car accessory shop, Kustomz, on the map.
The day the Audi arrived home, a new head unit was installed. The modifications followed thick and fast, starting with the interior. Aranda's Upholstery took the Burberry cloth Nick supplied and covered the seat inserts, door panels, armrests, shift boot and sections of the headliner. The stock black leather remained on the seat outers, but tan suede was used in the center of the headliner, creating a luxurious interior.
The trimming carried over to a matching Recaro baby seat for daughter Kaile, and the tan suede also found its way into the trunk where it lined the floor and the lid. White leather was used to trim the amp and capacitor housings on the trunk sides, while Burberry cloth made another appearance inside the fiberglass sub enclosure itself.
All the stereo equipment was installed by Cartoys, which squeezed a trio of 10'' JL subs across the width of the trunk. These were powered by the JL 1000/1 mono amp in the trunk floor, with a second JL amp firing the Focal component speakers in the factory locations up front.
Fighting for attention is the NOS bottle mounted to the suede-trimmed trunklid, which feeds nitrous to a Nitrous Express intercooler spray via parts from a variety of manufacturers.
A pair of LED-lit nitrous purge nozzles in the carbon hood match the LED undercar and underhood lighting that was part of the Audi's embarrassing past. When we first encountered the car, it was splurged in vinyl and had different wheel finishes on either side. Built as a show car, it pleased the judges but detracted from the craftsmanship.
We suggested a few changes so elements such as the molded sunvisors in the headliner had a chance to shine. Fabricated from fiberglass, they housed two of the car's four 7'' screens. A fifth screen is found in the double-DIN head unit with its clever picture-in-picture function, allowing it to display nav as well as movies or the rear-view camera simultaneously.
A switching system allows Scott to display any of four sources on individual screens, including the camera, nav, DVD or the PS2 in the glovebox.
With a killa interior, Scott needed the exterior to match. His friend Jay R at Import Trends reproduced Kerscher's front bumper and side skirts plus a Rieger rear apron in carbon fiber. These were matched to a VIS carbon hood and carbon-covered roof, with sections of carbon remaining unpainted for contrast.
The theme continued to the 19'' HRE 549 wheels, which are one of the car's more controversial aspects. Supplied silver, Scott has progressively powdercoated them black 'n white to create what you see here. The white lips are matched to white spokes, while the faces of the wheel centers were finished black. It's fair to say the finish isn't to everybody's taste but they're certainly dramatic.
The massive 14'' Brembo GT big brake kit followed about a year later, since that's how long it took to save for the darn things. At the time, he could only get replacement StopTech rear rotors, but who cares when there are six-pots up front?
After two years, the factory warranty expired and the all-clear was given for some serious engine mods. He'd previously done a few bolt-ons, but this time he was more determined. First call was to Eurocode Tuning for its GT28RS turbo, and bigger injectors. They also supplied custom Revo software that was tuned in the UK to compensate for the altitude in Colorado. The remaining parts, such as the exhaust manifold, system, intercooler, etc were bought from AWE Tuning because he deals with them through Kustomz. "It was a mistake to piece the turbo kit together from different shops. Several parts weren't compatible and it caused a few headaches," Scott told us.
Although it's not been on a dyno, he claims it's comparable to a friend's modified STi, and certainly in the 300hp ballpark.
With so much work done, Scott doesn't enjoy the fruits of his labor, daily driving a '95 Accord instead. And having achieved his dream of getting a car featured, he's unsure of what to do next, although he still pines after an Escalade for some reason. But whether or not he leaves the Euro scene, Scott Chau has left his mark.
2005 Audi A4 1.8T Quattro
Owner: Scott Chau
Location: Aurora, CO
Occupation: Kustomz car parts & phone shop
Engine: 1.8-liter 20v four-cylinder with Garrett GT28RS turbo, APR exhaust manifold, 550cc injectors, custom Revo stage 3 big-turbo software for CO, hand-polished AWE intercooler, Forge diverter valve, Eurocode test pipe, Thermal exhaust, aFe drop-in filter, ECS lightweight pulleys, nitrous intercooler spray, GReddy turbo timer, carbon fiber valve cover
Drivetrain: six-speed manual, South Bend stage 3 clutch, Neuspeed short shifter
Brakes: 14'' Brembo GT drilled front rotors with six-piston calipers, standard-size StopTech drilled rear rotors with Hawk pads, braided lines
Suspension: H&R Street coilovers plus rear sway bar
Wheels & Tires: 19x8.5'' HRE 549 wheels powdercoated black and white, 235/35 R19 Falken FK-452 tires
Exterior: carbon fiber Kerscher front bumper and side skirts, LLTek carbon front lip, Rieger rear apron, VIS carbon hood, Sparco hood pins, Eurocode roof spoiler, stock Ultra Sport trunk spoiler, Kamei grille and eyelids, 8000k HID headlights, 2500k HID foglights, dual nitrous purge nozzles, LED tail lights, Underglow LED
Interior: custom Burberry and suede interior including floor mats and Recaro baby seat, quick-release Momo steering wheel, JHM shift knob, Biltz boost gauge, tint, nitrous bottle mounted on trunklid with remote opener, strobe lights and LED under-car kit
Audio/Visual: Kenwood DNX-9140, Focal mids and tweeters, three 10'' JL Audio W6 subs in fiberglass box with Burberry trim, JL Audio 1000/1 and 4/350 amps, two capacitors, four 7'' Alpine touchscreen TVs - two in custom roof pods, PS2, Eclipse rearview camera, Kinetic battery
Thanks: Kustomz, Rachel, Kaile, family, Dan at Wrights German Motors, Jay R at showoffrides.com, Chris at Cartoys, Sam at Import Sports, Ari at Discount Tire, Thanh at Apexi Autobody, Aranda's Upholstery, Dave at Eurocode, AWE Tuning, Nick, Joe "MS"