Whether it's a question of preference or finance, most people are either into performance or style, rarely both. Sure, there are show cars with 600hp turbo engines, but they'll never turn a wheel in anger on the track, while cars that attend track days rarely show their faces at Hot Import Nights, for example.
So it's super-rare to find somebody who has crossed over from the performance side to styling, yet Christoffer Geiros did just that.
With a successful karting career behind him in his native Sweden, Chris switched camps. Racing as a child and reaching national recognition as recently as 2007, the 22 year-old Geiros decided to try something different. "Car styling seemed fun. I've always been good at building things, so I bought an Audi A4 three years ago and haven't raced since," he explained to his dumbfounded audience. "At first I wanted an A6 Avant but the dealership had a nice A4. So I bought it on an impulse that I've never regretted."
Of course, plenty of people buy Audis but very few go on to build something as wild as the bronze example you see here. We're not even sure Chris intended to go this far.
The catalyst in the project was a new Alpine head unit. It allowed him to see that minor improvements made a big difference. So he then bought coilovers. A Rieger body kit came next and the Swede began to gather momentum. It was followed by more sound equipment and soon there was no stopping him.
If you had to put a finger on the moment the A4 went from mundane to manic, it was during a visit to the local Audi dealer. He had decided to see how expensive a set of RS4 fenders would be. As it turns out, they weren't as offensive as he'd imagined, and this set the gears whirring. "Of course, it wasn't that easy," Christoffer explained. "I realized I'd also need new rear doors and a trunk, and soon it got more pricey, but I think the result was well worth it," he concluded.
Returning home, he set to work fitting the wider RS4 fenders. Naturally, regular-wide wasn't enough, so the fenders were rolled to push them out a bit more.
As he suspected, getting everything to work together was the difficult bit. He fitted the RS4 rear doors so they met up with the rear fenders but then had to create custom side skirts using parts from WS-styling that he extended to the new width.
At the front, he created a custom lip for the OE RS4 front bumper. He fabricated it from sheet metal, then replicated it in fiberglass from a negative mold. Also unique to Christoff's A4 is the rear bumper that started life as an RS4 part but was modified by the owner to suit his vision.
Even the lighting is unique. It started with Audi S6 LED foglights above the front brake ducts. These inspired him to add another row of LEDs into the color-matched headlight housings. "It was important for me to keep the car true to the brand, and the LED accessories really did that for me," Chris explained.
The styling continued as the door moldings were removed and filled with metal to achieve a perfect finish. The car was then ready for paint, with the usual anguish over the correct color. His painter, Lars at Skene Lack, usually worked on Ferraris for a local dealer but was keen to be involved with the Audi project. He suggested they spray it white with a black roof, but Christoffer wanted something darker. He was after something unique that again reinforced Audi brand values and we reckon he nailed it with a custom mix he calls Nougat Chocolate brown pearl. It was based on a Volvo XC60 bronze but Lars added more depth by mixing in red and green pearls to provide a shimmering golden shine.
The sumptuous hue is offset by the black roof and pillars, grille, rear lights, window tint and those 20x10'' Zenetti Spartan wheels. The multi-spoke design is reminiscent of previous Audi designs but also similar to the wire wheels synonymous with the lowrider scene, making them a great choice.
Despite the generous wheel width, the fender modifications mean Christoffer is able to dump the Audi in the weeds with his GAS air suspension. This was a mod he planned from the very beginning, even choosing a FWD A4 over a quattro model because German Air Ride Systems (GAS) didn't have a suitable kit at the time.
"I love the air ride; it was the best choice I made," Christoffer said. "With all the bumps and potholes around here, it's perfect - no scraped bodywork and I can get it very low for shows!"
It's controlled either by remote or via the switches mounted in a custom panel in the center console that also houses an air pressure gauge to monitor the system. The pressure is maintained by a small Viair 460C compressor in the trunk. The air is stored in a three-gallon tank behind the amps and distributed to the air bags as required.
Despite all the work, Christoffer isn't afraid to drive it. We met him shortly before a 250 mile journey to the Scandinavian Custom Show in Denmark. The car has also taken awards in Norway and Sweden, with plans to travel to Germany and Austria this year to bring home more silverware.
In addition to being commended for its exterior, the Audi fares well in audio competitions thanks to its extensive Impact sound system that pumps out 148dB in SPL events.
The glass-shattering volume is courtesy of two 15'' Impact subwoofers mounted in the trunk. The sub box has dual ports that trumpet the bass into the cabin between the two sports seats in the rear. These are identical to the front seats, right down to the black and grey color scheme.
A giant monoblock Impact amp fires the two subs, while a further three amps drive the six speaker component sets littered throughout the car.
The massive current draw of this system required a quartet of Optima batteries to be squeezed into the spare wheelwell to power the behemoth bass. Yet the combination is enough to surpass the other eight members of Sound Team Spån Christoffer belongs to.
The extra weight of so much equipment prompted the owner to carry out some minor engine mods that netted him around 200hp, but performance clearly isn't his objective any more. In fact, he reported that "the car is disassembled yet again, on it's way to become even better. You must raise the bar and continue improving the concept," he explained. "This year the wheels will get color-matched bronze lips, while the interior will have more speakers, a better sub box and leather with contrasting stitching."
This could be the end of the road for Chris and his extraordinary A4, though. He's talking about selling the car and moving on to a new project. If that does happen, we can only speculate how the lessons learned here will be translated into a new machine!
2005 Audi A4 1.8T
Owner: Christoffer Geiros
Location: Ambjörnarp, Sweden
Occupation: security door tech
Engine: 1.8-liter, four-cylinder 20v turbocharged with Proscott Performance software, front-mount intercooler, GFB dump valve, custom exhaust
Drivetrain: stock automatic
Brakes: 14'' K-Sport front rotors with eight-piston calipers
Suspension: GAS V1 air suspension kit with remote control, adjustable Koni dampers, Viair 460C compressor, 3 gallon tank
Wheels & Tires: 20x10'' Zenetti Spartan wheels with 255/30 R20 Hankook K107 tires
Exterior: OEM Audi RS4 fenders, trunk lid, rear doors and bumpers, S4 mirrors, WS-styling side skirts modified to fit, custom front spoiler, side moldings shaved, Rieger böser blick eyebrows, S6 foglights, LEDs in headlights, tint, car painted custom Nougat Chocolate brown pearl with black roof and pillars
Interior: four JOM sport seats, door panels rebuilt for speaker locations, air pressure gauge in custom console panel, LED and amp switches in overhead panel, black headliner
Audio/Visual: Alpine DVA-9861Ri head unit and Alpine Imprint PXA-H100 audio processor, six Impact HS6532 6.5'' component speaker sets in front and rear door panels plus trunk, two 15'' Impact 6716 subs in rear box facing seats with dual 6'' aero ports between seats, three racked Impact Stealth 5 amps, one Impact XT3.500D mono sub amp, two C-tek 25000 chargers, four Optima batteries, sound deadening throughout
Thanks: René at cartrends.dk, Pelle at PE Trading, Andreas at Tranemo Car Care, Adolfsson in Tranemo, Lars at Skene Paint