300 miles Northeast of Montreal, Quebec, Sébastien Dubé makes his home in Rivière-du-Loup. With a population less than 20k people, the town sits on the Saint Lawrence River, an hour north of Maine.
Now 28 years-old, the Canadian formerly from Ottawa makes a comfortable living running the family business. He also drives one of the fastest cars in the region – this breathtaking ’00 Audi A4 quattro.
With scant few enthusiasts in the area, Sébastien walks alone. There aren’t any major shops, big shows, weekly meets or nearby tracks. But that didn’t stop him from taking an ordinary B5 A4 and transforming it into a 588whp all-wheel drive terror.
Séb wasn’t always a speed-hunter. For eight years he drove a ’98 Toyota Tercel
but eventually the Euro addiction kicked in. “I became a Dubber because of my brother-in-law, Bruno Malenfant – a great guy and one of my best friends,” he told us. So in ’05, the Audi became his first and most involved project car.
Séb bought the sedan from Jeremie Arpaia, the owner of the 900+whp R32 widebody recently featured (et 3/11). Jeremie had the car updated to ’01 S4 spec, including the S4’s 2.7-liter bi-turbo V6, six-speed tranny, suspension, alcantara seats and bumpers. In fact, the only way to tell it was originally an A4 was the VIN.
With a highly-tunable engine, Séb was en route to creating a boosted beast. For the bigger projects, he entrusted the A4 to Mike Rombotis at Rombotis Tuning in Montreal. “Honestly, I’ve wrenched on cars but didn’t really touch the Audi. I left it in the hands of competent people I trust. Mike is such a nice guy and a master when it comes to Audi mechanics,” he explained.
Séb started with basic mods to unlock power and give the B5 a more aggressive rumble with downpipes, exhaust and a clutch. A year later, a custom front-mount intercooler was fitted thanks to Autoxtrëm.
The owner continued to add bolt-on parts such as a short shifter, boost gauge, drivetrain stabilizer and engine mounts. But towards the end of the year, one of the turbos cracked, so Séb decided it was time to bring the ruckus.
He sourced dual TiAL GT2554 turbos, which were basically K04 housings with Garrett turbines. Chris Tapp from Eurodyne supplied the injectors, fuel pump, MAF and hoses to handle the increased boost. A pair of RS4 camshafts were also thrown into the mix to improve top-end power. And after Eurodyne finished tuning it, the wheels put down 406hp on a Mustang dyno using 91-octane fuel.
With no sign of the addiction stopping, Séb continued to throw parts at the car to improve performance. He installed ECS Tuning pulleys, a cold-air intake and Samco hoses. And when he wasn’t daily driving the car, he enjoyed visiting the nearest dragstrip, 175 miles away. Unfortunately, during one session the transmission broke after a missed shift.
Undetered, Séb purchased the components to rebuild the 01E tranny. This comprised a JHM shifter, shift linkage and collar with new seals, gaskets, synchronizer rings and springs. A Stasis 4:1 TorSen center differential was also sourced to improve torque distribution.
Next, the clutch was upgraded to a Southbend stage 5 with more clamping force, along with a Fidanza flywheel.
With the drivetrain ready for abuse, Séb figured he’d go for the win. So he gathered parts to strengthen the bottom-end. Rombotis took control again and installed 82.5mm Supertech pistons, which lowered the compression to 8.8:1. Mated to a B6 A4 3.0 V6 crankshaft by Rosten connecting rods, the capacity was increased to 3.0L.
Richard Poudrier Racing rebuilt some 2.8-liter cylinder heads for the motor. The runners were ported to match the new gasket and phenolic spacers, while the throttle body was enlarged to match.
Next, the valvetrain received Ferrea intake and Supertech inconel exhaust valves with titanium springs and retainers.
After months of preparing the motor, Séb ordered an Agtronic Motorsport GT2860RS turbo kit. It came with tubular manifolds, 3" downpipes and 2.25" inlet pipes. To address the thirstier V6, two fuel pumps, 034 fuel rail and Siemens 630cc injectors were incorporated. Finally, Devil’s Own water/meth injection ensured the intake and cylinder temperatures would be chilled when the new setup was tuned to 588whp at 25psi on pump gas.
While power played a big role in the build, having a tight chassis was equally important. Stiffer Koni coilovers were fitted, along with H-Sport sway bars to reduce body roll.
Since the brakes already had 12.6" and 10.1" S4 rotors, Séb made a minor upgrade with drilled Zimmermann discs and Hawk pads. As for the rollers, having a light, motorsport-style wheel was fundamental to the go-fast theme. So the owner stayed away from fancy show wheels and opted for 19x8" forged HRE 540R wheels. Yokohama tires would provide a sticky footprint.
Perhaps the tamest aspect of the Audi was the interior and exterior. The cockpit, for example, only saw a boost gauge and pedals added to compliment the alcantara-clad S4 interior. The exterior, meanwhile, received an Audi RS4 grille and Fiber Images carbon fiber trunk lid with lip spoiler. But a complete color change would eventually alter the entire dynamic of the car…
“The A4 was previously silver and it took me almost a year to decide which color I would choose. I looked at different whites for a while, but after looking at a brown VW, I made my choice. Then I discovered Audi’s Teak brown metallic from the R8, TTRS and Q7. I found what I was looking for and, best of all, it was OEM,” Séb smiled.
Close friend Alexandre Caron at Tithon Debosselage repainted the sedan and spent an extra week polishing it to perfection.
“The car was built for go with a little show,” Séb concluded. “It took me five years to build the car and while it used to be my daily, I now only take it out at the weekend or on special occasions. I’ll take it to the track again but it’s a long journey. With the 588whp, it’s very easy to break something and a three-hour tow charge is expensive!”
et tech Spec
2000 Audi A4 1.8T
Owner: Sébastien Dubé
Location: Riviere du Loup, Quebec
Occupation: used parts reseller
Engine: 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6 swap, rebuilt to 3.0L with 82.5mm, 8.8:1 compression Supertech pistons, Rosten rods, B6 A4 3.0 V6 crankshaft, Raceware main studs, 034Motorsport bearings and head bolts, 2.8L cylinder heads and gaskets, Ferrea intake valves, Supertech inconel exhaust valves, titanium springs and retainers, B5 RS4 camshafts, Agtronic Motorsport GT2860RS turbo kit, tubular manifolds, 3" downpipes, 2.25" inlet pipes, 44mm TiAL external wastegate, Vast Performance ARD bi-pipes, Siemens 630cc injectors, Bosch 044 and Walbro inline fuel pumps, Hitachi MAF in 90mm Ford MAF housing, Autospeed Performance dual cat-back exhaust, custom Y-pipe and front-mount intercooler, cold-air intake with K&N filter, dual APR R1 diverter valves, ECS Tuning pulleys, Samco Sport hoses, Devil’s Own water/methanol injection kit, ported RS4 intake manifold, 80mm Dodge Hemi throttle body, 034 80mm throttle body boot, Vast Performance high-flow electric fan kit and phenolic intake spacer, 034 fuel pressure gauge and billet fuel rails, stainless fuel lines, Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator, 034 track-density engine mount, Braille lightweight battery relocated to trunk
Drivetrain: six-speed 01E manual transmission rebuilt with JHM syncro, 1/2 shift collar, short shifter, delrin bushing and shifter linkage, six-puck Southbend stage 5 feramic clutch, Fidanza flywheel, Stasis 4:1 TorSen center differential
Brakes: drilled Zimmermann rotors, Hawk HPS pads all round
Suspension: Koni coilovers, H-Sport sway bars, snub mount, 034Motorsport track-density transmission mount and billet rear diff carrier, Stern front diff mount and rear diff ring, AWE Tuning drivetrain stabilizer bar, heavy-duty tie-rod ends
Wheels & Tires: 19x8" HRE 540R wheels with 225/35 R19 Yokohama S.drive tires
Exterior: modified S4 front bumper, OE RS4 grille, Fiber Images carbon trunk with BMW M3 lip spoiler, clear corner lenses, in.pro chrome mirror covers, Porsche Turbo badge, Audi Teak brown paint
Interior: AWE Tuning vent boost gauge and pedal set
Thanks: Mike Rombotis, Alexandre “Tithon” Caron, Dominic “Guruman” Yergeau, Bruno Malenfant, Brady at Dynodoc