It’s every enthusiast’s dream to build a car that demonstrates both form and function. Whether you lean toward “show” or “go”, most cars dabble in a least some aspects of both spectrums. So when a car hits the scene that turns heads and leaves a lasting impression, you know they’ve done something right.
That was the vision Rodolfo Lamaestra had in mind when he picked up his B5 Audi S4 in ’09. “The first time I got into VW and Audi was at H2Oi a few years back. I fell in love with the scene and had to pick up an Audi,” he said. But like most of us, his dream car was just out of reach; Rodolfo wasn’t able to obtain his S4 right away. “I didn’t have enough money for the S4 so got an A4 1.8T instead,” he told us.
Exploring the modding options with basic bolt-ons, he added GIAC stage 2 software, H&R coilovers and BBS CH wheels, refining his taste as he went along.
Deciding it was time for an upgrade, he sold the car and there was no stopping the man with a plan once he finally got his hands on an S4. “I’ve always loved the B5. There’s something about the styling I will still love ten years from now,” he explained.
“I wanted to give it a motorsport theme while keeping it clean,” he said. But as it progressed and more people saw it at shows, he realized it needed a bit more grunt under the hood. “I wanted to go with a reputable and respected company, so AWE Tuning seemed like the way to go,” he said.
Opting for the company’s stage 3 kit, the twin-turbos on the 2.7-liter V6 were upgraded to K04s from the Audi RS4. In addition, AWE’s kit came with balanced Bosch injectors and a bigger MAF sensor. “I wanted to keep it visually minimal,” Rodolfo said. This OEM+ approach was a great way to keep the engine bay looking original but still have impressive power on tap.
As it was Rodolfo’s goal to clear AWE’s shelves, he finished the project with its Twin 1 exhaust system mated to a pair of gutted Induktion downpipes.
Like a surprise visit from in-laws, the stock intake wasn’t prepared for the change. So Rodolfo purchased a rare, X-1 carbon fiber intake that was up to the challenge.
A more durable Samco boost hose kit replaced the majority of the original boost lines and connected to the Racetec front-mount intercooler, while a pair of Forge 007 diverter valves rejected unwanted air.
The stock intake manifold was extrude-honed to keep things moving. The process, which smoothes airways left rough during manufacturing, improved airflow through the head.
The car was then flashed with GIAC software to ensure the new additions could work to their full potential. And although the S4 has never been dyno-tested, the owner estimated around 430hp. “It’s definitely come a long way. The power delivery feels smooth, like OEM+, and that’s what I love about the car,” he said.
As much as this car was focused on power, Rodolfo didn’t overlook the details. Polished oil- and coolant caps were ordered from Forge, while SPP carbon fiber engine covers provided a nice contrast to the red hoses.
When it came time to consider the drivetrain, Rodolfo retained the original tiptronic transmission. Perhaps undesirable to many enthusiasts, he had good reason for doing so. “This was my daily driver: I’d drive it to work and on long trips. There’s lots of congestion around DC, so tiptronic was very convenient,” he said.
Fortunately, GIAC was able to add its transmission software, hastening shift speed and extending the time in first gear. For more spirited drives, Rodolfo was able to turn to his second car – a 600hp RS4-widebody B5 S4, which came equipped with a third pedal!
As a photographer and creative director, the owner had a keen eye for style and executed it in a way that leaves a lasting impression. The goal was to keep the original lines of the car while upgrading the original components. So carbon fiber was again chosen to add a unique and aggressive character while tying into the numerous details under the hood.
It began with a Fiber Images vented carbon hood with Aerocatch pins. “To me, the hood is probably one of the best parts of the car. It’s the same as on AWE’s famous “Silver Bullet” (an 11.9sec, 500hp B5 S4 that helped create AWE’s reputation) but was a special order that was eventually discontinued,” Rodolfo said.
It sports an RS4 grille to match the RS4 front bumper, and there are hand-made carbon headlight washers covers as well.
The front fenders are also carbon fiber. They were painted the original silver after an AWE sticker had first been applied. Once removed, it left the company logo picked out in the carbon weave.
Fiber Images also provided the carbon trunk lid and a spoiler on the rear window. The roof was then painted gloss black to tie the two ends together.
Other additions included in.pro mirror caps and a retrofitted RS6 HID kit inside the S4 projector lamps with clear corners.
Being part of the VAG scene, Rodolfo knew the car had to be lowered. So he ordered H&R coilovers that allowed him to tailor the ride height. “Right after I fitted the suspension it was like night and day. I saw a dramatic change in the body roll particularly; it was great!” Rodolfo exclaimed.
With relatively large brakes as stock, the rotors were swapped for slotted and drilled Brembo replacements with Hawk racing pads that would eventually be highlighted behind his wheel of choice.
So when the special time arrived for wheels to be selected, he knew something from the classic BBS family would work. “My first set of wheels on the A4 were a set of BBS CH and I’ve always loved the quality,” Rodolfo told us.
For the S4, he stepped up to a set of 18x8.5" front, 18x9.5" rear BBS LM wheels. Wrapped in 215/40 front and 225/40 rear Falken tires, the Audi achieves a stance that’s both functional and pleasing to the ladies.
As he approached the final stages, Rodolfo knew he wasn’t done yet. “I wanted to bring the carbon inside of the car as well,” he explained.
Working with a pristine, black leather interior, minimal changes were needed to finish it off. The original beltline trim, ashtray cover and shifter surround were replaced with carbon panels, while an AWE boost gauge was fitted in the center vent.
The stock radio was later upgraded with an Audi A6 RNS-D navigation unit. “I wanted to stick with Audi for the nav just to keep it OEM,” he said. The stack was fitted into the console and trimmed to sit flush in order to look original. A JL Audio W3 subwoofer and 500.1 amp were then installed in the trunk. “I wanted a clean sound but didn’t want anything crazy,” he continued.
With all his bases covered, Rodolfo’s B5 S4 demonstrates the proper form and function of both the “show” and the “go” worlds. “The build made me happy because the S4 was always my dream car and it felt really good once it was finally completed,” he concluded.
et Tech Spec
2000 Audi S4 2.7T
Owner: Rodolfo Lamaestra
Location: Lansdowne, VA
Occupation: creative director
Engine: 2.7-liter V6 with twin AWE stage 3 K04 turbo kit, Racetec intercooler, Forge 007 diverter valves, Samco boost hoses, Bosch injectors and fuel pressure regulator, Hitachi MAF sensor, Induktion downpipes, AWE Twin 1 exhaust, X-1 cold-air intake, gloss-black ABD big bore intake and Y-pipe, GIAC software, Forge polished oil and coolant caps, SPP carbon fiber engine covers
Drivetrain: five-speed tiptronic automatic transmission with GIAC software
Brakes: Brembo slotted and drilled rotors, red calipers, Hawk pads
Suspension: H&R coilovers
Wheels & Tires: 18x8.5" front, 18x9.5" rear BBS LM wheels, 215/40 front, 225/40 rear Falken FK-452 tires
Exterior: Fiber Images carbon fenders, vented hood, trunk and roof spoiler, RS4 front bumper and grille, European S4 rear bumper, carbon headlight washer covers, Aerocatch hood pins, in.pro mirror caps, projector headlights with clear corners and RS6 HID kit, European-spec tail lights, gloss black roof
Interior: Carbon beltline trim, ashtray cover and shifter surround, AWE boost gauge
Audio/Visual: Audi RNS-D navigation, JL Audio W3 sub, JL 500.1 amp, Dension/DICE iPod adapter
Thanks: Josh Voss at AWE Tuning, Ed at Induktion Motorsports, Mark at Fatlace, my parents