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March '09 Featured AZ'er: bryzf1's 2001 S4 Avant

March '09 Featured AZ'er: bryzf1's 2001 S4 Avant

March 4, 2009 - By Audizine Staff
User Name: bryzf1
Real Name: Bryan Swisher
Location: New Mexico, USA
Year of Vehicle: 2001
Model of Vehicle: S4 Avant
Engine of Vehicle: V6 2.7T
Color of Vehicle: Imola Yellow
 
Love and hate. Two emotions completely opposite from one another, and sometimes the only way a person can respond to something. Take for instance the color yellow, more specifically Audi's Imola Yellow. It's a color that can be found on some of Audi's most powerful offerings. You're going to either love it, or you're going to hate it. Same could be said with the wagon body. Again, when you're talking specifically with Audi, it's called an Avant. Some would never own one, and for others that's all they'll buy. So what happens when you put the two together? You get some serious opinions, that's what. We may be a bit biased here at Audizine, but we're going to choose "love". And we're talking serious love here, the kind that songs are written about. Where some might see banana slug or school bus, all we see is badass. But again, we're biased. We know exactly what these cars are capable of, and that makes our hearts flutter.
 
The car you see here belongs to Audizine member 'bryzf1' (Bryan to his family, friends, and those that can't pronounce his username). He calls New Mexico USA his home, and while there may be very little snow in his neck of the woods there are plenty of unpaved roads in which Bryan can take his twin turbocharged sporty five door out to spin all fours. As with most Avant owners, Bryan's hooked. He's another enthusiast bit by the mod bug, along with a serious case of hatchback fever. He's got all of the essentials down; APR software upgrade, AWE power and handling bolt-ons, exhaust by Neuspeed, and suspension by STaSIS. For body mods he's gone with arguably the best looking front bumper Audi has ever designed, the one from the coveted European RS 4. Doesn't get much better than that. As a whole though, Bryan is far from done with this car. It sounds like he's got a lot more in the planning stages both inside and out. It's really just a matter of him making up his mind and pulling the trigger on those turbos!

We've long felt the B5 platform to be one of Audi's finest moments, reviving the company's name and image throughout the world. It also paved the way for all A4/S4/RS 4 platforms after it. Even though the design is over a decade old it has held up extremely well. It's still quite handsome and a great car to drive even after all these years. Proof of that is in last month's Audizine's Poll, where the B5 easily took first place when AZ'ers were poised with the question of "Which is the best A4/S4 platform?". Not only is it a venerable platform and bodystyle, but serious enthusiasts like Bryan are still modifying and racing these cars. The fact is that people are still loving the B5 S4 no matter how bright the shade of yellow or how many doors it may have. Take a look at the photos, read the interview below, and judge for yourself. You already know where we stand.
 
Current Modifications

 - Engine/Exhaust:
  • APR ECU
  • APR bi-pipe
  • Bailey's diverter valves
  • AWE S-Flo air intake
  • AWE intercoolers
  • Neuspeed catback exhaust
 - Suspension/Transmission: 
  • Stasis Street Sport coilovers
  • JHM short-shifter
  • AWE drive train stabilizer
 - Wheels/Brakes:
  • 18" Hartmann Evolution R5 wheels
  • R1 Concepts drilled and slotted front rotors with stock calipers and upgraded pads
 - Interior: 
  • AWE center vent boost gauge
 - Exterior: 
  • OEM RS4 front bumper
  • OEM RS4 grille painted gloss black
 
Future Modifications
  • B7 RS4 Euro Steering Wheel
  • Recaro Topline Seats
  • Hotchkis Sway Bars
  • Recently purchased a Clutchmasters Stage 4 Clutch with LWFW
  • I am also in the process of purchasing RS6 turbos with JHM downpipes and Pauter rods. I also plan to purchase the JHM Shifter Linkage upgrade. I am trying to decide who to buy fueling from, but I have it narrowed down to JHM or VAST.
 
Q (Audizine): OK so to start off, how long have you owned your lovely S4 Avant?
A (Bryan): I have owned it for about two years. I had looked for a low mileage B5 S4 Avant with a 6 speed transmission for well over a year until I came across this one.
 
Q: I know exactly how hard that search can be. So now that you have it, how has your ownership been with it so far?
A: Despite the stigma that comes with these vehicles for being incredibly high maintenance, I have had no problems whatsoever with this vehicle. Aside from routine maintenance, I have not had any issue with the car as of yet. KNOCK ON WOOD!

Q: Do you think you'll get another Audi anytime soon?
A: Im trying to convince my wife to get a B5 S4 Avant as well, but she loves the new B8 Avant. That will most likely be our next vehicle.
 
Q: Is this your first one, Audi that is? If not, what other models and years have you owned?
A: This is my second Audi. My first was a B6 A4 sedan that I bought right after I got out of college.
 
Q: How long have you been into Audis and in the European tuning scene?
A: I first fell in love with Audis in the mid 90s with the UrS4. When I first saw the B5 RS 4 back in late 1999, that's when I fell in love with Avants. Since I probably will never own a B5 RS 4, I figured that this is as close as I'll ever get. So maybe the RS 4 widebody conversion will come much later if I can convince my wife!

Q: And how long have you been into cars in general, as an enthusiast?
A: I really got into modifying cars when I purchased my B6 A4. I was more into riding sport bikes during college and modifying those because it was much cheaper. I grew out of my knee-dragging motorcycle shenanigan days and I am much more interested in modifying cars now.
 
Q: Where do you think your passion for motorcycles and cars comes from? Can you trace it back or link it to anything?
A: When I was growing up my dad had a 1971 Datsun 240Z that he loved to work on, so that passion must have come from him.

Q: So what do you love most about the S4 you have now?
A: I absolutely love the fact that the car is the ultimate sleeper. No one ever suspects that a wagon will be so fast. Although the fact that it's Imola Yellow detracts from the sleeper status just a little bit, but I can live with that.

Q: What's your biggest peeve in regards to the car, the one thing you dislike the most?
A: The only thing that really bugs me about the car is that the seats are not the greatest. They don't wear very well and they don't provide much support during hard driving either. I'd like to throw some Recaro Topline seats in there down the road.

Q: So how do you best explain your modding style or taste? Do you prefer more go, more show...perhaps a combo of both?
A: I like to retain a stock appearance as much as possible. Modding is always an ongoing project, but after my RS 6 turbo install I think I'll have a nice combination of both show and go.
 
Q: Do you prefer to do the work yourself, or do you have a shop or a specific person perform the work?
A: I prefer to do minor modifications on my own, but when the engine needs to be pulled I prefer to take it in to have it worked on and not deal with the hassle. I'm sure if I did it a few times that it would be a piece of cake, but I just don't have that much time and I'm sure the engine would just end up sitting in pieces in my garage.
 
Q: And which of your mods so far are you the most satisfied or happy with?
A: I'm most happy with the RS 4 front bumper with the black painted grille.  That bumper took a lot of work to fit just right, but I think that it turned out great and I love how it looks on Imola.

Q: Please describe your fondest memory of owning, modifying, or driving your S4.
A: I enjoy doing a little bit of racing every now and then. I get such a kick out beating big V8s and other random vehicles with my wagon and seeing the reactions on people's faces. One guy asked me: "What the hell kind of car is that, is that one of those new Mazdas?" (laughs)
 
Q: Now what would be in your ultimate two-car garage, if money were no object yet you could only choose two vehicles?
A: After having an Avant, there's no way that I would ever buy a sedan or coupe ever again, so both of my choices would be Avants.  I'd have to stick with the B5 and get the RS 4 that I mentioned earlier as my first choice. My second choice would be the new C6 RS 6 Avant. I'd love to throw some GT turbos on that V10 and go crazy.
 
Q: What do your friends and family think about your passion for Audis?
A: My wife thinks that I spend way too much time and money on the car. I've got her and my father hooked on Avants though, so now my wife wants to get her own and start modding. Maybe once that happens I won't have to get so much flack from her for spending too much time and money on the car. (dons a big smile)
 
Q: I can certainly relate there. So how does your love for cars, and Audis specifically, affect your life? Does it play a big part?
A: After owning a few Audis I will never buy any other brand. I'm hooked. Audis are my crack. (another big smile) I swear I've been researching which turbo setup to go with for over a year and it has become all consuming. My wife is sick and tired of me always being on Audizine, reading up and researching. I figured that no matter what I choose, I'm sure that there will be something else better or different that I wish I would have gone with instead. It's like buying a computer; something will always be bigger and better within the year. Especially with all of the turbo options available out there for these cars, the possibilities are endless. Since I plan to do a lot of track days and drag racing, the RS 6 turbos will do what I need them to do for me at this point in my life. I'm sure within a few years I will decide to go with another setup.
 
Q: What brought you to Audizine, and how long have you been with us?
A: When I first bought my car I was always asking my buddy who has a Stage 3 B5 S4 questions and he referred me to Audizine to get all my questions answered. I lurked around the site for quite a while before I actually signed up, but I finally joined in November of 2007.

Q: And when you're not on Audizine, or out detailing the Audi, what do like to you do for fun?
A: I love to go mountain biking, and go for long runs with my Labs.
 
Q: Do you have an interesting day job? Care to talk a little bit about it?
A: My wife and I own an independent pharmacy in a small town here in New Mexico. It can be very time consuming, but we love it.
 
Q: Well that certainly is very interesting. Funny enough though the first thing it made me think of was Mort from Family Guy. Although I can't quite picture him driving a modified Imola Yellow S4 Avant... Anyway, we're just about done with the interview. Do you have any words of advice for your fellow enthusiasts out there?
A: Be unique. I love to see people not following the masses and trying to be like everyone else. In the B5 S4 world, if you rock the boat at all you tend get flamed. Hell, maybe the next mod that I do is remove the S4 emblem and put an RS 4 emblem on there! Let the flaming begin! (laughs)

Q: Yes, a mod like that would certainly bring on the flamethrowers! So in conclusion, do you have anyone you'd like to thank or acknowledge?
A: Id simply like to thank my wife for all of her patience and support.
  1. bryzf1's 2001 S4 Avant - Bryan Swisher

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March '09 Featured AZ'er: bryzf1's 2001 S4 Avant
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