Looks can be deceiving. Yes we've heard the cliche before, maybe even right here once or twice already, but it's true you really can't judge a book by its cover. There are also several words to describe something (or someone even) that looks one way but is in fact quite different underneath; the most common words when related to vehicles would probably be "stealth" or "sleeper". These are both good words to describe this month's Featured AZ'er but many others come to mind as well; "unassuming", "simple", "clean", "OEM +", and to some maybe even "stock". Even to a self-proclaimed Audi enthusiast, the vehicle may at first glance appear somewhat stock. But they'd be wrong, very wrong. If you knew or saw what Vincent's (AKA: vinny.dtw) A4 started out looking like, and you compared it with what's here today, then like us you'd have nothing but respect and admiration for his project.
Vincent's car began life on the dealer lot as a pretty boring plain-Jane 2004 A4 1.8T sedan. It received a much needed facelift which came by way of OEM Ultra-Sport pieces all around; front bumper, rear bumper, and side blades. Top that off with European Bi-Xenon headlight housings, LED taillights, and blacked-out trim front to back and you've already got a much better and much sportier looking vehicle. To continue with the sportiness Vinny installed an H&R/Bilstein suspension combo and an upgraded set of wheels. While the car's seen a number of different shoes, his favorites (and ours too) have to be the 19 inch BBS RS-GTs seen in these photos. It's pretty hard to argue with those babies.
But here's where those words "stealth" and "sleeper" come in, as underneath all of that OEM + goodness lies some heat. We're talking everything from a big bad GT28RS Garrett turbo, ATP exhaust manifold, Evolution Racewerks Sport front mount intercooler and test pipe, to a Magnaflow exhaust. All of the hardware then tuned with software by REVO Technics. Even the cockpit of the car looks downright stock unless you knew what to look for. In here you find precisely matched parts like the S4 Recaro seats in both front and the back. Even the aftermarket head-unit of a Pioneer Avic D3 looks proper in this car, perfectly integrated and bringing both iPod connectivity and handsfree Bluetooth to the occupants. So, looks can indeed be deceiving, and we think it might be time for Vincent to update his sig. The words "stock and proud" just aren't going to cut it anymore. Your secret's out now, Vinny. We know the truth!
- REVO Software
- 550cc Genesis Injectors
- GT28RS Garrett Turbo
- ATP Exhaust Manifold
- Neuspeed Turbo Inlet Pipe
- K&N Intake with Blinktek Heat Shield
- Evolution Racewerks Test Pipe
- Evolution Racewerks Sport FMIC
- Magnaflow Exhaust with 4 inch Tips
- Denso IK 27ís
- OEM RS4 Engine Cover / 3.0 Liter Airbox Cover
- H&R Sport Springs
- Bilstein Sport Shocks
- OEM RS4 Rear Sway Bar
- B6 S4 Brakes
- 345mm Cross Drilled and Slotted Front Rotors
- 310mm Cross Drilled and Slotted Rear Rotors
- Hawk HPS Ceramic Pads
- BBS RS-GT Diamond Black 19"x8.5" ET38 (Set 1)
- Toyo Proxes T1R 235/35/19
- BBS CH 18"x8.5" ET35 (Set 2)
- Hankook Ice Bears 235/40/18
- OEM B7 RS4 19"x9" ET29 (Set 3)
- Vredestrian Sessentas 225/35/19 Front / 235/35/19 Rear
- H&R 15mm Rear Spacers
- H&R 8mm Front Spacers
- S4 Recaro Front and Rear Seats
- Pioneer Avic D3 / iPod / Bluetooth
- V1 Radar Detector Hardwired
- AWE Vent Boost Gauge
- 20% Tint / 35% Windshield
- Ultra Sport Front Bumper
- Ultra Sport Rear Bumper
- Ultra Sport Door Blades
- OEM Bixenon Ecodes
- Blackout Trim
- 6000k HID Fogs
- OEM S4 Grille
- OEM S4 Aluminum Mirror Caps
- City LEDís
- LED Tails
DTH Carbon Fiber Splitter, Volks VR G10, Built Torque Converter and Valve Body, Drop in Rods, and maybe a bigger turbo.
Q (Audizine): OK so first question, how long have you owned your A4?
A (Vincent): I've owned this vehicle since February of 2004.
Q: And how has your ownership been with it overall?
A: It's been a love hate relationship, like any other Audi owner. One day she'll drive great, the next day she can blow a bunch of coil packs and I'd get fed up with it.
Q: Think you'll be getting another Audi any time soon?
A: I have been looking for a White or Nogaro Blue B7 S4 Avant, but haven't had any luck. On top of the economic downturn, I've been hesitant to spend that much money on another car - and mod it. So more money will be spent on my current one. (laughs)
Q: Is this your first Audi? If it's not your first then which other models have you owned?
A: This is my first Audi, and was my first official car. Yes I was spoiled.
Q: How long have you been into Audis and in the European tuning scene?
A: Ever since I got her in 2004, I started getting into the scene. However, I was a newb at first, so I went through a minor rice stage of painting my grilles silver, blue turn signals, etc etc. It was horrible. But AZ bent me straight.
Q: How long have you been into cars in general, as an enthusiast?
A: I've liked cars since I was young, but I never really imagined modding them as much as I did with this one. I was just a general car fan.
Q: Where do you think your somewhat new-found passion has come from?
A: I'm not quite sure where the passion or enthusiasm stemmed from, because when my parents were around they hated me tinkering with my car. None of my closest friends are into modding cars either, so I guess I just picked it up myself. And then obviously I joined Audizine, and my wallet just went downhill from there.
Q: What do you love most about the A4 you have now?
A: I asked my girlfriend this question, and she said it's deceiving because it looks fast, but it really isn't. (laughs) Personally though, I love the versatility of quattro. Living in Michigan and with all the snow we get, quattro has gotten me out of some thick snow.
Q: What's your biggest peeve in regards to the car, the one thing you dislike the most?
A: I absolutely HATE the peeling interiors that Audis develop over time. Many people think Audi's interiors are great, but personally, I think they could have done a much better job.
Q: Please try to explain your modding style. Do you prefer more go, more show, or a combo of both perhaps?
A: I am right in the middle, I like to do both. I can't see myself having a car that looks fast, but not have anything to back it up at all - even though the car is still pretty slow in the grand scheme of things. In terms of show though, I usually stick to being "OEM plus". Nothing beats correct fitment with a subtly aggressive look.
Q: Do you like to do the work yourself, or do you have a go-to shop or mechanic perform the work for you?
A: If it's within my skill level I usually do it myself, but I also have a specific mechanic that's my friend. So I usually take it to his shop if I don't feel confident with the job myself. He's actually taught me a lot about my car.
Q: Which mod are you the most proud of or happy with?
A: I'd have to say my S4 Recaro seats were my favorite mod of all; I actually drove 11 hours just to get them! They made my car so much more comfortable to drive in. It was a night and day difference.
Q: Describe your fondest memory of owning, modifying, or driving your A4.
A: I think the most memorable moment of owning this car is when I was young and dumb, and I did some really stupid driving...which I won't elaborate on. It was the biggest adrenaline rush of my life.
Q: What would be in your ultimate two-car garage, if money were no object yet you could only choose two vehicles?
A: My ultimate two-car garage would probably be a modded B7 RS 4 Avant for my daily driver, and a twin turbo Lamborghini Gallardo for my weekend.
Q: So what do your friends and family think of your passion for Audis?
A: They think I'm crazy, and waste too much money on my car...which to an extent I agree, but I canít help it. The mod bug bit me hard.
Q: How does your love for
cars, and Audis specifically, affect your life? Does it play a very big part?
A: It plays a pretty drastic role in my life. I'm constantly learning and reading about it, and I meet many new people along the way either through the forums or other car enthusiasts. Living close to Detroit, we have a pretty solid scene of different cars from American muscle,to imports. I get exposed to many things, especially in the summer time out on Woodward Avenue.
Q: What brought you to Audizine, and how long have you been with us?
A: I'm not exactly sure what brought me to Audizine, but I've been a member since I bought my car, but haven't been very active until 2005 and after. I was probably too afraid to post because I was afraid to be flamed. But one car that I do remember that inspired me the most was Eugene's - AKA yoogene - silver B6 A4. I fell in love at first site.
Q: When you're not on Audizine, or out playing with the Audi, what do like to you do for fun?
A: Chill with friends, hanging out with my girlfriend and my dog Limmy, playing tennis, working out, draw and doodle, taking pictures, making money to support all these hobbies...
Q: Have an interesting day job? If so, would you mind talking a bit about it?
A: Far from interesting...I inherited my parents Chinese restaurant in late 2008, so I'm basically there everyday working, on top of going to school this summer to finish up my bachelors. I basically do whatever needs to be done ranging from cooking to packing carryouts. It sucks! I've basically grown up in this business though, so at least I know how to do everything.
Q: Just about done here, so any words of advice to share with your fellow enthusiasts?
A: Do it right or do it twice. Skimping out now will only make you pay for it later. And, always have backup money for maintenance for these cars. For all that you know, you could have a time bomb ticking that can blow any minute.
Q: Last but not least do you have anyone you'd like to thank or give a shout to?
A: Plenty. I have made way too many friends on AZ. Greg at DTH is a great guy for the trouble-shooting he's gone through with me and parts he's sold me. Shawn at fifteen52 for the install support and photography talk. Rich at OEMpl.us for doing me favors. Ryan/martini for his help. Doug/dougyfresh for being a great bud, and extending me a stay at his place. Stefan my mechanic. Joe/Nvrfllw for arguing with me all the time, and probably hating me now, but heís good people. Mere/A4_ever for the support when I needed it most. Minh/Manguyen, Adil/BEESIX, Tom/Trexturk, John/Condo, Ben/Dextrek, and Aleksey. My new friends Christina and Davis - inside joke, you know who you are. And, basically, GCC and all of the Audizine family. We really do have a great community here and I can only wish I can thank everyone, but I'm sure I've missed someone so please donít feel like I didn't appreciate it. Happy motoring!