As a car enthusiast, there are times when you come across a vehicle that really does it for you. One that seems to fit you to a tee. A car that has everything you didn't know you were looking for, but needed once you experienced it. That's what you'd call pure automotive bliss.
Our newest Featured AZ'er, Blake Ferguson (AKA: Koolade9), found exactly that for himself when he spontaneously test drove an RS 4 at his local dealer. He didn't end up purchasing that particular RS 4, but soon began the search for a very rare Ibis White example. Only 29 Ibis White RS 4's made it Stateside, which meant Blake had to get to work if he was to acquire this rare unicorn. After some searching he found what he was looking for, on the opposite side of the country!
Blake booked a one way ticket and flew East, into a terrible snow storm of all things. Quattro or not, the RS 4 was still equipped with summer tires, and Blake had a lot of driving ahead of him. Nevertheless, 3 days and 3,000 miles later, the RS 4 made it back to the West Coast accident free. What occurred next was the most epic car wash of it's life. Once the car was home Blake wasted no time with the modding. He took what he could off the B6 A4 he owned at the time, and put it onto the RS 4. Within a month the car had STaSIS Motorsport suspension, STaSIS/Alcon 355 Mono 4 brakes, a ported and polished intake manifold, an APR tune (later replaced with JHM), plus some aesthetic goodies such as the Vorsteiner carbon fiber hood and ADV.1 wheels.
Perhaps the thing that caught my attention most with Blake and his RS 4 was not how the car looked, but the attention to detail and his desire to push the B7 RS 4 Platform. As a track enthusiast Blake is able to actually feel firsthand how his car performs and handles when pushed to the limits. Through this he is able to find the RS 4's short comings and address them. Many times the solution hasn't always been an off-the-shelf product but that didn't stop Blake. Heíll do his own research, figure out what needs to be done, and make it happen. If you haven't already, take a peek into
and you'll see exactly what I mean. He is true to his words that form follows function when it comes to modding his car. A true pioneer in the B7 RS 4 community, someone who's not afraid to lead by example, or lend a hand to his fellow enthusiasts when asked.
- JHM beta tune
- STaSIS cat-back exhaust (custom fitment from B7 S4) w/ Miltek catless downpipes
- Ported and polished intake manifold and JHM intake spacers
- Fresh-air intake snorkel ran to the lower airbox inlet
- Passenger aux radiator delete
- Setrab 22" x 8" x 2" oil cooler
- Derale 12" x 8" power steering cooler
- JHM Stage 4 kevlar clutch and lightweight flywheel
- Stern trans mount and motor mounts
- Apikol rear diff mount
- SAI delete
- STaSIS/Ohlins motorsport coilovers w/ Swift 14k front and 22k rear springs
- All DRC components removed
- Stern adjustable upper control arms
- Hotchkis 29mm rear anti-swaybar
¬†- Wheels & Brakes:
- 19" x 10" ET29 ADV 5.1 wrapped in 285/30/19 Hankook V12 Evo (Street)
- 18" x 10.5" ET30 Enkei NT03+m wrapped in 265/35 Hankook RS-3s (Track)
- STaSIS/Alcon 6-pot 370mm BBK with Carbotech bobcat pads (Street) and XP12/10 pads (Track)
- Black Alcantara TT RS steering wheel, shift knob/boot, and e-brake
- Recaro Sportster CS seats w/ pressure plate and heater element retro-fit
- SRP aluminum pedals
- LED interior lighting
- Topspin 4-point harness (Track)
- OEM RNS-E (P ver) w/ VIM unlocked running sw0270
- Kufatec IMA basic-plus
- OEM rear-view camera retro-fit
- Alpine 6-disc DVD changer flush-mounted in glove box
- Audiocontrol overdrive line driver and DQT/DDC
- Precision Power pro6800 flush-mounted on the rear shelf with custom fiberglass shroud
- a/d/s 344is component set in fiberglass kickpanels
- Hertz space-8s in the factory front door locations
- Image Dynamics IDQ12v2 in a custom fiberglass enclosure in the driver side trunk-well
- Three 0.5 farad Lighting Audio capacitors in passenger side trunk-well
- Vorsteiner carbon fiber hood (double-sided)
- RSQuattro carbon fiber trunk trim
- OSIR carbon fiber B-pillar covers
- Black Optic front grille
- Blacked out headlights and clear corner caps
- The car will receive an interior/exterior facelift early next year.¬† I'm also still planning for a rear limited slip, further oil cooling development, and I might try out RWD...
Q (Audizine): How long have you owned this vehicle?
A (Blake): Since January 2010.
Q: How has your ownership been with it overall?
A: It's been an amazing experience. A car that can truly do it all.
Q: Where did you find the car, and how was the buying experience?
A: I stopped into Audi Mission Viejo for some parts for my B6 A4 Ultrasport and saw a black RS 4 on the lot. I hadn't even considered an RS at the time, as I was pretty happy with my A4. To be honest, after I drove it, I didn't care for the suspension or brakes very much. Then again, I was quite biased with STaSIS MS and Mono4s on my A4. What I did love was the refinement of the car, the power delivery, and all the little features my A4 didn't have. I knew it was the next step I needed.
That particular car had a few issues I didn't like, primarily the fact that it wasn't white. This was prior to knowing there were only 29 Ibis white RS 4's ever shipped to the US. At the time, I was willing to pay low 40's for a private party, and mid-high 40's for a very clean CPO'd example. At the time I was looking, there were three white cars for sale; one in HI ($55k), one in FL with 3k miles on it ($60k), and one in Virginia for $50k. I called the gentleman in Virginia and he wasn't exactly an enthusiast. Turns out he learned more about the car while selling it than he did while owning it. APR actually had a bid in on this car and I came in slightly higherÖsorry guys! I sent him a deposit and booked a one-way red-eye flight from SoCal for that Thursday night.
He picked me up from the airport around 8:30 AM and it started snowing. I arrived at his home a little after 9 AM with a cashier's check and a stack of cash without having ever actually seen the car. Most would say thatís a bit irresponsible but I knew what I wanted. Mind you I spoke to the owner extensively about various aspects of the car so I didn't arrive completely blind. After looking it over, we finished the final bit of negotiation and the car was mine. By this time, there was now a good inch of fresh snow on the ground.
I came prepared with 4 rolls of 2" dubbers tape and instantly went to work. The "former" owner helped me get the front end taped as fast as possible as we watched the snowfall get thicker and thicker. By 10:30 AM I began a 3,000 mile journey, which happened to be in the middle of the largest snowstorm on the East Coast that year. I know some of you are reading this thinking "yeah, but it's quattro, who cares about the snow?!?". The guy who was sitting on Hankook V12 Evos, that's who! I headed north into Pennsylvania to escape the on-going storm, spending most of the day in a constant 4-wheel drift...not by choice.¬† Needless to say, 3 days and 3,000 miles later, I arrived in Orange County, CA with my new baby!
Q: Think you'll be holding onto this one for awhile, or getting another Audi in the near future?
A: If I do, it would be selling the RS for an R8, but no plans of that any time soon.
Q: So this isn't your first Audi?
A: I had an '04 A4 Ultrasport 3.0 6-speed manual with all the STaSIS goodies on it.
Q: How long have you been into Audis and in the European tuning scene?
A: The A4 was my first Euro car. I've always been into Japanese cars (DSMs, Evos, S2K).
Q: How long have you been into cars in general, as an enthusiast?
A: Bought my first car when I was 15 for $250 and had to get it running before my 16th birthday if I wanted something to drive.
Q: Where do you think that passion and enthusiasm comes from, can it be traced back to anyone or anything?
A: My first word was "car"!
Q: What do you most love about the car?
A: The beauty of the RS 4 is that there's no one thing to love. It's a total package.
Q: What's your biggest peeve in regards to the car, the one thing you dislike the most?
A: It would be that lack of people actually pushing the platform; the motor and drivetrain specifically, and providing more support. Many of the things I've done to the car have been uncharted territory. I would prefer to implement a proven solution versus constantly having to come up with my own.
Q: When did the modding bug bite?
A: I installed an aftermarket stereo in my first car before I was even legal to drive. A 12" sub screwed to a 5-gallon bucket with a "tuned" port.
Q: Can you explain your modding style? Do you prefer more go, more show, perhaps a combo of both?
A: I'm more of a form-follows-function guy. The car does look great and turns heads everywhere, but my first priority is always "go".
Q: Do you prefer to do the work yourself, or do you have a shop or specific person perform the work?
A: I've done every mod on the car myself. The only things I won't take credit for is the alignment, which was Shoreline Motoring in Huntington Beach, CA and the clutch was done by Pure Motorsports in San Diego, CA. I know that if I do the work myself, I have nobody to blame but myself. Surprisingly, I really haven't had any problems with the car.
Q: What was your first modification to the car?
A: I had the intake manifold off the car a few days after I bought it. It proceeded to sit on jackstands for three weeks while I put on STaSIS Motorsports, 355mono4s, installed the entire stereo system, did the first carbon clean, had the intake manifold ported and polished, replaced all the fluids/plugs/filters, TTS steering wheel, and mounted the ADV 5.1s. A month after I bought it, the car was more heavily modified than most original owners' cars.
Q: Which was your last, most recent mod?
A: Headlight makeover: blacked them out, installed clear corner caps, and LED city-lights.
Q: Which mod are you the most proud of or happy with?
A: That's a tough one...it all works together as a system. The one thing that's really special is the Vorsteiner hood. It's the original B7 prototype hood with colored/dyed carbon fiber for the 'V' on the underside. No other hood has this.
Q: How has your ownership been with it overall?
A: It's been really great. Best car I've owned, hands down.
Q: Describe your fondest memory of owning, modifying, or driving the RS 4.
A: Thirty minutes after buying it, I was on the interstate and the Cayman S in front of me started to step out the rear-end. I lifted and mine did the same. Imagine tandem drifting in a straight line, but in really slow motion, and both drivers are shitting their pants. All the while I'm thinking "yup, I haven't even owned this car for an hour and I'm gonna wreck it".
Q: While the car you have now is great, what if money were no object? What's your dream car, or cars?
A: I don't think there really is a dream car. I believe there is a perfect car for every purpose. If I said a GT3 Cup Car, that wouldn't exactly get me to and from work... All that being said, who wouldn't love a Skyline R34 Z-tune?
Q: What do your friends and family think about your passion for Audis?
A: Most don't understand what the car really is or what I've done to it. They know it's special, they know it's fast, and they know they aren't allowed to drive it.
Q: How does your love for cars and Audis affect your life, does it play a pretty big part?
A: When I first got it, I spent a great deal of time working on it. Refining certain parts of it, solving problems. Now, I just sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labor. I still enjoy helping others who want to push the envelope with the car. I've made a lot of friends along the way just by helping people accomplish their goals with the platform.
Q: What brought you to Audizine, and how long have you been with us?
A: I joined Audizine a few days after I bought my A4, on a recommendation from a neighbor in the apartment complex. He had a B6 A4 as well and told me to check it out. This was back in March of '08.
Q: When you're not on Audizine, or out driving the Audi, what do like to you do for fun?
A: Working on my house, traveling, and spending time with the love of my life.
Q: Have an interesting day job? Care to talk a little bit about it?
A: Without being too specific, I'm a consultant. I typically work with very big clients on their high-profile projects. I've helped deliver everything from heavy mining equipment, to software, to power plants, to yogurt. It takes me all over the world, I meet brilliant people, and it's a very dynamic career.
Q: Any word of advice for your fellow enthusiasts, a bit of wisdom you'd like to impart on the masses?
A: If you're new, learn where the search button is. Chances are, your problem is not special and someone has already found the answer. To those in the scene for a while; be an innovator, not an imitator.
Q: And lastly do you have anyone you'd like to thank, any shout-outs?
A: Everyone in FRRG, the guys at JHM for pushing the platform, and my lovely girlfriend for always being supportive.