[s-cars] S4 or A4, what would you do?

Steve Eiche seiche at shadetreesoftware.com
Mon Apr 30 12:27:37 EDT 2007

If you want bang for the buck and a relatively light, great handling 
car, build the A4 1.8T.  An A4 1.8T with a bigger turbo, a good 
suspension and big brakes makes an amazing combination.  No, you don't 
have the power of 450hp Stage 3 S4, but IMHO you get something that is 
very tossable, more like an E36 M3.

The cost and complexity of building the 2.7T is pretty high (have a look 
at http://www.goapr.com/Audi/products/stage3_27tko4.html). Then you need 
intercoolers, clutch, and an exhaust.  To do it right, you are looking 
at $10k easy in parts and it is not something that you do piece by 
piece.  Once you are done, you have incredible power with a bottom end 
torque that a high hp 1.8T just dreams about and decent reliability 
(K04s rarely fail).

My recommendation would be to get some test drives.  There are a bunch 
of Stage 3 S4s in Denver, and lots of big turbo'd A4 1.8s as well.  My 
guess is that you would want the stage 3 S4 power...


So this chat has been going back and forth (starting with "Worthy 
Projects"), hitting somewhat on this topic....

What would you choose, and why?  I currently have a nice little '98 1.8t 
A4... and just picked up a set of mint RS4 brakes (no more braking power 
problems).  It is a fun and great handling little car, but the power is 
a problem.

However, I'm still sitting on the fence.  Should I take the A4 and do a 
nice 2.0 project, or would it be a better bet to move to the S4 as a 

I like the idea of the 1.8 simply because it is a lot like working on 
the I-5.  Everything can be done without removing the engine.  But I 
also like the idea of 2.7 liters of displacement... and the bottom end 
torque that goes with it.

Those with S4 experience... what mods and dollars would be involved to 
build a 420-450whp 2.7?  If anyone on this list has a car so equipped, 
what is it like to own, maintain, and drive?

I'm at the point where I'd like to choose one or the other.  I'd be 
looking at a 2000 or 2001 S4, or the 98 A4.


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