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.