The interior on the S4 is typical Audi - wonderful. The leather heated Recaros are just about as good as factory seats gets, the stereo is great, and the level of fit and finish (even after 100k miles) is spot-on. Inside the car, the cammy roar of the V8 is muted but still mean - especially when the intake valves open up around 5,500rpms. I expect it will sound mental with the new exhaust that's on the way. Then there's the fact that it's a wagon, which you don't really notice until you look behind you, or you're going to IKEA for some furniture, and you don't have to borrow your friend's truck. There's probably more cabin noise than in a sedan, but it's so well-insulated as to be a non-issue. Plus, plenty of room for nitrous!
The S4's stock brakes are mighty strong, but here they're augmented with aggressive CarboTech brake pads - XP 10 in front and XP8 in rear. They squeal when cold or at low speed, but hitting the binders in the S4 feels like dropping anchor. Overall, the car is a strong combination of head-turning looks, uniqueness, performance, and comfort/luxury. It might not light up the tires in the lower gears like his last car, but when it comes to an all-around daily driver, it's hard to beat. Plus, it frees up some time for a project - maybe something boosted and ridiculously fast, without the need for routine considerations.
I asked Matt a few questions about his car - the answers are below.
CT: So this S4 replaced a particularly nasty Cobalt. What do you like better about it? Matt Welliver: "It's refined, gets me away from the whole "tuner car" scene, the ride is better - it's just a completely different world for me, and I love it."
And what did you like better about the Cobalt? "The power. That's really about the only thing that was better than the S4. That, and it's cheaper to fix."
What don't you like about the S4? "The gas mileage, and maintenance costs. That's really about it, not much else to dislike. Other than that it feels slow compared to the SS."
What are some of your favorite things about the S4? "The interior - especially the Recaros, the KW V3's, and the exhaust note is gorgeous. It's just a lot more refined, which is nice."
What car would you like to have next? "Oh lord, that's a tough question. Honestly, if I had the money, I'd get a B7 RS4."
Any interest in a project car in the future? "I'd like to have another 1G DSM. My last one had a Buscher Racing 2.4L stroker motor, a 100 shot of nitrous, T66 turbo, 262 camshafts, tuned like a champ - made 580awhp without spray, 740 with the nitrous - ran 10.2. in the quarter and would light up all four drag slicks. Having another one to play with would be fun."
Future plans for the S4? "A catback exhaust, intake, tune, longtube headers, downpipes, Porsche Cayenne 6-pot Brembo brakes, a 75 or 100 shot of nitrous, and other little stuff. Some RS4 swaybars, a short shifter, you know. It's really great the way it is, just want a little more power and noise."
Thanks Matt! A video with the LaBree exhaust is definitely in the works.
Car: 2005 Audi S4 Avant Quattro Engine: 4.2L DOHC 40v (5v/cyl) V8 Transmission/Drivetrain: 6 speed manual, Torsen Quattro permanent AWD Power: 340bhp crank, 267hp at the wheels Torque: 302lb-ft crank, 256lb-ft at the wheels
Internal Engine Modifications: none External Engine Modifications: de-resonated stock exhaustSuspension modifications: KW Variant 3 remote-reservoir coilovers Wheels/Tires: VMR V710, 19x9.5 (ET 33), 245/35/ZR19 Brake Modifications: Carbotech brake pads (XP10 front, XP8 rear) Bonus: apparently some of the pictures I shot of Matt's car wound up on VMR Wheel's website, which is pretty neat. Check them out here - the last three.