The Audi Rs4 Tuning Guide

The Audi Rs4 platforms and engines.

The original Audi Rs4 was introduced in 1999/2000 under the B5 Platform as a 5 door hatch station wagon called the Audi Rs4 Avant. This sweet ride was equipped with a 2.7T 6 cylinder Twin turbo engine equipped with BorgWarner Ko4 turbo’s. This model was only available till 2001.

After a long break and a jump to the B7 Platform, Audi re-introduced the Rs4 in 2006 with a powerful V8 4.2L engine. This Rs4 was available as a 4 door Saloon/Sedan, a 2 door convertible and the Original Avant Station wagon. Once again Audi Kept this model in the showrooms only until 2008.

Finally in 2012, Audi followed it’s origins and re-launched the Audi Rs4 Avant with an improved V8 4.2L Engine. Only available as an Avant, fully redesigned with the latest technological gadgets, this car not only looks amazing but is fun to drive from the get go.

B5 Audi Rs4 Reviews and Specs

The B5 Audi Rs4 is pushing 380hp and 325lbs or torque out of the 90 Degrees V6 2.7T Twin Turbo Engine, It’s no wonder with its BorgWarner Ko4 turbo’s. Compared to its close brother the s4 which also is equipped with a 2.7T engine running ko3 turbo’s instead and only developing 250hp and 258lbs of torque. The Rs4 has some other differences from its smaller brother the S4. It features an enlarged intake manifold and smaller exhaust ports on the two Cosworth cast aluminum alloy cylinder heads, dished piston crowns, stronger connecting rods inside the engine, larger intake piping, larger exhaust system, 2 extra large side mount intercooler and a OEM ECU recalibration to make it all work together.

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My review on this car is A1, it’s is well engineered, offers some of the latest technologies for these years which still today some cars don’t even have. The Engine is strong, solid, reliable and amazing to drive. The car holds and hugs the road due to its perfectly calibrated suspension system as well as its Torsen based Quattro system. It is a marvel what Audi was able to accomplish for theses years. Let’s look at some tuning options to be able to offer a better analysis of the car with a more complete review.

B5 Audi Rs4 Tuning

Tuning an Audi Rs4 is no big deal, if you are only going for the basic modifications such as a performance software upgrade, a larger cold air intake or a larger Exhaust system. With these modifications, you will be able to gain a massive amount of power. You can easily gain 45 to 50hp and 70lbs of torque out of properly developed performance software, bringing your car up to a massive 430hp and 395lbs of torque. You don’t even have to change the cold air intake or the exhaust to get these gains, just the software upgrade will do it. If you add in the exhaust and the intake, you might get an extra few horsepower, but “Bang for the buck” it’s not worth it. Your Rs4 already comes with a larger exhaust and intake piping.

Warning: Once your performance software is installed: The 2.7T engine is fitted pretty tightly in the engine bay and your turbo’s gets pretty hot down there so keep in mind to either install a turbo timer or let your car run for 2mins after arriving to your destination. If it gets cold up where you live, I also recommend running your car for 2 minutes when you start it up. This will keep you from spending a hefty amount on turbo replacement.

If you are not satisfied with 450hp, then you can take a step further which will cost you a pretty penny. We are talking here about a big turbo upgrade, some transmission work, engine work, large front mount intercooler and the groceries list goes on. You will get your car to a very high Horsepower range for sure but it will cost! I have seen guys do 600hp 700hp 800hp and even 1000hp but they spend most of their time and money at the garage fixing things that break. This direction is only for those that don’t mind spending their time either on a towing, in the garage or at the ATM machine.

My final Review of the Audi Rs4 B5

I believe the Audi B5 Rs4 is an excellent car with a potential to reach higher level of power with minimal effort and investment. If you are in the market for one and are able to find a clean one with low mileage, get it. Then make sure you make a tune up, check if everything is working properly and get yourself a tuning software to experience the 450hp and the 395lbs of torque. It will be worth it.

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B7 Audi Rs4 Reviews and Specs

The engine of the B7 RS4 finds it’s origins on the existing 4.2L V8 from the B6 Audi S4. Also sharing many parts in common with the 4.2L FSI V8 engine seen on the Audi Q7. The Rs4 engine is based on a new cylinder block construction which allows for high revving of up to 8250rpms (the Red line). Equipped with a low pressure fuel return system, increased crankcase breathing, and a baffled oil sump to ensure proper engine lubrification at high G-Force Cornering. The engine has only 4 valves per cylinder instead of 5 like on the Q7 model, it also has two overhead camshafts on each of the cylinder banks making it a quad cam driven by roller chains that give the engine variable valve timing for inlet and exhaust gases. The stock exhaust manifold goes from 4 into 2 into 1 on each sides of the engine. It then goes into a high-flow metallic catalytic converter, a silencers and a muffler. Because of the high revving engine Audi didn’t have a choice but to put two MED 9.1 ECU’s acting as a master and a slave. This ECU setup also ensures proper ignition control on the eight individual single spark coils that is monitored by four knock sensor properly positioned around the engine. With some other factory goodies added, you can expect your new Audi B7 Rs4 to provide you with a respectful 414hp and 317lbs of torque.

My reviews of this car turns out to be so-so. I find that the atmospheric engine offers limited options for tuning and does not allows for much increase in power with basic modifications. Overall the car looks and feels amazing. As always the finishing touches in the high end Audi’s are superior than most equivalent brands I know. The drivability, comfort and road handling is outstanding. Where I have a problem is with the long term durability of the 4.2L V8 engines. According to a few of my mechanic friends these engines then to be delicate and break down oftentimes. This is no wonder why I have also seen many people come back with engine issues and warranty claims at the dealers. Personally I would stay away even though it might be a sick car, there are better option which are more economical, powerful and reliable. Also, I love Torque and this car is lacking on it.

B7 Audi Rs4 Tuning

As I said earlier, because the engine is naturally aspired, your tuning options are limited. Getting your performance software upgrade will only yield you a few horsepower while your exhaust will give you a crazy roaring sound on top of the few ponies. Other than getting the performance software which will give you an added 25hp and 25lbs of torque, a larger full line exhaust system with a cold air intake kit combine with the software might get you all the way up to 450hp and 350lbs of torque. If this is not enough for you, then go to the bank and bring back a large stash of cash, you will need it in order to get yourself the next upgrade option.

The B7 Audi Rs4 Supercharge kit

There are a few companies out there who have taken the time to develop a supercharge kit for your S4 and Rs4 4.2L V8 engine. Besides the required exhaust upgrade, Cold air intake system upgrade, Transmission work, some engine work, and installation cost, the actual supercharger kit will run you about $15 000 dollars. If you added it all up, you are looking at about $25 000 in upgraded but the price comes with a big reward. You can expect your new powerhouse to develop a whopping 625 Horsepower and 530lbs of torque. Now we are talking massive power!

My final Review of the Audi Rs4 B7

I am not a big fan of the 4.2L V8 engine but I must say that the car is really fun to drive even though it’s really missing some torque. Tuning options are limited and because of the fragility of the engine I don’t find it’s a good tuning platform. Yes you can get massive power with a large investment, but that comes at the risk of blowing your engine. If you choose to go ahead with this car and do some tuning on it, then get yourself a performance software and a stainless steel full length exhaust. You cannot imagine how well it sounds. It’s like a mustang on multiple doses of steroids. Otherwise, if you have money to spend, 625hp is very accessible.

Audi Rs4 B8

Introduced in 2012, the Rs4 launched only as the original station wagon Avant version. Unfortunately this B8 Rs4 Avant didn’t make it to the north American shores even toughs so many complained to Audi Germany. Either way, it didn’t offer any major engine changes, only some minor tweaks to get the same old 4.2L V8 up to 450hp and same 317lbs of torque, as on the previous version. Besides a minor exterior and interior face-lift a few extra gadgets here and there, the B8 Rs4 didn’t offer anything special compared to the B7 version. For those of you who are not in North-America and have the possibility to get one of those Rs4 B8 editions, please understand that your tuning options are limited. Only 1 or 2 tuning companies offer performance software for these cars but as you already know it, your gains will be minimal. Some exhaust and Cold air intakes options are also available, but none will give you that extra feeling of power. Basically, if you buy a B8 Audi Rs4 contempt yourself with what it comes with, it will take a little time for more tuning options to become available.

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Conclusion on the Audi Rs4

The Rs4 may be a great choice for a nice daily driver, but if you are like me and are looking for a really fast car then you only have a few costly options. Either you build up your B5 2.7T with Big Turbo’s to 500-600hp, get your Audi B7 4.2L V8 supercharged with 625hp or stick to the basics and get some minor modification like a performance software, exhaust line and Cold air intake.

If you are looking for a nice 450hp car with a stronger engine at a fraction of the cost, with amazing drivability, then you want to consider the following; Get yourself an Audi B8 S4 with the 3.0TFSI Engine, install the pulley kit with the performance software available troughs a few tuning companies and voila, you have a 450hp / 385lbs of torque monster. This upgrade will run you between 1600$ to 2000$ depending on where you go. (+Installation fees) You will thank me later for saving you a bunch of money! Enjoy your ride!

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