9 Seconds in Poland… (Part 1 of 2)
Things dont move very quickly in Poland. The country has only a small handful of highways, so driving anywhere takes an excruciatingly long time. One of the most popular cars in Poland within the last 30 years, the Fiat Polski 126p, comes with whopping 27 horsepower under the bonnet. There are bound to be exceptions from the norm, as Arkadiusz (Arek) Ozieblo clearly shows. Areks 1,000+ horsepower 1998 B5 Audi S4 Avant is fast. Very fast. Not only is it the fastest Audi in Poland (winning the 2005 Polish 1/4 mile racing championships), its also the fastest and most powerful Audi S4 in the world.
The basis of this story started years ago. It is common knowledge that the B5 S4 platform has a very strong aftermarket following with numerous tuning options. Off-the-shelf kits exist which can easily double a stock S4s modest 250 hp output, and then some. One of the limiting factors has always been the tight placement of the turbochargers within the B5 platforms cramped engine bay. There is simply not much space available between the exhaust manifolds and frame rails, which makes stuffing jumbo sized turbos under the hood of a B5 S4 a challenging and frustrating exercise.
Back around 2004 pictures and videos of a Polish-built S4 putting out crazy amounts of power and running staggeringly fast 10 second quarter mile times started to circulate around the internet. This Audi was equipped with huge Turbonetics T4 turbochargers which had been relocated higher up in the engine bay, instead of the normal location tucked underneath each cylinder bank. Naturally this sparked considerable interest, as this type of power output and dragstrip performance had not yet been achieved by any North American S4 tuner.
Fast forward to 2006. This past summer presented a rare opportunity to perhaps track down the crazy-powerful S4 during a two week Eastern European vacation. With Poland already setup as one of our stops we decided on a whim to send Arek an email requesting a chance to cover the car for AudiWorld. As it turned out, Arek was more than willing to cooperate and offered to show off the car and answer any questions. Excellent.
Upon arrival in Poland Arek told us that he unfortunately had to leave on an important business trip and would not be available to show the car in person. Instead, Areks good friend Michal Trocki was assigned to the task. Lucky for us, Michal was also a very nice guy who was quite knowledgeable about Areks S4 and the Polish drag racing scene in general. We met up with Michal at our hotel early on a Saturday morning where we were directed through downtown Warsaw to the shop where the race car was kept. The shop involved with building, tuning, and maintaining Areks S4 is called Kreator Mocy. This literally translates to creator of power a decidedly appropriate name given the reputation of Areks car.
Once at the garage the shop owner immediately pulled Areks monster S4 out of the garage. The highly tuned 2.7T V-6 fired right up and settled immediately at a high idle. The straight though 4-inch diameter custom exhaust system didnt do much to quell the noise. The tone was deep, slightly raspy and clearly afforded the whirring sounds of the Garrett ball bearing turbos to be heard spinning away even at idle! The car was pulled out into the parking lot area and allowed to warm up.
For those unfamiliar with Areks S4, a few words are required at this point. The car is completely function over form. Its certainly not some highly polished show car. Thats not to say the car is lacking in craftsmanship because there are clearly hundreds of hours of craftsmanship in plain sight.
The car makes no bones about being a race car first and foremost; it displays an abundance of custom and one-off parts which have been built and maintained on a modest budget. The car is designed with the very first priority of doing what it does extremely well, and as a result the aesthetics have taken a backseat to performance, cost, and serviceability. Proof of this way of thinking is everywhere. The front bumper has been heavily cut away to make room for a front mounted intercooler that is so big it could make a Mack truck jealous. The carbon fiber hood has two square holes cut out to allow the twin Garrett ball bearing GT28RS (Disco Potato) compressor housings to peek just slightly above the hoodline. Turbos dont fit? Take a Sawzall to the hood and the problem is solved quickly!
Interestingly the car carries valid license plates and is fully registered for road use. Its street legal, in Poland anyway. We are told the car puts down over 700 flywheel horsepower on the MAHA wheel dyno in this trim without nitrous.
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