S4
June 27, 2000

AudiWorld Long Term A6 2.7T: Update #1
Article and photos by Neil McGarry

It has been over six months since I took delivery of my 2000 A6 2.7T and I'm happy to report that the car has been trouble-free from day one. The car still puts a smile on my face every time I drive it, especially when my foot brings on the full torque of the bi-turbo motor. The car is now well out of the break-in period with approximately 6,500 miles on the odometer.

As other 2.7T motor owners know, the engine is known for it's low-end torque and not its mileage. While I don't consider the mileage to bad, it's not great. A lead foot will garner you with about 17 mpg or less, but I average 21 mpg on my daily commute and have seen 24 mpg on a long highway cruise. You definitely notice the difference between highway and city mileage. The gas mileage on my previous Audi increased until the motor had approximately 10,000 miles on it, so I am hoping for a bit more.

I started modifying the car immediately with a host of small additions:

  • Removed small tray above the radio and replaced it with a second cup holder. The navigation system takes the space of the cup holder between the front seats. Though verboten by many, my wife and I do drink lattes in the car.

  • Stongard Transparent Bra installed.

  • WheatherTech trunk mat installed. I bought this from Clair and it is great for wet gear after a day of snowboarding.

  • Audi factory winter rubber mats installed front and back. These were also purchased from Clair. I plan to order mud flaps as the wheels/tires are wide.

  • Installed the factory CD changer. There are four 8mm bolts to remove the cage that holds the CD changer, NAV CD reader and tools. I used a 1/4" ratchet and long extension and then screwed in the 4 bolts to hold the changer in the cage and re-assembled. Total time 15 minutes.

  • De-badged the rear of the car, removing the "A6" and "2.7T quattro". I left the four rings. Click here for a picture.

Modification: APR 1.0 Bar Chip

At 3,400 miles I installed the 1.0 Bar APR chip. The car became even more of a torque monster. The APR chip provides huge increases in low-end torque, where you feel the extra power right off the line and the car revs much faster to redline. Oddly enough, I can barley make out the famous sandblaster sound effect. I can only hear it with the radio and AC off with full throttle and an uphill load. The APR 1.0 Bar chip is good for 307 horsepower and 366 Ft. Lbs. of torque.

Modification: Wheels and Tires

I was never a fan of the looks of the split spoke 16" wheel included in the PSP sport package. The PSK option was not yet available but, I ordered the sport package for the magnificent sport seats.

I purchased a set of the S4 Avus wheels with Bridgestone RE040s from the AudiWorld Classifieds. The 17" wheel, in my opinion, looks much better than the stock sports package wheel. Handling was improved, with road holding massively increased and the turn in much sharper. A 17" tire/wheel package is sorely missing from the Audi factory options in MY2000. This upgrade alone changes the sporty nature of the car without negatively affecting the ride quality. However, the new found handling didn't last for long -- with a need for winter tires I purchased a set of 235/45 17 Michelin Pilot Alpin tires.

The Pilot Alpins have been great in the snow and these tires have seen a lot of it for the 99/00 snowboard season, including multiple trips to Mt. Baker, Stevens Pass and night sessions at Snoqualmie Pass. The deepest snow they have seen on the road is about 4"-5" and the car still tracked and braked effectively. The roads to all the resorts are kept up on the plowing so it is usually packed snow and/or ice patches and/or wet. I have done tests in snowy parking lots and I am very impressed with the braking and steering on the snow. There is great traction and good braking. I don't think downsizing on snow tires is needed much here in the Pacific Northwest; I simply do not drive through massive powder or snowdrifts very often.

I bought these tires as I still wanted some performance edge for my daily driving in the Seattle area, while being ready to head up snowboarding at any time or in any conditions. After worrying that the winter tires would be very loud, I can report that road noise seems no louder than the stock tires.

Outside the of snow season I run a set of 18" X 8.5" BBS RC with 225/40 18 Sumitomo HTRZ II. This wheel/tire combo I originally bought for my A4 Avant and will be replaced with 235/40 18 Bridgestone Potenza S-02 or Yokohama AVS Sports as soon as I wear the Sumitomos out.

Tire Size Comparison

Specification Sidewall Radius Diameter Circumfrence Revs/Mile >Difference
215/55-16 Stock 4.7in 12.7in 25.3in 79.5in 797 0.0%
235/45-17 +1 4.2in 12.7in 25.3in 79.6in 796 0.1%
235/40-18 +2 3.7in 12.7in 25.4in 79.8in 794 0.4%
225/40-18 3.5in 12.5in 25.1in 79.8in 804 -0.9%

Modification: Suspension

The A6 is now equipped with a Variant 2 KW Coilover set. They utilize height adjustable threaded chassis and lowering springs (lowering range, from 1"-3.5") combined with a rebound adjustable twin tube oil pressure damper. The KW designed KONI built dampeners are externally rebound adjustable with the use of an adjustment tool.

This is a new kit for the 2.7T as the car weighs a little more up front than a standard 2.8 A6. I purchased the kit and had it installed at HPA Motorsports in Langley, British Columbia.

The car is currently slammed! Fender gap is minimal both front and rear. In fact, it is a little low for most tastes -- including my own. Since the kit is adjustable, I decided to start out very low. I plan to bring the car up about 1/2" all the way around in the near future and then when it is time to switch back to winter tires, I will have to go up another notch. In the end, I'm glad I went with the adjustable coilovers in order to be able to make subtle changes.

Well how does it ride? It's amazing! Squat, dive and body roll are virtually gone. The car now rides on rails. The ride quality is also excellent. The progressive rate springs provide softer initial compression and then stiffen quickly the more the suspension is compressed. It's comfortable for daily driving and sporty enough to more than handle the twisties. I was initially concerned about what the kit would do to the ride quality and considered the factory Audi/Eibach springs as an option.

I do not have many further modifications planned for the A6. If and when the tuners offer an exhaust, I will certainly take a look and listen to it. Overall, I am extremely happy with my daily driver. This car provides ample room for four in a performance luxury sedan that is prepared for almost any weather or road conditions.