Neil McGarry: The TT is one of my favorite new cars, but the stock TT quattro is just a little low on power. APR's stage II is just the trick to give this car a little edge to it. The new found power coupled with the all wheel drive short wheelbase makes this TT one of the most fun cars to drive. To me it has certain go-cart qualities. You sit down low, close to the ground and the sharp turn-in of the low profile 18" wheels sticks your body into the sides of the sport seats when cornering. I ended up getting a little to enthusiastic about this car, when out in the back roads, I passed a black Bronco, so he wouldn't mess up the curves ahead for me. The undercover detective didn't take kindly at being passed at a high rate of speed and called in the local authorities to pull me over. He wrote me the ticket, but let me off easy by dropping my speed on the ticket by over 30+ mph. Damn, I never saw an antenna on that truck.
APR's Stage III+ A4 is a screamer. It revs freely to well above 7000 rpm and still has torque at these high rpms. This is a drivers car and you have to shift fast to keep up with it. It's sub 5 second 0-60 numbers prove it. It feels and is lighter than the S4 and can
be more easily tossed around in the tight twisties. This car is a little louder because of the rev happy four cylinder and little insulation in the '97 model. I love the way the front of this car yells "Got Intercooler?"
APR jokes about their S4 as being Darth Maul's S4. The black carbon fiber hood marks a strong contrast to the Laser Red body. My daily driver is an A6 2.7T, so I know the torque curve of the bi-turbo motor. A chipped 2.7T is a torque monster! You don't have to worry about downshifting, it doesn't seem to matter what gear you are in, just floor it and the car flies. The ride is also amazingly smooth, even with the upgraded coilover shock and spring rates. It is not harsh, but firm and gives you a better feeling of control when you are driving hard. Alcon calipers are expensive, but they work great. This car has the stopping force to control the massive hp and torque increases. The exhaust note has a low burble to it, but is not intrusive into the cabin at all. If AOA brings the S4 Avant to North America, I will be talking to APR about modifying it.
Jason Teller: I own an S4 -- I know what it feels like to ride around with the perfect mix of performance and comfort. At least I thought I knew. APR has taken what most people would consider to be a "complete" performance sedan and made the improvements that really do make it the complete package. The funny thing about the S4 though is how graceful a monster it can be. Propelling from 0-60 in around 5.0 seconds, the car is still surprising quiet and smooth. Deceptive is actually the best word for it. The once-squishy suspension has been replaced to allow the car to actually make good use of all that power through the turns. The exhaust sounds powerful, yet isn't so loud on hard acceleration as to ruin the acoustical asthetics of the car. And of course the massive brakes make sure everything can safely come to a stop. The APR-tuned S4 was quite possibly the most fun car I have ever driven.
I also enjoyed the TT immensely. One of the main reasons for this was a simple modification to the drivers seat. APR's Brett is about the same height as I am (6'5"), yet we both fit comfortably in the TT's cockpit after the springs from the driver's seat were removed. The APR chip is another welcome addition to this normally 180-hp rated car. With the extra horsepower and sticky 18" wheels the TT really comes into its own through swooping curves and small grades. The chip certainly addresses one of my chief complaints about the 180-hp TT -- that it lacks climbing power.
In addition to driving the APR cars I took advantage of spending time as a passenger in them. My driving skills are far surpassed by the APR crew and it was a great chance to really feel what the cars could do under professional driving influence. Many of the pictures in this article are taken in a nearby State Park where we went for some spirited laps around a closed circuit course. Unfortunately we were not wearing helmuts or I'm certain that Stephen would have taken me around on a truly unforgetable ride. As it stands, we'll have to wait and see how their Motorola Cup season turns out!
Audi Performance & Racing
1027-B Opelika Road
Auburn, AL 36830
800-680-7921 or 334-502-5181