An Audi That Hates Corners
All The Power

Audi, what does the name mean to you? For me it conjures up images of flame-spitting rally cars, joined by a howling soundtrack of five cylinder firepower and turbocharged wonder. Then there’s sleeper wagons with 500hp growling around the streets at night, hunting for innocent supercar victims. But what about straight line action?

To be completely honest, what the name Audi doesn’t do is make me think of drag racing. Until now…

A Finland Audi RS4 drag car -7

Because in a straight line, the B7 RS4 I’m about to show you is the fastest of its kind in the world. It’s also, quite possibly, the fastest street-tyred AWD drive car in the world. Oh and it makes 1100hp and really doesn’t like corners.

A Finland Audi RS4 drag car -1

When you’re a Speedhunter finding a great feature car can be a little bit like finding your next decent meal – you don’t know exactly where it’s coming from, but you trust it’s out there. Five years ago I went to Finland to shoot some cars and take a closer look at the scene over there. When it came time to head over for another trip I spoke to my friend Henri and he mentioned that his neighbour had an Audi I might be interested in.

Finland Audi RS4 drag car-10

Literally a two-minute walk from where I’d been staying on my previous trip was the large garage of Tomi Paavola. Packed full of very cool toys, from motorbikes to a turbocharged Mercedes-Benz, it was the Audi that I’d come to see. Having just the bare stats to go by, I needed too.

Finland Audi RS4 drag car-8

Externally, the Audi is pretty stock looking with no wild wings or crazy team graphics. It’s just some logos on the rear quarters and a hint of weight saving, with the side and rear windows having been replaced with polycarbonate.

A Finland Audi RS4 drag car -4

The bonnet and boot lid are both carbon fibre but even that’s not that uncommon in the Audi tuning scene. Incredibly, the genuine RS4 shell still has full steel doors and a standard glass windscreen fitted.

Finland Audi RS4 drag car-13

Although from this angle things look a little different – the Stroud parachute definitely makes you look twice. For those in the know, any car that needs a parachute to slow it down must be quick – single-digit ET quick.

Finland Audi RS4 drag car-1

Then there’s the size of the rear wheels and tyres and the way they sit inside the arches so the body can squat down when the Audi launches. At 11.5 inches across they’re not that far removed from a tyre width you’d find on larger set of road wheels – in drag terms they’re actually a bit skinny. And how about that back end? A Strange (coolest brand name ever) spool type, Pro Mod spec diff is housed inside the custom centre – and is very different from the original Audi setup.

Finland Audi RS4 drag car-2

Those rear tyres get a lot of help at the front though, with another big sticky set to help them out when horsepower comes calling. Despite its appearance, Mickey Thompson’s ET Street is actually a DOT-approved street tyre. Okay, so it might not be much good in the wet but, hey, don’t go out in the rain! There’s another special component in this picture hiding a sneaky secret… Can you spot the imposter?

Inside Job
Finland Audi RS4 drag car-9

To be fair you’d be hard pressed to spot the Nissan R33 GT-R inner CV joints on the front driveshafts, but they’re needed because of the Nismo V-spec R33 GT-R transfer case and a Nismo 2-way front diff with a 4.11:1 ratio. The Liberty gearbox is a drag racing work of art, and something that can be commonly found in the world’s quickest, manually-shifted, straight line cars.

A Finland Audi RS4 drag car -3

And this is one of them. Tomi previously ran a quick, drag-spec Audi coupe, but when that just wasn’t fast enough he decided to go for broke with this bare-shell RS4 build. Put together by himself and a very skilled team in Finland, sticking with the Audi brand is a credit to them.

Finland Audi RS4 drag car-16

Especially when you consider that they retained the five cylinder engine, when so many others would have gone V8 or perhaps RB or 2J power. It actually makes my brain fizz a bit that it only displaces 2.2L – that’s 560hp per litre.

Finland Audi RS4 drag car-18

Given the long heritage that the Finn’s have got with rallying and motorsport – and Audi being a massive part of that history – there are some very talented specialists to make use of in this part of the world. But that still doesn’t explain to me just how this motor became so potent.

Finland Audi RS4 drag car-15

You might want to take a closer look at the technical spec of the build, a lot of which was developed in conjunction with APR Finland. If I’m being honest, how the engine does what it does confuses me – especially when I’m told the exhaust valves are smaller than stock. How does that work? Watch this dyno-based power run video to get a better understanding of how effective the package is.

A Finland Audi RS4 drag car -2

Just like the Finnish people who are generally modest and don’t usually shout about how good they are at things, the whole build really oozes class for me. Like how the standard silver exterior gives way to a dark grey Pro Stock spec cage.

Finland Audi RS4 drag car-12

It really sums up this build for me – the closer you look, the more you are rewarded with this incredible Audi.

This film from the drag strip shows just how devastatingly effective the hybrid Audi/Nissan/Strange AWD system is.

Better still is this film, which takes us in car for the ride! The revs never seem to drop and Tomi does the whole run one-handed as he slams the shifter back and forth, then swiftly reaches for the parachute release at the top end.

Finland Audi RS4 drag car-3

Truth be told, the RS4 hasn’t seen much action in the last couple of years. Tomi enjoys enduro racing and is rather good at it, so along with a business and young family to look after his time is often taken up by other things.

The fact remains that this Audi could well be the quickest AWD car in the world on street legal tyres. Just let that sink in for a second… Pretty cool huh?

Bryn Musselwhite
Instagram: speedhunters_Bryn
bryn@speedhunters.com

Cutting Room Floor
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42 comments

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1

Damn! That's a hardcore Audi! Great bit of change to the almost now standard LSX swaps.
Great find!

2

How the fuck are those tyres approved for street use? In Finland of all places?

3

Dude...that is balls to the f*cking wall for an Audi. And why not? I really like how they retain the 5 cylinder engine. My first car was a volvo 850 with a 5 cyl so I have a particular attachment to these engines. What a crazy machine. Only a Fin would build this.

4

Forgive me if I am wrong but didn't AMS take the street legal AWD record with one of their crazy tuned R35 GTRs?

5

What about the "Rosa Kampfsau" from Dutter Racing in Austria?

6

An Audi that hates corners? A regular Audi then? Sorry. I can't believe how well that old block holds up to power these days, especially given how many generations of engine Audi have since replaced it with.

7

I wonder why he took a B7 RS4 while nothing about this car is RS4 anymore. The engine is Audi, but probably from a B4 S2/RS2

10

most of the cars featured on here hate corners....except the drifters....speedhunters has been losing its automotive charm in the past couple of years, just like most of the posers in the car scene, all that is cared about is how low a car is and the kinds of wheels on it. i am a fan of this online magazine, just putting in my two cents, as a fan that has been around for years. hell a stock gtr on airbags got featured on here, my 240 in my driveway is built better than that car...and thats a damn shame.

11

most of the cars featured on here hate corners....except the drifters....speedhunters has been losing its automotive charm in the past couple of years, just like most of the posers in the car scene, all that is cared about is how low a car is and the kinds of wheels on it. i am a fan of this online magazine, just putting in my two cents, as a fan that has been around for years. hell a stock gtr on airbags got featured on here, my 240 in my driveway is built better than that car...and thats a damn shame.

12

An Audi that hates corners... Also in the news today: "Ice is cold & fire burns."

13

Sorry SkanderFekir, but did you by any chance read this story? This is a completely purpose-built 1,120hp drag car built with solely function in mind. In fact, almost all of the cars we featured last month were functional cars that were built to be driven. http://www.speedhunters.com/2014/10/cars-september/

I guess what I'm trying to say here is, don't let your dislike of one small aspect of car culture let you turn a blind eye to all the other incredible things happening in the international automotive scene right now. Speedhunters covers a huge variety of automotive subcultures and if you don't like a particular trend or style, why not check out some of our other more performance-orientated features? Thank-you.

14

Yeah I read it and I'm not hating on this particular car. I do appreciate the fact that all cars are covered! From drag racing imports to drifting muscle. I'm speaking of the near stock cars that get featured on here. Here's an example, some girl got featured on here because she has a lowered s2000...And because she's a girl. Other than that her car was completely stock. Again I love speedhunters that's why I'm criticizing.

15

SkanderFekir Thanks for your feedback. Ah yes, that feature certainly caused a lot of controversy. In terms of pageviews though, it was actually really successful. That was quite a few months ago now though and we've really been trying to up our game with the level of cars we've been featuring recently - I think last month's selection really proves that our team are doing a great job!

16

Current GTR record is 7.80 at 182 set by ETS/English Racing in August at the Buschur Shootout, but that was on *I believe* full slicks, not M/T ET streets and they were still squirrelly going down the track. 


Either way, this car is an amazing feat of engineering, especially when you consider the hybrid drivetrain and the fact that it's making that much power from just 5 cylinders. I swear, them Scandanavians have all kinds of surprising things up their sleeves.

17

blonk20 Not heavy enough / doesn't have enough doors / to many cylinders.
They are both awd, but its like comparing apples and... forks.

18

ToyotaSupraMan They have a couple of "grooves" in the tread, so they're not completely slicks, thus "street legal" or DOT-approved. Yeah, taking the rules and bending them veeeeeeeeeeeeery far.

19

Taryn Croucher SkanderFekir Again I'm not bashing here, I get on this site daily, as a matter of fact it is my homepage so it is my first interaction with the internet. The photography is amazing and i do read the articles so i know there is knowledge and love from you guys or else you would not spend your time doing this, obviously. I do apologize if i seemed rude, i was only sharing an opinion. I am a purist with my S14 and love all motorsports whether on two or four wheels. Btw this little interaction made me like you guys even more! You actually read what your fans say and respond. Kudos

20

SkanderFekir I'm not quite sure how anyone can dislike this? I'll admit I'm not a huge fan of the stance features on here but I still read them as I take that form of scene as entertainment. But still, who doesn't like a purely functional car here? I'm sure we can agree 98 percent of readers on here just LOVE funtion as I do myself. 
I think you need to open up a few tabs and take a look at the month of September alone, I'd say about 3/4ths of articles on here are about cars that love to hug corners.

21

I love this. The recent drag features I've seen on here (this, the Endless R32) are quite top quality. I would hope to see more street drag car builds on here!

22

Anyone else see the link? The owners called Tomi and lives in Finland... It's Tommi Makinen!

23

this is one quick audi, when he shifts it looks like when you shift in gran turismo

24

Taryn Croucher SkanderFekir I think I know what a compromise feels like, as I'm writing for a living myself, in the online environment. Sometimes, you drop your game without realizing -- but if anyone in this whole wide world can pick themselves up and deliver amazing content, that's the Speedhunters team. 

I come by around here often, learning new tips and tricks about writing from these guys. Give them some trust, Skander :)

25

2.2L 1120HP. JUST AWESOME.

26

@Naim blonk20 it was more pointed towards "It’s also, quite possibly, the fastest street-tyred AWD drive car in the world"

27

Thanks for your feedback @zz! You can check out some of our other drag racing-related stories here too: http://www.speedhunters.com/category/carfeatures/modified/modified-drag/

29

blonk20 My bad! I must have missed that part..

30

blonk20 My bad! I must have missed that part..

31

ToyotaSupraMan They are legal in the US, but definitely illegal in Finland

32

Not one good pic of the whole car!?

33

badass car. couldnt help but notice the single shear link mounts on the rear end in the bonus images, maybe is my offroading background but I wouldnt consider anything with single shear suspension mounts safe

34

thecottonmouth That damper mounting does look like a pretty bad idea now you mention it.

35

An Audi that hates corners? What else is new?

36

LOL. Almost all Audis hate corners. They understeer like crazy!

38

Too many Japanese parts used, In my car i used zero Japanese parts as i have self respect.

39

It's NOT 560bhp per litre!
It's just over 509bhp per liter.
If it was 560bhp per litre it would have 1232bhp
Will

40

@Naim blonk20 
That audi drove multiple times 8.3/260kmh 2009, and mostly sitting in garage since then.

41

Did he really just say a B7 RS4 and then "retained" the 5 cylinder? the 5 cylinder did not come in a b7 anything...

42

BobbyOctane Dude you totally just wrote this comment to piss people off. Don't be a dick

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