Kurt Blattner’s B5 S4
I spent endless hours reading DIYs and scouring the forums trying to teach myself how to tackle whatever job came across my plate.
Kurt Blattner has always liked Volkswagens and Audis. He was introduced to the brand through a childhood friend, who had several VWs. His first VW was a 2002 Jetta with a few minor modifications. Kurt kept the car going for ten years. During that time he also took on a heavily modified, albeit shabby, 89 GTI. With plans to bring it back to its former glory, Kurt held on to the car for a while. However with other responsibilities taking his attention away from the GTI, he was forced to scrap the project and move on. In 2007 Kurt and his wife were looking for a fun and reliable (I know, I know, he sees the humor in this as well now) AWD car for road trips to visit family. He had always loved the B5 bodylines and began looking at A4s but it wasn’t long until he realized that he really wanted an S4. With the blessing and support of his wife, Kurt found a Santorin Blue on Noggy/Black six speed S4. It was perfect and he knew it was his next car. Kurt and his wife, Vanessa, love the car equally and make for one hell of a team. When the shift boot started to show signs of wear, “Vanessa found black suede and was able to color match the stitching to the blue alcantara seat inserts and create a custom shift boot,” says Kurt. She even went on to make custom boots for other friends’ cars as well!
Kurt’s story is not unlike our own. The first few years of ownership he had the car serviced at his local shop. Regular maintenance items like the timing belt and various gaskets and seals were all taken care of by the shop. He started modifying the car bit by bit. First, a set of APR bipipes were installed. Then, the transmission needed to be rebuilt, so a RS4 Clutch and Fidanza aluminum light weight flywheel were added. Not soon after, Kurt finally had a place of his own to work on the car himself. He taught himself everything he knows, with the help of forums and Google. “I spent endless hours reading DIYs and scouring the forums trying to teach myself how to tackle whatever job came across my plate.” He learned to tackle the various small sensor jobs or services the car would need, slowly restoring the S4 in the process.
Last winter, Kurt tackled his first timing belt job on the car, which many of you will know is no small feat. During this time, he installed an electric fan from JHM and replaced the PCV system. For power, the car has an APR stage 2 tune paired with OEM turbos. In addition to the bipipes, Kurt is running a set of R1 diverter valves, AEM dryflow intake, and silicone boost hose kit to help the S4 breathe better. A set of SSAC catless downpipes paired with a 3″ straight piped exhaust give the S4 a deep raspy growl. In order to transfer the most power to the road, Kurt also opted for a host of suspension and drivetrain upgrades. He started with a JHM drivetrain stabilizer poly mount and a pair of 034 Motorsport street density transmission mounts. A Stern power ring and 034 Motorsport track density strut bushings help to further lock down the drive train. A set of Koni Damping adjustable coilovers paired with FCP density line front control arms improve the cornering of the S4 dramatically. 17×8 OZ Alleggerita HLT wheels on Continental Contisport contact3 255/40/17 tires help put the power to good use as well. Finally, Kurt installed an Akebono Snub mount with custom snub cage for further reduction in drivetrain slop. To shut down the speed when needed, a set of Adams black zinc coated rotors with Akebono Euro ceramic brake pads quickly jump into action. The result is a highly capable track car with a solid drivetrain and aggressive stance.
On the exterior, Kurt went with a combination of track car styling and OEM+. The Euro Gear Carbon Fiber trunk was installed to shed weight and left unpainted for a more aggressive look. To accent the carbon fiber out back, a set of carbon fiber mirror housings were added, rounding out the look. Other exterior modifications include a set of Depo Clear corner headlights with 35w 6000K HIDs and a Cupra R front lip. On the interior of the car, Kurt kept things simple and functional with a weighted shift knob, a black suede/blue stitching shift boot, B6 S4 rear view compass mirror, and full interior LED kit. These small changes help modernize the car’s interior which has otherwise aged quite well. Kurt also installed the JHM short shifter trio to improve shifting in the S4. Banging off the gears now is a simple and precise affair. A VDO Boost gauge mounted to the steering column keeps boost front and center.
Kurt is a self-described track car enthusiast and a true driver. His passion for high performance driving flows through his S4 and is the main influence behind his build. He plans on attending more autocross events in the future and has plans to build the car into a full blown track monster. In the short term, Kurt is already focused on the next set of modifications. He fully refurbished and coated a rear subframe, strut mounts, and upper and lower control arms which he is pairing with a 034 motorsports rear sway bar, spherical rear sway bar end links, and Apikol rear diff carrier bushings. These new suspension upgrades will be this winter’s project as Kurt waits for next season to begin. In the long term, Kurt has plans to build another motor for the car, with more power. We are certainly looking forward to that when it comes. In the meantime, we can all agree that Kurt’s track inspired S4 not only looks the part but also performs it too.
Kurt would like to thank his wife Vanessa for all of her support of his hobby and passion. “My wife Vanessa has been a driving force behind pushing me to modify the car and constantly makes sacrifices, whether it be time off away from her, money, or sanity, to make sure I am happy. She has been supportive and encouraging and the car would not be close to where it is now without her help and support
Photos courtesy of Cleanaudi.com. All rights reserved.