Audi A4 tuning

Car tuning tips:Audi A4 Tuning"

Audi A4 Tuning Guide

The Audi A4 has had a long and successful production run, taking over from the Audi 80 and is actually very nicely put together. The car handles well and is offered with a wide range of engines which are just begging to be tuned up.

Because the car shares many parts from other VAG group cars A4 tuning is relatively cheap and simple. It is worth noting that the engines in the A4 are longitudinally mounted whereas in the A3 and Golf the same engines are fitted transversely. Most A4 owners will be looking to the S4 for inspiration on their own A4 tuning project. We will look at the most popular mods for the A4 and suggest the best way to maximise your enjoyment of your car.

So onto the A4 tuning tips:-
The 1.6 and 1.8 NASP engines are really a waste of time from a tuning point of view they seem barely adequate power wise on such a large car (particularly the 1.6). The 1.8T is a real star though and this is the engine of choice to have if you want a simple tuning project with a large power gain.

The car was also offered with a range of TDi engines that all respond quite well to remapping but the A4 did not have the most powerful TDi VAG engines fitted. As a general rule of thumb the better your base power the greater your return on investment will be when it comes to tuning making the 2.5 V6 the Diesel engine to go for.

When it comes to modding the NASP 1.8 we should point out that for the same financial outlay you could do an engine swap to something like the 1.8 Turbo and get an instant 100% power hike. 

The larger V6 2.4, 2.5 and 2.8 engines will need some major work doing to them if you are after a good power gain from these. Ideally we would suggest getting larger valves, porting and flowing the head and have a 3 angle valve job done. Blueprinting and balancing the engine will allow you to fully exploit the top end power of this engine and this will help to raise the rev limit. Finish this all of with a fast road cam and a remap with a good sports exhaust and high flow air filter and you have a very satisfying car.

The 20 valve 1.8 Turbo engines are stunning and with something as simple and easy as a remap is all you need to raise the power from 150bhp to around 225 bhp. The KO3 turbo fitted to this engine is not brilliant, they are prone to crack on the exhaust and they run out of puff quite low down in the rev range. By increasing the turbo you can dramatically alter the dynamics of this engine and your choices are either a larger turbo, like the KO4 or KO3s or getting your KO3 hybridised.  On these engines it also pays to get an uprated recirculating diverter valve (atmospheric dump valves have been known to cause problems) and it makes sense to uprate the tiny standard intercooler. A 20V 1.8 Turbo engine should cope with power figures of upto 300bhp on standard internals.

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If you are getting some head work done on your 20V 1.8T we strongly recommend a larger exhaust port as the two valves on the exhaust prove to be a bit of a bottleneck.

We've covered the main methods of tuning for the A4 engines but you should consider the following tuning mods for your A4 engine. Fast road cams, air intake and sports exhaust & port matching.

If you want a short burst of extra power then one fairly easy mod for all these A4 engines would be adding a nitrous injection kits, this alone can add around 50bhp more power to your engine.

What other modifications are worth doing to your A4?
Brake upgrades should be high up your list. Depending on your PCD and offset you might find other VAG group cars larger brakes fit. Look at the Golf, Cupra and even Porsche for suitable upgrades to brake disks and calipers. As long as you have the clearance and your stud pattern matches you should be ok.

The standard suspension on the A4 is adequate but uprating this with a good suspension kits like a fully adjustable coil over will allow you to greatly improve the cars handling and reduce body roll. A drop of around 30mm for most models is considered optimum.

Further reading.
We suggest that if you want a bit more information on A4 Tuning you consult the following sources. TorqueCars have a comprehensive  very active, friendly and helpful Audi tuning forum.

If you have any tips to pass on please use our comments box below and we will update this article, after all we are all here to share knowledge. Please also let us know if we've missed out an engine or performance mod that you feel should be included in here or if we have just plain got it wrong!


Please use our forums if you wish to ask a tuning question, and please note we do not sell parts or services, we are just an online magazine.

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One Response to “Audi A4 Tuning”

  1. m0nkeymafia says:

    Great article. You are totally right the 1.8T engine is the one to have, I had the same engine in my old Golf GTI and it can be tweaked to hell.

    I think thats the same engine thats in the Audi TT too.