If you were to sequence Adam Ligon’s DNA, you’d probably find the letters VAG interspersed amongst the Xs and Ys. And while he’s not exactly old skool in comparison with guys who had been tuning Mk1 GTIs from the mid-’70s, having owned 20-plus VAG cars over the past 22 years, it makes you suspect he’s genetically encoded to buy Audis and VWs.
Being the co-owner of VW/Audi specialist Black Forest Industries inNC and Cary, gives Adam an excuse for his addiction, but the buying started before Black Forest Industries is at business. In fact, he currently owns seven VWs to the one Audi A5 featured here. Admittedly, he loves coupes and when he saw the 1st photos of the A5, had already bought one in his mind.
With the exception of the R8 sports car, Ligon thinks the A5 is the perfect-looking Audi available. Coincidentally, the guy who conceived it, Walter da Silva, also says it’s the most wonderfulabout the A5 before it was bought because the car would function as a test platform for upgrades that Black Forest Industries (BFI) created to develop or distribute. He also knew he’d wait for the 2.-liter TFSI as opposed to the earlier V6 because the four-banger both weighed less along with more tuning options.
Too off-the-shelf to set it apart from other A5s, although prior to its current state, the car ran on 20 BBS CH-R wheels – a can’t-go-wrong choice. So, 20 Maserati Gran Turismo Birdcage wheels, the car gained instant internet viral notoriety, by mounting a set of matte black.
The angular lines of the wheels, with their concave and convex shapes, juxtapose the A5’s fluid lines perfectly. But getting Maserati wheels to put the Audi wasn’t a straightforward bolt-on process.
The lug pattern of the A5, for example, is 5x112mm with a 66.6mm center bore. However the Maserati wheel can be a 5×114.3mm with a 67.1mm center bore. So Adam started with a 14mm stud conversion in the hubs – the studs having bigger .5 threads.
He then went to work enlarging the center bore as well as the lug seats. The latter were machined both wider and closer towards the hub so that you can accept Flextfit nuts. The Flexfit nuts apparently allow a 2.5mm difference in bolt pattern while still retaining a tight grip on the wheel and hub.
With the problem solved, a set of 265/30 R20 Continental DWS tires were stretched over the 20×10.5 wheels. They could then be mounted on the car using 5mm BFI front spacers and 15mm rears to obtain the right offset.
The stance was then dialed in with Suspension Techniques/Weitec coilovers that dropped the auto to the desired height. However, this generated some clearance issues. The front fenders were rolled so that during our drive, we didn’t detect any rubbing by any means, as a result.It may well have taken a great deal of work to get the desired stance of these unusual wheels but you have to agree it affords the A5 a unique look.
Ligon prefers his cars to search OEM as opposed to given them a complete makeover, so he kept it subtle. Additions include a badgeless JOM RS5 grille along with his original four-ringed logo. The side skirt/blades come from the S5 but were mounted upside down so only otaku-level VAG insiders could see the difference.
The back is distinguished by its RavenRacing RS5-style spoiler, which also continues the OEM theme, with black Audi rings making another appearance.
Together with the right stance and visual details, Ligon changed his focus. Like a former autocross junkie and unrepentant hard driver, the stock power wasn’t planning to cut it. So he first went for the stage 2 APR software upgrade. After he got used to that, he went all-in with the APR K04 turbo upgrade kit, which included the larger turbo and manifold, new software plus all of the hardware.
For cooler intake air, Adam installed a Pwrhaus front-mount intercooler. New brackets were then fabricated to fit a K&N intake system which had been originally created for the A4. And to cap it off, a carbon fiber EuroGear engine cover sits on top.
The exhaust contains BFI’s own 3 tubing that starts from the turbo-back and splits into dual 2.5 pipes to exit through a ’09 A5 3.2 valance – the only year when dual outlets were offered.
Upon starting the engine, there’s a raw, unfiltered quality that comes into the cabin. Off the line, it’s slightly hesitant as a result of needing to rotate big 20 wheels. It could also be caused by less back pressure from the exhaust system but the trade-off is soon forgotten because the K04 responds with immediate punch after 2500rpm or so. Unlike the stock turbo, it doesn’t exhaust breath on its way to redline.
2011 audi a5 quattro controlsThe truth is, the engine propels the A5 into triple-digit speeds with ease. APR claims its K04 kit is good for 330hp and 339 lb-ft but BFI’s exhaust should have extracted a little more…
The front brakes are 13.6 S4 discs using the stock A5 calipers, whilst the rears are 13 S5 discs and calipers with Brembo pads at each corner. The stopping power was undeniable, even though we felt the pedal could’ve been firmer and the pads didn’t bite until later in the pedal stroke.
Besides the ST/Weitec coilovers, the car was equipped with BFI’s 29mm front and 25mm rear Stabila sway bars plus SPC adjustable front upper control arms. As you’d expect from a quattro with that sort of equipment, it devours corners with uncanny ease and stability, almost daring you to take the next corner faster.
At the limit, the auto will understeer slightly to inform you you’re approaching the end from the fun, but it’s corrected by a slight lift or more steering input. Body roll isn’t an issue, and also the ride was surprisingly compliant considering the ride height.
Once you look at the numbers, Ligon’s A5 is a near clone of the current S5 (330hp vs 333hp, 339 lb-ft vs 325 lb-ft) yet it comes with a considerable weight advantage (3591 lb vs 3924 lb). So it causes you to wonder why Audi didn’t build the S5 with the 2.0T. It can be argued that premium buyers would want the previous V8 or current supercharged V6, though they’re heavier up front and more prone to understeer. Ligon didn’t stop to ask that question, he just built his very own S5 2.0T and is also loving every minute than itevidence of 330hp K04 turbo upgrade on 2.0T
Layout two-door coupe, front-engine, all-wheel drive
Engine 2.-liter four-cylinder TFSI DOHC 16v with APR K04 turbo software and kitpipes and exits through A5 3.2 valance
Wheels & Tires 20×10.5 Maserati Gran Turismo wheels, custom machined, 14mm stud conversion, Flextfit nuts, BFI spacers 5mm f, 15mm r, 265/30 R20 Continental ExtremeContact DWS tires
Exterior JOM Badgeless grille, S5 side skirt/blades, RavenRacing rear spoiler, ’09 A5 3.2L rear valance, yellow foglights, window tint
Interior AWE Tuning vent boost gauge
Contact Black Forest Industries (blackforestindustries.com)