This Audi S4 is the result of what happens when you exploit a rulebook that allows unlimited aero mods.
Racers are a unique breed. Racers who look to take advantage of the rule book are even better. Audi, as a corporation, did that with their Quattro, and dominated the World Rally Championship. On a more localized level, JXB performance is looking to dominate the King of the Mountain autocross championship.
The idea came about when the JBX crew was at UMI Motorsports Park’s TeamCross event. In that event, this S4 did good and their performance earned them a spot in the KOTM event. But they wanted to dominate. Some serious mods have already been performed on the car by this time, including an S7 engine, with RS7 turbos, too. It’s the first 4.0T swapped S4 in the US based on what the team could find, and the only one paired with the car’s factory manual transmission. JXB also made a host of suspension components to really give the S4 the tarmac bit that it deserves.
However, a 10-hour drive home from the event offered ample time to think of new ways to go fast. Jay Bullington, the owner of the car and one of the team drivers wondered a simple theory; “How fast do we need to go in order to win with a cone?” In essence, they wanted a car fast enough that even with a penalty for tipping a cone, they could still emerge victorious.
Hilary, a team member opened up the rulebook and discovered that the class wasn’t really restrictive, and had next to no rules at all when it came to limitations on aero devices. At first they thought of putting on a front wing. But when real thought was given, why not add more wings? Why not put a total of 10 elements on the car? Five in the front, and a matching number in the rear.
It’s a lot of wing, but Formula SAE cars do something similar. And autocross speeds are lower so stall speed and drag aren’t that big of a factor. Best part is JXB Performance didn’t buy off-the-shelf units for this. They made all of the aero. Foam was laser cut, and then carbon fiber was laid by hand for each element.
Will it work? That’s to be determined. One quote from their Facebook page sums it up; “We went from reading the rulebook to final product in less than 6 weeks, so there wasn’t much time to do anything but read a few formula SAE papers and take a stab at it.”
We’ll be keeping an eye out for the results to see how they finish.