For Audi enthusiasts

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24 January 2013

If you’re a regular in the Audi enthusiast forum scene or are familiar with the Targa Trophy road rally series on the west coast, then it’s highly likely that this Audi S5 and its owner need no introducing. Just in case this is all new to you though, this car is owned by Tina Hage, a.k.a. Tina Tbolt, and we think her S5 represents a lot of what is right about the American Audi tuning scene. Even better if you really like this particular coupe… it’s just gone up for sale.

Modified cars aren’t for everyone and that’s particularly the case for cars with body kits. Frankly, movies like the Fast & the Furious series and the now declining sport compact segment gave body kits a bad name. That Audi owners tend to prefer cars more in keeping with design coming out of the many studios of the Audi Design Team also tends to downplay the role of such mods amongst those dialed in to the brand. However, that’s not to say that such builds can’t be done in extremely attractive ways, and Tina Hage’s Suzuka Grey S5 coupe is exemplary of that.


To be clear, this coupe has a long list of modifications, though we’ll start with the aforementioned body kit. Peruse PR shots of such things from European tuning companies and these kits are usually paired with everything that company makes, be it vents or ugly wheels. Those shots done by tuning companies are usually there to show off their entire line, and that doesn’t necessarily mean the line gets presented in an aesthetically pleasing way. The objective with Tina’s car was different, pairing just the right elements to enhance the car with little interest in being a sold out show car to one particular tuner. If anything, its real job as show car was actually for her own Tbolt energy shots.

The kit itself is from Caractere and it’s decidedly OE-inspired in its design. The lower outer intakes are larger, but also largely the same shape. The grille replacements are honeycomb – similar to that of Audi’s own RS-cars. At the rear, the added decklid spoiler is subtle – not altogether different in appearance than the new factory lip found on the just launched RS 5 Cabriolet. Yes this car’s got a kit, but it fits the car impeccably and looks perfectly color-matched thanks to Chapperone Auto Body in San Diego, CA. Finally, a GMG rear carbon fiber diffusor, e-code headlights and a gloss black roof complete the look.

Perhaps the most obvious modification, even more than the body kit, are the wheels. Again, Tina went the aftermarket yet tasteful route by fitting HRE P40 SCs in 20×10 and 20×11.5 with Brembo Gran Turismo brakes peeping out from behind those brushed silver spokes. It’s an aggressive setup made even moreso thanks to a lowered stance via H&R coilovers enhanced with front and rear swaybars from STaSIS. The final look is outstanding, and Tina claims it doesn’t rub at all.

Performance is further enhanced with a Milltek exhaust and mid pipes, and custom engine mapping from DC Performance. This is a SoCal car though, so Tina went for the Tiptronic transmission choice in order to deal with the stop and go that is a matter of life here.

The show car theme continues on the inside. Seating has been re-tailored and is now custom black leather with white Alcantara inserts. Interior trim has been similarly changed to her tastes, with gloss black and carbon fiber being the theme. Audio was enhanced via a JL amp and sub mounted in a custom trunk enclosure mounted in place of the spare tire. Also tastefully hidden is a Beltronics custom radar detector and jammer.

This S5 is Tina’s third build and the level of attention to detail makes that particularly apparent. Alas, with a record like that you can bet it would inevitably be time to move on. We’ve been wanting to catch up with Tina and feature this car for a while now, though the priority to do so was dialed up this week when she went and listed the car for sale. At $40,000 it seems like quite a decent deal, so if you’re looking for a new-to-you tailored 2010 S5 coupe, you might want to drop her a line.

More Information:
TBolt S5 For Sale Listing

Tina TBolt Blog 

Additional Photos


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