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Audi A4/S4/A5/S5/RS5 Canyon Run CR-15 Strut Bar Full Review

We finally got the chance to install one of our best selling Strut Brace Bars on our shop vehicle, our 2014 Audi S4. Our S4 started out stock with a lot to be desired in the handling department. The steering was floaty and vague, ride was unforgiving with a good amount of body roll, and it was difficult to keep the wheel centered on the highway.

Installing a set of KW Street Comfort Coilovers solved most of the S4's handling and ride comfort issues and eliminated the hideous wheel gap. However, the steering still felt slightly vague and needed a little more help before it could become a formidable handling machine. Cue in the Canyon Run CR-15 Strut Brace Bar.

The Canyon Run CR-15 is a bar built by a small company called Canyon Run. It utilizes an Aircraft Grade 6061 T6 Aluminum which aids in its structural rigidity, and to keep weight low (each bar is around 2 lbs). The bar is designed to fit perfectly in the B8/B8.5's cowl location, and anodized in black for a stealthy look. The CR-15 was also designed and manufactured in the California, with each bar being machined in-house by Canyon Run.

In November 2017, Eurozone Tuning teamed up with Canyon Run to become their sole distributor. You can now purchase the bar from our online store, complete with its required hardware and installation guide. We not only ship this bar to users in the US, but also worldwide. This bar is critically acclaimed by many on the online forums as one of the best "bang for your buck" installs, and has been a hit in our online store for quite some time.

We finally got a chance to install one of these bars in our B8.5 S4, and here are our impressions:

Installation:

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being changing your car's oil and 10 being rebuilding an engine, this installation would be a 1. It is very easy to install in a few minutes with minimal tools. Only a 13mm deep socket and ratchet is needed to install. A flathead is needed to remove the plastic cowl from the S4. Two 13mm screws need to be removed from the flimsy stock bar's location, a wiring harness connection needs to be un-done and moved out of the way, and the bar can be installed. 

One washer (included) needs to be placed under the bar on the passenger side, and the wiper reservoir needs to be lifted to tuck the driver side of the bar underneath. Two washers and bolt then need to be installed on each side of the CR-15 bar.

Each of the four bolts should be torqued down to 20 Nm, and the electrical connection should be held down using the two included zip ties. The plastic wiper cowl can then be re-installed to finish the install.

Looks:

The bar is very clean and understated. It does not attract any attention and is hidden in front of the plastic cowl. If you take a look in the right location, you can see the Canyon Run CR-15 Logo hidden in front of the cowl. The black anodized color definitely helps with keeping the bar understated and hidden.

Driving Impressions:

You can tell the bar is installed when pulling out of the driveway. The difference is subtle but noticeable. Steering feels a bit tighter, as it should have felt from the factory.

A huge complaint from ourselves (as well as 90% of drivers with this B8/B8.5 platform) is the vague steering feel, and the difficulty keep the wheel centered on the highway or a long stretch of road. To explain the centered complaint, the car sort of "drifts" around and requires a lot of minor steering adjustments to keep the car moving straight. This was one of the major annoyances felt as compared to our previous shop Audi A3 and Volkswagen MK6 GTI's.

Driving on a road with a majority of straights and few curves, the steering felt more "confident and poised". It is now a bit more tight and pleasant to drive. Our S4 is equipped with a pulley and Stage 2 tune, so this handling makes it more pleasant to drive under full power and even during daily driving.

We then took the car to our favorite backroad with tight twisties and minimal disturbances (lets call this road "Mexico"). Wow, did we feel a difference. When driving spiritedly, the vehicle responds quite a bit better to slight and hard steering inputs. The difference was most noticeable on a sharp 90 degree turn, where the vagueness and understeer could be felt before this bar was installed. 

We can definitely honestly recommend this bar as one of the B8/B8.5's "must have" upgrades, next to a Stage 1 tune, and exhaust.

Purchase the Canyon Run CR-15 bar for your Audi here.


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