MILLTEK SPORT MB QUATTRO CLASSIC AUDIS – MILLTEK MB QUATTRO PHOTOS: NEIL BIRKITT (WITH THANKS TO LEIGH RAVEY AND KENNY LONGDON) / #Audi-Ur-quattro
Milltek’s new exhaust system for the classic #Audi
sounds simply sensational, but first they had to find a suitable example to fit it to…
‘The new #Milltek-Classic-exhaust-system
offers great performance, exceptional fit and finish and a perfectly-judged sound enhancement...’
There can be few features about the Ur quattro that don’t make reference to its unique combination of engine sound and exhaust note – the distinctive warbling, skirling off-beat cacophany that arises from the unusual 1-2-4-5-3 firing order of the turbocharged in-line five-cylinder engine.
It’s the stuff of legend, with just about every quattro enthusiast having a story to tell of how, as a child or teenager, they were spellbound while watching the works rally cars charge through the Welsh forests, spitting gravel and flames in equal proportions…
Those same impressionable youngsters are all grown up now and many have gone on to become quattro owners and enthusiasts (can there be anyone who’s an owner who isn’t an enthusiast?) Indeed, the Ur quattro now ranks among the most iconic of classic cars from that early Eighties era – uncommon enough to be very special, but not so rare and expensive as to be unobtainable – and the enthusiasm for the model remains undiminished.
As a born again high-performance classic car it still looks fabulous and remains practical even today, still able to hold its own in the cut and thrust of modern motoring and likely to attract just as much attention in the pub car park as many expensive supercars.
So it was no real surprise that, when the renowned exhaust specialist #Milltek-Sport
launched a new initiative to produce a range of high-quality high-performance exhaust systems for the classic car market, the Ur quattro would be one of the first on their applications list.
Although Milltek is known mostly for its extensive range of applications for the latest high-performance models, with the Volkswagen Group playing a huge part in its portfolio, the company has a long history that goes way back to the times when cars like the quattro were just emerging.
Milltek’s founder, #Phil-Millington
, began his long experience in the exhaust industry as manager of one of the country’s first exhaust centres in 1977 before taking over the running of a stainless-steel exhaust specialist in Devon, and then founding his own business – #Falcon-Exhausts
– in #1983
, just about the time that the quattro was making its mark here in the UK market, the first time around.
So, there was already a lot of experience in producing exhaust systems for a wide range of models that were contemporary at the time, but which are now the mainstay of the current classic car market. But it was never going to be a simple case of dusting off the original blueprints from the archives and reproducing the old systems. Although a high quality of construction had always been a strong point for the Falcon systems, there were also many ways in which Milltek’s latest advanced construction techniques and modern materials could be used to improve upon the design and manufacture.
With the decision made to use an Audi Ur quattro as one of the first demo cars for the new initiative, the guys at Milltek set about finding a suitable example for long-term development and testing of the new revised system and for subsequent promotional purposes. And, let’s face it, who wouldn’t jump at the chance to own a quattro!
After a bit of searching around, in August 2014 they sourced a suitable example, a #1988
model with the later spec 2.2-litre 10-valve #MB-turbo-engine
. Finished in gleaming Alpine white – a colour which, after Tornado red perhaps, has to be one of the classic signatures for the Ur quattro – as soon as they saw it they knew it just had to be added to the Milltek fleet. Ironically, it was already fitted with an aftermarket stainless-steel exhaust, manufactured by a rival brand, but that didn’t put them off!
Although very solid at first sight – indeed, it was widely admired when it first appeared on the Milltek Sport stand at Audi Driver International in October 2014 – perhaps inevitably, when they delved a bit deeper, it was found to need some bodywork restoration, and that task was entrusted to Simon Norman at 2Refinish, based in Hinckley, Leicestershire.
A very thorough and top quality exercise followed throughout the early months of 2015, with the bodywork completely stripped and overhauled and treated to a glass-out respray, before it next appeared on the Milltek stand at the Classic Motor Show at the NEC , to be much admired and featured in our November issue.
Of course, like any classic car of its age, there were also quite a few mechanical gremlins to be ironed out. Milltek’s Leigh Ravey tells us that he’s now picked up quite a bit of practical experience at troubleshooting the old K-Jetronic injection system and dealing with many of the idiosyncrasies of the older cars, none of which involve modern diagnostic techniques like reading fault codes…
For instance, recalling a recurrent problem with the brake pedal switch and wiring that was shorting out, causing the brake lights to be on permanently, and dealing with an intermittently troublesome idle control valve, Leigh philosophically regards it as ‘the joys of old cars, I suppose!’
The car now also has a new set of Bilstein dampers, H&R lowering springs, Powerflex bushes and, of course, its piéce de résistance – the new Milltek Classic exhaust system which, in their own words, is claimed to ‘offer great performance gains, exceptional fit and finish, a powerful but perfectlyjudged sound enhancement and a look that’s close to the original exhaust system but subtly enhanced, remaining faithful to the car’s iconic design’…
This particular system is the louder non-resonated ‘downpipe-back’ application, which uses a 10V adapter pipe, connecting pipe, centre silencer bypass assembly, rear silencer assembly and polished tailpipe tips. The systems are also available in a slightly more restrained / subdued resonated form, and with other tailpipe assemblies, which include Titanium and Cerakote finishes as well as polished tips.
As well as using top quality construction, with Type-304 aircraft grade 2.5-inch diameter (63.5 mm) stainless-steel pipework, mandrel-bent for optimum gasflow to ensure maximum performance throughout the rev-range, Milltek’s development engineers also took the opportunity to solve one of the original system’s weak points by adding a new mounting point.
Although it requires drilling four holes in the boot floor to accommodate the new mounting, this is well worthwhile. It not only solves the age-old problem of the drooping rear silencer with its typically sagging tailpipes that no longer sit neatly in the aperture in the rear valance, but it also dramatically reduces movement of the rear silencer when cornering.
The opportunity was also taken to revise the routeing of the pipework over the rear axle to ensure that no contact is made, preventing any chafing of the pipework itself as well as keeping exhaust heat away from the CV joint.
Milltek Classic has also completed development of a version for the later 20V models; otherwise identical to the 10V version, it uses a different front adapter pipe. So, was it all worth it, given that there’s already plenty of aftermarket stainlesssteel exhaust systems available for the Ur quattro… Let’s just say that, while hanging out of the window of the camera car to get the driving shots for this feature, I just wish that there had been a way to capture and bottle the glorious sound that emanates from this exhaust system as the Milltek quattro accelerated and cruised past at 70 mph – it’d be a best-seller!
Contacts Milltek Sport Unit 3 Victoria Way, Pride Park , Derby DE24 8AN Tel: 01332 227 280 / www.millteksport.com
2Refinish Unit 35, Sketchley Meadows Ind. Estate, Hinckley, Leicetershire LE10 3ES Tel: 07885 674 484
‘ I just wish that there had been a way to capture and bottle the + glorious sound that emanates from this exhaust system...’
‘A very thorough and top quality exercise followed throughout the early months of 2015, with the bodywork completely stripped and overhauled and treated to a glass-out respray...’
‘After a bit of searching around, in August 2014 they sourced a suitable example, a 1988 model with the later spec 2.2-litre 10-valve MB turbo engine...’
‘So it was no real surprise that the Ur quattro would be one of the first on the applications list...’