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    2014 TT Gen 3 2.0 TFSI Special K #Audi-TT-K-Custom has created an alternative to the Gen 3 TTS, this ultra-low, 2.0 TFSI… Words Davy Lewis. Photography Jape Tiitinen. MK3 TT 2.0 TFSI with 330hp.

    When it comes to Gen 3 Audi TTs, it’s the S and RS models that tend to get the lion’s share of attention. Which is understandable. The S makes a very healthy 306bhp, and the recently launched RS is a 395bhp powerhouse. But it’s fair to say that these two cool coupes command a premium price, too. You’ll need over £30k to bag a used S and over £53k for a new RS – and that’s before you begin ticking those must-have optional extras. But there is another solution... the TFSI model.

    This lower-spec #Audi-TT-K-Custom-8S comes with a perky 2.0 turbo, which makes a useful 226bhp. In S-line trim, it looks the part, with subtle body additions, nice alloys and spec’d up interior including sports seats. Best of all, used TFSI TTs start from around, £22k, so they’re far more accessible than the S and RS versions. What’s more, you can take power up to around 330bhp (more than a stock TTS) with some relatively simple tuning work.

    For Nicolas Konhäuser, the 2.0 #TFSI TT made perfect sense. As a seasoned car builder and CEO of K-Custom Tuning in Germany, he wanted something that he could play around with to demonstrate the potential of these non-S/RS models.

    Upon taking delivery of the brand-spanking-new Audi, Nicolas got it straight into the workshop. The plan was to create the first ultra-low Gen 2 TT, but without using air-ride. Perhaps not the most practical thing to attempt, but then this was an exercise in extremes, to show how far things can be pushed, which would in turn get the car and K-Custom Tuning noticed. I’m not for one minute suggesting that lowering your Audi to this level is advisable (certainly not with the roads and speed humps in the UK), but you don’t have to go to this level. And this TT can be raised up in the workshop, when not in ultra-low show mode. For example, you could achieve a more performance oriented set up that still offers a good balance of looks and handling instead.

    For the exterior, Nicolas wanted something that would set this Gen 3 TT apart from the rest. As ever, this involves treading the fine line between something that complements Audi’s original design, and getting it very wrong with tasteless additions. For Nicolas, the lines of the TT looked perfect from the factory, so he has merely added some carbon fibre goodies.

    We’re not just talking splitter or door mirrors though (however the mirrors are carbon, of course). No, he’s fitted a full carbon front bumper and wings. These bespoke items really do the trick of making the TT stand out, and they also save a fair amount of weight, which is a bonus. The bumper has been wrapped, around the lower intakes, but left in bare carbon elsewhere, which links in neatly to the wings. The exterior is finished off with a green wrap and an ABT rear wing.

    Inside things are nicely equipped already. It was ordered with the fantastic Audi virtual cockpit and sports seats with diamond-stitched Alcantara centres. Nicolas has fitted a rear roll cage, which lends the cool coupe a certain motorsport air. And that’s it.

    Although this TT certainly stands out for its looks, it isn’t merely an exercise in style over substance. Under the bonnet, the 2.0 turbo lump has been fitted with an HG Motorsport downpipe, performance exhaust and a carbon fibre intake. With new software, it makes around 330bhp, which is more than a stock TTS. The next stage would be a hybrid turbo, which would see power jump to over 400bhp, and take performance into TT RS territory. But, for now, 330bhp is just fine.

    In line with the newly found grunt, Nicolas has wisely upgraded the brakes. The eight-pot calipers came off an R8 and grip 365mm discs, so they’re designed for stopping a heavier faster car. Should stand the TT on its nose, then.

    And that’s about it. A Gen 2 TT that has the looks and power to punch well above its weight.

    TECHNICAL DATA SPECIFICATION #Audi-TT-2.0TFSI / #2014 / #Audi-TT / #Audi / #Audi-TT-tuned / #Audi-TT /
    Audi / #Audi-TT-8S / #Audi-TT-HG-Motorsport-8S / #Audi-TT-HG-Motorsport / #H&R / #Audi-TT-2.0TFSI-8S / #MB-Design

    Engine 2.0 TFSI, #HG-Motorsport downpipe, performance exhaust system, carbon fibre air intake, re-map
    Power 330bhp
    Transmission 7-speed S-tronic
    Brakes Audi R8 8-pot calipers with 365mm discs up front, VW Passat R36 calipers with 360mm discs rear
    Suspension K-Custom #H&R-DEEP coilover suspension, 150mm with camber plates
    Wheels & Tyres 9x20in ET42 #MB-Design-LV2.3 deep concave 3-piece wheels, 225/30R20 Hankook S1 EVO tyres
    Interior #Heigo-Clubsport roll bar
    Exterior Carbon fibre front bumper, carbon fibre front wings, carbon #ABT rear spoiler
    Tuning contacts #How-Deep , #K-Custom , HG Motorsport

    Below: Hard to believe this isn’t on air-ride... Right: 2.0 TFSI now makes 330bhp. Left: Alcantara seats and half-cage. Below: Carbon fibre wings and bumper. Top: Rear end is seriously smooth....

    “The next stage will be a hybrid turbo...”
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    Alex Grant

    BEHIND CLOSED DOORS #Audi-SQ5-Stance / #Audi-Q5-Stanced

    3.0 BiTDI SQ5 killing it on 22” rims with lashings of carbon and 570lb ft of torque #Carbon-Clad #Audi SQ5. Built away from the social media limelight and unveiled without warning, Ian Kelly’s impossibly stanced SQ5 is a daily driver with details to die for. Words: Alex Grant. Photos: Si Gray.

    As a global melting pot of ideas, a live feed of projects and a route to finding obscure parts, you’d struggle to argue that the scene would be a better place without the internet. But for all the good it’s done, there’s one thing that the rise of forums, social media, and updates on every detail has robbed us of: surprises.

    That’s not to say we don’t enjoy a good build thread or finally getting to see the end result in the metal when it rolls into its first event. But those show-stopping projects, patiently and quietly put together out of the digital limelight and unveiled without warning, are becoming a real rarity. Which makes them all the more remarkable when they do happen.

    When we first met Ian Kelly back at Ultimate Dubs in #2014 we’d got no idea how he’d managed to keep this one quiet. In six months, he’d turned a box-fresh SQ5 into the talk of the show without even hinting at what he was up to: an impossibly low static drop over 22-inch wheels on a car nobody else had modified to this level in the UK. Impressive not only because the work needed to get it there was more than worthy of a project thread but also because it’s his daily drive.

    “I’d only told a handful of people that I’d bought the car,” Ian recalls. “The plan was always to keep it under wraps until it was ready for its first show. That was quite a challenge given I used it daily – especially once it was lowered. It was spotted a few times but nobody knew who the owner was.”

    Just under three years later and it’s lost none of its impact, the studio lighting picking out every crease of the carbon-accented, Zaino’d bodywork and two-tone Rotiform DUS wheels. But it’s more than just a one-trick car; the result of 15 years of developing ideas, this might just be the ultimate nu-wave build. Ironically, for someone who’s never gone for project threads, that’s something you don’t fully appreciate without understanding the work that’s got into it.

    Even Ian admits it almost never happened. Having moved out of an S3, he’d got far enough down the road of planning a Tiguan build that he’d even bought a Golf R bumper to graft onto it. But the performance, economy and rarity of the e big Audi was too good to pass up. “The key thing about the SQ5 for me was the engine,” he explains. “I wanted big power and torque but without having the fuel bills of a petrol car as my daily commute is 100 miles. Plus the fact the car was so fresh. Apart from the odd Q5 in Japan and the US no one was really modifying them.”

    Plans had started coming together before this car had numberplates. Ian is good mates with Paul Brown at C6 Carbon, having worked together on his previous cars, and they’re used to bouncing ideas off each other. For the SQ5 the route ahead was pretty obvious: the biggest drop, with the largest wheels that would fit, and enough carbon fibre to make a Formula One car feel inadequate. But getting there without the backup of other Q5 owners’ shared solutions to problems was never going to be simple.

    Even the car itself was a leap of faith. “I’d never even driven a Q5, let alone an SQ5,” Ian says. “Some would say that was pretty risky on such an expensive car but I knew I’d love it. It came from Bath Audi, which is a long way from my home in Newcastle, but the drive back home was fantastic. The exhaust note on the 3.0 #V6 #BiTDI in Dynamic mode is like a screaming petrol V8. I was hooked.”

    Ian didn’t make things easy, starting out with a static drop and a need for custom parts to get it as low as the picture in his head. Si Sweetland at StillStatic put him onto Alois Hankover at AH Exclusive parts in Germany to build a 150mm H&R Race Kit for the Audi; the first of its kind, it took two attempts to bring the back end low enough, and caused problems he didn’t notice at first. For example, taking several inches out of the ride height gave it excessive negative camber, lunching a set of tyres in a couple of thousand miles (the same also happens with the A4 and A5). “Everything was very much experimental at that point because nobody else was modifying the SQ5 or Q5,” he says. “I imported a set of 034Motorsport front upper control arms in the hope this would resolve the issue… it didn’t. The kit simply isn’t designed to run on cars as low as mine was, so we had to redesign them and C6 machined a new set to work with our specifications.”

    Even this didn’t fix all the problems. Filling the arches with 10.5x22-inch Vossen CV-T wheels highlighted a total lack of clearance, with suspension components hitting the frame on bigger bumps. Getting the ride height where he wanted eventually meant ditching the rear anti- roll bar and making some ‘adjustments’ to free up extra space.

    “The front and rear chassis modifications mean we can run the biggest drop of any Q5 or SQ5 to date, and it can drive this low static. The trouble was, having got the ride height how I wanted, it was too low to run daily. I was scuffing the fuel tank, so I had to change to air. People thought I was anti-air as I’d resisted it for so long; I wasn’t, I just hadn’t needed it until that point.” The end result of that two-year trial and error is a setup which Ian reckons is pretty much perfect. Paul at C6 Carbon modified a set of airbags to fit the shortened H&R dampers Alois had built for the car, and the kit is controlled via Air Lift 3P management. He drives it as low as it was when it was static but lifts it over tank- scraping obstacles when needed. Not that it’s finished yet. “We’ve got plans for some more front chassis development,” Ian laughs.

    “It just depends when we can fit it all in.” There was, at least, plenty of room to be greedy with wheel sizes. It’s still remembered on the Vossens it was wearing when it broke cover, but they spent only a year on the car before Ian moved on to the set he’d wanted from the start. “I had been a fan of Rotiform from day one and had been chatting to Brian for a while about changing to a set of three-piece wheels,” he says. “They were going to be the main change for the car in 2015 and they were fitted just before MIVW. It totally changed the look of the car, adding more class to it. The centres are painted the same dark black bronze as the Vossens.”

    As easy as it is to get wrapped up in that hard-earned stance, it’s only part of this car’s talents. Ian and Paul’s collective eye for detail is woven through every part of the SQ5. For example, they deleted the chrome before Audi offered that as an option and replaced the seat belts and all the stitching with yellow matched to the brake calipers – one of the few bits of colour left on the outside. Both bits you can miss at a glance.

    Harder to miss, though, is the acres of carbon fibre. Ian had started working with C6 Carbon when he was building his old S3 but the SQ5 took that carbon skinning obsession to an all-new level. We’re even talking boot hinges, the inside of the armrest, even the end caps of the dashboard – parts that are usually out of sight. Everything got treated the same way, with Paul using a larger weave than usual and rotating the roll 45 degrees which means the weave follows the line of the car instead of being diagonal.

    Actually, Paul’s had such a big hand in the project that he’s the only other person who gets to drive it. When it made the trip to MIVW last year with its new RS6-style front bumper, it was Paul who’d fitted it while Ian was on holiday in Ibiza. It had also meant a week of frustration when the new bumper’s paint didn’t match, and a last-minute rush before heading for Valkenburg.

    But it seems Paul likes a challenge; so when Ian opted for seamless air tanks for the boot install, there were no corners cut with the layer you can actually see. Paul skinned the tank in a single sheet of carbon fibre – a job which would usually take three pieces. As we said, it’s as much about what you don’t notice at first, as what grabs you at a glance.

    Ian’s had his hand in where possible, though, as he explains: “The air install was my first attempt at air and hardlines. It didn’t go to plan first time and after a set of PTC cartridges later and numerous lengths of tube, the air install was finally in. Then the management just wouldn’t fire up. Paul eventually found the issue after chatting to Phil James at the Install Company. Somehow the loom was wired incorrectly from the factory. It’s never easy.”

    With 313bhp and 480lb ft of torque, and 62mph out of the way in around five seconds, big performance upgrades were never really on the shopping list. Ian’s swapped to an APR intake and custom DTUK map which takes power up to 370bhp and 570lb ft of torque without denting economy for commuting. He then treated the bay to plenty of matte carbon fibre to bring it in line with the rest of the car.

    Which means – even with a two-year-old daughter and a wedding to pay for this year – life shouldn’t get in the way of SQ5 ownership any time soon. Just as well, really, as it almost happened the other way around. Ian’s fiancée Karen went into labour while he was at Edition 38, leaving him frantically shuffling of the showfield before sprinting back to Newcastle to get there in time. Having poured so much effort into the Audi, 2017 is all about the final details rather than big changes – the priorities, for now, are elsewhere.

    “It’s great taking it all in when it’s parked-up at shows – I love how complete it is yet how simple. There are so many details that most people miss and that is how I wanted it, and how it should have left the factory.” So it’s part of the family now then? “Karen, my fiancée doesn’t mind it although she does say it’s ‘daddy’s silly car’ to our daughter… read into that what you will,” Ian laughs.

    Of course, that’s not stopping him planning further ahead. So, what’s next? “I have a plan for a new car. However, I’m not going to say too much… all will be revealed once the car is ready to show, just like the SQ5,” Ian smiles.

    We love this new-wave Audi, not just for what Ian has done to it but because it’s right out of the old-skool – built the way projects used to be before the internet made every nut, bolt and late night public. For that, Ian, we salute you. Now close those garage doors and get building!




    “Everything was very much experimental because nobody else was modifying the SQ5 or Q5”
    “There are so many details that most people miss and that is how I wanted it”

    Dub Details #ARP / #Rotiform / #Audi-SQ5 / #Audi-Q5 / #Audi-SQ5-3.0-BiTDi / #Audi-SQ5-Tuned / #Audi / #Audi-Q5-8R / #Audi-SQ5-8R / #Audi-MLB /



    ENGINE: 3.0 BiTdi diesel, #C6-Carbon / #APR-intake , #DTUK-Tuning-Box (370bhp, 774Nm), one-off C6 Carbon strut brace, C6 Carbon slam panel and scuttle panel, one-off C6 Carbon R8 washer bottle cap, R8 coolant cap and oil cap

    CHASSIS: 10.5x22” forged #Rotiform-DUS , 265/30 Nankang NS2 tyres, #H&R 150mm #RSS-Race coilovers modified to run airbags on C6 Carbon CNC hardware, Air Lift Performance 3P management, C6 Carbon front upper control arms, C6 Carbon chassis development, rear anti-roll bar deleted

    EXTERIOR: #Xenonz-UK RSQ5 front bumper conversion, C6 Carbon grill surround, C6 Carbon crash bar, C6 Carbon side blades, C6 Carbon rear diffuser, exterior trim painted black

    INTERIOR: Yellow seat belts and stitching, C6 Carbon dash/door trim, sill trims, seat backs and seat sides, RTA Fabrications #Air-Lift-3P controller holder modified to fit into the ashtray, C6 Carbon air install with Speciality Suspension one-piece seamless tanks, C6 Carbon acrylic/carbon illuminated #Air-Lift manifold plate, C6 Carbon fire extinguisher #Air-Lift-Performance-3P

    SHOUT: My fiancée Karen and daughter Grace, my family, my friends, Paul at C6 Carbon, Simon at StillStatic, Alois at AH Exclusive Parts, Brian at Rotiform, Steve and Rod at RA Bodyshop, Simon at Syco Graphix, Matt at Only Charged Dubs, Parm at Car Audio Security, John at Bespoke Leathering, Richard for CAD work, RTA Fabrications, Zeeshan at Xenonz UK Ltd, John at Zaino Europe


    The perfect daily? We’re struggling to think of many cars on the road today we would rather have for the daily drive!

    There’s just something so badass about slammed SUVs isn’t there? Imagine seeing this in your rear view… GET OUT OF MY WAY!
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    FULL-ON E70 X5 X-RATED / #BMW

    We don’t see many modified X5s doing the rounds but this full-on, bad boy of an E70 makes up for that in a big way. Slammed, styled and ICE’d up. We don’t feature many X models in DRIVE-MY, but this X5 makes up for that in one fell swoop… Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Andy Tipping.



    Good as the X5 may be, it’s not a car that’s captured the imagination of #Drive-My readers, so we haven’t featured that many over the years. This is possibly because it’s a big 4x4 rather than something with retro appeal or an affordable performance machine. Fortunately, what we lack in quantity we make up for in quality with this awesome example. It’s an E70 X5 3.0sd, which means it’s got the twin-turbo diesel straight-six under the bonnet, and it belongs to Am Singh, owner of car audio distribution company #BladeICE .

    Am’s no stranger to modified cars (or feature cars) and you won’t be surprised to learn that some of those have been very audio-focused. “My first car, a Citroen AX GT, was featured in Max Power back in 1999 and a couple of years later I built a JDMspec Lexus IS200 (Altezza RS200) which I fitted a supercharger kit to. It was featured in Fast Car magazine,” he says. “I’ve built some audio heavy vehicles, too, including a Lupo GTi which was featured in sister title Performance VW magazine in 2013. I also own a Chevrolet Astro van which I’m planning to rebuild this year.”



    This X5 was purchased out of necessity when Am and his missus were expecting their second child in 2014 and the family wagon at the time – an E91 330d M Sport – was deemed too small. “I didn’t want to leave the BMW brand as the E91 was a pleasure to own,” says Am. “I found the X5 at Sytner BMW in Leicester. It was a oneowner car in fantastic condition and the back looked like it had never been sat in. The colour and interior combo instantly drew me to it and the spec was impressive too. It’s got the panoramic roof, keyless entry, Comfort seats, Saddle brown leather and, as a bonus, seven seats! Not that we plan to have any more kids, though; two is enough!” he laughs.


    So, how do you go from mild-mannered X5 to full-on feature car? “Secretly I always had plans for the car,” Am reveals, “however, things went further than I initially imagined.” This is something we’ve heard many times before. Six months of standard X5 ownership passed before Am decided that a bit of modifying was in order and started on what was to be an incredibly slippery slope.


    “Initially I purchased some KW V3 coilovers,” says Am. “Then I looked at brakes from the X5 M, which comprised massive 395mm discs and four-pot Brembo calipers. These were fitted and I ran it on stock 20s for about three months, after which I got talking to a new up-and-coming wheel manufacturer in the USA: Brada wheels.” In case you don’t know, Brada produce lovely forged wheel designs and while 20s would be plenty on most cars the X5 can pull off much bigger wheels, so it would have been rude not to indulge, really. “I wanted to go with a BBSstyle wheel with a cross-spoke design and the Brada BR-1 fits the bill perfectly,” Am continues. “So I ordered a set of 22s and these were built to order as they are a fullyforged/ CNC’d three-piece wheels in a staggered fitment. It was worth the wait and I ran them for the few months that were left of summer #2014 then took them off for winter. That’s when my mind went into overdrive.


    “I started work on the audio, as I needed a demo car for 2015. As a lot of the products I distribute were pointing towards OEM integration and exotic high-end sound quality, the X5 was the perfect base to allow me to go for an OEM+ approach and maximise my marketing possibilities. At this time I also picked up a CIC with Combox to replace the aging CCC iDrive system and I made sure it had DAB, too, while Mak’s Retrofits helped with the installation and coding.”

    With plans under way for some impressive ICE, Am decided that the X5 needed more than just an audio overhaul and resolved to completely change the look of the car. While he had originally wanted an X5 M, the price was too much of a stretch so he decided to go for the next best thing, and set about building a perfect replica. “I got to work looking at all the parts that differ on the M Sport and the X5 M,” Am says. “Initially it didn’t appear to be more than front wings, front bumper and rear bumper but it ended up being a lot more. There were many other items to consider, like headlights, quad exhaust, bumper grilles, trims, clips, bolts etc the list grew and so did the spendometer! After about seven months of searching eBay USA and eBay Germany I managed to get the majority of the parts to start the transformation. Some items had to be bought new, though, as they were insanely hard to find on the secondhand market.

    “After a couple months with the X5 M conversion I came across a set of Adaptive LED headlights that were only found on very late model X5s and X6s. BMW actually had it up as a retrofit conversion for around £3000 plus fitting. Again I searched through eBay USA and some US forums and found a complete set of headlamps. They needed a new harness and FRM3 module, which I purchased new, after which I called on Mak’s Retrofits to help me with coding-in all the features of the headlights. They totally transform the look of the car, making the front-end look like the new F models. They also offer functional benefits, such as adaptive control and a light output like I’ve never experienced before. I’ll never feel complete with regular xenon lights after having had these LED headlights!

    “The body conversion took place in spring of 2015 and in the meantime I was left to finish trimming the audio build I had fabricated during the winter. The full setup consists of four Mosconi D2 (full range Class-D) amps, Gladen Aerospace two-way speakers mounted in the A-pillars and the Gladen 201 Extreme 8” slim-mount woofers which utilise the OEM underseat location. Two Gladen SQX 10s are mounted in a trick side-ported enclosure and headed by the Mosconi 6to8 DSP – the brains of the operation. It is linked to the OEM head unit via a high level input but also has full high definition EDR 2.0 Bluetooth audio streaming capability. This means wireless audio playback via tablet or phone, and Tidal or Spotify apps work great for this. “To power the amps I opted to use three XS Power AGM batteries. I mounted them in the OEM location, secured on billet CNC hold-downs. These offer enough reserve power to cope with long audio demonstrations and enough juice to power the vast array of stock electrics throughout the car.”

    Depending on how up you are on your car audio that might well be all Greek to you but for the uninitiated a quick glance at the interior shots reveals that there is a lot of top-end audio gear stuffed into this X5, and the quality of the installation is impeccable. What’s nice is that everything is very discreet. Yes, the two-way speakers in the A-pillars are big but they don’t look out of place and the boot build is beautiful – the enclosure for the Gladen subs looks like it’s a factory item while the installation of the amps in the boot floor is elegant and understated. You probably wouldn’t even notice the Mosconi DSP controller, custommounted behind the #iDrive controls and the fact that Am has retained the factory head unit means that everything is seamlessly integrated and he’s lost none of the numerous standard functions. Beyond the audio, the wood trim has been wrapped in black for a more elegant look while the steering wheel was retrimmed by Jack at Royal Steering Wheels in black Nappa leather with contrasting stitch to match the saddle brown leather on the seats.


    If the inside looks good, the outside is nothing short of gobsmacking. Am may have invested a vast amount of time and effort on obtaining the X5 M bodywork components but it’s certainly been worth it as the end result is awesome. There’s just so much sheer aggression emanating from the X5 M styling that it’s almost enough to knock you off your feet. No corners have been cut, with a proper quad exhaust system having been fitted which sits in a gorgeous carbon fibre diffuser. And, where you’d normally expect to see an X5 in full-on off-road mode, the massive drop that Am has achieved with the KW coilovers gives the car a completely different look. The way the Brada 22s fill the gargantuan arches is just insane. Oh, and the wheels are perfection. The mirror finish on the lips with the brushed centres suits the X5 so well.

    You might have thought that was that, but Am is most not one to rest on his laurels and since our photoshoot the X5 has received a few more changes. “Initially I chose the KW V3 coilovers as I’ve always been an old-skool static type of guy,” he explains. “Despite the craze of air suspension in the last few years I went with coilovers purely because I didn’t want to use up any boot space with air tanks or compressors, as this would take away from the room I wanted to dedicate for my aural pleasure. With more and more cars using the trunk space for tanks/hardline installs and ditching audio in place of it, I wasn’t going to bow down to the air-ride gods, so I stayed static.

    “However, since this photoshoot I had to admit defeat. The KWs were being wound down more and more and as a result I had no suspension travel, often riding on the bumpstops. For a 2.5-tonne 4x4 that makes for a pretty bumpy ride! So I explored all avenues of keeping my trunk space intact and still having air suspension with the trunk looking OEM+.

    “The air compressors are discreetly mounted in the side compartment and the management is hidden out of sight next to the battery bank under the amps. The fivegallon air tank is mounted on the rear tailgate behind a fabricated panel that’s been trimmed in Alcantara, and the tank has been covered in original BMW Saddle brown leather to complete the theme. I mounted the Air Lift controller into one of the front air vents for ease of access and it looks like it was there from factory.”



    Static or on air, it really makes no difference as this X5 provides a visual punch either way. Every show it’s been to it’s a crowd pleaser. A lot of work has gone into building this X5 over two years but it’s all been worth it. Am’s built himself an awesome machine and one that you’re unlikely to see replicated anytime soon, which makes it all the more cooler.

    DATA FILE #BMW-X5-E70 / #BMW-X5-3.0sd-E70 / #BMW-X5-3.0sd / #BMW-X5 / #KW / #BMW-Performance

    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six #M57TU2D30 / #M57 / #BMW-M57 / , #Evolve remap, #Eisenmann Race exhaust with quad 90mm tips, #ZF / #ZF6HP standard six-speed automatic gearbox. 350hp, 500lb ft of torque

    CHASSIS 10.5x22” (front) and 12x22” (rear) Brada BR-1 wheels with 285/30 (front) and 335/25 (rear) Pirelli Scorpion Zero tyres, #KW-V3 coilover suspension (now replaced with air-ride), X5 M #Brembo four-pot callipers with 395mm discs (front)

    EXTERIOR X5 M front and rear bumpers, front wings, LED Adaptive headlights, 35% tints rear window/doors, 50% front doors, #BMW-Performance carbon fibre front lip, Vorsteiner rear carbon fibre diffuser, modified front and rear arches, paintwork sealed and protected with #Gtechniq C1 and Exo V2 coatings

    INTERIOR Royal Steering Wheels Nappa retrim, black gloss trim panel wrap, A-pillar mounted two-way speakers, CIC with Combox retrofit, custom fabricated Mosconi DSP controller in centre console, #Gladen-Audio Aerospace 28/80 components in A-pillars, #Gladen 201 Extreme underseat mid bass drivers, 2x SQX 10 Gladen subs, 2x Mosconi D2-100.4 amps, 2x Mosconi D2- 500.1 amps, #Mosconi 6to8 DSP, 3x XS Power XE12- 40 batteries, Sky High Car Audio cabling throughout, boot install trimmed in Alcantara

    THANKS Zane at Brada Wheels, Henning at Gladen Audio, Mak’s Retrofits


    I wasn’t going to bow down to the air-ride gods so I stayed static.

    I always had plans for the car, however, things went further than I initially imagined.
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    CARBON COLLECTIVE / #VW-Typ-5G / #Volkswagen-Golf-Mk7 / #Volkswagen-Golf / #Volkswagen-Golf-VII / #VW-Golf-VII / #VW-Golf-Mk7 / #VW-Golf / #VW / #Volkswagen

    What you’re looking at here was one of the most talked about cars at this year’s Wörthersee that wasn’t an Audi R8. But you’ll have to get pretty close to really see why… Words Matt Zollo. Pictures Igor Vucinic.


    Smoke and mirrors. It’s a beginning-of season tactic that Andy Pfeffer has put into practice to great effect on many occasions over the years, all to maximise the impact of his latest creation when he finally wheels it into the breach of an expectant scene on the ever-earlier first day of that show by the lake.

    Most of you will be able to recall ‘his’ Riviera blue Mk6s, both affectionately known as Dixie (actually, one was owned by his brother-in-law and the other was his mate Hakan Koc’s). The first was a tin top GTI with full R imitation and 20-inch Ultraleggeras, which came on to the scene in #2012 , and the next was the – shrouded in secrecy until the day before it was revealed at Wörthersee 2013 – almost identical 1.2 FSI cab version.

    The various reveals of this Mk7 have seen the smoke and mirrors tactics used on an even more comprehensive, and consequently successful, level. After showing the car with a Martini-style wrap, Gepfeffert’s own KWs and 20-inch OZ rims at Wörthersee Reloaded in 2013, Andy told everyone that he had sold the car and replaced it with a Mk7 R. He hadn’t, of course, instead turning up with the GTI sporting such an authentic R replication (along with some 20-inch Ferrari rims) that he had absolutely everyone fooled. No mean feat considering the expertise of the collective that was duped.

    Later in #2014 the car was pictured on Facebook sat on a trailer, apparently going off to a new owner. But, as you might have guessed, this was nothing but a ruse. Instead, Andy had shipped the car off to his friend Arpi (of RS Tuning fame) in Hungary...

    It takes a lot to surprise a close knit group of car enthusiasts, particularly in this liking, sharing, commenting and following day and age of social media, so to be able to genuinely do so come that first public outing of the year is quite the valuable tool to have in a car owner’s arsenal – particularly when the car being exhibited is tasked with advertising the owner’s business, as Andy’s is. For demo cars it’s all about making a scene on the scene, and maximising the attention they get is of paramount importance – and not just for the good of a business but, let’s be honest here, also the owner’s ego.

    Well, Andy’s ego must still be bulging large even as you read this because, as you’ll already know if you went to ‘The Lake’ this year, his car was pretty much the talking point of the event. That is undoubtedly because of the carbon fibre which adorns it. And when we say adorns, what we really mean is envelopes, like a (nice) parasite that has (pleasantly) infected its host to such an extent that it has taken over its body and now calls the place its home.


    Arpi and Zsolt, of www.rs-tuning.hu and www.rs-carbon.hu, had covered a Mk3 VR6 in carbon years ago, so they had some previous experience with this kind of undertaking. Even so, it wasn’t ever going to be the work of a moment, the car eventually staying with them for six months. Literally every external component that didn’t have to flex or be seen through has been covered (except for those red mirror caps and grille slat details), even down to the internals of the headlights.

    “We’ve made a huge amount of carbon parts for different cars, a lot of carbon fronts (hood, bumper, fender), but this is only our second full carbon car,” Zsolt tells us. “Carbon covering requires a lot of patience and very detailed work. A full carbon car needs approximately two months of solid work.

    “The most difficult and the least enjoyable part is to really pay attention during the covering to the carbon direction, to make the chassis and edges with the least cutting or, when it’s possible, without any cutting. Detail is very important on these cars, so it must be perfect down to the last centimetres as well. It needs a lot of time!” All of you who saw the car for yourselves at the show will know that the result of Arpi and Zsolt’s patience and attention to detail is nothing short of stunning.

    All other bodywork mods – the Mücke front wings that provide an additional 25mm of clearance (the rears remain standard, just copious amounts of camber achieving the required clearance), the cleaned bootlid and bonnet and the removal of the VW emblems – had been carried out for the previous iteration of the car, so there was little else to do to the outside. Save for the rims, of course...

    They are one-offs, made by Wheelworkx and based on OEM Q7 BBS Speedlines. A substantial change in construction has seen them transformed from two-piece to three-piece, with half-inch negative outer lips and custom dishes narrowing the 10x20 ET44 wheels to an 8.5x20 ET70 fitment. With the centres painted BBS gold crackle finish and the lips polished for the timehonoured, classic motorsport look, details like the BBS logos sandblasted into the outer rims finish them off.

    The inside has seen its fair share of carbon laminated into its surface area too, though these add up to mere details rather than the main event; dash inlays, the seat backs of the Recaro buckets and the Wiechers roll-cage are all covered in the glossy grey weave, just as they were in the car’s previous guise.

    As with all of Andy’s cars, the brakes are what is known – technically speaking – as ‘whopping’. Previous setups have been: 400mm A8 W12 discs with C63 six-pots on the Dixie GTI; 390mm RS6 discs, again with AMG six-pots, on the Dixie cab; those 390mm RS6 discs again, this time clamped by 997 GT3 calipers on the Martini Mk7. The latter combination has been retained for this iteration of the car as well, with the same rear setup consisting of 356mm Audi RS6 discs and Porsche Panamera fourpots. Of course, all editions of Pfeffer Golf have featured his company’s own modified KWs, along with a hydraulic lift system, and this version is no different.


    It may not be an actual R, but it has the performance to match the R facade thanks to a remap by HGR, an HJS downpipe and a F-Town Streetmachines system with Golf R-style quad pipe outlet. All of which Andy says is good for 309bhp. The DSG has also been remapped by HGR for faster shifts.


    The really observant amongst you might have noticed something specific about this car by now. That is, if Andy so wished, he could return it to stock without much effort at all – it would just be a case of swapping over the relatively uncomplicated aftermarket parts for their stock counterparts. He has always followed this ethos with his cars, evidenced in practices such as using adjustable camber plates rather than pulling arches out.

    Perhaps the most intriguing thing about this car, however, and indeed all the best cars that appear at the start of a new show season, is where the owner can go next. It’s certainly going to take something pretty damn special to trump this Mk7. It goes without saying we really can’t wait to see what that something is, and what it is that Andy has done to it. Just as it goes without saying, of course, that we didn’t even bother asking him for clues to either…

    Andy was a carpenter before he got involved in cars professionally. Modifying them in his spare time, it soon became apparent that he could make a living from it, and thus he started in a small workshop at his parents’ place. In just a few years the company had grown big enough for him to relocate into a bigger, better-equipped workshop, and now Gepfeffert is a well known brand not only in Germany but also in Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, the UK and many more countries besides.


    Dub Details / #Volkswagen-Golf-2.0TSI-VII /

    ENGINE: 2.0 TSI , Golf 7 R engine cover, remapped by #HGR , #HJS downpipe, exhaust by #F-Town Streetmachines with Golf R-style quad tail pipes, #DSG remapped by HGR for faster gear change

    CHASSIS: Gepfeffert.com #KW / #KW-V3-Clubsport coilovers with adjustable camber mounts and #HLS for 3cm lift, 390mm Audi RS6 discs with six-pot 997 GT3 calipers up front and 356mm Audi RS6 discs with four-pot Porsche Panamera calipers at the rear, adapters and custom handbrake by #Vandit-Performance , steel brake lines, custom Audi Q7 BBS Speedline rims modified from two-piece 10x20 ET44 to 8.5x20 ET70 three-piece fitment, centres painted in BBS gold crackle finish, BBS logo sandblasted in outer lip, 18mm front and 15mm rear 5x115 to 5x130 adapters, Nankang 215/30/20 tyres

    EXTERIOR: #3Mücke-GFK front wings, VW badges removed, bonnet smoothed, custom grille, Golf 7 R body kit with front and rear bumpers and side skirts, smoothened bootlid, complete car coated in carbon fibre done by www.rs-carbon.hu

    INTERIOR: Carbon fibre dash inlays, carbonbacked Recaros custom trimmed with R logos, Wiechers carbon-covered roll-cage, rear seat bench removed, BBS spare wheel, original Discover Pro Navigation with Dynaudio audio system and DVD

    SHOUT: Simon Stracker, Jacko, Andy (Sehrgeijfährlich), Steve Danzer, Bernd Seiler at Vandit Performance, Stephan at F-Town, Autolackiererei Sitter Andreas, Arpi at rs-carbon.hu, AVP-Gruppe Roman Müller, my wife Tanja and daughter Amelie Pfeffer

    Carbon-coated bodywork took two solid months of hard graft by the guys at RS Tuning in Hungary and is a work of art. It’s hard to believe this car is running static suspension, although the #KW HLS hydraulic lift kit up front enables Andy to take it on all roads, even those with speed bumps. A crazy car that is totally usable. This is the future…

    Interior is pretty low-key on first impression but look closer and you’ll see a whole host of carbon goodies!
    One-off wheels are based on 20” Q7 #BBS / Speedlines narrowed to 8.5” and converted from two- to three-piece.
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    TWIN ’CHARGED M3s
    Double dose of supercharged E92 goodness.

    KLASSE OF #2014 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E92 / #BMW-E92 / #BMW /

    The E92 M3 may be gone but it’s far from forgotten and this pair of supercharged examples is simply stunning.

    Since its conception, the guys behind #AUTOcouture-Motoring had one thing in mind: build the cleanest and fastest cars on the road. It is safe to say that four successful years later they have graduated at the top of their klasse. Words & photos: Matt Petrie.

    The Entwicklung chassis designation associated with the M3 has ceased existence along with its naturally aspirated engine. While there is a lot of excitement surrounding the new F8x platform and its turbocharged six-cylinder engine, not everyone is sold on the drop in displacement and the M3 being a saloon. Now that the E9x M3 is becoming more affordable, some people are discovering it for the first time while others are happy to use the high revving V8 engines a little more freely on the race track.

    Collectively owning nearly a dozen BMWs over the years (including multiple E9x M3s), Sal and Bart, the owners of these two M3s and popular #BMW tuning outfit ACM, are no strangers to the community, and as different as these cars appear to be, their respective styles flow harmoniously. Exploring many different modifications and setups, this duo struck the right chord and delivered this stunning one-two punch of power and presence.

    You may recall Sal’s first attempt at the E92 platform; a supercharged track-ready Techno violet E92 M3 that was on the cover of #Drive-My in October 2013. That E92 used to rope in 1000cc sport bikes with ease but despite how much he loved the car’s appearance and power delivery, it was still lacking the true six-speed experience. As fast as the dualclutch transmission is, while it awaits either gear up or down, the connection that one has with the car cannot be electronically reproduced on the back of the steering wheel.

    For this reason, Sal knew it was time to get back into a car with three pedals. Sal’s current squeeze, this Melbourne red M3, owns its duties as a true shop car. This car represents a perfect balance of both ‘show’ and ‘go’, and has seen its fair share of track days and car shows around the north eastern United States. Its massive Varis Japan GT wing commands immediate attention from anyone who sees it. While the wing provides functioning aero, the matching body-coloured top portion complements the exposed carbon fibre underside, slightly toning down its track edge and giving it a cleaner look for shows.



    A Vorsteiner diffuser tucks the Akrapovic exhaust tips away in the rear bumper while seamlessly playing off of the same angles that shape the Varis wing. The aggressive rear aero is equally balanced in the front by a BC GT4 front tray with moulded brake duct cooling openings. The chrome in the front of the car is replaced by BMW ‘Edition’ grilles and custom ACM blackout headlights with anthracite painted shrouds.

    Sal chose to use Öhlins R/T coilovers on his M3 because they are competitively and comfortably suitable for both street and track. Whereas this current ride height may not optimise lap times, this M3 looks fantastic slammed on top of the 18” BBS FI wheels. Aside from being one of the best track wheels on the market due to minimal weight and incredible strength, the skinny spokes clearly reveal the 380mm Brembo GT brakes in all of their glory. The Brembo GTs are optimised when bringing Sal’s 650 horsepower Gintani Stage 2.5 meth-injected supercharger system back to earth. Both on and off throttle this car sounds like a jet plane thanks to a combination of the Schmiedmann headers leading back to a Gintani cat-less X-pipe and Akrapovic titanium rear section and dual blow-off valves.

    When giving Sal’s M3 a closer look, its most distinguishing feature is undoubtedly its interior. He was not pleased with the stock interior of the car saying: “I needed something more unique; after all, the car before this was Techno violet so I couldn’t be completely satisfied with all of BMW’s factory-issued equipment.” But yet again, Sal decided to add items that were both aesthetically pleasing and functional.

    In need of something more supportive for the track, he chose Recaro Sportster CS performance seats, however he did not stop there and had them wrapped in OEM Ferrari Salerno Saddle leather. This was no simple task as Ferrari only releases its leather by VIN number. Sal pulled some strings and was able to get his hands on not only enough to wrap his seats, but to also match the doorcards, centre console, lower dash, and rear seats with the hide of the prancing horse (not literally, of course). Completing the interior is a Rogue short-shift kit with weighted F10 M5 gear knob and P3 Cars Vidi gauge in his air vent and a leather wrapped performance wheel with Salerno Saddle 12 o’clock stripe.

    Moving on to the second example of this dynamic duo, to the surprise of many, this is neither Bart’s first Coupé nor his first Alpine white M3. Indecisive with the amount of doors he wanted to accompany his S65, he switched from his first Alpine white Coupé to an Interlagos blue saloon with cloth seats. He then quickly developed a reputation as a certified wheel whore, accumulating more sets of wheels than he knew what to do with. Both cars were heavily modified, but the one missing piece to this puzzle was a supercharger. He longed for forced induction in his M3s, but never owned them long enough to fully commit to a supercharger system which AUTOcouture is so famous for installing. It wasn’t until a couple of years later that he found another low-mileage Alpine white M3 to call his own and he wasted no time modifying it to his own specifications.

    Compared to Sal’s M3, Bart’s coupé took a slightly milder approach aesthetically. Living by his motto of ‘less is more’, his execution of the perfect daily driver was just as he had imagined it. He laughs, saying: “I initially built this car in my dreams – $40,000 later, there it was exactly as I envisioned.” Once again with the continuous, revolving door of wheels, it took Bart a few selections before he found his dream set of BBS LM- Rs.

    Because a regular BBS wheel wouldn’t suffice, Bart sourced a set of Diamond black LM -Rs in Amuse fitment with more aggressive offsets. But Bart had his priorities in order; before he even considered running any set of wheels, he made sure it was properly slammed and purchased a Bilstein PSS10 coilover suspension kit and cranked it all the way down.

    The understated appearance of this car means you have to really look to spot all of the modifications that have been made to it. Custom ACM blackout headlights give this M3 a sinister look paired with the gloss black Mode Carbon GTS V1 front lip, but what many people don’t notice is the Motorsport splatter in the driver’s side headlight only. Along with the front lip, there are the Platte Forme a.g. side skirt extensions, Varis rear undertray and a Challenge Carbon Kevlar bootlid. Running the length of the entire underside is a Gintani cat-less X -pipe connected to an Innotech Performance Exhaust rear section.

    More commonly referred to as ‘iPE’, this vacuum actuated exhaust system allows Bart to go from “as quiet as stock” to straight-piped street terror at the touch of a button. Due to the vacuum actuation, this system operates immediately, setting it apart from other systems that use electronic servos and motors for their activation. The rapid response of the button ensures that when the police come looking for an absurdly loud white BMW, Bart can innocently point them in another direction.

    The supercharger of choice was the ESS Tuning VT2 -650 with a custom painted Jerez plenum, outfitted with the Motorsport stripes, off set leading down to the front of the car. Considering this is his daily, Bart decided to keep the interior modifications down to just the driving essentials. In conjunction with the supercharger, the ACM Edition P3 Cars Vidi gauge was installed just like in Sal’s car. P3’s signature is its integration of the gauge into the stock air vent. This eliminates any unnecessary attention taking away from the cleanliness of the interior. The placement allows Bart to keep an eye on all of his engine vitals, such as boost, AFR and various engine and cooling temperatures. Amongst its many other features, it also displays 0- 60 and 0-100 times for when pride is on the line with his friends. Typically electronic OEM Performance steering wheels are Alcantara, but Bart had his wrapped in black leather. An OEM Alcantara gear knob and gaiter tie in with his suede-wrapped interior trim along the dash. Bart streamlined all of his modifications both inside and out to be unique yet functional in the simplest form.

    No matter which one of these cars better suit your style, we can agree that both of them are classy and deceptive. Either M3 can be parked outside the finest five-star restaurant, or just as easily unleash their 600+ horsepower engines to dust any challenger who dares them on their way. As different as the cars appear to be, their respective styles flow harmoniously.


    Bart’s M3 wears 20” BBS LM-R wheels in Diamond black and an aggressive #Varis-Japan rear diffuser.

    TECHNICAL DATA FILE

    ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 4.0 litre V8 #S65B40 / #S65 / #BMW-S65 , #ESS-Tuning-VT2-650 supercharger with custom painted Jerez black plenum and Motorsport stripes. #Gintani catless x-pipe, #Innotech-Performance valvetronic muffler and six-speed gearbox.

    CHASSIS: 9x20” (front) and 10x20” (rear) #BBS-LM-R wheels in Diamond black with Amuse offsets, 245/35 (front) and 275/30 (rear) Hankook Ventus V12 tyres. #Bilstein PSS10 coilovers, OE brakes, and #DEFIV differential brace.

    EXTERIOR: Custom ACM blackout headlights with Motorsport splatter (on driver’s headlight shroud only) and upgraded halo rings, Mode carbon front lip painted gloss black, Platte Forme a.g. side skirt additions, Varis Japan rear diffuser undertray, Challenge carbon Kevlar race bootlid, IND gloss black cosmetic kit – front grilles, side grilles and hood vents. OEM CF mirrors painted M5 theme by iND.

    INTERIOR: OEM Performance steering wheel wrapped in leather, OEM Short Shift Performance knob and Alcantara boot, suede interior trim, P3 Cars/ACM Edition Vidi gauge.

    THANKS: My wife and the entire crew at ACM

    DATA FILE
    ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 4.0-litre #V8 S65B40 , #Gintani-Stage-2.5 supercharger kit with meth injection, #Schmiedmann headers, #Gintani Race X-pipe, and #Akrapovic titanium slip-on exhaust, six-speed manual transmission with #Rogue-Engineering short shift kit.

    CHASSIS: 9.5x18” (front) and 10.5x18” (rear) #BBS FI anthracite wheels with 265/35 Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres (front) and 275/35 Toyo R888 tyres (rear). #Öhlins R/T coilovers and #Brembo-380GT big brake kit.

    EXTERIOR: BC GT4 carbon fibre front lip, custom ACM blackout headlights with anthracite shrouds and upgraded halo rings, BMW ‘Edition’ front and side grilles, moulded front reflectors, #Vorsteiner-GTS-V rear diffuser, #Varis-Japan-GT wing.

    INTERIOR: Full OEM Ferrari Salerno Saddle leather Recaro Sportster CS seats, doorcards, lower dash panels, centre console, rear seats, leather-wrapped Performance steering wheel with Salerno Saddle 12 o’clock stripe, P3 Cars/ACM Edition Vidi gauge, F10 M5 gear knob.

    THANKS: My wife, my staff at ACM, Brutus, Eric at Yorktowne, Alex and Arno at Gintani, Ben and Mark at Rogue Engineering, Lucille the ‘BBS Queen’ at Sander Performance, Sam at United Collision, Alex at ESH Upholstery, Andrew at iND, Fation at Enthusiast Details.

    Sal’s not been shy with his E92 M3, opting for a Varis Japan GT wing and #Vorsteiner GTS-V rear diffuser.

    I initially built this car in my dreams – $40,000 later there it was, exactly as I envisioned.
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    Martin
    AUDI R8 #V10 010 American Blend. This is the first Liberty Walk kitted R8 V10 in the world and we got the fappin’ exclusive!

    SEMA SPECIAL: AUDI R8 / WORDS MIDGE / PHOTOGRAPHY CJM PHOTOGRAPHY

    YOU CAN FORGET YOUR LUKEWARM AMERICANO. THIS ONE’S A DOUBLE ESPRESSO

    It’s pretty hard to believe, but the owner of this amazing R8, Sean Der, has only been modifying cars for a couple of years. Now, I’m not saying this particular Baltimore-based real estate mogul hasn’t always been something of a petrol head. In fact, he’s owned some of the sweetest driver’s cars ever to hit the streets, including RX-7s, BMW M3s, a couple of Nissan GT-Rs, another R8 V10 and a whole collection of Honda NSXs. Apparently these standard motors were just for “driving pleasure”. But we all know that sooner or later getting the hammer down on a regular basis can lead to only one thing – tuning. And that’s exactly how he ended up at his first show in late 2013.

    He had a properly tasty NSX at the time, his fourth one as it happens. Armed with a load of custom mechanical and turbo upgrades it made 539 horsepower at the wheels. But even Sean was surprised when it picked up its first of many Best in Show trophies. Understandably he wanted more and pretty soon he was to realise modifying cars is an addiction – once you pop, you just can’t stop.

    As for the NSX, after a mental FXMD wide body conversion and a satin white wrap, it was actually the last car to be featured on the cover of Import Tuner Magazine before Sean sold the car to pursue a new project. He even made a profit, but he admits it was a big mistake. The problem was, he learned just days later that the car had been approved for SEMA #2014 . But it was too late to get it back.

    Missing the event was to shape things to come though, and Sean was determined to build something extra special for the 2015 season. And that’s how we get to today. I guess the real point is, there’s only one thing to do when you’re a little late to the game – kick it up a notch. And Sean has certainly done that here, with massive supercar-shaped bells on.

    Not only is this the first Liberty Walk-kitted R8 V10 on the planet, but it’s only the second car in the world to have the whole lot seam-blended into the bodywork. And before you go thinking there’s no prizes for second place, the first car to get this treatment happens to be Sean’s other project – a rather fruity multi-show-winning Nissan GT-R. Talk about bossing it!

    It’s pretty obvious that there was a good reason Liberty Walk’s Kato-san chose Sean to showcase his brand new R8 kit at the world’s biggest automotive event. I’d imagine when a bloke like the crazy Japanese legend requests you get yourself an R8 and appear on his stand that’s exactly what you do – it’s not an opportunity you turn down.

    Still, that’s not to say things were easy. Kato-san and Sean shook hands back in July when Sean’s GT-R was picked to lead the parade at the Liberty Walk Summer Bash in Miami. Suffice to say that doesn’t exactly leave a lot of time to build a full-on show car or to find a suitable German base car.

    Luckily though Sean happens be to co-owner in #APAC (Auto Performance Aesthetics Center), the very customisation shop that put together his NSX. After being impressed by the impeccable workmanship of its owners Derrick Nowell and Sterling ‘Paco’ Duarte, and becoming firm friends, he decided to invest and use his expertise to expand the business.


    As well as a huge new facility, this expansion included a lot of extra curricular activities. After 6pm Sean’s cars get the company’s full attention, and that goes some way to explain why he’s got not one, but two of the most revered motors to ever hit SEMA. It has to be said the Derrick and Paco have an unrivalled eye for detail and something of a magic touch when it comes to cars, not to mention some huge trouser potatoes to go chopping up both of Sean’s supercars. As Sean says himself, “Once you cut, you can’t go back”. And it’s even more apparent when you’ve got one of only 10 limited edition Imola Yellow R8 V10s in the whole of North America. But then again it only took an angle grinder and a stack of skill to make this a limited edition of one. Besides, there’s no other way of fitting a Liberty Walk kit, and that probably helps make them so exclusive.

    As you’d imagine, the kit is perfectly installed around those massive custom-made RSV Forged dubs, which look like they weren’t exactly light on Sean’s wallet. The AirREX suspension package offers much the same premium-priced kudos. Admittedly tuning is limited to a Quicksilver exhaust and a spot of electronic wizardry from APR, but would you wanna race it? It is an R8 V10 with the same 540bhp engine you get in a Lamborghini after all.

    Perhaps what’s most important to the story though isn’t that it cost over 100K or has been built at the request of Kato-san in just a few months of manic evenings. It’s not even the fact that it’s got the first kit on an R8 V10. No, it’s that they’ve chosen to expertly blend a kit that was probably never designed for that kind of stuff in the first place. We’re getting kind of used to seeing riveted overfenders from the likes of LB Performance, Rocket Bunny and RWB but here you get all the raw Liberty Walk flavour done in a, dare I say it, more finished and totally polished way. You could almost call it European in execution. True it’s not a subtle car – saying that would be ridiculous. But there’s no denying that the blending adds another level of finesse to the whole deal. And a raceinspired, mentalist kitted supercar with an ultimate feeling of luxury and finesse can’t be an easy trick to pull off.


    TECH SPEC: #Audi-R8-V10 / #Audi-R8 / #Audi / #Audi-R8-Typ-42 / #Audi-R8-V10-Typ-42

    TUNING: Quicksilver exhaust system; #APR-Tuned .

    CHASSIS: 10 and 12x20in RSV #Forged RXV wheels with 245/30x20 and 325/25/20 Toyo Proxies and custom Toyo tyre stickers; #AirREX air ride system.

    EXTERIOR: Moulded Liberty Walk R8 kit; Limited edition Audi Imola Yellow with Glasurit 90 Line paint; custom decals; window tints.

    THANKS LB Performance; Derrick Nowell and Sterling ‘Paco’ Duarte at APAC; AirREX; Anthony Quang at RSV Forged; Leon Lee at Just Tint & Signs; Khris Uybengkee of KU Connection; Byron Mapp and Mo Nasir Iqbal.

    “A race-inspired, mentalist kitted supercar with an ultimate feeling of luxury and finesse”

    What makes it SEMA worthy?

    NO RUBBER GASKETS

    It might be the first R8 V10 kit on the streets, but instead of simply riveting it on Sean’s team have blended it perfectly into the bodywork. They still had to cut out more than a couple of inches of metalwork first though. Ouch. This kit is yours for the small matter of 15-grand. Double ouch. www.theperformance.co

    RSV FORGED HOOPS

    You can’t just slap on any old set of hoops for SEMA. Luckily these crazyspoked RSV Forged items were just the ticket to match the car’s awesome bodywork. These guys offer a whole collection of wicked designs available in just about any size or finish you can think of and they start at £790. If you’ve got a limited imagination they’ll even design ’em for you.
    www.rsvforged.com

    AIRREX BAGS

    The perfectly slammed chassis here is down to a whole new system provided by the guys at AirREX. What’s clever about AirREX gear is that it all comes pre-assembled in a ready-made box so all you need to do is fit the struts, plumb in the airlines and hook up some power. They’ve just started distributing in the UK too. Go check ’em out. www.airrexuk.co.uk

    My other car is…

    If there’s one other love of Sean’s life it’s his 711whp Nissan GT-R. This one is the car that so impressed Kato-san at the Liberty Walk Summer Bash and kicked off what’s bound to be plenty of bonkers supercar builds in the future. You’ll be seeing a lot more of this monster in FC very soon.

    If Bananaman was crossed with Batman, this would be his car.


    SEAN DER

    So, why build one car when you can do two, yeah? “Well, to be honest, this car would have never happened if I hadn’t have met Kato-san in Miami. When we decided to make an R8 to debut the kit at SEMA I knew I wanted to take the GT-R with it. So we ended up re-painting that specially for the show too.”

    Anything else up your sleeve? “Well I want to get back to my first tuning love, so I’ve started another NSX. I’m aiming for 1,000whp this time. I may have to ditch the R8 to fund it though.”

    The GT-R, R8 and now another NSX? I can’t keep up… “Yeah mate, that’s the general idea!”

    Carbon mirrors are standard on the V10!

    This is the first Liberty Walkkitted R8 V10 on the planet. Two banks of 5 = V10.
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    Paul Oz French impressionist inspires #F1 portraits / #Paul-Oz /

    Thick impasto oil paint worked entirely with a palette knife is the dramatic style of Paul Oz. The technique gives his portraits a presence that’s attracted interest since he decided to focus on art in 2009.

    After a tough start, the artist now has an international following with many works hanging in the homes and offices of the personalities who have inspired him. “Automotive subjects make up about half of my output,” says Oz, who recently returned from an exhibition during the Mexican Grand Prix. “It was great to display alongside local artists who had a really fresh style.”

    His likenesses have attracted the interest of the rich and famous: “Jenson Button’s mum discovered one of my paintings through Facebook and bought it. James Hunt’s family has also been very enthusiastic.


    A face with striking features is the key for Oz: “I’ve yet to attempt Fernando-Alonso but he’s someone I’d like to do. Unlike many modern stars, the Spanish ace has great character. The oldest driver I’ve painted is Sir Stirling Moss. It’s always a challenge to capture the likeness because you have to get it 100% right. Painting animals on safari makes a relaxing break from the pressure of portraits. Commissions keep me busy, but I’d like the time to choose my own subjects.”

    From an early age, Oz always enjoyed drawing but was pushed into physics and maths at school. After studying aeronautical engineering, a career developed in IT before he eventually switched to art. “I started out with acrylics but became frustrated by the flat tones,” he says. “Oils are much more inspiring.

    I liked to copy Monet when I was a kid, and maybe my impasto style stems from that. I begin with a black canvas and work up the highlights. No brushes are used.”

    Commissions start from £5000. For more details, visit http://pauloz.co.uk or e-mail paul@pauloz.co.uk

    Clockwise, from left: #Jack-Brabham ; dramatic rendition of #Ayrton-Senna in his iconic yellow and green helmet; the three-times World Champion looks to the sky in this intense study.

    Clockwise, from above: #1976 World Champion #James-Hunt ; #Jenson-Button depicted in the pink helmet that he wore in #2014 to commemorate his late father; remarkable likeness of #Stirling-Moss .
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    CLASSIC ON THE CUSP / #Dodge-Challenger-Hellcat / #Dodge-Challenger / #Dodge / #Dodge-Challenger-Mk3 /

    With 707bhp-worth of thrills and spills on tap, this is no pussycat

    Cost new #2014 £40,000
    Value now #2015 £40,000


    When your passenger pees herself you know you’re in a very scary ride. That most awkward of awkward moments happened last summer on the Pacific Coast Highway outside Malibu in a Dodge Challenger Hellcat SRT. I’d got it hopelessly out of line showing off and ended up stalled and sideways across two carriageways.

    When the tyre smoke cleared my producer made her embarrassing confession and I drove her (slowly) to the nearest restroom. But that’s the Hellcat for you – the fastest and most powerful muscle car in history and an insane homage to the legendary #Chrysler Hemis of the Sixties and Seventies. It cranks out 707 horses from a 6.2-litre V8, does the standing quarter in 11 seconds – on street rubber – and hits 60mph in 3.5 seconds. I’ve been in planes that seem slower. But while a fi ne 1969 Dodge Charger Six Pack is now $150k, the 2015 Hellcat costs just $61,000 – or forty grand sterling to you. That’s epic value for the sort of straight-line performance worthy of an original seven-litre Cobra.

    On corners the Hellcat is useless. Too much weight, girth and understeer. But on the strip very few cars actually feel faster. I totally understand why one of the first buyers totalled his Hellcat within an hour of leaving the showroom. Driving this explosive missile is a constant exercise in monastic restraint. Get the throttle pressure ever so slightly wrong and the tyres light up, you’re wreathed in smoke and suddenly pointing in the opposite direction. But that’s the total wonder of this car – that and the fact it sticks up two transatlantic fingers to any semblance of European finesse. The Hellcat feels tons more fun than a 458.


    And it looks so horny with its coke bottle shape, vibrant Seventies colours and rubber wide enough to roll a polo field. At idle that monster supercharged V8 rocks angrily on its mountings and makes a noise like the devil’s kettledrum. Shift the eight-speed auto into drive (there’s also a manual option for the brave) and you find yourself concentrating like you’re in a full-on fistfight. Visceral doesn’t begin to describe the experience – more like petrifying but in a hugely exciting and exhilarating way. Bringing one into the UK won’t be simple and taxes will inflate that tempting US sticker price, but if you want a proper hardcore act of absolute one-upmanship the Hellcat will make most other supercars look like suburban clichés.

    Will it appreciate in value? Who knows? Will owning one be one of the wildest things you’ve ever done? Absolutely. And that’s why the Hellcat will always have a place in history as one of the most amazing muscle cars ever to come out of America.

    ‘It sticks up two transatlantic fingers to any semblance of European finesse’
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    Longtermers
    We find the M235i’s top speed, the Cooper GP takes to the drag strip and we say goodbye to a car. New tyres for the M5, the E34 M5 departs the fleet, the BMW-M235i has been to VMax at Bruntingthorpe, the MINI’s been drag racing at Santa Pod plus a roundup from the rest of the fleet.

    Having been well and truly smitten with my recent purchase of a 135i I haven’t actually set foot in the 2 Series for a good couple of months, so it was quite nice to remind myself what the car is like. Although, to be honest, I partially feared it as I was concerned it might make my wonderful little 1 Series feel a bit dated. It some ways it did a bit; the interior switchgear, controls, iDrive and sat nav feel years ahead and the throttle response in Sport mode is noticeably sharper, but other than that it feels different; a lot more refined, although this does not necessarily mean it’s better…

    Anyway, the reason for driving the M235i was to take it up north for a photoshoot and then pop over to Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground for a VMax Top Speed event. I wasn’t competing in the event; I left that to the hoards of 911 Turbos, Ferraris and tuned Nissan GTRs along with the odd Bugatti Veryon. But we were there for a little performance comparison test between the M235i and a #Mercedes-AMG-A45 that a fellow journalist friend had on test. The new hot hatch features a 360hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine, four-wheel drive and a seven-speed DCT gearbox. With those credentials the 2 Series felt positively outgunned, bearing in mind I had rear-wheel drive, 326hp or so, and a manual gearbox. AMG claim a 0-62mph time of 4.6 seconds whereas the M235i is rated as recording 5.0 seconds, so it would be fair to say I thought the #BMW would be obliterated off the line but I was confident it would pull it back with its ferocious mid-range assault. Plus there was the fact we had an LSD fitted, which was bound to help with the traction.

    The time soon came to find out and lined-up side by side at the start of the airstrip with two miles of road ahead of us the stage was set for a drag race until we ran out of space. With traction control turned off, I waited for the countdown and launched the car at 4000rpm. It blasted off the line and, to my surprise, I looked right to see the AMG was next to me rather than in front. Grabbing second gear, the wheels spun and it threw the car slightly sideways on the rough surface, but I kept my foot down and changed into third. I looked right and saw the AMG dead level with me, with literally not so much as an inch in it.

    Amazingly, the plucky 2 Series had kept up with the more powerful fourwheel drive #AMG off the line!

    Then, also surprisingly, the BMW didn’t pull ahead as expected with its big mid-range punch as it went through third and into fourth. The two cars simply stayed completely level pegged up until about 130mph, when the #BMW-M235i finally starting edging ahead. With plenty of track left I was in sixth gear before I knew it and now with a firm lead ahead of the AMG I decided to keep my foot in and see just what the car would do; it was a private test track after all so opportunities like this don’t often present themselves. It got to 140mph pretty quickly and then started easing its way towards the 155mph limiter, which it then passed before settling on an indicated 160mph. It was hard to say if the limiter cut in then or if it just ran out of power/gearing or I backed off the power as I approached the braking zone but I have to say it felt remarkably stable and it stayed at that speed long enough for my passenger to take a picture of the speedo for me.

    So that’s what our M235i does top end, and it’s faster than an AMG. Although it’s interesting that the Mercedes was apparently showing an indicated 150mph, so someone’s speedo is a little out. Pulling that speed from a standing start seemed pretty good going, I thought, and the car even attracted a few looks despite being among more prestige machinery. A good day out for the car and another box ticked for the M235i.

    Tech data #BMW-M235i-F22 / #BMW-F22 / #N55
    YEAR: #2014
    MILEAGE THIS MONTH: 1822
    TOTAL MILEAGE: 14,028
    MPG THIS MONTH: 33.7mpg
    COST THIS MONTH: Nil
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