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    UNDER THE RADAR S3 8V 380bhp sleeper

    From Imola yellow daily driver, to matt grey stealth bomber; this 380bhp S3 has packs an unexpected punch… Words Davy Lewis. Photography Dave Jack.

    I have a confession to make: I like yellow cars. There’s something about the bright hue that just does it for me – especially when it’s freshly polished on a bright sunny day (not that this happens much in the UK). I almost bought an Imola yellow B5 S4 avant a few months back, which I neither needed, nor could really justify – but it was the fact it was yellow that had me sorely tempted.

    So, why on earth am I banging on about yellow, when the car you here is clearly, grey? Well, I’ll let you into a little secret: this S3 was once yellow (technically still is, it’s just hidden under an immaculately well applied 3M wrap).

    “I fancied a change from yellow and the matt grey appealed as it’s subtle and understated – the complete opposite to how it was originally,” says owner Richard Steele. It’s refreshing to see someone wrap their car in this way – many do it the other way round – adding bright vinyl to a black or grey car.

    “Prior to the S3 I had a slightly modified A3 Black Edition. I loved everything about the car, until I test drove an S3 and had to have one!” says Richard. With his heart set on an 8P, he set about searching for the perfect car. He quickly found the Imola yellow example, which ticked (almost) all the boxes – it was a Black Edition with DSG and sat nav – the only things missing were the wing back Recaros.

    “My goal with the S3 was to give it RS3-inspired looks and performance as this is the car I ultimately hoped to own eventually; at the time I wasn’t really in a position to afford an RS,” recalls Richard.

    The upgrades began slowly at first with a Stage 1 remap, some new wheels, and lowering springs. But it wasn’t long before things progressed somewhat…

    Richard continues, “After about a year of ownership I ended up with a 380bhp, mini monster that would give most big fish a run for their money. The 0-60 was recorded on a Racelogic box at 3.7-seconds. It’s fair to say that with launch control, it went like a stabbed rat!” he laughs. With relatively simple engine upgrades, it’s testament to just how good the S3’s 2.0 TFSI unit is, that it can be persuaded to make almost 400bhp and deliver supercar levels of acceleration.

    An APR Stage 2+ map is key to the power, which has been calibrated to work with the full Milltek turbo-back exhaust system with de-cat. With the restrictive cat and downpipes replaced, there’s so much more potential in these cars. A Loba high-pressure pump gets the super unleaded in fast, while a CTS carbon intake takes care of feeding cool air to the engine. With 380bhp and 559Nm, this is one rapid S3. Any more than this would require turbo and supporting upgrades, but for bolt-on tuning on OE engine and turbo, it’s certainly effective.

    Part of the appeal with this particular S3 was the fact it had an S-tronic box. The stock unit offers fast shifts – but these can be ramped up further still with a gearbox map. Ecotune have livened things up so that Richard can hold onto gears for longer; take advantage of faster, crisper shifts and, of course, use the launch control function – which was key to the blistering 0-60mph time he achieved.

    When it comes to wraps, the matt grey look always seems to work well, especially when teamed up with some gloss black details. The window surrounds and rear badges are all gloss, as well as the RS-style honeycomb grille and air intakes in the front bumper. It all looks very classy. But there’s a nod to the OEM paintwork with the bright yellow brake calipers and S3 badges.

    Wheel choice is something that’s very personal and even slight differences in offset or design can have a big impact on the overall look of a car. In this case, Richard has stayed true to his OEM roots and gone for a set of 8x18in multi-spokes from an A4 DTM. They look like they were made for the 8P; subtle, classy and offering plenty of room to show off the bright yellow brakes (with some 3mm spacers added). Incidentally, the calipers are RS3 units, painted to match the original Imola yellow paintwork – but they look just as at home alongside this matt grey wrap. These high-spec OEM brakes also do a grand job of hauling this 380bhp 8P down from big speeds.

    The final chassis tweak came in the form of the suspension. Not wanting to go for uncompromising coilovers, Richard fitted some quality H&R sports springs which bring the ride height down nicely, which not only looks much better also tightens up the handling. With less pitch and roll, the S3 feels more planted through turns, allowing more spirited progress to be made. Thankfully there’s plenty of grip from the quattro drive system, powering Goodyear Eagle F1s at each corner.

    Inside, this immaculate S3 is already well equipped with a flat-bottom wheel, Bose audio and sat nav, but that hasn’t stopped Richard putting a personal touch on it. Some neat yellow stitching has been added to the wheels and the gear gaiter – another nod to this car’s Imola yellow roots.

    A large part of the fun for Richard, like many others, is being able to meet a network of like minded Audi enthusiasts. “I’ve made good friends with local enthusiasts,” he says, “they all had a part to play in the build; we always help one another with tuning each other’s cars and sharing advice/opinions. It’s this aspect of the build I’ve enjoyed the most.”

    With the S3 pretty much where Richard wants it; that is, a credible RS3-chaser; he’s decided it’s time for a change... “Just as I was getting to the stage where I was happy with the build, a perfectly spec’d and priced Daytona grey RS3 came along, so I ended up parting with my beloved S3. The RS3 build is currently underway and should hopefully be featuring in #Drive-My in the near future,” he adds with a smile. We hope so!

    SPECIFICATION #Audi-S3-8P / #2011 / #Audi-A3-8P / #Audi-S3 / #Audi / #Audi-A3 /

    Engine 2.0 #TFSI 4-cylinder turbo, #CTS-Turbo cold air intake and heat shield, #Loba high pressure fuel pump, turbo back full decat non-res #Milltek exhaust system, #APR stage 2+ map.

    Power 380bhp and 559Nm.

    Transmission 6-speed #S-tronic with #Ecotune custom map.

    Brakes Custom RS3 front calipers, TT RS front discs, #HEL braided lines, stock S3 rears.

    Suspension #H&R sports springs.

    Wheels and tyres 8x18in #Audi A4 #DTM wheels with Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 225/40R18 and 3mm spacers at the front.

    Exterior #3M matt dark grey vinyl wrap by TLC Detailing, custom S3 badges, RS3-style grille, sticky vinyl personalised number plate, gloss black trim, APR badge.

    Interior Recaro bucket seats, custom steering wheel with yellow interior stitching to match.

    Tuning contacts/thanks Ecotune, TLC Detailing, APR, Dave Jack at Space 21 Photography for the photoshoot

    Top: Fast but stealthy Below: More cheeky yellow details
    “With launch control, it went like a stabbed rat!”

    Below left: Yellow stitching is neat Bottom More yellow on the RS3 brakes.

    “I ended up with a 380bhp, mini monster”

    Above: Grey wrap looks classy on this 8P S3.
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    As the E46 M3 CSL never made it to the #USA , #BMW enthusiasts set about building their own, like this tasty pair. America was cruelly robbed of the E46 M3 CSL, so the response of Stateside modifiers has been to create their own with even more muscle. Words: Iain Curry. Photos: Marco Svizzero.

    It’s easy to get jealous of Americans. They produce money-spinning movies and music loved the world over; they seemingly control the world markets, the internet and practically every satellite in the sky; and if civilisation goes down the plughole, they keep enough gold locked away to hold two fingers up to the rest of us.

    But if you want true envy, check out how cheaply Americans can buy a new M3, M5 or Porsche 911, then see how little it costs them to fuel them so they can enjoy playtime for far less coin than the rest of the world.

    But occasionally, Europe gets its own back. Prime example is the E46 M3 CSL: a car so raw, pure and driver-focused that it became an instant classic on its 2003 release, and one the enthusiasts went all wobbly over. But not the Americans. They got bitter, frustrated and angry over it as the things just weren’t allowed Stateside due to environmental and safety reasons. There were 1400 examples built, and 1400 didn’t find their way to American showrooms.

    So while the non-CSL E46 M3 is almost laughably common on American roads, you’re not about to see a CSL barking its way along canyon roads or buzzing city streets. You may spy something close though. Deny a market like America a car it badly wants and, much like banning a movie, it makes the thing so much more desirable and some will stop at nothing to get it. Pictured here are two Californian E46 M3 CSL replicas, which in many regards are as close to the real thing as possible. Certainly substantial sums of cash have been parted with in their builds, but that’s the price needed to pay proper homage to the ultimate road-going E46 M3.

    It’s a price Adam Cook of Citrus Heights in North California paid to create his Steel grey E46 M3 CSL replica. We caught up with him and photographed his CSL replica alongside another built by Andrei Afanasiev – a fellow user from California’s Bay Area. Together they are a formidable pairing, with Adam’s looking the more genuine with its CSL-esque paint (originals only came in Silver grey and black Sapphire), even though Andrei’s M3 CS colour is a beautiful shade.

    “BMW should have brought the CSL to the US,” Adam said. “There should be a standard that works for both US and Europe for safety and the environment so we can both get the same cars. An example is my other car, a 1M Coupé. They brought that to the US and it sold out fast.” Regardless, Adam got busy building what BMW didn’t provide, and is convinced he’s created something at least the match of a true CSL. “My setup makes more than a stock CSL,” he said. “ I have a better exhaust, pullies and a better software tune.”

    Adam bought his E46 M3 brand-new from his BMW dealer in 2002, and was already no stranger to the marque. As well as his 1M he’s owned an E46 330i, E39 530i and an E90 330i. After a few months of M3 ownership on went a K&N panel filter to get the ball rolling, and since then he’s barely drawn breath. To see the inventory of all the previous parts he’s fitted to the M3 as well as what’s currently there – and the wellrecorded cost of everything – is quite frightening. “To build a replica CSL is fairly easy once you get hold of OE parts, and it helps to have more cash than brains and keep throwing money at it,” he said.

    Adam wanted to make his car as much of an OE CSL as possible, but also improve on parts where he thought necessary. “My modifying philosophy was if I owned a real CSL what would I change on it?” he said. “I think the likes of headers, brakes, exhaust and suspension could all be improved.”

    Starting with the body, Adam has upgraded his M3 with an OE CSL front bumper, lights, side grills, bootlid, carbon fibre rear diffuser and emblems. And impressively, as one of the CSL’s signature elements, he’s managed to add an OE carbon fibre CSL roof. “I got most of the OE CSL parts from a US importer which has sadly recently gone out of business, while the rest I got from a European source,” he said. “I’m glad I got them when I did as CSL parts are now no longer being made.”

    Adam said most of the CSL parts are direct replacements on a standard M3, although minor modifying included rerunning wires on occasion. The roof was a different matter though: “The roof is genuine OE BMW, and its install was mostly time and patience,” Adam said. “Eighty-six spot welds needed removing and then the surface was cleaned. The OE roof fitted perfectly so no major work was needed other than adding the centre brace: if you remove the old roof properly there is no extra welding needed other than for the centre brace.”

    The interior also mimics a CSL’s with an OE CSL centre console added, something Adam said was basically plug and play. There are online DIY tutorials on forums for the fitting, requiring a bit of time and rerunning window switch wires. Also on are a CSL handbrake gaiter, door trims, handles and door sills, while the rear seat has been removed in the style of the M3 CSL concept model. Recaro Profi XL seats are now up front, which look superb but Adam said they’re not great on long journeys. But ridding his M3 of power front seats and the rear bench has saved a lot of weight. As for CSL-ing the 3.2-litre six-cylinder, parts availability proved a headache. Adam originally fitted a GruppeM intake, but was intent on finding a true CSL air box. “Finding a CSL air box and cam was hard as there are not many in the wild,” he said.

    “The first cam I got was broken in shipping and took nine months to get a replace.” Other OE CSL engine parts include the rocker arms, exhaust valves and the head gasket. Adam has enhanced things further with the likes of Supertech Performance dual valve springs, Rogue Engineering power pulleys, some trick cooling and an extensive exhaust system upgrade. Rounded off with OE M3 CSL software and an Evolve ECU tune Alpha-N Stage 3, these enhancements have convinced Adam he has a genuine CSL-beater on his hands.

    The car’s six-speed SMG auto has also been given the CSL treatment with its software flash, while Adam uses a Turner Motorsport 3.91 differential and the company’s rear subframe reinforcement. A CSL 14.5:1 steering rack is also employed for the genuine feel, while TC Kline Racing adjustable coilovers and camber/caster plates, Eibach anti-roll bars and Ground Control rear lower control arms are part of a suite of underbody enhancements to push this M3 into CSL territory and beyond.

    The genuine look was required under the arches, and Adam sourced genuine 19” CSL rims and shod them in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, rather than the ‘widow maker’ Michelin Cup rubber that made true CSLs so likely to switch ends in the wet. Behind these wheels are mighty StopTech 355mm discs all-round, clamped by four-pots finished in yellow paint. To look upon the car is to believe it’s a true CSL, and one that’s been enhanced impressively further.

    Andrei’s car is based on an M3 CS and it too has an impressive spec sheet. Under the bonnet the S54 has been given an OE CSL carbon air box running Evolve Alpha N software and VAC Ultra Light 2 pulleys. He’s also removed the sound deadening to enjoy more of that intoxicating induction howl. Strapped to the Dinan strut brace are the remote reservoirs for the Moton Club Sport dampers and the chassis has been further upgraded with an AC Schnitzer rear anti-roll bar, Poweflex bushes throughout and a TMS subframe reinforcement kit, while for the exhaust system, he opted for an Eisenmann Section 2 and Meisterschaft Ti system.

    Parked side-by-side, the two E46s look as though they belong at the M3 CSL top table. And so they should with the huge amount of time and money involved, including the relentless hunt for OE CSL parts for the builds. Much like true CSLs, they have that look about them that makes you want to grab the keys and be left alone on a winding stretch of open road for a few hours.

    “I prefer back roads to the track,” Adam said, “and am one of the few people in North California who organises meets and drives. I have a website called that lists my favourite drive routes, and one of the best is Valcano which is perfect for the CSL. It’s a joy to drive because you feel the connection to the car and the road, and as the last of the high revving straight-six motors you can feel that passion the M guys put into the car. Cars now are faster, but some of the soul has been lost for progress.”

    Adam wouldn’t dissuade anyone from building their own CSL replica, but he warned that OE parts are a pain to find as there are few parts and plenty of people after them. It’s not cheap either, so despite the rising value of genuine CSLs, if your country was lucky enough to sell them – unlike in America – it may be best to just buy a real one.

    DATA FILE #BMW-M3-CSL / #BMW-M3-E46 / #BMW-M3-CSL-E46 / #BMW-E46 / #SMG / #BMW-M3-CSL-SMG -E46

    ENGINE: 3.2-litre straight-six #S54B32 / #S54 / #BMW-S54 , OE #CSL air box, hoses, exhaust manifold and cats, #Eisenmann Section 2 and #Meisterschaft Ti exhaust system, #VAC Ultra Light 2 pulleys, Evolve Alpha N software, deleted sound deadening under the bonnet.

    TRANSMISSION: E46 M3 six-speed SMG auto with OEM CSL SMG software, Dinan 3.91 limited-slip diff.

    CHASSIS: 8.5x19” (front) and 9.5x19” (rear) OE E46 M3 CSL light alloy rims shod in 235/35 (front) and 265/30 (rear) Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, #Dinan front strut tower brace, #Powerflex polybushes, #TMS subframe reinforcement kit, #AC-Schnitzer rear anti-roll bar, Moton Club Sport dampers, front and rear #BBK .

    EXTERIOR: OEM BMW E46 M3 CSL carbon fibre roof, black roof rails, bootlid, rear diffuser, front bumper with splitters, side grills and micro filter housing. #BMW electric Euro mirrors, outer LEDs on brake lights enabled, IB painted bonnet washer grille, headlight shroud assembly and keyhole driver door delete, #3M front end and roof clear bra, E46 M3 CS paint.

    INTERIOR: OE E46 M3 CSL seats, centre console, handbrake gaiter, door trims, handles and door sills.


    ENGINE: 3.2-litre straight-six #S54B32-TUNED OE E46 M3 CSL air intake, snorkel and flap, map sensor, inlet camshaft, rocker arms, exhaust valves and head gasket, head blueprinted and flow tested, #Supertech-Performance dual valve springs, #Rogue-Engineering power pulleys, Samco radiator hose kit, #Zionsville E46 M3 Competition cooling kit, Zionsville SPAL speed fan kit, Turner Motorsport Fluidyne oil cooler kit, Supersprint stepped exhaust manifold with stepped metallic 100 cell cat system and resonated X-pipe, Eisenmann Racing exhaust, Ignition Solutions plasma coils, OE E46 M3 CSL software – #DME flash for base setup and #Evolve ECU tune #Alpha-N Stage 3.

    TRANSMISSION: E46 M3 six-speed SMG auto with OE CSL SMG software flash, UUC red transmission bushings, Turner Motorsport 3.91 differential, #Turner-Motorsport E46 rear subframe reinforcement.

    CHASSIS: 8.5x19” (front) and 9.5x19” (rear) OE E46 M3 CSL light alloy rims shod in 245/35 (front) and 275/30 (rear) Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, Turner Motorsport 10mm front wheel spacer kit, #StopTech big brake kit with 355mm discs and painted yellow four-piston calipers all-round, stainless steel brake lines, TC Kline Racing True Match adjustable coilover system (500 front, 600 rear), TC Kline Racing camber/caster plates, #Eibach front and rear anti-roll bars, Ground Control rear lower control arms, CSL / ZCP 14.5:1 steering rack.

    EXTERIOR: OE E46 M3 CSL front bumper, front lights and side grills, CSL wing grill emblems, OE E46 M3 CSL carbon fibre outer panel roof, bootlid and carbon fibre rear diffuser, LED rear light upgrade.

    INTERIOR: OE E46 M3 CSL centre console, handbrake gaiter, door trims, handles and door sills, #Recaro Profi XL bucket seats, rear seat delete based on E46 M3 CSL concept model, CSL #SMG black aluminium paddles, hard wired Valentine V1 radar detector.

    Andrei has removed the sound deadening from his engine bay and added #VAC-Ultra-Light-2 pulleys plus a #Dinan strut brace and Moton Club Sport dampers.
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    BMW i8 Haters

    What do you do with BMW’s revolutionary hybrid sports car? Slam it on air-ride, wrap it matt black and fit Rotiforms, of course!

    SEMA SPECIAL: BAYERISCHE MOTOREN WERKE i8 Words Midge / Photography David Taflevich


    As a humble writer who’s spent the last decade working on the world’s best modified car mag, I’m legally obliged to hate hybrids, electronics and motors that run on anything but good old fashioned gasoline. The trouble is though, this is very nearly 2016 and I don’t.

    You see, technology has moved on. And in the same way that nowadays there’s no real stigma in rolling coal, and by that I mean tuning the absolute bollocks off a diesel, in the future we’ll all be going ballistically fast in rides like this. It’s just evolution.

    Personally, to be brutally honest, it’s not so much to do with responsible motoring or saving the planet. It’s more to do with saving the few quid I’ve got left in my pocket. If it’s fast enough for ya, looks the part and costs less to live with than the Focus ST you’ve got your eye on, who really gives a shit what it runs on? Mind you prices will have to come down a bit before we all start to invest. Thirty grand for a specced-up Nissan Leaf? Do me a favour!

    My point is, the eco stuff has come a long way. Electric cars used to be limited to short-range city golf carts like the G-Wiz, which I think you’ll agree is nothing more than an offensive snot box, but now we have Tesla Model X which has bonkers gullwing doors on the back and will do 0-60 in 3.2 seconds. Or there’s the R8 e-tron. Who needs a Ferrari V12 eh?

    The same can be said for hybrids. The Prius isn’t all that economical and is largely viewed as a marketing exercise for American celebrities to carefully craft their public image while masking the fact they’ve got a custom 9-litre Mustang Boss in the garage. But the world has moved on somewhat and now we have this: the epic #BMW i8.

    James McDonnell’s Beemer here isn’t nearly the most modified car we’ve ever had in these pages, but it is one of the most important. And that’s because it’s like looking 30 years into the future. If the totally out-of-reach, million-quid LaFerarri, Porker 918 and McLaren P1 are the next generation of hybrid hyper cars, then this here is the first realistic hybrid supercar.

    Compared to hybrids of old, the i8 is a totally different animal. For starters, it’s desirable. Would I have had a poster of this on my wall when I was a kid? Yes. Yes I would. Its futuristic shape is reassuringly ridiculous, like some sort of spaceship. It’s engineered to have so much torque off the line that it’ll do 0-60 in 3.6 seconds. You feel like you’re 10 years old just by looking at it. And Tom Cruise drives one in the new Mission: Impossible. Let’s face it, that’s everything a supercar should be.

    It’s all about the wow factor. Put it this way, my favourite movie is Back To The Future (Oh no, those bloody gullwing doors again – Jules). I was five when the trilogy kicked off and I’d still sell my soul to David Cameron himself if I could have a DeLorean, even though they’re supposed to be a bit shit. If they were making Back To The Future now, 30 years on in 2015, this is the car that would be flying around Hill Valley. The i8 is the non-shite, modern day DMC-12. Simple as. Even so, it’s a brave choice for a modified car. Not least because James lives in Florida and being a US ‘gear-head’ is required by law to only hanker after huge V8 motors with superchargers – not a 1,500cc, three-cylinder lump from a Mini with a couple of electric motors.

    It has to be said, this one’s hardly been picked for its ease of modifying either. Even the suspension system is something of a hybrid and getting all the right components from AccuAir, Bilstein and HP Drivetech must have caused the guys at Slammered-Inc more than a couple of sleepless nights. At least that awesome satin-black wrap must have been more normal to install.

    I can only summarise that James is making a bold statement. With stupidly cheap petrol at the pumps I’m guessing economy isn’t an issue. Judging by those awesome custom 21-inch Rotiforms, or the fact that he’s got an i8 in the first place, he’s obviously all right for a few quid.

    I can’t help feeling though, that all this is gonna mean he’s in for more than his fair share of hate from the more opinionated and uneducated bods online. And I don’t think that’s entirely fair because why should it matter that it’s a hybrid? Or where he got a ludicrous amount of cash to spend on it? All we should see is an awesome motor that’s pushing the scene in the best – no, the only – direction possible. Modified eco cars are here to stay. All we have left to do is get used to it.

    A brave choice for a modified car. The average US ‘gear-head’ hankers after huge V8 motors with superchargers.

    TECH SPEC: #BMW-i8 / #2015 / #BMW-i8-Rotiform

    CHASSIS: Custom #Rotiform CBU in brushed and plated copper, 9x21inch (Et30) front, 10.5x21in rear (Et49); Pirelli P Zero 245/35x21 and 275/30x21 tyres; #HP-Drivetech Bags; #Bilstein struts; #AccuAir / #AccuAir-E-Level management.

    STYLING: 3M Satin Black wrap; Dapper screen visor; gloss black detailing; bike roof rack.

    INTERIOR Factory leather, hardline air install comprising of twin air tanks and Viair polished compressors.

    THANKS Slammered-Inc; AccuAir; Rotiform; #3M Wraps.


    Why did you choose an i8?

    “I saw the one in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and I just thought I can’t not have one of these in my life. It looks awesome and it’s drivable too. I take it to work every day.”

    So what is it that you do?

    “I have a gallery and tobacco shop called Mr Smokes, where artists display and sell their glassware.”

    Glassware? That’s what you Americans call bongs and stuff, right?

    “Yeah, but for tobacco use only, you understand.” And you drive a hybrid? There’s definitely some irony in that mate.

    “Its futuristic shape is reassuringly ridiculous, like some sort of spaceship”

    Engineered to have so much torque off the line that it’ll do 0-60 in 3.6 seconds. Futuristic hardline install suits the car.

    What makes it

    SEMA worthy?


    Just seeing the look on the faces of the huge V8-worshiping good ol’ boys at SEMA when they realised it has the engine out of a Mini, makes one of these worth every penny. At 105,000 quid that’s a lot of pennies though, even without the mods. And that’s if you can even get a place on the waiting list. You’d better get those orders in people.


    Obviously the key to making the whole look work is the suspension setup, but you don’t go wandering into any old shop and get an off the shelf kit for an i8. No, unfortunately for James, it’s a little more complicated than that. This custom setup was put together by the guys at Slammered-Inc and consists of HP Drivetech bags, Bilstein struts and AccuAir management. Perfection.


    The eco-Beemer can swallow up some seriously enormous wheels and still look just the ticket. That’s why James had to have these mental 21-inch Rotiforms CBUs custom-machined for the job. We’re loving that unbelievable double copper finish too. And in case you were wondering for your own i8 build, they’re #ET30 on the front and #ET49 on the rear.
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    Our Finnish photographer, Jape Tiitinen, creates some stunning images of cool Audis, but he also owns one – this immaculate, 592hp RS4…

    Finland has produced an extraordinary number of world class rally drivers. In fact, the list is seriously impressive when you consider the country is so diminutive. In no particular order, there’s Markuu Alen, Marcos Gronholm, Mikko Hirvonen, Jari-Matti Latvala, Timo Salonen, Ari Vatanen and WRC Champs Tomi Makinen and Juha Kankkunen. Then there’s the small matter of F1 World Champions Kimi Raikkonen and Mika Hakkinen. They must put something in the water in Finland to breed so many outstanding wheel men.

    But, when you think about it, growing up in the kind of hostile landscape that sees snow for half the year, it’s not surprising that so many Finns can pedal a bit. After all, if your daily commute involves icy stretches of road that require left foot braking and power slides to stay on the road, then you’ll quickly learn to become a bit tasty behind the wheel.

    But there’s more to it. These guys are passionate about cars and going fast, and Audis have always figured highly in the list of tuned machines. Now, Finland is a bloody long way to travel to see these quality cars. Fortunately, we have our own man on the scene, Jape Tiitinen (pronounced ‘Yapay’). His main job is taking awesome images of cool cars (as well as weddings and pretty much anything you want to pay him for – within reason!). But when he isn’t behind the camera, you’ll find him in his own, stunning Audi – a B5 RS4. Jape takes up the story...

    “I am quite a passionate Audi enthusiast. I bought my first quattro in 2004 and all my cars have been quattros ever since. The first one was B5 A4 1.8T. It got a total makeover and I sold it a year after. Next in line was a C5 A6 2.7 biturbo in 2005. This is where my OEM game kicked in; I bought an RS6 front bumper and sideskirts to make it look fresh. Eventually we replaced the turbos with B5 RS4 ones to make it faster. My hunger for power kept on growing, so I sold the A6 in 2007 and bought this B5 RS4 which was already tuned for 550hp – but the work was very poor. So I took it to my friend Mikko “Okkim” Välitalo who rebuilt the engine with stock internals to make it even faster than what the previous owner had done.” Jape ran it with this spec – a Supersprint cat back exhaust and a remap – for a couple of years, but the need for speed soon took hold of him.

    “The RNS-D navigation started to feel kinda old, so I bought an RNS-E unit from my friend’s A3. I also ordered a Kufatec digi TV tuner from Germany with OEM kit, which gives you an opportunity to use RNS-E original buttons to operate the TV,” he says. Very trick. “The brakes were upgraded to RS6 calipers with B7 RS4 discs in January 2009 when my front discs came to an end. “I ordered a pair of brand new RS6 turbos from Germany. Okkim did the labour and installed them. He also manufactured me his signature 3in downpipes from stainless steel.”

    With a fresh mapping session, the RS4 made a very healthy 592hp with 802Nm of torque. A 3.25in straight through exhaust is key to helping it breathe, while Wagner intercoolers keep the charge temps down, and there’s a methanol injection system to further cool things and aid reliability.

    With a fully rebuilt and reliable engine that made significant power, Jape could have been content to leave it at that. But our Finnish correspondent likes to drive his B5 hard, and in 2012 his engine blew. “Obviously even the RS can’t take super-hard driving for too long!” he laughs. “An exhaust valve snapped and went through a piston damaging the whole engine. It took a year and a half to get all the parts and build the engine to where it is today,” he shrugs. “This current set-up is still looking for the final touches in software from Richard Weir at Viper Tuning. I just love the fun that flatshift and launch control brings me with all the bang, bang.” Jape is a bit of a perfectionist, to say the least, so his own car had to be something extra special.

    “I’ve had lots of different wheels on my RS during the years. The latest, which are also my favourite, I bought from eBay – BBS LMs in 10 and 11x19in. I knew they would fit in the arches of the RS, so I bought them with no hesitation,” he laughs. “They needed a 30mm spacer at the front to clear those massive C5 RS6 calipers and 15mm at the rear to sit right,” he adds. Some may question the logic of staggered wheels on a quattro, but Jape is happy with the set-up and has experienced no adverse effects. The wheels really do make the car and it’s hard to find anything that offers the same classy looks, and motorsport pedigree of these sublime splits rims. “I am a true wheel whore,” confesses Jape, “there must have been at least 20 sets of different wheels on my RS. In my garage I have two sets of Audi OEM wheels in 9x19in and 9.5x20in and Rota Grid 9.5x18in for winter. The BBS LMs are my favourite wheel of all time.”

    When it came to the exterior, Jape was well aware that with a B5 less is definitely more. The wide arches and subtly aggressive front bumper, with vents, combine to give the avant a stealthy, but purposeful look. The factory colour is a very shiny and well maintained black, but Jape wanted decided to try it with a white wrap. “My brother-in-law, Eero, from wrapped it in 3M 1080 gloss white.” This high-quality vinyl wrap was very carefully applied and transformed the B5. It’s great to see something that’s not matt and the gloss really works with the lines of the car. In fact it was so effective, it left Jape with another problem.

    “After the car was wrapped my faded headlights started to look really old,” he smiles. “I found a right side light from a local Audi forum, but the left one was a bit harder to locate. Eventually I found one in Germany but the seller didn’t want to ship to Finland. Big thank you to Patrick Hille in Germany for taking care of this and shipping the missing light for me.”

    With a fresh wrap and sparkling new headlights, Jape had the grille surrounds plastidipped to de-chrome it. Then some very subtle touches were added such as the Polo rear wiper, SEAT Leon Cupra front splitter and some carbon mirrors. The overall effect is stunning – an immaculate white RS4, with some serious power to back it up. Inside this B5 was given a full refresh, including a set of Corbeau seats. A self confessed gadget freak, Jape has also fitted a Kufatec OEM+ TV tuner and upgraded the navigation unit from a newer A3. It really does give the B5 a contemporary feel.

    So what’s next for this stunning white B5? “This car has been with me for eight years now. For the first four years it was my daily ride. After I jumped into the RS6 turbo game, I had to get another car to be my daily. The RS needs so much care, it can’t be a daily any more!” Wise words – how many B5 RS4 owners are nodding sagely at this comment..?

    Since the photoshoot, the 3M wrap has been removed, but even this brought out the sense of fun in Jape. “We had Audi club Finland’s ice track day and I felt like doing something different. I thought that if I just peeled off some of the wrap and added some graphics and lights to the car, it’d look like a US police car, with my own funny twist. So I peeled off the wrap just leaving the doors, bonnet and the roof white. Eero at cut some stickers and voilà quattro Trooper was born! Now that’s one police car you’d struggle to outrun!

    With its stint as a police trooper at and end, Jape fully removed the wrap and the B5 is now back to its original and some might say best colour. “After I peeled off the wrap Antti Piri from Shineld came to my garage with his crew and polished the beast for 2 straight days.

    So there we have it. Our man in Finland is not only an ace lensman, and genuinely nice fella, he’s also a massive Audi tuning fan. Living the dream? You bet!


    Rather than simply remove the entire wrap, Jape thought it’d be fun to take some off some of the 3M gloss white vinyl to reveal the original black paint underneath. He then decided it’d be funny to create an RS4 police car, and project RS4 Trooper was born. A set of lights from eBay, some graphics and he was done. The car is running its winter wheels in this pic, some 18in Rota Grids (even his winter wheels are cool!).

    Far Left: The golden arches beckon! Above: The V6 biturbo powerhouse.

    Above: Corbeau RRS seats Right: Moody, ‘golden hour’ shot is stunning.

    Above: Upgraded navigation and Kufatec TV.

    “Even the RS can’t take super-hard driving for too long”

    Top: A vest in Finland? He must be nails! Above: It’s all about the details.

    SPECIFICATION #Audi-RS4-B5 / #Audi-RS4 / #Audi-A4-B5 / #Audi-A4

    ENGINE 2.7 V6 biturbo, RS6 turbochargers with #Fin-Turbo custom made billet wings, #Autospeed exhaust manifolds, Schrick stainless over size valves, 2.8L heads, 3in stainless downpipes by Okkim, Supersprint 3.25in cat back exhaust, cats replaced with straight pipes (v-band), Devil’s Own methanol injection, 630cc #Deka-injectors , #Bosch-044 fuel pump, #Wagner intercoolers, #034-Motorsport carbon intake kit with big ITG air filter, TFSI coils, 034 snubmount front bushing

    POWER 592hp and 802Nm

    TRANSMISSION 034 Motorsport carbon synchro kit, Stern engine and gearbox bushings, #JHM short shifter

    BRAKES B7 RS4 discs, C5 RS6 8-pot calipers, braided steel hoses, VW Phaeton cooler kit for brakes, stock brakes rear with braided steel hoses

    SUSPENSION #KW Variant 1, #H&R stiffer springs, hard bushes

    WHEELS AND TYRES #BBS / #BBS-LM 10 & 11x19in, Continental 5 235/35 and 265/30 tyres, 30mm spacers in front, 15mm in rear, red/gold Japan edition centre caps.

    EXTERIOR Wrapped in #3M 1080 gloss white by, brand new headlights, front grille surrounds #Plastidipped in black, fog light delete, front licence plate recess delete, Cupra R front lip, carbon side mirrors with RS4 logos sandblasted, VW Polo rear window viper, tinted windows.

    INTERIOR Corbeau RRS seats, OEM Alcantara steering wheel and gear knob, custom made Alcantara gear gaiter, #RNS-E navigation system, Vems EGT & AFR in pod gauge on steering wheel, another EGT gauge with warning light moulded into trimming left side of the steering wheel, #Kufatec OEM + TV tuner, #Audison 3-way speakers in front doors, garage door opener in cigarette lighter, interior lights replaced with LEDs.

    TUNING CONTACTS,,, jap3,,
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    STEVEN’S #BMW-E31 / #BMW-850Ci / #BMW-850Ci-E31 / #BMW

    After finally getting Hiro back on the road, I’ve been racking up the miles and enjoying driving her. While I would never describe an 850 as a sports car (it was never designed to be), it still handles well. The new suspension has transformed the way it drives, giving it real poise and sharp handling. While there’s no disguising its two-tonne curb weight, it handles better than I expected. The brakes are improved too, with the new Pagid pads gripping well. Hopefully they’ll stop squeaking soon, too. However, it’s the engine really that impresses the most. When new, it had 300hp, which when you consider it’s a 5.0-litre V12 doesn’t sound much. However in #1989 (when it was released) it was a huge amount. What’s most impressive though is the 330lb ft of torque. There is power throughout the rev range, with immediate delivery too and none of that turbo lag that plagues modern machines. It’s not often I agree with the Yanks, but their expression ‘there’s no replacement for displacement’ is a phrase I agree with. Now that Hiro was drivable, it was time to start stage two of the restoration: bodywork. The sharper among you may have noticed that white was not its original colour. It was originally red, and has been resprayed a mystery colour of white (it’s definitely not any of the BMW Alpine whites).

    I wouldn’t call the spray job flawless, either, with the worst of it being on the front end. The front nose cone and splitter are also badly chipped and flaking, as well as being badly repaired from some previous fender bender. The front wings are also basically made of rust and so need replacing. As a result, I have decided that this area is my priority. I’ve spent the last six months scouring the breakers and internet sourcing parts to replace them, and following the purchase of an 850CSi lower bumper (which is very rare), I have finally assembled all the parts required. They comprise a new nose cone, CSi lower bumper, both front wings and 840 sport mirrors. I’ve got no excuse for the mirrors, they just look good, and while they were unnecessary, I just couldn’t resist. All the parts were sourced second-hand except the front wings which were brand-new from #BMW Germany (don’t ask how much they cost!) as I couldn’t find a pair in decent nick for reasonable money. I dropped all the parts off at my trusted sprayer who has spent the last week trying to colour-match the parts! Once finished, I’ll be fitting them, and I can’t wait to see the results. The splitter and mirrors should really add an aggressive look to the car.

    The interior is another area that needed improving, so I started that this month with some wrapping. The centre, front and rear consoles were scratched, and the latch on the front console door was broken. I decided to wrap them in a carbon fibre-esque wrap to smarten them up and hide the marks. The #3M #Di-NOC carbon fibre effect stuff is great and can be moulded to virtually any surface with heat. So the missus’ hairdryer was employed and a few hours later the parts were done. I must say I’m pleased with the results. I also managed to fix the broken door, so it’s a win-win. I was feeling pretty pleased with everything this month… and then ABS light came back on. D’oh!
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    Most of us buy mods for our cars, not cars for our mods, but Rahul Reddy bought his E46 M3 with three reasons in mind: a riotous #Kreis-Sieg F1 tuned exhaust, rare 19” RAC Monolite RG41 rims and as close to 500bhp on stock internals as safely possible; all to terrorise the highways of New Jersey. Words: Neil. Hunt Photos: Adam Kahn.

    The way we see it, you’re either into modifying or you’re not. There are no half measures. You either get the raging horn from a set of deepdishes or you see them as excess and frown: “What’s wrong with the normal wheels, anyway?” Hopefully, if you’re reading this, you fall into the first group (well, we had to check). But our man Rahul Reddy here wasn’t interested in modified cars until he fell head over heels for the E46 when it came out. We’ll let him do the talking: “I’ve had a few Beemers before this and ever since the days of the #E30 and ##E34, , I’d dreamed of owning a BMW. I told myself to work at it and it would become a reality. I test-drove a #1999 E46 #328i and fell in love straight away.”

    That car, however, remained as it was when it first left the factory, with Rahul citing his only tool-wielding experiences as gingerly swapping a set of blown bulbs. He graduated to the M3 after a disappointing stint with a 4.3-litre #Mercedes-Benz CLK: “The M3 is everything the Mercedes wasn’t. I completely adore it,” he grins.

    So how do you go from regular cleaning and maybe occasionally topping up the washer fluid to a slammed ride rolling on hand-made rims and nearly 500bhp? We asked our convert to explain: “I had lusted after the M3 for a long time and just wanted to fulfil my dream. In August #2004 that became real, and so did the fully-loaded $60k price tag. Since then I’ve probably spent at least another $40k. So far…” That’s 51 grand in total to you and me and just £8550 off the price of a 2006 M3 in the UK. We’re missing out on something here!

    Like many of us, Rahul was keen to be part of the club, but an individual within it. He wanted to be different to everyone else and put his own twist on his car. And those custom touches don’t come any more exclusive than the shopping list we’ve got here. All the dream choice add-ons are present and the first one to answer the roll call are those amazing and utterly delicious rims. If you don’t know much about RAC, then listen up wheel whores because they’re the closest thing a BMW fan can get to a bespoke set of rims. Like the world’s finest Cubans, cigars that is not high heeled men’s shoes (should we be worried Neil? – Ed Drive-MY) rolled on the thighs of virgins, these wheels are the hand-rolled creations of the #BMW wheel world. RAC’s Monolite wheels have been developed by a couple of E46 nuts that understand what people like me, you and Rahul need.

    You can shove your mass-produced wheels in the Panama Canal, we want these. When wheels get this big they can be detrimental to a car’s acceleration, handling and braking, so not only did they have to be lightweight but they had to be a classic style which would suit the exquisite lines of the Bavarian super saloon and, practically, they had to clear Brembo calipers. More importantly perhaps, RAC Monolites are perfect for the, how can we put it, ‘enthusiastic’ driver. What we’re saying here is these bad boys are as at home looking refined and classy on the street as they are hangin’ hard inside raped rubber at the track.

    And speaking of the track, Rahul feels the RAC love so much he even has a set of 18s for the circuit. You can see where this is heading. Lightweight race wheels were just the start, as Rahul was somewhat hooked on the BMW tuning scene. Soon the urge for more power was eating away at his conscience and a chat with the guys at Rogue Engineering sealed the fate of the M3. While Rahul wanted more power, you have to remember his car was brand new when he started building it. To make the most of the stock internals, the team at Rogue recommended the Active Autowerke supercharger conversion. Reputed to have pioneered the first proven supercharger conversion for the E46, the process of bolting the Rotrex blower on the side of the six-shooter motor has been dyno’d over and over again to give proven #E46 M3 Carbon – the only dressing for something as exclusive as the M3’s cabin reliability and big bhp.

    So as you can imagine, there wasn’t any other setup for Rahul and his M3. The Stage 1 kit, which uses a Rotrex C38-71 supercharger is bolted to an AA intake manifold and blowing 7psi of boost through an alloy intercooler. Fuel is fired into the engine through uprated injectors and to help the additional load on the motor, an external oil cooler is fitted too. It’s no good just bolting the ’charger to the engine without the management throwing a strop, though. Additional uprated fuel and ignition settings are controlled using Generation 3 AA Alpha-N custom software. All this adds up to an impressive power output of 478bhp and 383lb ft of torque. These figures drop the sprint to 60mph time to only 4.3 seconds. The management remap junks the restrictions to mean the only speed limiter is Rahul’s right foot and the rapidly approaching horizon. “I’m happy for now,” grins Rahul, “but that’s not to say I might just get the itch for more power.” If he does, AA is happy to sort him with a Stage 2 or Stage 3 upgrade to effortlessly take power to safely over 500bhp.

    If the big-boosting supercharger soundtrack, laid over the M3 howl isn’t enough aural sex for your ears, Rahul insisted on the pinnacle of exhaust systems. The Kreis-Sieg F1 VT system is unique in giving performance and sound control to the driver. For tame driving, the Normal mode sees the exhaust gases take a normal route through the exhaust’s 70mm diameter system and catalysts. Flick the dash switch controlling the butterfly valves in the exhaust and you’ll unleash F1 mode. This path bypasses both silencer chambers sending the gases straight from the manifold to the rear tips. F1 Mode gives the best possible bhp gain with an F1 sound to trumpet your arrival.

    The aggressive tuning is matched with the stunning RAC rims, but Rahul’s not stopped there. No, this M3 has benefited from a generous coating of carbon fibre with Vorsteiner’s line of CSL replica styling. Colour-coded to the car, our man reckons this part of the project was quite a time consuming task: “It was probably one of the most involved jobs on the car. It required a lot of prep work to get the finish that was critical to me. They had to match perfectly.”

    With an exhaust which Rahul describes as “not sounding like anything on the market” and 478bhp to play with, his two years’ work is worth it, especially passing any mirrored shop window. But when the slow moving city traffic has gone and the road opens, Rahul’s not hung about. “My most fun with the car was on an abandoned road where I just pushed and pushed to take the car close to its limits. It felt amazing. Until the day I don’t wear this massive grin, the car will continue to amaze me.”


    ENGINE: 3.0-litre straight-six #M54 with Active Autowerke Generation 3 Stage 1 supercharger utilising a #Rotrex C38- 71 trim unit (7psi) with 75mm pulley, Alpha-N custom software engine management, Active Autowerke cast intake manifold, front-mounted air-to-air intercooler, bypass valve, larger injectors and spark plugs, mass air meter housing and oil cooler, K&N air filter, #M3-CSL manifold and Supersprint race cats, Meisterschaft second pipe, Kreis-Sieg cat back #F1 Valvetronic exhaust. Rogue Engineering oil filter lid.

    CHASSIS: 9x19” (front) and 10x19” (rear) anthracite RAC Monolite RG41 wheels shod in 265/30 and 275/30 Michelin PS2 Pilot Sport tyres respectively. FK Konigsport coilovers and Ground Control anti-roll bars. #Brembo Gran Turismo 15” kit (front) with 380mm drilled discs and four-pot custom #Ferrari Fly yellow calipers and 13.6” kit (rear) with 345mm drilled discs and two-pot calipers, Goodridge stainless steel brake lines all round.

    EXTERIOR: Vorsteiner GTR carbon fibre bonnet, CSL-style bumper and one-piece race lip, bootlid and rear diffuser painted Silver grey, Strassentech carbon fibre roof spoiler and side vents. matt black kidney grille and body colour-coded keyhole cover, 50% #3M tinted windows, Depo smoked corner indicators, Solaris Invisibulbs, Jlevi. com enhanced DDEs and #XTEC 6000k HID headlights.

    INTERIOR: Carbon fibre interior trim, handbrake handle, steering wheel trim, SMG Dome, 1 hardwired ICE: Three 10” LCD monitors and a pair of 10” JL Audio W6 subs “My most fun was on an abandoned road, I just pushed it to its limits. Until the day I don’t wear this massive grin, the car will continue to amaze me”.

    Carbon – the only dressing for something as exclusive as the M3’s cabin.
    Active Autowerks’ Stage 1 ’charger yields nearly 500bhp, enough for now but will Rahul be craving for more?
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