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    HIDDEN STRENGTH

    With its subtle looks, this 135i can slip under the radar, which is handy as it’s got 460whp on tap. This 135i might look fairly ordinary but appearances can be deceptive and there’s a lot more going on here than meets the eye… Words and photos: Chris Nicholls.

    Disappointment is sometimes a powerful motivator. Sports teams that lose the championship one year have been known to turn that negative feeling into a springboard that pushes them to win it the next. So it was with Pete Agas and his 135i.

    Initially, he wanted a 1M Coupé, but only 200 came to Australia and he missed out on the allocation. He didn’t let that get him down, though. Instead, he purchased an E82 135i and used the leftover funds to change almost every mechanical component to make it much faster than a stock 1M ever was.

    The story begins back in late 2012, when he first purchased this Alpine white example fresh from the dealer. Having been inspired to tune cars ever since his youth (when watching Stephen Spielberg’s debut feature – Duel – made him think about tuning cars so he could outrun a psychotic truck driver), Pete wasn’t going to leave it untouched for long, and after posting a few pictures of it in its factory state on his online build thread (complete with the caption: ‘stock… yuck’), he started to modify it to suit his tastes.

    As for those tastes? “I build, tune and customise my vehicles for performance over appearance,” he says, and as you can see, the finished car reflects that. APEX ARC-8 wheels, StopTech BBK, #Hartge silencer and M Performance carbon bits aside, there is no indication from the outside that this machine puts out 460whp at low boost and pounds around race tracks with ease. Even looking under the bonnet yields nothing to the casual observer, and unless they were looking hard, enthusiasts would only spot the AFE Magnum Force Stage 2 intake and M Performance Power Kit 2 as well. Almost everything that means anything is hidden on this build, and that’s the way Pete likes it, especially as it makes it that much easier to goad other, supposedly faster, cars into a little challenge. “I frequently drive around the South Yarra area in Victoria where there are plenty of beautiful Porsches. I may have completely decimated a couple of them in a quick squirt contest…” he says with a grin.

    Of course, his E82 didn’t become this fast overnight. Indeed, having missed out on a 1M, he initially wanted just to match that car’s handling, with pure grunt not really on the radar. And even then, for the first year, Pete only drove it around with limited mods. An M Performance exhaust and exterior bits and some Rays G25 wheels upped the game from stock, but they were hardly going to help Pete reach even his initial goal. That’s why, after that 12 months, he started amassing E9x M3 suspension parts in bulk, along with other bits and pieces, so he could be ready for the next stage.

    Those E9x parts included sway bars, control arms, bushings, camber link kit and strut tower brace, to which he added Swift springs. Having basically matched the 1M’s key suspension elements, Pete then moved onto the brakes, with M Performance discs, Cool Carbon brake pads and Hard Braking front titanium shims. For a little extra grunt, he added the aforementioned Power Kit 2 and controlled it via a Quaife 3.08 helical LSD in a VAC finned, clear anodised cover. A Burger Motorsports clutch delay valve and clutch stop helped in the driveline department as well. Finally, a few extra M Performance exterior and interior parts helped round it off. Until the most recent major upgrades, the diff was actually Pete’s favourite component as it improved traction no end. “The LSD just puts the power down without the e-Diff having a field day. It was easily the most notable change when driving the car back home from the workshop for the first time.” The fact the Quaife diff works with the stock traction control is a bonus, too, even if Pete doesn’t need it in the dry.


    Now, you might think at this stage, having reached his initial goal, Pete would be satisfied and call it a day. After all, he had already created a very quick, but still very usable road car. However, the fact you see this rather faster beast before you shows he wasn’t done. What prompted him to go further were two new discoveries. Firstly, having gone this far into the BMW tuning world, he’d found a “huge amount of aftermarket potential within the BMW brand”, as well as a highly supportive and knowledgeable community to go with it.

    Secondly, having built a track-oriented car, Pete was hardly likely to keep it purely on the road, and a visit to Phillip Island one day proved rather comprehensively that while strong, his build wasn’t perfect.

    “I quickly discovered the platform needed brakes and cooling,” Pete tells us. “I also learned very quickly of the possibility of a spun rod bearing when pushing wet-sumped platforms on the track, so I quickly picked up an oil pan baffle to prevent this from happening to me.”


    Having discovered these weaknesses, Pete also bolted on an oil cooler and decided that even the upgraded brakes he had weren’t going to cut it. So, as part of the final stage of mods, he purchased a StopTech BBK, with ST60 six-pot calipers on the front and ST40 four pots on the rears, matched with StopTech’s own Street Performance pads.

    These clamp down on with Trophy Sport two-piece slotted discs to provide a significant upgrade in braking ability. Indeed, these are now Pete’s new favourite parts. “The new brakes not only look great, but they have an amazing pedal feel, are completely modular and replaceable and have a huge range of available pads.”

    That they sit this high in his estimation is a big endorsement, given the rest of the upgrades he fitted at this stage. In the engine bay, he installed a Pure N55 Stage 2 turbo, an AR Design downpipe, Maddad midpipes and the aforementioned Hartge silencer on the hot side. He also fitted the previously mentioned AFE Magnum Force Stage 2 intake, an ETS five-inch intercooler and lower charge pipe, an Evolution Raceworks black anodised chargepipe and GFB N55 diverter valve upgrade on the cool side. Unsurprisingly, given the company’s reputation, a Dinan Stage 3 135iS tune controls the lot.

    To further enhance the car’s abilities on the track, Pete also added Dinan Racing adjustable rear toe arms, Dinan front control arm bushings, Turner Motorsport solid aluminium rear subframe bushings and Ohlins Road and Track dampers. Finally, some sticky Hankook RS-3s on those handsome APEX ARC-8 wheels put all the power to the ground.


    The results are quite startling. Given the sticky rubber and LSD, you’d think traction wouldn’t be a problem, but with TC off, Pete was able to spin up the wheels well into third gear on our short spot-shoot drive. “This is with the turbo at 15psi, remember,” Pete reminds us. “It’s capable of 27 or even 30psi. Frankly, I think it’d be undriveable on the street like that. I would need drag slicks or something.”

    He’s probably right. The biggest impact, though, came from the fact that the power just kept on coming. Starting from around 3000rpm, it genuinely didn’t stop until very close to the redline. Owners of modern, well-tuned turbo cars will no doubt be nodding along to this in recognition, but for those who haven’t experienced such a longlasting rush, it’s quite the memorable event.

    Thankfully, all of Pete’s suspension changes keep the car a lot more pinned to the ground, even if traction is a bit of an issue. It’s firm, no doubt, but even the harsh, sharp-edged bumps on Melbourne’s often lumpen roads didn’t jar particularly. It’s a testament to both the quality of the parts and Pete’s careful selections. “I like to think with the right amount of planning and research, most, if not all risks [when building a car] can be mitigated,” he says knowingly. “I checked, re-checked and triple-checked the parts that were chosen for the car and I paid very close attention to their fitment and quality before proceeding with the purchase. That research, coupled with the highly talented team over at SouthernBM (his chosen workshop), made the process easy.”

    So, having now built a sleeper that can not just match a 1M but surpass it in every measure (bar width), is Pete satisfied? Is he done? Of course he isn’t. Soon after the shoot, he fitted some Kerscher 1Mstyle front wings and eventually, plans to turn it into a roadregistered track car, complete with rear seat delete, half-cage, Recaro Pole Positions, lithiumion battery, Evolution of Speed N55 manifold, E85 tune and carbon bonnet.

    This would leave him without a daily driver, though, so what gives? Well, on 14 October last year, Pete watched the livestream as #BMW introduced the M2, and soon after, strode into his local dealership and ordered a manual one in Long Beach blue. We guess he never did get over the disappointment of the 1M after all…

    StopTech ST60 front BBK boasts 355mm discs and six-pot calipers, necessary when you’ve got 460whp to play with.


    DATA FILE #BMW-E82 / #BMW-135i / #BMW-135i-E82 / #BMW-1-Series / #BMW-1-Series-E82 /
    ENGINE 3.0-litre straight-six turbo #N55B30 / #N55 / #BMW-N55 , #M-Performance-Power-Kit-2 , #Pure-Stage-2 N55-turbo, Pure N55 inlet pipe, Evolution Racewerks N55 Type III Hard Anodised Black charge pipe, #AFE Magnum Force Stage 2 N55 intake, ETX 5” FMIC with lower chargepipe, GFB N55 diverter valve upgrade, #AR-Design N55 catted downpipe with ceramic coating, Maddad midpipes, Hartge quad-exhaust outlet silencer, 42 Draft Designs O2 sensor spacer, Dinan High Capacity oil cooler, Burger Motorsports oil catch can, JB4 ISO 5.9 with flex fuel wires - Map 6, Dimple Magnetic sump plug, Walbro 455 E85 Low Pressure Fuel Pump, Dinan Stage 3 Performance Engine Software map, VAC Motorsports N54 oil pan baffle

    TRANSMISSION Standard six-speed manual transmission, Burger Motorsports modified clutch valve, Burger Motorsports Short Throw clutch stop, Quaife 3.08 helical LSD, VAC Motorsports finned differential cover (clear anodised), Dimple Magnetic transmission plug (x2), Turner Motorsport Delrin differential bushings, E46 M3 transmission bushings

    CHASSIS 8.5x18” ET45 (front) and 9.5x18” ET62 (rear) #APEX-ARC-8-Hyper-Black wheels with 235/40 (front) and 265/35 (rear) Hankook Ventus RS-3 tyres, #Apex / #Apex-ARC-8 wheel stud conversion kit, #Project-Kics open-ended lug nuts, BMW E9x M3 strut tower brace, E92 M3 front and rear sway bars, E92 front upper and lower control arms, E92 rear upper control arms, E9x M3 rear lower camber link kit, Ohlins Road and Track dampers with E82 135i 7” 60Nm/MM Swift Springs (front) and E82 1M 9” 120Nm/MM Swift Springs (rear), Swift Thrust Sheets, Ohlins rear damper adjuster extenders, #Vorschlag camber plates, #Dinan-Racing adjustable rear toe arms, #Dinan Monoball front control arm bushings, #Turner-Motorsport aluminium subframe bushings, #StopTech ST60 #BBK with 355x32mm slotted, zinc-coated discs and StopTech Trophy Sport Aerohat hats (front) and #StopTech-ST40-BBK with 345x28mm slotted, zinc-coated discs and Trophy Sport Aerohat hats (rear), StopTech Street Performance pads, StopTech braided brake lines, calipers painted silver

    EXTERIOR M Performance front grille in black, M Performance carbon rear lip spoiler, BMW Blackline LCI taillights, 1M mirror conversion, Hartge dual outlet exhaust diffuser PU-RIM in gloss black, Carbon roundel decals, Philips Silver Vision indicator globes, T10 W5W Amber Chrome side indicator globes, Lux H8 V4 LED angel eyes, Final Inspection Rejuvenation Detail and Full Metal Jacket


    INTERIOR M Performance aluminium pedals, M Performance Alcantara steering wheel with yellow stripe, M Performance gear knob and Alcantara shift boot, M Performance handbrake handle and Alcantara boot, M Performance interior in carbon, M Performance illuminated door sills, Alcantara binnacle cover, JB4 Bluetooth module with Android integration, Precision LED E82 LED interior package, 35 per cent window tint

    THANKS Harold at HP Autosport, Andrew Brien and the crew at SouthernBM
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    RED LETTER DAYS #Audi A4 2.0 TFSI 500bhp, big turbo B7 / Words Dan Goodyer / Photography AJ Walker /

    Audi never sold a Misano red DTM A4, so Craig Collingworth built his own – with a top-mounted GT3076r and 500bhp under the bonnet for good measure!

    At first glance you might think this is a factory-built B7 A4 DTM Edition with a set of aftermarket wheels. However, look a little closer behind those 19in BBS alloys... Large Brembo brake calipers from a Porsche Cayenne S hint there’s a bit more going on here than you might expect. If you know your quattro from your Quattro, you might also be aware that Audi never sold the DTM Edition A4 in this stunning shade of Misano Red Pearl. Or you might just have read that fact in the intro. Either way, colour is very important to the owner, 31 year old Craig Collingworth, a man who has sprayed cars for a living.

    Craig bought the car around four years ago. It began life as a 2006 B7 A4 2.0 TFSI quattro Special Edition. Already a very nice car to have as a daily-driver, it had leather trim, lots of toys and a BUL engine with a K03 turbo pushing out around 220bhp. For three years Craig restrained himself from tuning it. He didn’t feel the need, only fitting the BBS wheels after finding them for sale on eBay at a ridiculously low price. Then in early 2014, Craig bolted a hybrid K04 to it, some S3 fuel injectors and a Unicorn Motor Developments remap – and recorded the second-fastest known quarter mile time in the world for a 2.0T A4!

    He explains: “We started going to York Raceway for a bit of a laugh. Rick at Unicorn Motor Developments had re-flashed the ECU to make the engine produce 360bhp and 360lb/ft torque, and added launch-control and flat-shift. The surface at York isn’t great to be honest but we still managed a 13.4s at 101mph, which according to all the info we could find on the AudiSport and Audizine forums, was the second-fastest quarter ever recorded for a non-S 2.0-litre A4. Thing is, that just made me want to go faster.”

    At the time Craig had bought a genuine DTM Edition A4 in need of a new engine. The plan was to source a new engine for it and then sell it. Then he had an idea: “I realised the BUL engine in my A4 was exactly the same as the engine fitted to the DTM, so I swapped it over and sold the DTM complete. They only ever made 250, so I really wanted to keep it on the road. Plus the money from the sale helped me set up my own company and part-funded the next step of the project.”

    Craig had been working for Elite Customs in Leeds. Specifically, he was working for Elite Wheel Repair, using his painting skills to good effect. He then set up his own business on the same premises, CR Motorsport. Specialising in painting and drag racing to begin with, the company quickly grew to carry out engine work, servicing and more. His A4 would become the unofficial company demo car, so it needed a proper engine build.


    To cut a very long story short, a lot of money was invested in a fully-forged S3 CDL engine that went bang. It featured trick parts including a set of pocketed pistons to allow the use of high-lift cams. However, Craig had out sourced the head-work, which included a set of oversized valves. He speculates some of the valves came into contact with each other, sparking a chain of events that wrecked the whole engine and turbo. Not wishing to be burned twice, Craig looked around for an alternative and found a proven engine for sale. It had been built by Rob at TSR Performance and was already making good power.


    Using that engine as the base, the CR Motorsport guys went about doing something a bit different. Craig created the first top-mounted TFSI A4 in the UK by importing an AR Design exhaust manifold from the States. Onto this he placed a Garrett GTX3076r turbo built by Turbo Clinic, Craig adds: “The turbo recommendation came from Paul at Turbo Clinic. He’s been extremely helpful during the build and I highly recommend him. I ordered a 3in AR Design downpipe and had Tony Banks Exhausts in Leeds mate that to a Milltek Sport 3in system, featuring just one silencer box on either side of the rear bumper. On a dark night with the flat-shift switched on, you can see 4-foot flames shooting out the back of it and from the screamer pipe at the rear of the bay!”

    While the car was off the road, Craig had also taken the opportunity to upgrade the suspension and brakes, along with fitting an OEM DTM bodykit that he resprayed himself. He explains: “The ride was very wallowy but I didn’t want to turn it into a stiff racecar, so I went for Eibach Pro Street coilovers and fixed anti-roll bars. The result is perfect in my opinion. The whole car feels like it’s factory-spec when driven normally, then transforms into a much more capable car as soon as you start pushing.”

    He continues: “A lot of thought has gone into the car. I’m always on the Audi forums under the username “CraigCull”. Hours of research have gone into every aspect but with a very specific plan. The whole tuning thing is something I’ve been into for a long time, but I’ve only felt the need to act on it again in the past year or so. These days I’m into cars that look relatively standard – subtle, but with insane performance available, which I’d like to think I’ve created here.”

    He’s not wrong. The mapping is still a work in progress but the car is already very quick, especially for a regular A4. Read the spec for some of the highlights; custom air intake that solves the heat-sink problem, custom breather system, a second set of injectors, water-methanol injection, the list goes on. At the moment it’s running two maps, both written by Rick at Unicorn Motor Developments. One for 25psi boost and around 450bhp, the other a 30psi map for around 500bhp.

    With a bit more boost the engine should make 550-580bhp, that’s Craig’s aim anyway. Then it’s back to the drag strip to see if he can break some more records, and confuse more people with the only red DTM Edition in existence.

    SPECIFICATION #Audi-A4-2.0TFSI-Quattro-Special-Edition-B7 / #Audi-A4 / #Audi / #Audi-A4-B7

    ENGINE: CDL 2.0 TFSI S3 engine rebuilt and forged by #TSR-Performance including 83mm #Wössner pistons, Wossner connecting rods, 1.8T oil pump conversion, #Supertech valves and valve springs, #F-Tech-Motorsport inlet manifold with second set of fuel injectors, RS4 fuel injectors, fuel pressure regulator, in-tank fuel pump and controller. Autotech high pressure fuel pump, #Garrett-GTX3076r turbo with .63 a/r turbine housing and v-band clamp, #AR-Design top-mount manifold and 3in downpipe, #Milltek-Sport 3in exhaust with two rear silencer boxes and 2.5in tailpipes, TiAL Sport MVS external wastegate with screamer pipe, TiAL Sport 50mm recirculating diverter valve, custom front-mounted intercooler with 2.5in hard pipes, AEM Water/ Methanol injection, IE valve cover with vent-to-atmosphere catch can replacing pcv, N205 camshaft adjustment valve delete, N249 pressure control valve delete, inlet manifold runner flap delete, 3in MAF sensor, custom air intake, OEM ECU re-flashed by Rick at Unicorn Motor Developments with 4 switchable maps.

    TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual gearbox, #APR / Southbend Stage III clutch and single mass flywheel conversion, USP short shifter, launch control and flat-shift.

    BRAKES: 6-pot Porsche Cayenne S 18z #Brembo calipers up front with machined ML55 345x14mm grooved and drilled discs, S4 rear brake conversion including single piston floating calipers and 300mm drilled and grooved discs. Pagid Fast Road pads all round, braided lines.

    SUSPENSION: #Eibach Pro Street coilovers, Eibach front and rear anti-roll Bars.

    WHEELS & TYRES: 8.5x19in BBS CH009 alloy wheels wrapped in 235/35x19 Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres.

    EXTERIOR: DTM Edition OEM bodykit including carbon fibre rear spoiler, Misano Red Pearl paint.

    INTERIOR: #Audi-A4-Quattro-B7 Special Edition leather trim.

    TUNING CONTACTS/THANKS: Rick at Unicorn Motor Developments, Paul at Turbo Clinic, Dave and Martin at Elite Wheel Repair, Rob TSR.

    Above: quattro helps get the power down.

    Above: Calipers are from a Porsche Cayenne S Bottom: A4 is around 250kg lighter than a B7 RS4 and more powerful!

    Left and below: Craig has equipped his A4 with a genuine DTM Edition bodykit, including the carbon fibre rear spoiler.

    Below: GTX3076r turbo provides ample boost to create a claimed 500bhp.
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