- Post is under moderationULTIMATE MODIFIED BMW
Stunning 800whp turbo M10-powered 2002 is like a gift from the gods…
With an astonishing 800whp from its turbo’d M10, this wild 2002 is about as quick as any sane person would want to travel. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Christos Karagiorgakis.
2002: A PACE ODYSSEY
Think of Greece and you will no doubt think of crisp, white houses sitting before the bluest sea you’ve ever seen, beautiful beaches, and delicious food. Perhaps what you won’t think of is modified BMWs. However, having been to Greece on many previous BMW-based visits, we can tell you that there are some serious machines scattered across the country. And this right here might just be the most serious piece of German modified machinery that Greece has to offer. It belongs to Stavros Panagopoulos, who has owned it for ten years. This was, in fact, his very first #BMW : a humble 1602 that he found for sale near his house. As you can probably tell, it’s changed a bit since then…
Stavros says he entered into ’02 ownership with plans to make the diminutive classic just a little bit faster. And while he’s certainly achieved his end goal, and then some, he didn’t embark on a journey of turbocharged madness from the off; there were at least two slightly more sensible stages prior to what you see here. Things started off normally enough, with the 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine enhanced with twin side draft 40 carbs. And that was fine, but not quite enough for Stavros’s liking. So Stage two was a bit more dramatic. The original engine was deemed not quite large enough so it was removed and in its place went a more powerful 2.0, its potency ramped-up considerably with the addition of a 300-degree camshaft, Weber 48 DCOE carbs, MSD Ignition components, and a selection of other sexy engine enhancements. That’s pretty solid and we wager the car (that was now by definition a 2002) must have been a whole load of fun to drive and a massive step up over how it felt originally. And then something happened: Stavros decided that what he really wanted was an 800whp turbo conversion. Because, sometimes, that’s just what you need in your life…
As you might imagine, making that sort of underbonnet magic happen takes more than a little bit of work and the engine spec list reads like a who’s who of the performance tuning scene. It’s thorough and it’s glorious. It’s the modified BMW enthusiast’s equivalent of 50 Shades of Grey…
Step one, you’ve got to get your engine choice down. Stavros opted for the sturdy M10, which served as the basis for BMW’s insane turbocharged M12 motorsport engine as well as the S14, so it’s certainly up to the task of coping with a spot of turbocharging.
But the example nestling under this ’02’s bonnet is very far removed from your common-or-garden M10, as you might have guessed. There’s a lot in the engine bay, so much so that you can barely even see the engine, but if it looks impressive from the outside, there’s plenty to get excited about on the inside, too. 89mm CP forged pistons have been fitted, along with Carrillo forged rods, a custom reprofiled camshaft from Boubis Cams, and #VAC-Motorsports valves, rocker arms, valve guides and valve springs. Somewhere within the engine bay (you’ll have to take our word for it because it’s buried deep beneath seemingly endless pipework) sits the very core of all that power: an absolutely gigantic #Garrett-GTX4202R-turbo . This beast of a snail is rated up to 1150hp so Stavros has plenty of headroom, running as he is at around the 900hp mark, should he ever decide that’s not quite enough. This is useful, actually, as his next goal is to hit 1000hp…
When it came to getting everything squeezed into the engine bay, custom is most definitely the word of the day: the turbo feeds a HPS custom intake manifold via a suitably massive front-mounted intercooler and sits on a custom exhaust manifold that connects up to a custom exhaust with an external wastegate that exits through the sill just behind the passenger side front wheel.
The exhaust manifold and the turbo housing itself have both been treated to a Zircotec ceramic coating. Stavros has also had massive Bosch Motorsport 1600cc/min injectors fitted to supply enough fuel to keep the engine happy, along with a custom HPS oil pan. The whole lot is looked after by an Autronic SM4 stand-alone ECU.
Seeing as no one involved in the designing and construction of the ’02 family could ever have imagined that someone in the distant future would attempt to pass somewhere in the region of 900hp through the compact runabout, Stavaros has had to go to town on the transmission and chassis to ensure it didn’t tear itself to pieces. The gearbox is a five-speed manual Getrag unit from the E28 535i mated to a custom twin-plate clutch that can handle the immense amount of power and torque being developed by the engine, with an E34 M5 rear axle tasked with transferring everything to the rear tyres. On the suspension front, this 2002 has been fitted with E36 M3 underpinnings, including subframes and wishbones, with #KW coilovers up front and Bilstein dampers at the back. While it doesn’t take much to stop a car as small and light as a 2002, stopping one that’s travelling at close to the speed of sound does require something a little more substantial, and this example certainly doesn’t mess about. Up front sit AP Racing Galfer four-pot calipers clamping 305mm vented discs. The rear setup is no less substantial, with another set of AP Racing four-pot calipers wrapped around slightly smaller 255mm vented discs.
When it came to the exterior Stavros decided to keep things relatively subtle in as much that a casual observer might not be aware of what’s been changed but, at the same time, it’s clear that this 2002 is far from standard. It’s actually about as aggressive as a 2002 can really get. The biggest difference are those pumped-up arches, complete with sill extensions that fill out the flanks. They give the normally unassuming classic some real road presence. Having the wastegate exiting through the sill certainly doesn’t hurt, and neither does that fat, single-tipped exhaust pipe. Of course, fitting wide arches is one thing, having suitable wheels that are substantial enough to fill them is another matter entirely but Stavros’ choice definitely doesn’t disappoint, though it might raise a few eyebrows. He’s taken the classic cross-spoke look that sits so well with the 2002 and turned it on its head with a set of decidedly modern Work VS-XXs.
The 17” wheels are positively huge on the compact classic but they look fantastic, really filling out those big arches, especially with the car dropped low over the fat rubber. Even parts of the body that may look stock aren’t. For example, the bonnet and boot might appear to be relatively standard, bar the pins and catches, but they are both carbon fibre items, with twin fuel fillers on the rear deck for the bootmounted alloy fuel cell. The one thing the 2002 isn’t is heavy, so adding carbon panels and reducing the already low weight further still means that, with 800whp on tap, this car is absolutely insane – just in case you hadn’t gathered that already!
With a build like this the interior could go a number of ways: hardcore, stripped-out; stock and subtle; or, option three, custom, luxurious but still decidedly sporty – which is exactly what Stavros has gone for. The interior is dominated by those gorgeous Recaro A8 seats and both they, the rear seats, the doorcards, the steering wheel centre section, the gear gaiter and the handbrake have all been covered in the same delicious shade of caramel leather.
Something that’s easier to miss is the custom alloy roll-cage; it’s so well-integrated that, while you can clearly see the rear diagonal support, the sections that penetrate the dashboard (down into the footwell) and the rear parcel shelf are much more discreet.
Up front, the gauge cluster has been replaced with an AIM MXL digital racing dash while the centre console now resembles the flight deck of an aircraft rather than a car. Where the central air vents would have once been there now sits a quartet of custom-mounted GReddy exhaust temperature gauges and below that another custom panel that houses a Daemon boost gauge, A’Pexi turbo timer and fuel gauge and, finally, down in front of the illuminated gear lever, you’ll find a pair of GReddy pressure gauges.
We’ve featured some pretty wild 2002s over the years but this example might just ‘take the cake’. It’s an utterly incredible machine and we’re a little bit in love with it. We love how the custom wide-arches give the little 2002 a broad, square stance. We love the interior, with its blend of modern tech, race components and gorgeous leather. And we really love the engine; we doubt you’ll see a more complicated engine bay, there’s just so much stuffed under the bonnet. And to come away with 800whp from such a small engine and to have it at your disposal in such a small, lightweight car is utterly insane and, well, we love that too.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-2002-Turbo / #Garrett-GTX4202 R / #Garrett / #BMW-2002 / #M10-Turbo / #Getrag / #BMW / #BMW-2002-800bhp /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 2.0-litre four-cylinder #M10 / #BMW-M10 / , CP forged pistons, #Carrillo forged rods, #Boubis-Cams custom reprofiled camshaft, #AC-Motorsports valves, rocker arms, valve guides and valve springs, Garrett GTX4202R turbo with Zircotec ceramic-coated housing, #Zircotec ceramiccoated custom exhaust manifold, external wastegate, custom exhaust system, #HPS custom intake manifold, #Bosch-Motorsport 1600cc/min injectors, #HPS custom oil pan, #Autronic #Autronic-SM4 stand-alone ECU, Autronic ignition, #Getrag fivespeed manual E28 535i gearbox, custom twin disc clutch kit
CHASSIS 7.5x17” (front and rear) #Work-VS-XX wheels with 205/40 (front) Yokohama AVS Sport and 245/45 (rear) Dunlop SP Sport MAXX tyres, E36 M3 subframe, wishbones etc, #KW coilover kit (front), #Bilstein dampers (rear), E34 M5 rear axle, #AP-Racing Galfer four-pot calipers with 305mm vented discs (front) and AP Racing four-pot calipers with 255mm vented discs (rear)
EXTERIOR Carbon fibre bonnet, carbon fibre boot, custom wide-arch conversion
INTERIOR Custom alloy roll-cage by Ilias Makropoulos, #Recaro A8 seats, rear seats, doorcards, steering wheel centre section, gear gaiter and handbrake finished in caramel leather, illuminated M gear knob, AIM MXL digital racing dash, custom-mounted #GReddy exhaust temperature gauges, pressure gauges, Daemon boost gauge, A’Pexi turbo timer, alloy fuel cell
Engine looks monstrously complicated, and it is, with a huge amount of custom work at every turn and a gigantic #Garrett-GTX402R turbo buried deep within.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationNUMBER CRUNCHING 1040whp turbo E36 M3
We see a lot of modified cars here at PBMW but a 1000hp E36 M3 is something that never fails to impress… Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Andreas Wibstad.
They say that you shouldn’t chase numbers when building a car. You should build a car that will drive well and suit your needs rather than delivering big peak power but becoming undriveable in the process. Of course, if you happen to be building a car where big power is your need, then why not aim high and punch through the 1000hp barrier? It’s the sensible thing to do.
If we told you that Ole Ivar Seem, the owner of this E36, comes from Norway you probably wouldn’t be surprised because it would seem that Scandinavians have a predisposition for building stupidly powerful cars. And, unlike those of us having to find time during evenings and weekends to work on our cars due to our 9-5s taking up the vast majority of our time, Ole works on offshore oil platforms, which means he works hard but then has plenty of time to play hard when he’s back on dry land. And play hard he does.
Funnily enough Ole says that while he’d always liked BMWs he didn’t become properly interested in them until about 2003, when Vidar Strand from V.S Motor hit 1000hp with his E34 M5. That got his attention and got him thinking about the possibilities of what could be achieved with a BMW. And judging by one of his previous projects – a 426hp Sierra Cosworth, which was featured in our ex-sister title Performance Ford back in 2003 – it was clear that unless big power could be achieved Ole wasn’t interested. Of course, his first #BMW project was never going to make anywhere near that power output, being as it was an ’1986 E30 320i, but then again Ole only bought it for a bit of winter fun and threw a few mods at it. However, it started the sequence of events that mean we’re now standing here today with his 1000hp E36 M3.
With the Cosworth sold and a lump sum burning a hole in his pocket, Ole cast his car-catching net to see what he could snag. That’s when he came across this M3. “I found the car on a BMW forum here in Norway,” he explains. “It was a virtually completed street build with lots of good parts but that looked completely stock on the outside. Initially the plan was really to run with the parts that were on it but a thought crossed my mind about building a car for Gatebil Extreme [Gatebil’s own time attack and racing series]. After driving the car for a bit back in summer 2008, I got problems with water in the oil, leaking between the pyramid rings and water channels. So the real story of the car and engine you see today started when I picked up the phone to Vidar at V.S Motor.
“The motor building began with solving the problem of water in the oil. Vidar had a separate patent which, in principle, removes the head gasket and uses rings in a special metal. Vidar also fitted new custom cams from V.S Motor, new custom V.S Motor pistons, uprated Pauter con rods built to V.S Motor’s specifications, stainless steel valves, tighter valve springs and he did a general update of the whole engine. He then put it on the dyno bench at V.S to get it mapped properly. With it running perfectly we went for a power run and it made 772hp and 723lb ft of torque at 1.3bar, but tremendous back pressure on the exhaust side prevented any more power. The problem was an exhaust manifold that was not quite optimal and a Turbonetics turbo that was completely the wrong setup. I drove the rest of the summer and next spring running this setup but I was bothered by the fact that it did not deliver optimally when I knew I could get much more from the engine.
“After a few more conversations with Vidar we agreed that he should build a new manifold and a new turbo, then test it. The engine was ready in April 2011. This tested Vidar’s patience to the limit as it’s really cramped around the engine for building a manifold. You really need a lot of space. I think someone would have to pay him a lot of money to do this again!” laughs Ole. “On test day the engine really stood up to our demands, and on E85 fuel it delivered 1039hp and 817lb ft of torque at 2.1bar. You can say we were delighted with it.” And who wouldn’t be with over 1000hp on tap? But Ole and Vidar weren’t finished with the engine just yet. “In summer of last year we found out that we were going to start with new fuel as E85 was phased out from petrol stations in Norway, so we chose to use the Ignite E98 race ethanol fuel that Vidar sells.
We counted on a power increase so in July 2015, before going to the E30 meet in Rudskogen. I went with Vidar to Jonus Racing to run the car on the dyno. After roughly four to five hours of fine-tuning, the numbers that it put down really made our eyes pop! We got 1040whp and 855lb ft wheel torque which, when converted to power at the crank, becomes 1196hp and 959lb ft at 2.2bar. It goes without saying that were extremely pleased with this outcome,” smiles Ole.
We would be too. That’s an absolutely monstrous amount of power, especially considering he’s still running the 3.0-litre S50. That works out at 399hp per litre; that’s like the E39 M5, with its 4.9-litre V8, making all of its power from a 1.0-litre engine, which is a bit mental when you break it down like that. As far as engine spec is concerned, we simply haven’t got the space to go through all of it here, just take a look at the spec list and you’ll see it’s exactly as long as you would expect it to be on a powerful engine like this. Highlights include the Precision billet 7675 turbo – such a key part of this incredible build, adjustable cam pulleys, a Tial 60mm wastegate, 4.5” downpipe, 3.5” Edgeperformance exhaust, ARP bolts, a 26-row oil cooler, custom header tank, Griffin radiator, custom 6” thick intercooler, 580lph Aeromotive lift pump, twin A1000 fuel pumps, and a set of six absolutely ridiculous 1699cc flow matched fuel injectors. All of which is really just scratching the surface. It’s as heavy-duty a build as you can imagine.
You can’t just make a 1000hp engine, stuff it into an E36 M3 and hope for the best because things would go south in a big way almost immediately. You need to put in just as much work on the transmission and chassis fronts to make sure everything works in perfect harmony. There’s no messing about when it comes to the gearbox on this car, with Ole fitting a Sellholm MPG sequential ’box made specifically for this car and combined with a Tilton 7.25” threeplate, 26 spline rally clutch and Alcon hydraulic release bearing. A 3” chromoly propshaft rated to 1500hp delivers all that turbocharged power to a modified 210 diff from a 3.2 M3 sitting on reinforced mounts, and a pair of 38mm driveshafts.
As for the suspension, well, we’ll let Ole explain: “Everything under the car is solid mounted or uses aluminium uni ball components. I run custom road coilovers from Sellholm Tuning made specifically for the weight of the car and supporting chassis mods. These include: Sellholm Tuning front and rear fully adjustable blade anti-roll bars; custom front suspension turrets and custom adjustable top mounts; Turner Motorsport aluminium bushes and rear lower control arms; and PeeBee Motorsport adjustable rear upper control arms.
“When it came to choosing the parts, Vidar knew exactly what was required, having been involved in so many builds, not to mention his racing experience. I trust him 100% and he is the man to talk to when one is stuck with ideas or problems, although these phone calls can be expensive. That’s how I ended up with the sequential gearbox!” With over 1000hp on tap, you need some seriously big brakes to haul the E36 down from the sort of speed it can achieve, and Ole hasn’t cut any corners here. Up front, eight piston K-Sport calipers have been fitted, clamping 355mm discs, while at the rear sit six-pot calipers with 330mm discs and EBC’s BlueStuff track day pads have been fitted all-round. Wheel choice was guided by necessity rather than aesthetics, as you’d expect on a build like this. “The choice of rims came after lots of searching on forums and chatting with acquaintances in the racing world. To make most of the rubber on the ground, without extending the arches or anything like that, the wheels had to be lightweight, withstand a lot punishment and with widths matching the chassis. I chose the Apex EC-7 as there were really no other wheels that matched the car. They fitted well with the look that I had in mind for the car.”
The tough, lightweight wheels measure 9x18” up front and 9.5x18” at the rear and are mounted on the car via a set of NMS Racing 75mm studs.
Just by glancing at the outside of this E36 you’d really be hard pressed to tell what’s going on beneath the surface as Ole has kept everything looking extremely stock. “My goal has always been to retain the original lines that I like so much,” he says. “Generally original but sassy, a look with a little more muscle. There’s a fully removable carbon bonnet, a carbon sunroof blank and the only change to the body itself is that the rear wheel arches have been rolled.”
Of course, the interior is another matter entirely and there was only ever going to be one direction to take it in. “The choice was easy,” says Ole. “It should be for racing! It had to be as light as possible and, ideally, with parts that no one else in Norway or Europe had tried before. Plenty of time went into building the roll-cage, which was done by a colleague and myself with Vidar providing all the technical information. It is made from about 80 metres of chromoly 4130 tubes and has been built down towards the chassis to really get it rigid, to the suspension turrets, to the diff and many other reinforcements against the chassis, which you can’t see in the pictures. In reality it is a tubular frame inside the car.”
Beyond that there’s a QSP steering wheel mounted on a Sparco Group N quick-release steering boss, Cobra Suzuka seats with six-point harnesses and a Racepak UDX data logger dash with auxiliary Autometer gauges. To keep things as light as possible, the car has been fitted with ACM carbon fibre doorcards and even a carbon firewall, carbon dash and carbon centre console while the boot is home to fuel system, with a 60-litre Aeromotive aluminium fuel cell and aluminium swirl pot.
After a hell of a lot of planning and almost seven years of work, it’s unsurprising that the end result was so damn spectacular.
What is surprising, though, is that Ole sold the car not long ago but, he says, it’s gone to a man who really knows what he’s doing so it’s in good hands and will be used as intended by its new owner.
So, what’s next for Ole? Time to give up the modifying game and relax with pipe and slippers watching gardening programmes? In a word, no. “I already have plans going around in my brain but one thing is for sure, it gets wilder!” he exclaims. “This car will probably take a few years to finish. And I have a problem: I’m never satisfied until I have spent a lot of time on everything from planning to execution, so those who wait will see. The rest is a huge secret,” he adds with a grin. We’re instantly as excited as he is. Judging by his track record, it’s going to be something special.
Interior is slathered in sexy carbon panels.
Apex EC-7 wheels were chosen as they’re light and tough; massive eight-pot K-Sport calipers sit up front with six-pots at the rear.
That’s what you need for 1000hp. S50B30 has been fully built and features massive Precision 7675 turbo.
“My goal has always been to retain the original lines I like so much”
TECHNICAL DATA FILE Turbo #BMW-E36 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E36 / #S50B30 / #S50 / #BMW-S50 / #V.S-Motor / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E36 / #BMW-3-Series-E36 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #BMW-3-Series / #Precision / #Precision-7675-turbo / #Autronic / #Sellholm / #Aeromotive / #BMW-M3-V.S-Motor / #BMW-M3-V.S-Motor-E36 / #Pauter-Motorsport /
ENGINE 3.0-litre straight-six #S50B30, #Autronic-SM4 , MSD coil packs, #Autronic boost solenoid, V.S Motor custom exhaust manifold, #Precision-billet-7675-turbo , Edgeperformance Vanos block-off kit, adjustable cam pulleys, Tial 60mm wastegate, V.S Motor 4.5” downpipe, Edgeperformance 3.5” stainless steel exhaust, #Tial 50mm BOV, #ARP bolts throughout, Pauter Motorsport H-rods, V.S Motor spec valve springs, V.S Motor spec custom cams, JE custom pistons built to V.S Motor spec, original intake manifold modified for forced induction, Samco intake hose, head and block modified to remove head gasket, special head gasket replacement rings designed by V.S Motor, Turner Motorsport oil cooler hoses, Earl’s 26-row oil cooler, #GS-Performance oil distribution block, #Griffin aluminium radiator, AN-20 fittings, custom header tank, custom three-litre oil catch tank with AN-16 fittings, 2x12” Flex-a-Lite fans, V.S Motor design Precision bespoke 6” thick intercooler, Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator, 19-row Ethanol cooler with 10” fan, Edgeperformance fuel rail, 6x flow matched 1699cc E85 injectors, VEMS wide band lambda sensor and EGT
POWER AND TORQUE 1040whp and 855lb ft wheel torque at 2.2bar
TRANSMISSION #Sellholm-MPG sequential gearbox, #Tilton 7.25” three-plate 26-spline rally clutch, #Alcon hydraulic release bearing, 1500hp 3” chromoly custom propshaft, M3 3.2 210 diff modified by V.S Motor, 38mm drive shafts, reinforced diff mounts and suspension attached to roll-cage, Omega gearbox/diff oil
CHASSIS 9x18” (front) and 9.5x18” (rear) #Apex-EC-7 wheels with 255/35 (front) and 265/35 (rear) #Nankang Sportnex NS-2R tyres mounted on 75mm #NMS-Racing studs, custom Sellholm asphalt coilovers, #Sellholm adjustable suspension turrets, custom top mounts, Sellholm fully adjustable blade anti-roll bars (front and rear), Turner Motorsport aluminium trailing arm bushes, aluminium front control arm bushes, #PeeBee-Motorsport adjustable upper rear control arms, #Turner-Motorsport adjustable lower rear control arms, aluminium diff bushes, K-Sport eight-piston calipers with 355x32mm discs (front), #K-Sport six-piston calipers with 330x32mm discs (rear), #EBC BlueStuff pads (front and rear)
EXTERIOR Removable ACM carbon race bonnet, carbon sunroof blank, rear arches rolled
INTERIOR Full chromoly 4130 roll-cage connected to suspension turrets, diff and throughout the chassis, QSP steering wheel with #Sparco Group N quick-release steering wheel boss, OBP pedalbox, Sellholm hydraulic handbrake, Cobra Suzuka seats with six-point 3” harnesses, Racepak UDX dash data logger, Autometer Sport-Comp gauges for oil pressure, oil temperature, boost pressure, fuel level and water temperature, OMP 4.24-litre central fire extinguisher, ACM carbon doorcards, carbon fibre firewall, complete carbon dash and carbon DTM centre console, Fibervac carbon panels, 580lph Aeromotive SS series lift pump, 2x Aeromotive A1000 fuel pumps, Aeromotive fuel filter/holder, Aeromotive 60-litre aluminium fuel cell, aluminium swirl pot, Earl’s fittings and hoses
THANKS An extremely big thanks to Vidar Strand at V.S Motor, without him this car would not have been possible, he has always been cheerful and helpful no matter what time I’ve called. Thanks also to Robin, Kay Ove, Stig P, Kurt Magnar, Kjell Inge, Jørgen, Terje, and Thomas at EdgeperformanceStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationPUT IT DOWN / KRB #Audi-S1-Quattro replica / / #KRB-Audi-S1-Quattro-replica / #Audi-S1-Quattro replica / #KRB-Audi-S1-Quattro / #Audi-S1-Quattro / #KRB-Quattro / #Audi-Quattro / #Audi / #KRB
With a rear wing the size of Belgium, and tyres wider than J-Lo’s backside KRB’s ’80 Coupé puts down all of its 1061whp very effectively! Never has the word ‘want’ been so appropriate as now! KRB Audi-S1-Quattro replica. Over 1000bhp and wings to die for. Words: Brent Campbell. Photos: Kid A.
Pop quiz; if you had the chance to add any car from VW/Audi’s motorsport catalogue to your garage, which one would it be? We’re talking no-holds-barred, any car, be it a rough-and-tumble rally racer to a ’ring regular, a Le Mans legend to a DTM demonstrator. While we’re sure you needn’t any help making up your mind, let’s talk it through, just for the sake of conversation. First off, we can probably go right ahead and dismiss anything from the VW side of the family, as the only memorable racer VW has ever produced had two pin-stripes and a 53 painted on the side (and it’s probably landed in some California impound lot after all those DUI convictions, no?)
So forget that; let’s take a look at Audi. Lots of fine, sporty cars to choose from, eh? How about the diesel R10? It would add a nice pep to your commute to work, not to mention return excellent fuel economy, though it does get a bit dodgy around those speed humps. What’s that, weather too unpredictable for a car with no roof? Well, how about the A4 BTCC racer of the mid- ’90s? Instantly recognisable, modern and with that Quattro grip you’ve been after. Too pokey? I knew you’d say that. Well if it’s speed you’re after, we’ll need to roll the clock back a bit further. What you’ll want is one of the legendary Group B cars of the mid-’80s. Relentless power, go-anywhere Quattro capability and people will be cheering from the kerb whenever you roll by.
So you’ve decided then? Sign here… Alright, alright, sorry. Enough messing about. We all know that these cars don’t just pop up for sale and even if they did, you couldn’t afford one and neither could we. But there is another option. All of these cars are based on production cars, right? Sure, not the R10, but for the most part, the touring and rally cars were. So you’ve got some time, some skill and maybe a little spare change in your pocket; why not build your own take on that rally favourite of yours?
With all the advancements in technology over the years, not to mention the off-the-shelf attainability of performance parts and materials that once only factory-backed race teams could afford, the proposition doesn’t sound all that outlandish.
But there is a fine line. There’s a difference between building a modern take on a hero car and taking a bone-stock 80 GT and slapping a bunch of stripes and stickers on it like some motorsport wannabes. We’ve all seen them; base-model Audi repmobiles with tawdry spoilers, brushed-on livery, cut springs and no back seats. Oh, and still on stock wheels no less. What was intended to be a tribute can sometimes do more to invoke the gag reflex than inspire pride in your brand’s heritage.
Fortunately, some people do get it right. A satisfying mix of modern performance wrapped up in a retro motorsport shell; it can be done. Just look at some of other cars we’ve featured: Perry Mason’s blood-red BTCC ’banger back in the October issue; MTM’s S1 rep from 10/09; Autoparts Veghel’s V8 Sport Quattro from 08/08 and Andy Krink’s 20v rally rep from 05/08.
And that leads us to this car (finally…), which we spotted while covering a Gatebil event at Rudskogen, which we featured back in January 11. While it has the look and the presence of the greatest of the Group B and Pikes Peak-era Audis, it isn’t at all a replica, at least by conventional standards. No, this Audi has taken on the look of a bewinged S1 more by functional necessity than by choice.
It was built by Kai Roger Bokken and the boys at KRB Trading, a Norwegian-based tuning firm with an affinity for giant snails and Audi’s potent 20v five-pot. In fact, such is the affinity for this motor that they’ve fastened it in to just about any car with four wheels at some point, Audi or not! But before we get into that, let’s get to know the man behind the plan a little better first… “While I’ve always had a passion for the Quattros, I actually got started by driving Volvos,” explained Kai. “I grew up around motorsport and my first car was a Volvo 142.
Not long after that, I started racing in a budget class called Car Cross using an old Skoda with a 2.2-litre Volvo motor in the rear.” It wasn’t long before he started building up full-on race cars to compete. “I stuck with Volvos for a while due to their rear-drive dynamics and relatively low weight,” he said.
“I competed in a number of events with the cars, including a 242 built up for rallycross and a 343 track day car that I eventually stripped out and converted to tube frame.” His involvement with the racing scene from his early teens eventually led to opening his own tuning and parts-supply business; KRB Trading. “I started that back in 1994 as there was a big demand for racing parts and with my connections, I knew I could do a better job than the other suppliers,” he said. The business’ primary focus was supplying turbochargers and components, which, not surprisingly, typically found their way on to a turbo’d five.
By the early 2000s, Kai was one of the most knowledgeable Audi tuners in the country and he was ready to finally do a fullon build on an Audi. “I’d always wanted a Ur- Quattro, but the price of entry was so high, it took me about 20 years to finally have one of my own!” he joked. He built up a red Quattro from scratch, taking everything he’d learned to achieve the highest level of power he had reached with a five-cylinder so far, nearly 850whp. After successfully putting that motor to work on the track, he took the spare motor for that car and used that in his 343 tube frame racer and competed with that as well.
Now that he’d fully built a Ur-Quattro and had successfully converted his 343 to a tubeframe race chassis, the next logical step was to take what’d he’d learned from both builds and construct the ultimate Audi track-day car. “With this build, there weren’t going to be any compromises. Not only did I plan to take the five-cylinder as far as it would go, I was designing and building the chassis and drivetrain to my specs to show what the car was capable of,” he explained.
Kai picked up the donor shell for this car, a lowly 80 coupé, back in October ’07. “There wasn’t much that we were looking for in a donor since it was all coming apart anyways, but you’d be surprised how hard it is to find one of these things without a sunroof!” he laughed. “But once we had that sorted we went straight into it. There was to be no Phase 1, 2 and 3 with this build, we were intent on turning it into a race car from the start.”
Unlike many of the privately-owned Audibased motorsport cars, Kai was willing to make significant changes to the structure of the car to enhance drivability, not to mention lower the car significantly. “The primary improvements I wanted to make by going to a tube frame design, besides reducing weight, were to improve weight distribution front-to-rear and to lower the center of gravity. Typical Audis of this era have more than 65% of their weight hanging up above or in front of the front axle. This makes the car prone to understeer. By building a custom transmission and designing my own chassis, I’d be able to move the motor lower and further back, hence improving its balance.”
Of course, to undergo such a dramatic overhaul, it wasn’t just a matter of getting it up on jack stands and going at it with a spanner. “We started by stripping the car down and then putting it up on a steel jig, kind of like a rotisserie,” said Kai. With the car up in the air, all corners and crevices were now easily accessible. Kai and his mates slowly worked through the process of reinforcing the shell with a tubular frame, cutting away un-needed parts of the body, one portion at a time.
“We started with the cockpit area, building a cage around the driver’s compartment. We then cut away the original floor and welded in a new floor. From there, we built up the front and rear frames to support the suspension and the drivetrain. Since we didn’t have any engineered drawings or schematics to work with, it was often two steps forwards, three steps back, but in the end, we accomplished what we set out to do.”
The unconventional thinking didn’t stop with the chassis. On a quest to get the most power without making sacrifices in durability, Kai built the motor to withstand much more power and boost than even the 850whp from the previous motors. “Rather than using the standard five-cylinder block, the motor is actually based around a 2.5-litre VW diesel bottom end,” Kai explained. “We then overbored the cylinders to 83mm and designed our own rods and pistons.” The original 20v S2 head was used, but modified to fit the new block as well as to increase flow. “We fabricated our own valve springs and camshafts to work with long, stainless valves and titanium retainers,” Kai remembered. To allow for lower placement in the car, a Peterson dry sump system was incorporated.
To allow for placement further aft the front wheels, Kai commissioned Sellholm Tuning of Sweden to design a custom, sequential all wheel-drive five-speed ’box and center diff that would mate to the diesel block. A custom front differential was also supplied, which would now reside in front of the motor, allowing for a more centralised placement and minimal axle angle at the car’s race height. “In all, Sellholm supplied us the gearbox with center diff, the front and rear diffs, the driveshafts, the uprights and the majority of the suspension components, so it was an integral part of the build. We spec’d what we wanted and it built it for us.”
As you’d expect, the chassis and mounts were all custom-designed for the motor, so it fits perfectly. With the motor and transmission in place, the front driveshaft actually sits beside the motor as it runs up to the front diff. With the motor sitting in the bare chassis, the assembly continued, with the custom fabbed intake manifold, upgraded fuel rail and 2200 Siemens injectors now coming into play.
For the exhaust, an equal-length manifold was fabricated, which was originally mated to a GT42 turbo. That has since been replaced with a lighter and more efficient CT43 Comp turbo with triple ball bearings. This was paired with a 60mm TIAL wastegate and, ultimately, an Autronic SM4 for engine management. “We’ve been using Autronic with E85 for years now with a lot of success. The flexibility of the software makes it easy to work with,” said Kai. The remaining intake, intercooler and exhaust system was all fabricated in-house. Note that the intercooler now sits where the radiator originally did, with the radiator now relocated to the rear of the car, using giant fans to pull the air through.
Suspension components were mainly borrowed from previous Volvo projects than from the Audi donor, due to familiarity and known durability. Volvo S80 front spindles were used front and rear, supporting a McPherson-style suspension up front and a custom double-wishbone setup out back. The Sellholm coilovers use Bilstein shocks, and Sellholm supplied the adjustable sways as well as the Volvo 240-style steering rack.
XYZ brakes were chosen for the odious job of bringing the over-powered car to a stop. With the mechanics of the car all in place, Kai and the team then went about re-skinning the car over its tubular frame. Kai took an existing S1-style body kit and modified it, moving the wheel openings upwards and extending the wheel arches three inches per side. This allowed for larger wheels, which were required to fit over the giant brakes. The remaining portions of the body were constructed from carbon fibre, including the fenders, the sills, the hood and, of course, that monstrous rear spoiler.
Inside the car, a Volvo 240 column was used, but is otherwise all go and no show. OMP supplied the seats, wheel and harness, Tilton the pedals and the handbrake, and a Racepak IQ3/Autronic display is the ‘dashboard’. It doesn’t get much more hardcore race car than this!
Once the car was at a driveable state, Kai and the KRB team tuned it on their in-house 4WD dyno and gave it its first run at the start of the 2008 race season. Since getting the car running and tuned, the challenges have largely been around in getting the suspension sorted. “We initially had a lot of issues with understeer, but over the past few seasons, we’ve experimented with a variety of roll bars, toe and caster settings to make it easier to handle around corners,” confessed Kai. While running a ‘conservative’ race-tune of 831whp and 659lb ft of torque at 1.7bar, it’s no wonder the car loves the straights. Running a full 2.4bar of boost, the car put down 1061bhp and 753lb ft of torque at the wheels, incredible for an all wheel-drive car.
Competing at Gatebil and other events around Norway and Sweden, the car has already seen a lot of success. It won the Norwegian Time Attack in 2009 and 2010, taking second this past year due to a few hiccups and against a very competitive field. “The car that beat us was a Porsche GT2 that won Le Mans, so we weren’t that upset by the loss. Overall, we’re very happy with the car and have no immediate plans to build something else. We still have lots of work to do perfecting it and we’re looking forward to 2012” said Kai. Should you find yourself in Norway with a craving for some old-skool motorsport action, this is the car you want to see. This is Group B turned up to 11!
Huge twin fans out back suck air through to keep the relocated radiator cool.
ENGINE: 2.6-litre five-cyl, 2.5L #TDI engine block over-bored, milled steel crankshaft, KRB flywheel, billett connecting rods, custom CP pistons, 10.7:1 compression, multilayered steel head gasket, S2 cylinder head modified by KRB, custom stainless steel valves, custom camshafts, #Piper/KRB cam drive system, KRB intake manifold with 3” throttle bodies, #Nuke fuel rail, #Siemens 2200cc injectors, Comp Turbo CT 43 71/79, 31.2psi (2.15bar) boost, #Turbonetics HP #Newgen wastegate,# K&N air filter, #Autronic-SM4 engine management system, MSD direct fire ignition, Magnecor 10mm ignition leads, Bosch spark plugs, #Aeromotive mechanical fuel pump and FPR, KRB fuel cell, #Spearco-based custom intercooler, 4- 5” exhaust tubes made from rolled 0.5mm stainless steel, Ferrita 4” silencer, dry sump lubrication, #Petersen four-step oil pump, rear mounted PWR-based custom radiator, twin #Bosch cooling fans.
Race power at the wheels: 894 bhp (907 PS) at 7224 rpm. Torque: 753lb ft at 6244 rpm. E85 bioethanol fuel.
TRANSMISSION: Three-step Tilton carbon clutch, Sellholm five-step sequential gearbox with integrated centre diff, Sellholm front differential, KRB-modified Ford 9”-based rear differential, Sellholm drive shafts and joints.
CHASSIS: KRB tube chassis, Volvo S80 front spindles fitted front and rear, McPherson front suspension, double wishbone rear suspension, #Sellholm coilovers with #Bilstein shocks, Sellholm knife adjustable sway bars, Sellholm ‘Volvo 240 type’ rack and pinion steering. #XYZ brakes: 380mm discs and eight-piston calipers front, 375mm discs and six-piston calipers rear respectively. #Zito-Grand-Prix 10x18” wheels, Michelin SX 27/68-18 slick tyres.
OUTSIDE: #Audi-Coupé windshield frame, front half of roof and b-pillars, all other body panels carbon fibre designed by KRB, plexiglass side and rear windows.
INSIDE: Aluminium floor below tube chassis, removable transmission tunnel, Audi Coupé dash top, KRB/Volvo 240 steering column, OMP steering wheel, seats and harness, Sellholm/KRB gear change mechanism, Tilton pedal assembly, Tilton hydraulic handbrake, Racepak IQ3/Autronic digital dash logger.
SPONSORS: KRB Trading AS, Nordisk Dekkimport, Elite Bil, Nuke, Drammen Karosseri, Profilbyraa AS
SHOUT: My family, friends and everyone that lent a hand.
EDITORS NOTE: That was a reference to Lindsay Lohan and her appearance in Herbie, Fully Loaded in the second paragraph. It was reaching a bit, we know..
1061whp. We’ll say that again. 1061whp! Power like that kind of makes your Stage 1 remap look a bit silly doesn’t it?
If it isn’t needed to go faster, make more power or lap a track quicker, it’s gone.
Audi RS4 seats? Check. Quilted leather retrim? Check. Highend audio install in Alcantaratrimmed boot build? Check. Oh, no... wait...Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.