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BEHIND CLOSED DOORS #Audi-SQ5-Stance / #Audi-Q5-Stanced
3.0 BiTDI SQ5 killing it on 22” rims with lashings of carbon and 570lb ft of torque #Carbon-Clad #Audi SQ5. Built away from the social media limelight and unveiled without warning, Ian Kelly’s impossibly stanced SQ5 is a daily driver with details to die for. Words: Alex Grant. Photos: Si Gray.
As a global melting pot of ideas, a live feed of projects and a route to finding obscure parts, you’d struggle to argue that the scene would be a better place without the internet. But for all the good it’s done, there’s one thing that the rise of forums, social media, and updates on every detail has robbed us of: surprises.
That’s not to say we don’t enjoy a good build thread or finally getting to see the end result in the metal when it rolls into its first event. But those show-stopping projects, patiently and quietly put together out of the digital limelight and unveiled without warning, are becoming a real rarity. Which makes them all the more remarkable when they do happen.
When we first met Ian Kelly back at Ultimate Dubs in #2014 we’d got no idea how he’d managed to keep this one quiet. In six months, he’d turned a box-fresh SQ5 into the talk of the show without even hinting at what he was up to: an impossibly low static drop over 22-inch wheels on a car nobody else had modified to this level in the UK. Impressive not only because the work needed to get it there was more than worthy of a project thread but also because it’s his daily drive.
“I’d only told a handful of people that I’d bought the car,” Ian recalls. “The plan was always to keep it under wraps until it was ready for its first show. That was quite a challenge given I used it daily – especially once it was lowered. It was spotted a few times but nobody knew who the owner was.”
Just under three years later and it’s lost none of its impact, the studio lighting picking out every crease of the carbon-accented, Zaino’d bodywork and two-tone Rotiform DUS wheels. But it’s more than just a one-trick car; the result of 15 years of developing ideas, this might just be the ultimate nu-wave build. Ironically, for someone who’s never gone for project threads, that’s something you don’t fully appreciate without understanding the work that’s got into it.
Even Ian admits it almost never happened. Having moved out of an S3, he’d got far enough down the road of planning a Tiguan build that he’d even bought a Golf R bumper to graft onto it. But the performance, economy and rarity of the e big Audi was too good to pass up. “The key thing about the SQ5 for me was the engine,” he explains. “I wanted big power and torque but without having the fuel bills of a petrol car as my daily commute is 100 miles. Plus the fact the car was so fresh. Apart from the odd Q5 in Japan and the US no one was really modifying them.”
Plans had started coming together before this car had numberplates. Ian is good mates with Paul Brown at C6 Carbon, having worked together on his previous cars, and they’re used to bouncing ideas off each other. For the SQ5 the route ahead was pretty obvious: the biggest drop, with the largest wheels that would fit, and enough carbon fibre to make a Formula One car feel inadequate. But getting there without the backup of other Q5 owners’ shared solutions to problems was never going to be simple.
Even the car itself was a leap of faith. “I’d never even driven a Q5, let alone an SQ5,” Ian says. “Some would say that was pretty risky on such an expensive car but I knew I’d love it. It came from Bath Audi, which is a long way from my home in Newcastle, but the drive back home was fantastic. The exhaust note on the 3.0 #V6 #BiTDI in Dynamic mode is like a screaming petrol V8. I was hooked.”
Ian didn’t make things easy, starting out with a static drop and a need for custom parts to get it as low as the picture in his head. Si Sweetland at StillStatic put him onto Alois Hankover at AH Exclusive parts in Germany to build a 150mm H&R Race Kit for the Audi; the first of its kind, it took two attempts to bring the back end low enough, and caused problems he didn’t notice at first. For example, taking several inches out of the ride height gave it excessive negative camber, lunching a set of tyres in a couple of thousand miles (the same also happens with the A4 and A5). “Everything was very much experimental at that point because nobody else was modifying the SQ5 or Q5,” he says. “I imported a set of 034Motorsport front upper control arms in the hope this would resolve the issue… it didn’t. The kit simply isn’t designed to run on cars as low as mine was, so we had to redesign them and C6 machined a new set to work with our specifications.”
Even this didn’t fix all the problems. Filling the arches with 10.5x22-inch Vossen CV-T wheels highlighted a total lack of clearance, with suspension components hitting the frame on bigger bumps. Getting the ride height where he wanted eventually meant ditching the rear anti- roll bar and making some ‘adjustments’ to free up extra space.
“The front and rear chassis modifications mean we can run the biggest drop of any Q5 or SQ5 to date, and it can drive this low static. The trouble was, having got the ride height how I wanted, it was too low to run daily. I was scuffing the fuel tank, so I had to change to air. People thought I was anti-air as I’d resisted it for so long; I wasn’t, I just hadn’t needed it until that point.” The end result of that two-year trial and error is a setup which Ian reckons is pretty much perfect. Paul at C6 Carbon modified a set of airbags to fit the shortened H&R dampers Alois had built for the car, and the kit is controlled via Air Lift 3P management. He drives it as low as it was when it was static but lifts it over tank- scraping obstacles when needed. Not that it’s finished yet. “We’ve got plans for some more front chassis development,” Ian laughs.
“It just depends when we can fit it all in.” There was, at least, plenty of room to be greedy with wheel sizes. It’s still remembered on the Vossens it was wearing when it broke cover, but they spent only a year on the car before Ian moved on to the set he’d wanted from the start. “I had been a fan of Rotiform from day one and had been chatting to Brian for a while about changing to a set of three-piece wheels,” he says. “They were going to be the main change for the car in 2015 and they were fitted just before MIVW. It totally changed the look of the car, adding more class to it. The centres are painted the same dark black bronze as the Vossens.”
As easy as it is to get wrapped up in that hard-earned stance, it’s only part of this car’s talents. Ian and Paul’s collective eye for detail is woven through every part of the SQ5. For example, they deleted the chrome before Audi offered that as an option and replaced the seat belts and all the stitching with yellow matched to the brake calipers – one of the few bits of colour left on the outside. Both bits you can miss at a glance.
Harder to miss, though, is the acres of carbon fibre. Ian had started working with C6 Carbon when he was building his old S3 but the SQ5 took that carbon skinning obsession to an all-new level. We’re even talking boot hinges, the inside of the armrest, even the end caps of the dashboard – parts that are usually out of sight. Everything got treated the same way, with Paul using a larger weave than usual and rotating the roll 45 degrees which means the weave follows the line of the car instead of being diagonal.
Actually, Paul’s had such a big hand in the project that he’s the only other person who gets to drive it. When it made the trip to MIVW last year with its new RS6-style front bumper, it was Paul who’d fitted it while Ian was on holiday in Ibiza. It had also meant a week of frustration when the new bumper’s paint didn’t match, and a last-minute rush before heading for Valkenburg.
But it seems Paul likes a challenge; so when Ian opted for seamless air tanks for the boot install, there were no corners cut with the layer you can actually see. Paul skinned the tank in a single sheet of carbon fibre – a job which would usually take three pieces. As we said, it’s as much about what you don’t notice at first, as what grabs you at a glance.
Ian’s had his hand in where possible, though, as he explains: “The air install was my first attempt at air and hardlines. It didn’t go to plan first time and after a set of PTC cartridges later and numerous lengths of tube, the air install was finally in. Then the management just wouldn’t fire up. Paul eventually found the issue after chatting to Phil James at the Install Company. Somehow the loom was wired incorrectly from the factory. It’s never easy.”
With 313bhp and 480lb ft of torque, and 62mph out of the way in around five seconds, big performance upgrades were never really on the shopping list. Ian’s swapped to an APR intake and custom DTUK map which takes power up to 370bhp and 570lb ft of torque without denting economy for commuting. He then treated the bay to plenty of matte carbon fibre to bring it in line with the rest of the car.
Which means – even with a two-year-old daughter and a wedding to pay for this year – life shouldn’t get in the way of SQ5 ownership any time soon. Just as well, really, as it almost happened the other way around. Ian’s fiancée Karen went into labour while he was at Edition 38, leaving him frantically shuffling of the showfield before sprinting back to Newcastle to get there in time. Having poured so much effort into the Audi, 2017 is all about the final details rather than big changes – the priorities, for now, are elsewhere.
“It’s great taking it all in when it’s parked-up at shows – I love how complete it is yet how simple. There are so many details that most people miss and that is how I wanted it, and how it should have left the factory.” So it’s part of the family now then? “Karen, my fiancée doesn’t mind it although she does say it’s ‘daddy’s silly car’ to our daughter… read into that what you will,” Ian laughs.
Of course, that’s not stopping him planning further ahead. So, what’s next? “I have a plan for a new car. However, I’m not going to say too much… all will be revealed once the car is ready to show, just like the SQ5,” Ian smiles.
We love this new-wave Audi, not just for what Ian has done to it but because it’s right out of the old-skool – built the way projects used to be before the internet made every nut, bolt and late night public. For that, Ian, we salute you. Now close those garage doors and get building!
“Everything was very much experimental because nobody else was modifying the SQ5 or Q5”
“There are so many details that most people miss and that is how I wanted it”
Dub Details #ARP / #Rotiform / #Audi-SQ5 / #Audi-Q5 / #Audi-SQ5-3.0-BiTDi / #Audi-SQ5-Tuned / #Audi / #Audi-Q5-8R / #Audi-SQ5-8R / #Audi-MLB /
ENGINE: 3.0 BiTdi diesel, #C6-Carbon / #APR-intake , #DTUK-Tuning-Box (370bhp, 774Nm), one-off C6 Carbon strut brace, C6 Carbon slam panel and scuttle panel, one-off C6 Carbon R8 washer bottle cap, R8 coolant cap and oil cap
CHASSIS: 10.5x22” forged #Rotiform-DUS , 265/30 Nankang NS2 tyres, #H&R 150mm #RSS-Race coilovers modified to run airbags on C6 Carbon CNC hardware, Air Lift Performance 3P management, C6 Carbon front upper control arms, C6 Carbon chassis development, rear anti-roll bar deleted
EXTERIOR: #Xenonz-UK RSQ5 front bumper conversion, C6 Carbon grill surround, C6 Carbon crash bar, C6 Carbon side blades, C6 Carbon rear diffuser, exterior trim painted black
INTERIOR: Yellow seat belts and stitching, C6 Carbon dash/door trim, sill trims, seat backs and seat sides, RTA Fabrications #Air-Lift-3P controller holder modified to fit into the ashtray, C6 Carbon air install with Speciality Suspension one-piece seamless tanks, C6 Carbon acrylic/carbon illuminated #Air-Lift manifold plate, C6 Carbon fire extinguisher #Air-Lift-Performance-3P
SHOUT: My fiancée Karen and daughter Grace, my family, my friends, Paul at C6 Carbon, Simon at StillStatic, Alois at AH Exclusive Parts, Brian at Rotiform, Steve and Rod at RA Bodyshop, Simon at Syco Graphix, Matt at Only Charged Dubs, Parm at Car Audio Security, John at Bespoke Leathering, Richard for CAD work, RTA Fabrications, Zeeshan at Xenonz UK Ltd, John at Zaino Europe
The perfect daily? We’re struggling to think of many cars on the road today we would rather have for the daily drive!
There’s just something so badass about slammed SUVs isn’t there? Imagine seeing this in your rear view… GET OUT OF MY WAY!Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationNEW 435BHP #Audi-SQ7 / #Audi-Q7 / #Audi / #2016 / #Audi-SQ7-TDI / #Audi-SQ7-TDI-4M / #Audi-Q7 / #Audi-Q7-4M
Big SUV gets a 4.0 BiTDI, plus an electric turbo… SQ7 is currently the most powerful SUV. SQ7 interior is very classy and well equipped.
Unveiled at the #2016-Geneva-Motor-Show , the new SQ7 is the most powerful #SUV on the market. Powered by a 4.0 #BiTDI unit, the big #V8 also has an electric powered compressor (turbo) or EPC. – the first on a production vehicle – to cancel out any lag. This means there’s power whenever you need it – 435bhp and 66lb/ft to be precise. All of this is available between 1,000 and 3,250rpm, which should make it very rapid, especially off the line.
The SQ7 is packed with technology including four wheels steering, LED Matrix headlights, adaptive air suspension, body roll stabilisation and a list of options including dynamic ride control, Audi tablets which dock in the rear seats and In Europe orders will begin being taken in the spring, with a price of €89,900 in Germany, so we’d expect a UK price of around £70,000.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationWords Davy Lewis Photography AJ Walker #Audi A5 TDI 3.0 V6 Packing 325bhp and 626Nm
This A5 TDI is now packing a healthy 325bhp and 626Nm…
There’s a stage in life that many of us reach at some point. You wake up one morning and think, ‘hang on a minute, I need something a bit more grown up; a bit more sensible.’ Back in the day, this would mean the end of any car related fun. It would mean time for a TDI. Unfortunately, most diesels were smelly, slow and sounded like an old Transit van on a cold morning.
Today however, things have moved on somewhat.
The latest crop of modern TDIs are packing some serious heat. From the ubiquitous 2.0 units found in everything from A3s to A6s, to the powerful #BiTDI lumps with 300+bhp in the SQ5 and A6 – Audi makes some cracking, fast diesels. In fact, the most powerful production diesel has just been announced – the 4.0 V8 in the new SQ7 which kicks out a stonking 435bhp and 664lb/ft. But, one of the most popular diesels for tuning is the 3.0 TDI V6. This highly capable powerplant has been used in many Audis, from A4s to Q7s and created a loyal following. It offers strong performance with up to 236bhp and 369lb/ft in the A5, a smooth power delivery from the V6 and a noise that sounds quite un- diesel like. They also respond very well to tuning, which brings us to this stunning red A5…
Having run lots of belly scraping tuned cars, Dan Harney decided he’d had enough. He wanted something more comfortable, that wouldn’t empty his wallet each week for fuel, but still offer some decent grunt. The A5 made a lot of sense.
“I bought it to be sensible and use daily to get to work,” he comments, “but within two months I’d fitted air-ride,” he laughs. The Air Lift Performance set up was chosen as Dan was fed up with running a low car on his local roads. The V2 kit is fully adjustable and offers the practicality and comfort needed for our terrible roads. It’s been fully tested too, as Dan explains: “I took it to the Nürburgring and did a sub-10-minute lap.” He continues, “The lads I was with didn’t think it would handle with the air-ride, so I took all of them out and they were amazed.
“The A5 has the two things I said I’d never have – a diesel engine and an auto box,” smiles Dan. “But it was the 3.0 V6 that drew me too it.” With 236bhp from the factory, it pulled well and offered effortless performance mated to the tiptronic box. “It has the paddle shifters, so you can have a play if you’re bored, or leave it in Sport so it hangs onto the gears for longer.” Of course, it would be a shame to leave an engine with so much potential standard.
The A5 was sent to ADE Tuning for a DPF delete and custom remap. The diesel particulate filter strangles performance and the delete pipe does away with it. Visually the DPF still appears to be fitted, which is currently all that’s required for an MoT. The exhaust is a custom unit, fabricated by Pipewerx. Dan had a chat with the guys and told them his requirements and they suggested a 2.5in system to produce the best sound, without risking too much drone at motorway speeds. The twin-exit system certainly looks the part, but it’s the sound that really blows people away. “Whenever I take someone out in the car, they say it doesn’t sound anything like a diesel,” smiles Dan. To be fair, the V6 makes a nice noise as standard, but with the custom exhaust (which incidentally has no boxes) it sounds plain evil. Nail the throttle in Sport and the big V6 wakes up with an angry snarl, which increases to a spine tingling crescendo as you fire through second and third gear. The real treat is nailing it from second and listening to that fantastic V6 howl behind you. Dan says, “Some have said it sounds more like a Golf R32 than a diesel A5.”
With an ADE Tuning custom map, the potential of the V6 has been fully realised. Peak power is now an impressive 325bhp – almost S5 level – while the all-important torque figure is a mighty 626Nm, which is almost as much as a C7 RS6. “It certainly takes people by surprise,” laughs Dan, “being a quattro, it gets off the line pretty well and I like the fact it doesn’t look like an S or RS model.”
The next step would be a hybrid turbo, plus supporting upgrades, which with A5s abroad making around 400bhp and up to 800Nm; it’s certainly tempting.
Outside, things have been kept nice and subtle. There’s an RSstyle front grille, which gives the front end much more purpose, while the rear 3.0 badges have been removed. It really does look great in red, too, especially with the 3SDM wheels. “I spent a long time choosing wheels,” says Dan, “I went for these as they look good and I didn’t want to spend silly money on something that I’d be worried about every time I drove the car.” Although not wanting to create an S or RS replica outside, when it came to the inside, a full S5 interior has been fitted. “I saw loads for sale for silly money or in a terrible condition, so when this one came up for a good price I jumped on it.” The cream leather seats, door cards and arm rest have transformed the previously dark cabin. The finishing touches are an RS5 steering wheel, plus carbon wrapped inlays and an RS6 gear knob.
Considering this was supposed to be Dan’s sensible daily, he’s managed to liven it up a treat. It now looks fantastic, offers solid performance and puts a smile on his face when he drives it. Sounds ideal to us.
SPECIFICATION #Audi-A5-3.0-TDI-Coupe-quattro / #Audi-A5 / #Audi / #Audi-A5-Coupe / #Audi-A5-3.0-V6-TDI-Quattro-Coupe / #Audi-A5-3.0-TDI
Engine 3.0 #TDI #V6 , #Pipewerx custom 2.5in exhaust system, #ADE-Tuning custom remap and DPF and EGR delete, #K&N air Filter
Power 325bhp and 626Nm
Transmission 6-speed tiptronic / #ZF
Brakes Vented discs and uprated pads
Suspension #Air-Lift #Air-Lift-Performance-V2 V2 kit with double bellow bags and threaded body dampers
Wheels and Tyres 10.5x20in 3#SDM 0.08 alloys
Interior Full S5 cream leather interior including seats, door cards and arm rest, RS5 steering wheel, carbon shift paddles, RS6 gear knob, carbon-wrapped inlays, subtle boot install
Exterior RS-style front grille, debadged rear, LED fog lights, pressed personal plates
Contacts/thanks Nick Payne and Chris Gent at Ride and Performance for the detailing, ADE Tuning for the remap and DPF, Pipewerx for the exhaust, the Unphased Crew
Left: Full S5 interior in cream leather has transformed the A5’s cabin.
“Some have said it sounds more like a Golf R32 than a diesel A5”
Above: 3.0 TDI V6 provides ample grunt / Bottom: #3SDM alloys are well suited
“The A5 has two things I said I’d never have – a diesel engine and an auto box”
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