- Post is under moderationFULL-ON ’02 Classic beauty boasts race-spec M10 power
SITTING PRETTY Race-spec M10-powered ’02
It’s easy to get carried away with getting your car’s stance spot-on, with achieving that perfect look but, as this flawless ’02 demonstrates, sometimes form just follows function… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Seb Mol.
Stance. That’s a tricky word, isn’t it? A loaded buzzword that, in recent times, has become an allencompassing way of life for some and anathema to others. Vast swathes of modifiers devote every waking hour to calculating with millimetric precision how the lips of their new rims will kiss their arches just-so, while others merely look on appalled, using words like ‘ruined’ and ‘pointless’. This game wouldn’t be any fun if everyone was playing by the same rules, though, would it? Diversity is what motivates us and we’re sure that’s the case for you too. And today we’re taking it old-school.
We thumbed through our dog-eared and crumbling copy of the Oxford English Dictionary to help determine the embodiment of stance and came up with two timeless definitions: first, ‘the position or bearing of the body while standing; posture’. And second, there were no words, just a photo of this silver ’02. Really, there was. It’s a pretty strange dictionary, to be honest, but a handy one to have kicking about the office.
Now, language evolves by virtue of how it’s used, that’s obvious – this is why you can use the phrase ‘totes amaze’ in Facebook comments without the enraged spirit of Shakespeare rising up and jabbing you in the eye with his quivering quill – but today we’re looking back to a time when ‘stance’ was synonymous with race car aggression and purposeful squat. Not pan-scraping lows but the sort of taut gait that suggests a peppy up-and-at-’em attitude and a no-nonsense approach to clipping apexes and dominating straights. This 1502 is effectively a 1970s race car with numberplates.
It’s the brainchild of a shadowy German figure going only by the name of Patrick. (We suspect that he’s like Shakira or Voltaire, an enigmatic entity in and of himself. We’re reticent to ask, he’s just so focused on the car that he’s positively exuding waves of Bavarian eagerness.) “I modify all cars,” Patrick tells us, matter-of- factly, with that economy of words that’s so peculiarly Teutonic. “My first was a Fiesta XR2i, followed by a #BMW E30 Cabriolet, a Toyota MR2, another E30 Cab, an E36 Cab, an E46 M3, and now a Porsche 964.” Pretty strong list there, we can see a clear path of stepping stones from zero to hero (not saying that the XR2i is a zero per se, but… y’know) with each step appearing stronger than the last. So where does this shiny silver ’02 fit in?
“Well, it was about ten years ago and I was looking for an old, small, rear-wheel drive car,” Patrick explains. And then he unexpectedly breaks character, his face cracking into a broad smile. “I wanted to have some fun. An NSU TT? No. But a BMW ’02? Most definitely yes!”
There you go, there doesn’t really need to be any greater motivation than that. Fans of retro saloons will always effusively wax lyrical about the merits of the ’02-series over its contemporary rivals – it has proper suspension instead of cart springs, for starters – so there’s no better base for an old-school project. And the mononymous Patrick was planning to keep it old-school through-and-through. “I was looking for a car just like this,” he grins. “The body was okay, the engine was… well, it was too small, but I had a vision in my head for something better. The suspension? That was pretty horrible but two days after buying it I’d replaced it all!” This is a man who gets things done. So let’s dive in and see just what he was up to.
Under the bonnet, replacing the car’s original 1500 motor is a spankingly refreshed 2.0-litre M10, tuned the oldfashioned way. Regular readers will have enjoyed ’02s in these pages in the recent past sporting Honda S2000 motors or E30 S14s, but this right here is the archetypal traditional racer approach: twin-Weber 45s for maximum juiciness, forged Mahle pistons, spiky cams, lightened and polished internals, trick valve gear – the works. It rocks an uprated radiator and oil cooler, and there’s also an Alpina fuelling system comprising long-range tank and twin pumps. Hanging off the back of all of this retro splendour is the bullish five-speed cogswapper from an E30 M3 Sport Evo, along with a short-shifter and a lightweight flywheel to keep Patrick constantly and firmly believing that he’s nailing it around Monza in 1975. Which he might as well be. This thing’s a little time warp.
“I built up the engine over the winter season,” he says. “I also fitted the rear axle and braking setup from a 2002 Turbo. There’s a 4.11 diff with 75% locking and a diff cooler with an additional tank. And the front axle’s been fully reinforced in the style of the period Works rally cars.” All very fit for purpose, and you’ll have no doubt noted that all of this mechanical excellence is neatly wrapped up in a gloriously straight-and- true shell. “Every modification on the car was carried out by me,” says Patrick, rightly proud, “aside from the paintwork, which was done by a friend of mine. Like I say, the body was in pretty good condition, and now it’s all flawlessly finished in silver, including the underside.” It’s the sort of finish that you sometimes happen across on showgrounds, where effusive owners have placed mirrors around the car to give you a cheeky ‘upskirt’ view of the car’s shiny underbelly. And while Patrick was cleaning up the bowels of the build he took the time to galvanise and powdercoat the axles, too.
Belt and braces, and so on. But don’t go thinking he’s one of these showground concours buffers – he built this car to be used, and used hard. Just check out the interior for evidence of this…
“It’s fully stripped-out. There’s no carpet or sound deadening or anything like that,” he points out. It’s impressive to note, however, that this isn’t just some functional track build, all rough edges and sticky patches: the interior is just as clean as the underside, every inch of it looks freshly stamped and exquisitely clean, like being in the belly of some vast robot. The Heigo roll-cage is a statement of fortitude, squeezing in around the race seats and harnesses and joined by a few oh-so-period accoutrements – the Alpina steering wheel, for example, and supplementary Alpina gauges. It’s a riot of retro race intent.
And so we must return to that issue of stance. How has Patrick managed to get this car sitting so perfectly? The answer, somewhat unsurprisingly, is that form follows function; it looks good because it is good. “The original suspension was in a pretty horrible state. I really have no words for how bad it was,” Patrick shudders. “But now it’s wearing custom Bilstein coilovers with uniball camber plates.” The wheels are the classic BBS RS design – chosen here not because it’s a scene-darling rim but simply because it makes sense for a retro BMW to have retro BBS wheels – staggered in fitment and running just enough sidewall to hint at formidableness on the track while also slightly irking the classic car purists.
Wherever you look on, in or around this 1502, you find aesthetics that just make sense – everything about it bristles with quintessential rightness. The engine bay is resplendent in snaking silver hoses, fruity carbs and boisterous blue cam cover; the interior shimmies to the rhythm of 1970s testosterone battles at Spa and Zandvoort; the exterior, while unadorned, exudes just the right amount of purpose to suggest that you’re only a set of race number decals away from the grid. It all adds up to a thing of greatness.
“When I drive this car, everybody seems to like it,” says Patrick, entirely understandably. “Wherever I look, I see smiling people. There’s only one problem, though… you can’t drive the car slowly, and the police don’t smile!” We don’t doubt it. But with a car this good-looking, we’re sure they can find it in their hearts to forgive. Patrick may have adopted one or two of the trappings of that modern, ethereal notion of ‘stance’, but it’s all simply an offshoot from his pursuit of vintage road-racer perfection. Everything here is exactly as it should be. It is race car stance. It is its own entity. And that commands a lot of respect.
Race-spec M10 boasts forged Mahle pistons, 316 cams, lightened and polished rods and Weber 45 carbs.
Interior has been fully stripped-out and fitted with Bimarco seats and Heigo roll-cage while the boot houses the Alpina race fuel tank, catch tank and twin pumps
TECHNICAL DATA FILE 2.0-swapped #BMW-1502 / #BMW / #BMW-M10 / #M10 / #BMW / #BMW-Typ-114 / #BMW-1502-Typ-114 / #BBS-RS / #BBS / #Weber
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION Race-spec 2.0-litre M10, forged #Mahle pistons, 316 cams, #Weber-45 carburettors, lightened and polished rods, titanium valve seats, polished rocker arms, 47mm inlet valves; 38mm exhaust valves, highperformance oil cooler, aluminium race radiator, E30 M3 sump, Alpina race fuel tank, catch tank and twin fuel pumps, E30 M3 Sport Evo five-speed gearbox with short-shift, lightweight flywheel, E30 M3 clutch
CHASSIS 7x15” ET16 (front) and 8x15” ET18 (rear) #BBS RS wheels with 195/45 tyres (front and rear), custom #Bilstein coilovers with uniball camber plates, 2002 Turbo rear axle and brakes, 4.11 diff with 75% lock, diff cooler with additional pump, reinforced rallystyle front axle, Alpina anti-roll bar
EXTERIOR De-bumpered front, full respray in silver including underside, axles galvanised and powdercoated
INTERIOR Stripped, #Bimarco race seats, Sabelt harnesses, #Alpina steering wheel, Heigo aluminium roll-cage, battery relocated to interior, Alpina gaugesStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationMK1 TT
1.8T with 353bhp
WIDE BOY With big arches and 10.5x18in alloys, this 352hp TT has some serious road presence…
The original TT still ranks as one of the most significant Audis ever made. When this curvaceous, bold design was unveiled back in the late 90s, it made a huge impact. Here was a production car that looked very much like the original concept, and it was available to buy. Not only did it look fantastic, its performance credentials were strong, too.
The venerable 1.8 20v turbo found in the S3 8L saw some upgrades, which took it to 225PS (221bhp). This gave the cool coupe lively performance, matched to a slick 6-speed manual box. With quattro drive, it hooked up the power and was quick off the mark, as well as surefooted when the going got slippery.
With heated leather seats, a very cool looking dash and xenon lights it was a very nice thing to own. Back in 1999, a new TT would have set you back almost £30k. Today, you can pick one up for under £2,000, making them a bit of a bargain.
Laszlo, the owner of the TT pictured saw the potential with a TT immediately.
Having owned a big old Mercedes, he wanted something, small and sporty that was also fun to drive. A TT made sense – it was the right money and offered lots of tuning potential. “I wanted to switch from the yacht like feel of the Benz, to a stiffer, lighter sports coupe,” he says.
Things began slowly with a simple air filter upgrade and ECU remap. But having seen lots of big power Audis around, it wasn’t long before the silver TT was sent to respected local tuning firm, Turbotuning.
Here, the 1.8T was stripped down and rebuilt with fully forged internals including Mahle pistons and race spec bearings. The plan was to make the car as reliable as possible, so boost was held back to a relatively modest 1.5bar. Even so, with a Garrett GT2871 turbo, plus supporting upgrades, the TT made a very handy 352hp and 531Nm. Although we hear about plenty of 400+bhp models with large turbos, I have to say around the 350bhp mark seems to offer a great balance of performance and drivability for the road. I’ve been out in lots of TTs with this sort of power and they’re great fun. Plus, there’s less stress on the relatively small capacity 1.8-litre engine – something to take into account unless you liken spending time getting things fixed all the time.
But there’s more to this TT than a decent bit of poke under the bonnet.
Up front, Laszlo has fitted a set of six-pots from a Porsche 996. These big brakes required adapting to fit, but do an admirable job of stopping the little TT. With four pots at the rear and Ferodo DS pads, this thing scrubs off speed with aplomb.
One area that any TT will benefit from upgrades is the chassis. In stock trim they’re quite soft feeling and set up for a neutral handling – as you’d expect. But with some tweaks, you can transform them. With a full complement of Powerflex bushes, the chassis and steering components now feel reassuringly tight, which translates into a much more positive feel to the steering and general handling. Bushes may not be the sexiest of upgrades, but they really do make a huge difference – especially on an older car, where the stock items are likely to be worn. With uprated anti-roll bars, the chassis is well set for hard use.
One thing you can’t miss is the rather wide wheels. The 18in Japan Racing alloys are a huge 10.5 wide, which is why a set of, what the Americans like to call “overfenders” have been fitted. Some will love them others not so much, but you can’t deny they give this little TT serious road presence.
A V6 TT front bumper has also been fitted together with the rear bumper insert, which looks much fresher. There’s also a V6 rear wing.
Inside, Laszlo has really gone to town. The bucket seats have been trimmed in leather with yellow stitching with cheeky R8 logos. The R8 theme continues with the steering wheel and gearknob, complete with open gate.
So there we have it. A Mk1 TT with an aggressive, OEM+ look, that’s also packing a nice punch thanks to the engine tuning – with the potential for a lot more should he wish to increase the boost and maybe fit a larger turbo.
Top: Rear seats have been removed Below: 1.8T is forged and runs a GT2871.
SPECIFICATION #Audi-TT-225 / #Audi-TT-8N / #Audi-TT / #Audi / #Audi-TT-Quattro / #Audi-TT-Quattro-8N / #Audi / #Quattro / #Garrett / #Garrett-GT2871 /
Engine 1.8 20v turbo, Turbotuning shop rebuilt with #Eagle rods, #Mahle pistons, stronger bearings, low compression with rebuilt head, #Rothe turbo manifold, GT2871 Garrett turbocharger, 76mm exhaust system, custom exhaust with 90mm tips, custom intake, #Ramair filter, #HG-Motorsport intercooler 12-row #Motec oil cooler, F#orge BOV and boost controller, 630cc injectors, Walbro fuel pump
Transmission 6-speed manual, stronger clutch with Kevlar disc, #Torsen rear diff
Power 352hp and 531Nm at 1.5bar
Brakes Porsche 996 fronts with 6-piston calipers, 4 piston rears, Ferodo DS pads and braided lines
Suspension Custom rear control arms (GL), #Powerflex bushings all around, GL front strut bearing without damping, custom ARBs, #Eibach spacers, wheel bearings converted to studs, #Sachs dampers, custom air-ride setup with Viair compressor and #Airlift-Autopilot - #Air-Lift-V2 (tuned by #Fakukac )
Wheels 10.5x18in #Japan-Racing-JR-11 wheels with 255/35 tyres
Exterior V6 TT front bumper and rear insert, SEAT Cupra front lip, V6 TT rear wing, #EPMAN Racing bumper mount, Porsche green mirror housings, custom arch flares made up from Nissan SX kit
Interior Bimarco bucket seats with Porsche-style leather upholstery and stitching, custom rear seat delete and crossbar, R8 steering wheel and gear knob, custom open gate, Osir gauge holder, Defi Stepmaster gauges, Porsche green details
Left: Porsche 6-pots Below: R8 open gate gear lever.
Right: R8 themed interior Below: R8 wheel and gearknob.
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- Post is under moderationTHUNDER DOWN UNDER
If you think you’ve seen everything supercharged M3s can offer, think again, as we get to grips with an awesome antipodean #Eaton-supercharged E90. Think you know supercharged M3s? Well, think again, because down in Oz there’s a company that’s doing things a bit differently… Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Jan Glovac.
Supercharger installation is incredibly neat and discreet. This car’s previous owner had maintained it meticulously.
Here at DRIVE-MY we love the E9x M3, and with good reason: it’s an absolutely awesome car. It looks good, the chassis is sublime and the engine is magical. The way it revs and the way the power just builds and builds, it’s an experience that mere words on a page simply can’t convey. We hope that every one of you reading this will one day get to feel what it’s like to be in an E9x M3 at full throttle because it’s something that you won’t forget in a hurry. For many of us performance #BMW fans, it’s a dream car, something we would love to own and we’ve featured some incredible examples over the years. It’s not just an incredible sports car but also an capable all-round package and a car that you can really use every day. But it does have a couple of problems, namely the N54 and N55 turbocharged straight-six engines that you’ll find in the 35i models.
Now, out-of-the-box, impressive as a 335i or 135i may be, it can’t hold a candle to an E9x M3. However, once a 35i has been breathed on and is running at the 400hp mark, it’s not so clear cut. The two cars are not just evenly matched – watch some videos and you’ll often see the 35i emerging victorious. Obviously in terms of a complete package, as far as braking, handling and the driving experience are concerned, the M3 is the sharper tool by far, and we’re talking about head-to-head racing from a roll, but it does highlight one of the M3’s shortcomings: torque, or rather the lack of it.
The S65 is an awesome engine, a mechanical masterpiece, but it’s a relatively small capacity V8 that’s been built to develop a large amount of power at high revs. When sister title BMW Car pitched the E90 M3 Saloon against the E39 M5 there was virtually nothing in it performance-wise, despite the M3’s weight advantage, and that’s because the M5’s additional 900cc of displacement endows it with more power and torque at every point in the rev range below 6000rpm, and it’s only in that last 2300rpm above that where the M3 makes its extra 20hp.
A stock 35i makes 306hp and 295lb ft of torque from its turbocharged straight-six, matching the M3 for torque but putting it 114hp down on the V8. Once modified to around the 400hp mark, however, a 35i will make around 400lb ft of torque and that means that when it comes to in-gear response, the 35i is going to be an absolute beast. In contrast, in an M3 you’ll have to make sure you’re in the right gear and at the right revs to get the most out of it. The best way to get a serious power boost from your M3 is to supercharge it. And while we’ve driven a number of ’charged E9x M3s over the years (and they’ve all been awesome), they’ve also all used centrifugal superchargers, which produce all their boost at the top of the rev range and don’t fully address the S65’s low-end torque deficit. And that, rather long explanation brings us to this car because beneath the bonnet of this particular E90 M3 sits something very special.
It resides in Perth and belongs to Thomas Thai, who juggles being a student with running his own clothing business (Alpha Legion) and he has, in a short space of time, rattled through some ridiculously modified machinery. He cut his teeth on an RX-7 Bathurst R edition, which ended up with 370whp. Then there was the HSV Maloo R8 (mental V8 pick-up truck) with a supercharger and 590whp, as well as a 2012 Subaru WRX STi Spec R with a spec list that reads like a Jap performance car fan’s dream build and which was making 360whp once Thomas had finished with it.
This young man is clearly no stranger to modifying and happy to play with serious power, though we can’t help but wonder why he moved away from the world of easily modified J-Tin and big power Yank V8- engined Aussie muscle in favour of a naturally aspirated BMW that is not best known for being eager to make big power without some serious work? “I have always been fascinated by BMWs but could never afford one,” explains Thomas. “I love their rich history in motorsport and the fact that they are a true driver’s car. This is my first BMW. I bought it as I wanted something I could daily drive as well as take to the track and still be competitive. I bought this particular car as I knew its previous owner and he had maintained it meticulously.”
Despite his history with modified cars Thomas had no plans to modify his newly acquired M3, bar upgrading the stereo but, as you clearly see, this resolution didn’t last long. It seems 420hp wasn’t enough for Thomas and, having previously owned a supercharged V8, we wager the thought of owning another ’charged V8 was an appealing one. Living in Australia meant that Thomas was located in the same country as a company called Harrop. While it may not be a household name on this side of the globe, Harrop has been involved in the automotive and motorsport worlds since the ’60s and is closely involved with Eaton – a company famous for its Roots-type superchargers. And that just happens to be what you’ll find under the bonnet of this M3, as Harrop has produced the world’s first positive displacement supercharger kit for the S65.
What makes positive displacement superchargers so good for an application like the S65 V8 is that they make full boost the moment you put your foot on the throttle. If you go full throttle at, say, 2000rpm, your positive displacement blower will deliver full boost there and then, and that means monstrous low-end torque spread across a wide rev-range.
Owners have likened the Harrop kit to having a six-litre V8 under the bonnet and when it comes to in-gear acceleration, overtaking punch, or drive out of corners, a positive displacement supercharger is unbeatable. At the very top end of the rev range and at very high speed a centrifugal supercharger will have the edge, but looking at dyno charts the Harrop kit makes more power and more torque below 6000-7000rpm than centrifugal kits. This means in the real world (and especially with an engine that’s light on torque), a positive displacement blower will transform your car. What’s especially impressive about the Harrop kit is how it looks. If it wasn’t for the company branding on the plenum chamber, you would need to take a long, hard look to notice that the air box isn’t stock or that there’s a supercharger pulley poking out from the side of the intake piping.
The Eaton R1740 supercharger uses two four-lobe rotors and sits between the banks of the engine’s Vee, with air being expelled upwards into the plenum, where it passes through one of two chargecoolers, which are located on either side of the supercharger, and then down into the cylinders. It’s an incredibly neat, compact setup with everything mounted on top of the engine for a very clean install and comes with everything required, such as an uprated fuel pump, bigger injectors and so on. The kit makes just over 500whp, so roughly somewhere in the region of 560hp+, but Thomas has added a few additional engine modifications with ACL bearings, ARP head studs, forged Mahle pistons, Dinan valvesprings and the engine internals were also polished while it was apart. The engine has also been treated to an upgraded oil cooler while the exhaust has been fitted with a set of custom crossover pipes running to a Corsa cat-back to deliver a proper V8 soundtrack.
To go along with the massive increase in power Thomas has upgraded the brakes with a set of Pagid Yellow pads, braided hoses and Motul racing brake fluid. He says the combination has made a huge difference to the braking performance, though a Harrop big brake kit is on the cards. On the suspension front, he’s fitted a set of H&R springs for a bit of a drop whilst allowing him to retain the factory EDC and the M3 looks menacing on its 19” Varrstoen ES6 wheels. “I did consider going for Rays TE37 SLs but they weren’t quite in the budget range at the time,” he explains, and anyway the Varrstoens certainly look the part, measuring 9.5 inches wide up front and 11 inches at the rear, which has allowed Thomas to wrap them in some seriously meaty rubber, with 245/30 and 275/30 Yokohama AD08Rs front and rear respectively delivering plenty of grip and traction. Beyond the wheels, the exterior styling changes have been kept very subtle with Thomas saying he was “aiming for a clean look that would draw attention to the car’s natural lines”. All the chrome trim has been sprayed black, there’s a subtle ducktail rear spoiler and a carbon fibre front lip plus a custom grille, while on the inside a set of custom BMW door lights have been fitted. If you could ever call an M3 a sleeper, this would be it.
While a lot of people would no doubt consider a supercharged M3 to be a weekend toy, even with well over 500hp this one’s duties as a daily demonstrate that, even when supercharged, the E9x M3 remains as practical and usable a proposition as it ever did. Supercharged M3s are awesome and Harrop’s positive displacement blower kit opens up a whole new dimension of performance.
DATA FILE #Eaton supercharged #BMW-E90 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E90 / #BMW-S65 / #S65 / #BMW-S65-Eaton-supercharged / #BMW-M3-Eaton-supercharged-E90 /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 4.0-litre #V8 #S65B40 , ACL bearings, #ARP head studs, forged #Mahle pistons, polished engine internals, #Dinan valve springs, #Harrop-TVS1740 supercharger kit, Corsa cat-back system, custom crossover pipes, upgraded oil cooler, standard seven-speed #M-DCT gearbox
CHASSIS 9.5x19” ET25 (front) and 11x19” ET23 (rear) #Varrstoen-ES6 wheels with 245/30 (front) and 275/30 (rear) Yokohama AD08R tyres, #H&R springs with standard EDC, #Pagid-Yellow pads, braided hoses, #Motul racing brake fluid
EXTERIOR Custom kidney grille, carbon fibre front lip, blacked out trim, ducktail rear spoiler
INTERIOR Custom #BMW logo door lights
THANKS Bucciarelli BMW, GalvsportStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationUltimate Sleeper 668bhp S2-engined 90 quattro. Words and Photography Davy Lewis. 80s Revival With the help of a 668bhp S2 engine, this rare #1986 Audi 90 has been brought slap bang into the 21st century. AUDI 90 668bhp S2-engined sleeper.
At first glance, this may look like a fairly stock and well used Audi 90. This in itself is worthy of attention as there are very few of these mid-’80s saloons left. It’s also a quattro, which makes it even more of a find. The simple, boxy design is everything you’d expect from a 30-year old car – it has the original paintwork and that distinctive smell that only an old car can have. But look more closely and all is not as it seems. The clues are there: the Aerocatches on the bonnet; the motorsport style wheels and those sticky Toyo R888 semi-slicks. But it isn’t until you see the engine that you realise just how special this thing is.
Lift the bonnet and you’re greeted by a fantastic looking 2.2 5-cylinder 20v lump complete with big turbo. These saloons may have originally come with a 2.2 unit but, the normally aspirated KV lump made a lowly 136bhp. This one produces 668bhp. This is actually an S2 3B engine, and to say that it’s been tuned is an understatement. Will from VRS Northampton has completely transformed this 5-cylinder unit to create a big-power, but highly usable car that fits Stuart’s Elliott’s driving style.
Stuart takes up the story, “I’ve loved Audis since my dad had them,” he recalls. He had a 100, then a 90, before getting a 90 quattro, which I learnt to drive in,” he says with a big grin.
While his mates were driving old Mk2 Escorts, he had the keys to the quattro, which must have really been something back then. Fast forward 20-odd years and Stuart was in a position to relive his youth. “I was working offshore and stared looking on eBay for 90 quattros,’ he says. “I found one that had already had the S3 3B engine conversion – it looked a bit rough and had a stock gearbox, brakes and suspension but, I put a bid in.”
Being six hours ahead he won the car and called his dad to go and pick it up for him. We all know eBay purchases can bite you on the arse, but the car was as described. It was also well known on the S2 forum, so there was a wealth of info available. “I came home and drove it for 100 miles or so just to see what it needed,” says Stuart. “It was running about 280bhp, but with stock brakes and suspension, that wasn’t a good thing,” he laughs.
Having decided the car deserved some proper love, it was sent to a company who ‘talked the talk’ for some renovation and tuning work. Sadly it then sat there for a year and made no progress. Having bought an uprated radiator from Will at VRS Northampton, Stuart told him about his predicament and Will told him to bring it to him. That was the best decision Stuart could have made.
VRS has a great reputation for building some of the most capable VAGs in the UK. Main man, Will, takes real pride in each car and this 90 became a true labour of love.
“We decided to start from the arse-end and work forward to see what needed doing,” says Stuart. “I’d already had some welding done to the offside rear arch and the fuel pump area,” so the upgrades could begin.
“The plan was to create a quick road car with 500-600bhp that looked stock, but could have a go at Porsche 911s and the like,” smiles Stuart.
To say he’s nailed it is an understatement. In fact, I can’t think of many other cars that offer such ballistic performance, all wrapped up in such an innocent looking package.
The heart of this ’80s powerhouse is the S2 engine. It was actually fitted by a previous owner, but has been completely reworked by VRS. You can see the full details in the spec panel at the end of the feature, but the highlights include a fully forged bottom end, beefy GTX3576 turbo, huge 1100cc injectors and a feature packed MoTec ECU mapped by the legend that is, Dave Rowe, from EPS. “There are nine boost settings,” says Stuart. “One to six are for regular super unleaded pump fuel; while seven to nine have advanced timing to allow race fuel to be used.” With nine different maps, there’s something for every situation, making this a very usable and drivable car. “You can just do 30mph with no bother,” says Stuart “and it’ll cruise in sixth on the motorway fine – you don’t get out of it with a headache!” But when you do want to drop the hammer, this 5-cylinder monster delivers a huge punch. Stuart continues, “Using it in the gears it’s savage – in third gear acceleration is brutal and it’ll hit 100mph plus (on a private road of course). A powerful engine is one thing, but unless you can get that power down, it’ll never make for a truly fast car. Fortunately, the chassis and drivetrain has been suitably beefed up to cope with all 668bhp.
To transfer the power to the road, a B5 RS4 gearbox has been fitted. Mated to a VRS Northampton-spec 6-paddle clutch and flywheel, this thing properly hooks up and goes. With launch control and Toyo R888 rubber, acceleration is mind blowing. On many shoots it’s hard to get a feel for how a car actually performs, but as we’re at Santa Pod for the GTI Festival, I get to watch Stuart take it down the strip.
Before Stuart hits the quarter-mile, he spends a few minutes prepping the car. By prepping, I mean removing seats. The rear bench is taken out, followed by the passenger leather Recaro. Incidentally, the front seats are from an RS2 and as Stuart says, “weigh a bloody ton!”
He’s the first to admit he launches it sympathetically, but once it gets into its stride, this thing is quick. A few runs in the high 11s are respectable but, we all know there’s more to come. After a quick chat with Will from VRS, Stuart uses launch control and nails an 11.1sec pass. Impressive stuff – more so when you consider he then drove over 200 miles home afterwards. With some more practice, and an aggressive launch, this thing has the potential to dip into the 10s – seriously impressive for a full road car.
As he waits in the queue for his next run, Stuart spots a very tidy looking Ur-quattro and stops to chat to the owner. It turns out they know all the same people from the quattro Sport and S2 forums and spend a good 20 minutes chatting about their plans. Before long there’s a small crowd of onlookers. Seeing these two cars together is a rare treat; from middle-aged guys who owned one back in the day, to younger fellas that have been seduced by the iconic lines – everyone loves these ’80s treasures.
The chassis has seen some extensive work to create something with contemporary handling. There are no off-the-shelf coilovers available for these things, so rather than go to the trouble and expense of having a bespoke set created, Stuart fitted S2 subframes. These allowed the well respected KW Variant 3s to be added. With two-degrees of negative camber, the turn in is crisp and sharp, making the already capable quattro handle amazingly well.
The paintwork is best described as original. It has a certain patina that adds to the overall character of this car. There’s the odd mark and rust spot, but it’s authentic. Plus this saloon gets used. Hard. Although Stuart is planning to have a few bits tidied, it’ll remain original. “It still had the tow bar on until two weeks ago!” he reveals, “I only removed it cos it weighs 20kg.” Talking of weight, the kerb weight on this thing is just 1200kg. That gives a power to weight ratio of 556bhp per ton, that’s better than a Ferrari 458 and a McLaren F1.
So what’s next for this 1980s sleeper? Well, after five years in build, Stuart plans to use it as much as he can. That means more quarter-mile runs, some track days and plenty of cross country runs on the road. “I’m going to have the leather removed from the front seats too,”says Stuart. “I’m not a fan of leather, plus these things get hot inside,” he laughs. With some tweed cloth to match the rears, this Audi 90 will look even more period correct, further cementing its status as one of the UK’s finest sleepers.
It’s so good to see a car like this being kept alive, but more than that, being given a new lease of life thanks to modern tuning upgrades to create an absolute weapon.
SPECIFICATION #Audi-90-Saloon / #1986 / #Audi-S2-3B / #Audi-90 / #Audi-90-B2 / #Audi-Typ-81 / #Audi-Typ-85 / #VAG / #Audi-80-B2 / #Audi-80 / #Quattro /
Engine S2 3B 2.2 20v turbo, overbored 0.5mm, #Mahle pistons, forged steel rods, ported cylinder head, VRS-spec cams, stock valves with 5 angle seats, #ARP head bolts with sport #Quattro washers, VRS custom fuel injector rail, #ASNU 1100cc injectors, Audi 7A cam cover machined to accept B7 RS4 coil packs, ARP studs and nuts, #Wagner inlet and exhaust manifolds, #Turbosmart 50mm wastegate, 4-port boost control, #GTX3576 turbo with 0.82 housing, #VRS custom stepped ‘L-shaped intercooler with lightweight core, Turbosmart BO V, #CatCams vernier pulley, motorsport kit sensors – fuel, oil, 4 bar map sensor, custom 65mm core rad, Kenlow fan, custom heat shielding, carbon/Kevlar cam pulley cover, custom VRS 3in exhaust and downpipe, 19 row #Setrab oil cooler, #Aeroquip fittings, VRS custom breather tank, #Motec-M84 SLM shift light, #MoTec-M84 ECU / #Motec , custom loom, mapped by Dave Rowe from #EPS-Motorsport , 9 position adjustable boost, launch control, 2 stage anti-lag, full logging facility, custom VRS strut brace
Power 668bhp and 519lb/ft DIN (tested)
Transmission 6-speed B5 RS4 gearbox, VRS-spec 6-paddle clutch and flywheel, 16-row Mocal gearbox cooler just in front of drivers rear wheel
Brakes Brembo custom calipers with 314mm discs (front), vented S8 mix rears
Suspension KW Variant 3 coilovers, S2 Coupe ABY subframes front and rear, Powerflex bushes, 2-degrees negative camber
Wheels and Tyres Compomotive TH with Toyo R888 tyres
Interior Leather RS2 Recaros up front, OMP dished suede steering wheel, SLM shiftlight, boost gauge, controls for launch control and anti-lag built into centre console, battery relocated to boot, fire extinguisher
Exterior 1985 4-door Audi 90 saloon, Aerocatches on bonnet, front slam panel modified to fit intercooler, original paintwork
Contacts/thanks Will at VRS Northampton www.vrsnorthampton.com, Dave Rowe at #EPS-Motorsport
www.epsmotorsport.com, my missus, my mum and dad, S2 and Classic Audi forums
Top: Stuart on his way to an 11.1sec quarter.
“It still had the tow bar until two weeks ago!”
Left: Interior includes RS2 seats Above right: 668bhp S2 power house Below: Classic ’80s profile.
Far right top to bottom: #MoTec-ECU in glovebox; gauges and controls for LC and ALS.
“Using it in the gears it’s savage – in third gear, acceleration is brutal”
POWER TO WEIGHT
To appreciate just how fast this Audi 90 is, have a look at these power to weight comparisons. With up to 500kg less to pull around, but similar power, the 90 would be at a huge advantage over these £100k plus supercars...
2016 Porsche 911 Turbo S 991.........................344bhp per ton
2016 Ferrari 458 Speciale..........................470bhp per ton
1992 McLaren F1.......................................550bhp per ton
1986 Stuart’s Audi 90.................................556bhp per tonStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationOWNED #2012 / #2016 / #VAG
This is how they do things Down Under; get the lowdown on Stuart French’s immaculate home-grown, road/race Mk1.
It’s refreshing to feature a car 100% built by its owner; and Stuart French is about as hardcore a Mk1 fan as you’re ever going to meet… Words: Tony Saggu. Photos: Andrew & Bernard Gueit (Hybrid Imaging).
Almost everything about owning and modding a Dub, or any other car for that matter, is a learning experience. Even before you press yourself into the driver’s seat and wrap your hot little hands around the wheel for the first time, there’s been an education in researching the specs, tracking down the perfect example, the subtle art of the deal… and the rest of it. There are plenty of mistakes to be made and lessons to be learned; surfing the learning curve, navigating the maze and picking up the pointers is half the hobby. Weird as it may sound, making the mistakes and learning from them is probably one of the most rewarding parts of turning a bucket of bolts into a track terror or classy cruiser. Buy a finished car and you’ve cheated yourself out of the essence of owning it, the journey can be way cooler than the destination.
“I can honestly say that the entire car is my own work…” declared Mk1-mad Australian serial Dub modder Stuart French proudly, “…from paint to powertrain and everything in between. I genuinely believe that’s what makes a project ‘special’ on another level. Slaving your ass off over a car every weekend and pouring most of your wages into it is a great way to ensure you respect the final product!” Stuart’s built not bought bad-boy is a lesson in balancing form and function in the perfect package and, as far as “respect” goes, it’s certainly got ours – in spades!
Stuart’s trip to the top began unassumingly enough, at the controls of a plain Jane four-door Mk3 Golf. The car was basic in every sense of the word; Stuart had attempted to add a few frills, but his teenage student budget didn’t stretch too far, keeping the jam jar barely above beater status. A little too much exuberance with the right foot one evening coupled with relative inexperience behind the wheel, saw the Mk3 pirouette gracefully, all be it out of control, across a slippery street into the arms of a waiting lamp post. “It was a pretty fullon accident,” recalled Stuart, “the car was totally smashed but thankfully no one was hurt.” After such a frightening finale to his daily driver, you might have expected the lad to search for something a touch safer and slower for his replacement transport. The insurance cheque found its way to a safer substitute; but slower? Not so much… “The money went straight into a SEAT Ibiza Cupra Sport 16v – the only car that came with an ABF 16v in Australia; we never got Mk3 GTIs here,” explained Stuart. “I’d always wanted a 16v after reading about them in Drive-My and on forums, and once I got my own, I got a bit carried away. I ended up modifying the ABF pretty heavily, with big cams, ITBs etc. It sounded epic and I was hooked.”
While the Cupra had the right engine room resident, Stuart was soon searching for something with a little more retro class; a 16v Mk1 Golf seemed the natural choice. “I’ve had two Mk1 16vs before this one,” Stuart told us. “One I built from scratch and the other I bought already built just to thrash on weekends. I’ve had over ten other Mk1s all told, all four-door which got broken up for parts, which is all four-doors are good for anyway, right?”
The current project is something of a blending of the two prior 16v Golfs to grace Stuart’s driveway and it’s a show ’n’ go machine that will beat the competition at the shows and then blow their doors off on the way back. “I had the race theme in my head for ages,” explained Stuart. “The only thing missing was a good base car to start a new project on. I wanted a completely clean slate to totally scratch-build my dream racer.” The Australian old-skool VW scene may not be huge, but it’s a close-knit community and the word soon spread that Stuart was searching for a shell to start on. “In South Hobart, Tasmania, there’s an old-skool VW guy, Ed Conacher, who was always the go-to guy for VW parts,” Stuart told us. “He had a heap of Mk1 shells at his house and he actually gave me my first Mk1 rolling shell nearly ten years ago. Well prior to picking this first one up all those years ago, I noticed a part-restored two-door shell with a nice roll-cage welded in. I’d asked to buy it off Ed a few times over the years, but he was adamant that he’d finish building it and wouldn’t sell it to me.”
Stuart’s not-for-sale story has an all too familiar ring to it, we’ve seen the plot played out all too often. “Eventually I heard on the grapevine that Ed had actually sold the shell to an old friend of his and that this guy, too, had given up on the build.” So Stuart swooped in, cash in hand. “I knew I had to buy it and didn’t care how much it cost,” he recalled. “It was, and is, almost impossible to find a good Mk1 two-door in Australia, especially one with a proper roll-cage already installed.”
Just over 900 quid in Canadian dollars bought what Stuart admits was an undeniable POS. The ’75 vintage two-door had deteriorated quite a lot since Stuart had first spied it over a decade earlier. “The shed the bloke kept it in was damp and dilapidated,” he explained. “The car was covered in dirt, rust and wall-to wall-bird shit. There’d been heavy panels and stuff stored on the roof which had created some nice dents, I knew these would be hard to fix properly.” A peek underneath didn’t reveal any better news: “He’d also dropped it on an axle stand, which had punched a hole clean through the sill. To make matters even worse, though, both captive nuts for the lower control arms had broken free and stripped; anyone who knows their Mk1s will be aware that this is a very fiddly job to repair.” Despite the carnage Stuart wasn’t complaining. He hoisted the heap onto a trailer and headed home.
Having picked up and perfected a catalogue of skills grappling with his first Mk1 project, Stuart was determined tackle all the tasks on the new car himself. “I always work with the notion that if anyone else can learn to do something as a professional, I can teach it to myself with patience and practice, and do it just as well,” he explained. The paint and bodywork alone swallowed up over a year’s worth of evenings and weekends, although Stuart admits his perfectionist streak may have added a month or two to the build time. The caged shell would be stripped back to the shiny stuff before any refinish work could start in earnest. The plan was always to finish the whole shell in a simple untinted pure white so a clean unblemished base was essential. “I started in the engine bay as I wanted this to be smooth and clean,” revealed Stuart, “but not with ridiculous panels welded in. I removed the rain and battery tray as well as all the brackets but I was very particular about maintaining the standard lines. I hate those Mk1s where there are sheets of metal welded over the original lines. That just robs the classic character of the car, which is the whole point of building an old car!”
Next up was the cabin, where countless hours were invested in smoothing the floors. Knowing full well that he’d be dispensing with the carpet, each footwell and the entire rear interior floor was relieved of its dents and lightly skimmed in filler, before being sanded to glassy smooth perfection. “I still don’t like wearing shoes when I drive it,” Stuart laughed, remembering how long it took him to smooth it all out! Thankfully the outer body was quite straight, with the exception of the rear panel; the original swallow-tail rear had been hacked up for bigger late model lights.
“I really regret not replacing this panel with a new one before painting it,” lamented Stuart. “It took me about 150 hours to repair the cut and beaten rear panel with fibreglass reinforcement and filler; all the while I was cursing the guy who cut it in the first place. Looking at it now, you’d never know the shell is really a 1975 model, but I can’t help thinking it’s a swallow-tail that’s lost its mojo.”
The underbody and wheel arches didn’t surrender without a fight either; both areas were taken back to bare metal, repaired and treated with anti-rust sealant and resealed in pure white stone-proof coating. The first paint job on the car suffered from dust contamination, and the cold Tasmanian winter played havoc with the air-dry process. “I had to strip it all back down to metal and re-do the entire thing. It’s one of those jobs where you hate life while you’re doing it, but you just have to remember that any problems will always piss you off in the long-term if they’re not fixed in the first place,” explained Stuart.
Of course, this car is so much more than just perfect panels and a pretty paint job; it’s the screaming 16-valve under the bonnet that completes Stuart’s story. Initially the nearstock ABF engine from his first Mk1 was stripped down and rebuilt into a Bahn Brennerequipped turbo powerhouse. “I went through a lot of hoops to get that setup going: wiring, software… only to find wheelspin and turbo lag weren’t what I wanted in a Mk1,” Stuart told us. “So after months of work I progressively sold off the turbo parts, with the intention of going back to N/A, where I believe the 16v belongs.”
The torque-laden turbo setup had bags of power but Stuart felt it was almost too civilised, lacking the high-revving raw boots and braces edge his road racer theme demanded. “I remembered reading about a Mk1 in Germany with a serious 2.0 16v installed that revved to 10,000 rpm,” recalled Stuart. “That was precisely what the project needed, but there are no good engine builders in Australia for proper watercooled VW stuff, so I knew I’d have to look in Europe. I spent hours searching for old F2 or similar-spec’d 16vs and eventually came across a strippeddown, full-house Van Kronenburg short motor on the Berg Cup classifieds. After weeks of frigging around with shipping and import problems, I bought all the parts, including the empty block. This was a pretty big gamble, too, as I didn’t know the seller and had to take his word for the condition of the parts.”
Fortunately the Dutch connection was a man of his word; after months of nail biting the goods arrived and Stuart reports that most of the parts were brand-new and came with receipts for all the machining work. All that had to be done was a quick re-bore job, as our man was intending to run bigger pistons, and a final buttoning up of the block. “The whole lot was assembled on the garage floor and matched with a custom Bosch Motorsport piggy-backed ECU which I sourced through work,” Stuart explained. Working as a corporate suit for Bosch obviously has its perks! “The throttle body kit is specifically designed for the ABF by dBilas, so I’ve had to retain all the standard sensors, as well as source some side-feed injectors to fit the stock ABF rail, also Bosch items,” Stuart continued. “They were originally designed for a JDM Nissan but they work a treat.” The entire powerplant is a mix of some pretty unique parts, including some aggressive solid lifter cams made by dBilas and other rare oneoffs, all produced in Holland at a massive original expense. “One of the big expenses with building an old VW in Australia is the freight cost associated with importing parts from Europe and the USA. Since starting this car, I’ve spent over $10,000 on freight and import taxes alone,” Stuart reveals.
In an attempt to get the best balance between looks and genuine driveability, Stuart splashed out on two sets of wheels: “The PLSs are mainly for looks, though I did like the challenge of making 9x16s fit under a Mk1. I also have some 8x14s HTN Rennsports with Avon cut slicks that go on the car for track days and hillclimbs.” The ride height is “sensible” according to Stuart.
Despite attracting a fair few critics for not being set on its sills, our man is sticking to his guns: “Why the hell spend a fortune on high-end suspension components if the car is going to run on its bump stops? As we all know, Mk1s have very limited wheel travel as it is.” The stance brigade may be content rolling low and slow, but with upwards of 260bhp on tap and barely 800kg to move, Stuart isn’t about to ease off the loud pedal of his handmade hot rod: “I built it as street legal race car, and that’s how it gets driven!” Watch the film for proof.
DUB TECHNICAL DATA FILE DETAILS #VW-Golf-I / #VW-Golf-Mk1 / #Volkswagen-Golf-Mk1 / #Volkswagen-Golf / #Volkswagen / #Volkswagen-Rabbit / #Volkswagen-Rabbit-I / #VW / #VW-Golf
ENGINE: SEAT Ibiza #F2-ABF 2.0 16v base engine, custom #Mahle 83.5mm 12.5:1 forged pistons, total swept volume: 2032cc, custom knife-edged and balanced billet crankshaft, Sauger gated wet sump, Lentz 159mm further lightened con rods, fully balanced assembly, ARP and Raceware hardware throughout, dBilas Dynamic head reworked with Ferrea valves (34.5 and 28.0mm) and ultra-light solid lifter kit with titanium retainers and springs, #dBilas-Dynamic 316in./304ex. deg. solid camshafts, dBilas Dynamic ABF-specific ITB kit with cast alloy air box and cold air feed, K-tech carbon fibre rocker cover, Piggybacked #Bosch-Motorsport & #Siemens ECUs, match-ported Eurosport headers, Schrick Gruppe A 2.5” stainless steel exhaust with single Powersprint s/s muffler, 02A/J gearbox with SQS six-speed gearset and Peloquin LSD, CAE Race Shifter with extra-tall shift lever, AP twin-plate clutch assembly, ultra-light 228mm billet flywheel.
Power: 267bhp @ 8435rpm (9200rpm hard cut) at the flywheel.
CHASSIS: Show wheels: PLS Evolution rims: 8x16” #ET22 front and 9x16” ET15 rear with Hankook K107 195/40/16 and 215/35/16 tyres. Race wheels: 14x8” #HTN-Rennsport-ET22 with Avon slicks, 1975 Mk1 Golf LS (Australian-built model, ex swallow-tail), 12- point chromoly integrated roll-cage, KW stainless coilovers with adjustable top mounts, #KW-ARB kit with custom rateadjustable rear outer mounts, solid-bushed rear axle – polybushes at all other points, #PMW ball joint extenders, PMW bump-steer elimination kit with modified spindles, seamwelded control arms with modified rear mounts, Eurosport four-point subframe at front, BFI front crossmember support, Wilwood Ultralite four-pot front brake kit with 256mm discs, Mk3 rear disc conversion, 24mm master cylinder and Cupra servo, rebuilt Autocavan brake linkage, Scirocco 16v handbrake cables, custom Goodridge full-length braided lines with on-the-fly bias adjustment.
OUTSIDE: Full inside-out bare metal restoration, resprayed in DuPont pure white with clear coat, seam-welded throughout, rolled and pulled wheel arches, de-badged tailgate, smoothed front apron and sills, rear panel modified for big tail lamps, deleted rain tray and smoothed engine bay, carbon rear wheel arch spats, carbon bumpers, carbon GTI splitter, tinted crystal tail lamps and front indicators, crystal crosshair headlamps.
INSIDE: SEAT Cupra 16v dashboard and instruments, 996 911 GT3 RS carbon seats retrimmed in red leather, carbon door trim, interior handle set and various other carbon details, OMP Corsica steering wheel, smoothed and painted floorpans, VDO white-faced gauges.
SHOUT: Michael Koordt at K-Tech, Gerjan Stroeve at Stroeve Motorsport, my girlfriend Lauren for letting me work on the car whenever, my mum for donating her garage whenever I needed it, all the team at Autocraft – especially Matty Porter, my late friends, Lo and John Zwollo.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationWHITE LINES / Words Davy Lewis Photography Jape Tiitinen.
600BHP SNOW PLOUGH
Wide-body #Audi 80 quattro. This 603hp, wide body #Audi-80-GTE was built for one thing – hooning on the frozen roads of Finland…
Our man in Finland, Jape, is always sending us cool videos. When he’s not taking amazing images of some of the world’s most exciting, and indeed powerful Audis, he’ll be capturing them in action. From riding shotgun in Philipp Klaess’ insane 225mph, 1000bhp B5 wide body, to Gatebil monsters, this man knows no fear. It was when one of Jape’s emails pinged into my inbox that I discovered this beast of an Audi 80.
The email simply said, “Hi Boss, check out this Audi 80 snowplough!” There was a link to a video in which a tough looking 1980s saloon was being given death in the snow. It looked like tremendous fun. The driver was clearly having the time of his life in this wintry playground, and given the pummelling my ears were getting from my headphones, it was clear that this thing was running a rather large turbo.
So I pinged Jape an email to find out more... Turns out the owner is a good friend of his, which doesn’t surprise me – everyone seems to be a mate of Jape’s – even our own Julian Loose in the UK (is there anyone Jape doesn’t know?!) The lucky owner of this ultimate snow toy, is a chap called Pasi Kellokumpu. A well known face on the Finnish tuning scene, he runs a trailer company transporting cars all over the place. But when Pasi isn’t towing cars, he’s driving them – sideways.
It’s no secret that the Fin’s seem to have an innate ability to go incredibly fast, in the kind of conditions that would make us Brits scared to set foot outside the house. The joke about needing a wiper on the side windows is actually closer to the truth than you might imagine. But, even in this country filled with expert sideways merchants, Pasi is still regarded as a bit of a lunatic.
Now that really must take some doing in Finland! The Audi 80 is however a mere toy for this guy. You see, tucked away in his garage, are a couple of serious power cars that he only drives in the good weather. There’s a 1000+hp Ur-S4 for track and an insane S2 packing a mighty 1319hp – surely the most powerful in the world. This out-and-out drag monster is named “Aim and Pray” which kind of says it all really. We’ll be featuring both of these truly epic cars as soon as the winter releases its icy grip on Finland. The 80 GTE is then a mere toy – something to keep him amused over the long winters. It may be a ‘toy’ to Pasi, but for most of us, it’d be a dream come true.
Based on a 1986 Audi 80 GTE quattro, this once sedate saloon has been transformed into a full-on hooligan. Under that Sport quattro-style vented bonnet, sits a fully built 2.2 5-pot lump running a #Holset HX40 turbo. This behemoth blower, together with supporting upgrades, including straight through 3in exhaust, huge 4in downpipe, massive intercooler, and uprated fuelling, helps this thing make 603hp and 660Nm.
When the big Holset comes on song, all hell breaks loose – perfect for playing in the snow. All four wheels light up in an instant and big, four-wheel drifts are easy. It’s loud too. That five cylinder howl sounds all the more glorious with the turbo chuffing and snorting away as Pasi bangs through the gears.
Talking of cogs, with more than three times the stock power, this Audi 80 has been treated to a heavily uprated box. It’s an S4 01E six-speed unit that’s bolstered by a Sachs Race 3-paddle clutch and S2 driveshafts. A lightened flywheel helps things rev – something this engine has no problem with already!
Pasi has fitted a set of Brembo brakes from a Leon Cupra R together with some S2 rear discs. This setup provides ample stopping power – when the tyres have something to grip on, of course. But then the 8.5 and 9.5x17in Fondmetal rims aren’t shod in your average ‘winter’ rubber; this thing runs proper studded tyres. However, when the snow has cleared and the sun returns to Finland, Pasi swaps to some girthy 10 and 11.25x17in wheels, which I’m reliably informed, look amazing.
Aside from the rip-snorting engine and bullet proof transmission, there are plenty of other treats built into this supersnow saloon. Inside, it’s all about performance; anything that wasn’t required was chucked in the bin. All you’ll find now are go-fast aids, such as the multi-point roll cage (handy when you’re only ever a hairs breadth away from sticking it on the roof), a pair of deep Sparco buckets with 6-point harnesses, and a tactile Nardi wheel. Once snuggly ensconced within this setup, the driver can concentrate on the task in hand – going incredibly fast. A smattering of gauges keeps Pasi abreast of the engine’s health – and that’s about it.
For me, the best bit of this monstrous little saloon is the looks. There’s no poncey ‘patina’ about this badboy. It’s battered, battle scarred, and proud – like those old fellas with flat noses you see in the pub – you can tell it’s lived an exciting life.
The styling is heavily influenced by the Sport quattro – and why not? It’s one of the most iconic and downright cool looking cars ever made. There’s a Sport quattro-style front bumper, grille and even bonnet. The bonnet features vents to help cool the engine, but it’s not all show – it’s made from carbon fibre. And so is the roof for that matter.
The front bumper has been viciously cut out to allow maximum airflow to the large intercooler and rad. To the rear you’ll find a Ur-quattro style bumper, plus a cheeky Audi 80 V8 rear light panel that’s been modified to fit and a cool looking rear diffuser. But, for me, the icing on the cake is the full set of custom steel fabricated arches designed to mimic the Sport quattro’s wide shouldered look. The rear doors have also been heavily worked on to complete the look – it’s as if Audi made a four-door Sport quattro. This Audi 80 looks squat, muscular and ready for business.
So what’s next for this 600hp snow plough? Well, according to Pasi, the engine is being taken to 800-900hp for next season. Looks like things are set to get a whole lot crazier in Finland!
Top: Front is all about the airflow Above: Ice, ice, baby...
SPECIFICATION #Audi-80-GTE-Quattro / #1986 / #Audi-80-GTE / #Audi-80-Quattro / #Audi-80 / #Audi-80-B2 / #Audi-80-GTE-Quattro-B2 / #Audi / #Ur-S4 / #Ur-S4-AAN / #Audi-S4-01E /
Engine #Audi-Ur-S4-AAN 2.2 5-cyl 20v turbo engine, #Eagle con rods, #Mahle pistons, upgraded piston pins, #Schrick high-lift cams, upgraded valve springs, Revo adjustable cam gear, #Dahlback-Racing pulley, 4in #Revo downpipe, #Holset-HX40 Super turbocharger, #Tial wastegate, custom intercooler, VW Vento radiator, 034 Motorsport coils, #Tatech ECU, 3in custom exhaust, #Fuellab fuel pump, fuel cell in boot.
Power 603hp and 660Nm
Transmission #Audi S4 01E six-speed box, 4WD, #Ojennus lightened flywheel, #Sachs Race 3-paddle clutch, S2 driveshafts
Brakes SEAT Leon Cupra R #Brembo calipers (f/r), Leon Cupra R front discs, S2 rear discs
Suspension: #H&R S2 coilovers, S2 anti-roll bars, faster steering rack (RS2), polyurethane bushes
Wheels & Tyres Summer: RH ZW1 10x17in (f) with 11.25x17in (r), 235/45 (f) with 255/40 (r). Winter: Fondmetal 8.5x17in with 9.5x17in, 225/45 (f) with 245/40 (r) studded.
Interior: #Sparco Evo racing seats, #Sabelt 6-point harnesses, roll cage, Nardi steering wheel, rear seat deleted, stripped interior, #VDO 300km/h speedometer, A’PEXi rev counter, #VDO gauges for boost, water temperature, oil temperature, oil pressure and voltage, #PLX gauges for fuel pressure and AFR.
Exterior: Sport #Quattro -style front bumper, #Sport-quattro-style grille, carbon fibre bonnet with Aerocatches, VW Transporter front lights, Sport quattro-style custom steel wheel arches, custom steel side skirts, custom rear diffuser, Audi 80 V8 model rear light panel modified to fit, #Audi-Ur-quattro style rear bumper, carbon fibre roof.
Tuning contacts/thanks www.erihinaus.fi
Facing page: Pasi runs a towing company Top: Custom rear diffuser Above: Full cage and Sparco seats Left: Just the essential dials.
“Big, four-wheel drifts are easy in this thing”
Above: Big Holset turbo dominates the bay Below left: 20v turbo five makes over 600hp Bottom: Boot houses the alloy fuel cell.
Above: Are you winding me up?! Below: The ultimate snow toy Bottom: Side-exit pipes.
See it in action… To see a video of Pasi hooning around in some full-on Finnish snow, head to https://drive-my.com/en/social/stream/item/7610.htmlStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationMKS MONSTER AUDI S3 8L
Methanol injected monster. With a double injection of methanol, this #MKS-Performance-S3 is the most powerful K04 hybrid 8L we know of – who says you need a big turbo…? Words Davy Lewis. Photography Adrian Brannan.
Everyone has their own way of doing things. From cooking your steak, to cleaning your car – you find a way that suits and you stick with it. And to a certain extent this extends to the world of performance tuning. There are many different ways to create more power and everyone has strong views on which is the best method.
For a forced induction car, there’s no doubt that increasing turbo efficiency is the most effective way to increase power. However, there’s more to it than simply bolting on the largest turbo you can find on eBay. Turbocharged engines present a particular set of challenges for tuners. The bottom end needs to be strong enough to handle the extra boost; the cooling system must be uprated to deal with the high temperatures created by harnessing the spent exhaust gasses; and supporting upgrades all need consideration including fuelling, airflow and engine management.
When Matt Shannon began tinkering with his S3, he had a very fixed idea of what he wanted to achieve. “I’d already owned a tuned Octavia VRS 4x4, which is basically the same car underneath,” he comments. Having a lot of experience with the ubiquitous 1.8 20v turbo unit, Matt decided to purchase an S3 to work on, although he admits, “I bought it behind my wife’s back.” Brave man.
The original plan was to rebuild the engine so that it would make 500bhp with a big turbo. But, at the last minute, he changed his mind. “It’s harder to achieve good power with a K04 hybrid, than with a big turbo,” he says. Which is why this particular BAM unit runs dual methanol injection. “The largest port injects it immediately after the intercooler to keep the charge temps down, while the second injects it immediately before the throttle body. This helps to cool the cylinders and also increase the octane rating, as well as keeping the exhaust gas temps at a safe level. “It effectively ‘steam cleans’ the engine,” smiles Matt. Should the meth run out, the map reverts to its lower state of tune at 280bhp to prevent damage.
An oil and gas engineer by trade, Matt has been building up MKS Tuning for a few years now. It was a part time job until redundancy gave him the push to go full time and the S3 has become his demo vehicle to showcase what can be achieved.
The engine itself has been fully blue printed – a highly skilled method of measuring oil clearances to indicate how much life is left in vital components. The stock pistons were deemed good enough to use, but were fully refurbed with new shells etc. You can see the detailed engine spec in the spec box later on, but it’s a comprehensive build that ensures the S3 can take 500bhp if Matt wishes to fit a big turbo at some stage.
Having done the entire build himself, the only outside help came in the form of the balancing (which requires highly expensive machinery) and the custom map. Badger5 took care of the map and have created a set up with five settings, from a low stressed 280bhp, right the way up to the full-fat 370bhp with methanol.
To get the power down, Matt has done away with the dual mass flywheel and fitted a meaty Loba single mass kit. There’s also a rare Haldex Blue controller, which allows power to be adjusted front to rear as required. With sticky Yokohama Parada Spec 2s, this fierce S3 lays down its ample power very effectively. Key to this is the nature of the K04 hybrid, which spools up quickly, delivering a linear response, rather than the big bang associated with a big turbo. The great thing about this precision build is that it is very drivable; the turbo kicks in at 3000rpm, so there’s always power there when you want it.
With the ability to hit 60mph from rest in around four seconds and some pretty lively in-gear acceleration, it’s easy to find yourself moving at a rapid rate of knots in this S3. Matt has wisely fitted some hefty stoppers in the form of D2 six-pots which clamp down on 356mm discs. Tucked up behind the timeless Rota Grids in a beefy 9.5x18, they do an admirable job of standing this S3 on its nose.
Now, it would have been easy to strip the interior and save weight, further improving the performance of this hard-charging S3, but Matt wanted to retain its usability. Inside it’s all very nice with stock electric, leather Recaros and Bose audio – so stripping it was never an option. There are some additions though. A Liquigauge unit has been mounted in the driver’s side air vent. This offers a multitude of functions, from checking essential EGT, boost and other data, to reading fault codes – there’s even a performance timer incorporated.
Pop the tailgate and you’ll find the plumbing and tank for the methanol injection kit, plus a battery. Both had to be relocated with an already tight engine bay, but sit neatly in the spare wheel well.
Outside, apart from the MKS company logos and the cut outs to the front bumper to maximise airflow, you’d think this was just another lightly tuned S3, possibly making 260bhp with a remap and performance exhaust. But once that needle hits 3000rpm, you’d realise it has serious potential – enough to keep up with a B7 RS4 and leave stock Evos wondering what just happened. As Matt says, it would have been straightforward to bolt on a large turbo, strip it out and create a big boosting monster. But that’s not the point. For him, this build was about doing things differently. Creating a powerful, but usable road car that retains its original character. The fact it still has the original 122k-mile block and uses a K04 hybrid makes it all the sweeter. It goes to show what a proper engineer’s approach to engine building can achieve.
SPECIFICATION #Audi-S3-8L / #Audi-S3 / #Audi-S3-MKS-Performance / #Audi-A3-8L / #Audi-A3
ENGINE: 1.8 20v turbo BAM with full #MKS-Performance rebuild and motorsport blue print, #Badger5 custom map, 5 map selectable programme, 370bhp & 364lb/ft max with power ranging down to 280bhp min, #Supertech Nitrate inlet and Inconel exhaust valves with HD springs and single grove collets, #BADGER5 V2.2 80mm turbo intake pipe with BMC induction filter and heat shield, BADGER5 V2 high-flow cast manifold with large port mod, BEACHBUGGY TURBO Stage 4 Hybrid K04 turbo also with B5 large port mod in hotside, AEB large port cylinder head, Supertech Nitrate inlet and Inconel exhaust valves with HD springs and single grove collets, 600x300x76mm Toyo sport type B front mount intercooler, Pipewerx 3in down pipe and custom 5in sports cat, #Milltek cat back exhaust, Devilsown dual port 100% methanol injection with solenoid upgrade and inline pressure gauge, DO3 injector post front mount intercooler and DO1 injector pre throttle body, 550cc Bosch injectors, IE Tuscan rods (rifle drilled), #ACL big end shells and #Mahle main shells, #ARP main and head stud kit, OEM pistons but new rings still at 81.5mm bore, full Forge coolant hose kit, Forge 008 DV, Draft45designs oil catch can with custom catch can system, N249 valve delete.
TRANSMISSION: Loba stage 2 single-mass flywheel kit, ECS metal clutch bleeder (must have for smf kit), #Haldex blue controller.
BRAKES: D2 356mm 6-pot brakes with drilled rotors
SUSPENSION: AP coilovers, adjustable rear control arms for camber control.
WHEELS AND TYRES: Rota Grid Drift, 9.5x18in, Yokohama Parada Spec 2 rubber.
EXTERIOR: 2x genuine #Audi front wings inc. bumper respray, cut out front bumper, black Audi badges, MKS graphics.
INTERIOR: Liquigauge (obd data screen) in D/S air vent, batt relocation to the boot, Devilsown 2.25gal race baffled meth tank in boot, boost, oil and meth pressure gauge’s with meth injection kill switch.
TUNING CONTACTS: MKS Performance www.mksperformance.co.uk Badger5 www.badger5.biz
Top: This S3 can shift Above: Would make a cool necklace for petrolheads!
Left: Liquigauge is neatly mounted Below Left: Go Go Juice aka methanol injection!
“The ability to hit 60mph from rest in around 4 seconds”
Above: D2 6-pots right: Battery and methanol tank in the spare wheel well.
Right Heat management is taken seriously Below: 1.8T look immaculate.
Above: 9.5in wide Rotas look great.
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- Post is under moderationBettering the Best
America didn’t get the #BMW-M3-GTS , so this one has been built up, but with a 4.6-litre V8. If you can’t buy yourself an #BMW-M3 GTS then how about building yourself one and then making it better with a few choice modifications, such as a 4.6-litre V8? Words: Simon Holmes /// Photography: Richard Le /// #BMW-E92
From a UK perspective, the Americans seem to have it pretty good when it comes to cars. They pay three times less for their fuel, have a country that’s around 38 times bigger to drive across and specialist car parts are in abundance. However, they do get the short straw when it comes to some things and one of those happens to be certain special edition BMWs, such as the E92 M3 GTS. The stripped-out hardcore track car was never marketed in the USA, which is partly what makes this example you see here so special. It isn’t technically a genuine GTS, although it might as well be as it features just about every single genuine part from a GTS from the obvious parts such as the spoilers to the more subtle differences, such as the door seals. But that’s half the story as underneath the Fire orange paintwork there’s also some trick suspension and a very special 4.6-litre V8 engine…
The man who took on the challenge of building himself his very own specially tweaked GTS was Aleks D, owner of Alekshop in California. His company specialises in supplying high-end parts to high-end cars and BMWs happen to be a favourite of his, so he’s no stranger to an M3, having owned multiple M cars over the years. “I am a big fan of naturally aspirated cars and as the M3 falls into that category it fits me well – it’s a very good all around car with incredible performance,” Aleks tells us. “But being able to work on M cars on a daily basis and drive them all the time, I knew the perfect street and track car would be a tuned naturally aspirated E92 M3.”
However, extracting significant power from the M3’s V8 without the use of forced induction is tricky to say the least, which is why Aleks knew he would have to take a look a closer look at the M3 GTS, which featured a stroked 4.4-litre naturally aspirated engine. “We came to the realisation that the M3 would be an even better car if we stroked the motor to get more power. Sure you can supercharge it and save yourself the trouble of going through the engine rebuild, not to mention it would cost you much less and you will gain a lot more power. But BMW didn’t design the M3 to be a supercharged car, so we decided to keep it all NA and you could say a modern American muscle car.”
But as Aleks knew he couldn’t get hold of one in the US he would have to build his own and that’s how the GTS project began. With an ambitious plan in mind the first stage was finding the ideal candidate, but that was actually an easy choice for Aleks as, ironically, although the UK received the GTS it didn’t get offered the Lime Rock Edition M3. This was a model produced in 2013 specifically for the US market in the same vibrant Fire orange colour as the GTS. But as there were only 200 of these cars built, sourcing one meant Aleks had to order a brand new one through his friendly BMW dealer. Then it was just the not-so-small matter of modifying a brand new M3 with genuine GTS parts from BMW but that proved to be a little more complicated then you might expect.
“The reality settled much faster than we anticipated on just how hard it would be to get the parts, as all we were hearing was ‘can’t get it’, ‘not available’, ‘BMW won’t sell’,” he recalls. “There is only one way to buy GTS parts; you have to own a GTS and explain to BMW why you need to get new parts for your car. Even then BMW won’t sell them to you over the counter and you have to beg them, in a sense, to sell you a part and be ready to swallow a high price tag.”
Luckily, Aleks happened to have a friend over in Germany who was able to do just that for him and he helped to source just about every GTS part Aleks needed: “It included everything from a factory roll cage to seat sliders, a rear seat delete kit, extinguisher, brake rotors [discs], aero parts, Makrolon windows and all the other GTS parts. As we were documenting our progress on the m3post.net forum the project gained a lot of interest and there was no turning back for us; we had to finish the build at all cost.”
This caused a bit of a problem though, as it turned out BMW itself weren’t too happy with Aleks’ plan to build his own GTS and, amazingly, actually tried to spoil the fun! “It was really hard to get every single part. As a matter of a fact, someone at BMW Munich noticed our on-going build thread on the forum and sent out an email to GTS owners saying that they are putting sales of GTS parts on hold,” Aleks explains.
Eventually, every part filtered through despite the headache and cost and it helped that rather than pull the whole car apart and attack it at once, the project was done one part or area at a time. To understand how these parts improved the car, it was taken to the track in between fittings to see what the individual effects were. After six months of hard work the car was looking and feeling like a GTS, but that’s where the second part of the plan was to come into action; modifying it. That meant some top grade aftermarket suspension was due but first was to build their very own stroker engine and this time they decided not to use BMW parts, as Aleks elaborates: “While the 4.4- litre stroker motor that BMW used in M3 GTS was great, we wanted to maximise the performance and build a 4.6-litre that would make more torque and power. So we did just that.”
He makes it sound simple but Aleks did not choose the simple route. There were options on the table such as buying a ready built engine from tuners Dinan or RD Sport but Aleks decided to create his very own Alekshop stroker kit to meet his needs. The new engine features replacement steel rods, forged pistons and a custom crankshaft to alter the engine’s stroke. It’s also the only stroker engine fitted with uprated camshafts, according to Aleks. To ensure proper engine oil cooling, the guys also designed their own race-style oil cooler that reduced temperature by 32°F degrees and an Akrapovic GT4 exhaust system was also added. The build was hard work and new territory for Aleks but it was worth it: “It was a great experience working with guys from Carrillo, Mahle, Schrick, Hasselgren Engineering and others and we made a lot of new friends a long the way.” The finished product was an engine that made an impressive and usable 417hp at the wheels on 91-octane fuel which equates to around 500hp at the flywheel. It also made 319lb ft of torque at the wheels, a noticeable improvement over a standard M3 and the beauty is that it still acts like an naturally aspirated engine, just as Aleks wanted.
With that hurdle well and truly tackled, next up was the suspension and Aleks already had something suitable in mind and he didn’t do things by halves. “I really liked the idea of having a true coil-over setup on this car, like we saw on the BMW M3 GT4. So we decided to build a set based on Ohlins Racing line shocks,” recalls Aleks. “The shock’s length, valves, springs rates and camber plates all were matched to the weight of the car which was weighted, cornerweight balanced and aligned to our specs. We put the shocks through the shock-dyno to determine the perfect settings for the compression and rebound to get a baseline. It really helped setting the car up and getting a neutral balance. We also replaced the rubber subframe bushings with our own solid bushes made from Delrin and aluminium to remove all the play from the subframe.”
That might very well sound like it’s a bone-shaking, hardcore race car now but Aleks tells us that in reality, it’s still a lot of fun to drive on the street and it’s abilities are far from restricted to the race track: “I do go grocery shopping in it still. I drive it every week. It’s just a lot of fun and I won’t make it a garage queen. It’s wild colour does get a lot of attention but we drive it on the street and we play with it at the track. We use it as a normal car!” And on the flip side to that, there’s the way it feels when Aleks does venture onto the track: “The car feels perfectly balanced and a true high performance car. It doesn’t require any special skill to drive it. The Ohlins suspension feels incredibly good driving on well-paved or bumpy roads. It definitely drives like a BMW; comfortable but with super sharp and precise handling and a smooth and instant throttle response. But my favourite part is that it doesn’t feel modified. It feels like it was made by BMW and we just bought a really awesome car. Using factory parts made it so much better while maintaining an OEM look.”
It took another eight months after completing the GTS conversion to finely hone the engine and suspension to bring it up to where it is, and now that the project is done it’s being left exactly as it is, aside from a little maintenance. “Perhaps it will get an oil change and a set of fresh rubber after the next track day,’ Aleks says. “It really needs nothing. No need to overcomplicate things and mod it further. It has everything BMW designed it to have so we will leave it at that and move on our 2015 M4 project.”
Thankfully, the M4 is readily available in America, which should make things a whole lot easier! Perhaps this time Aleks can create his own version of a GTS as a stroker engined M4 sounds like it could be fun.
CONTACT: Alekshop Web: www.alekshop.com
“It has everything BMW designed it to have so we will leave it at that”
TECH DATA #BMW-M3-GTS-Alekshop-E92 / #BMW-M3-GTS-E92 / #BMW-M3-E92 / #Alekshop
ENGINE & GEARBOX: Alekshop 4.6-litre naturally aspirated stroker engine #S65 / #S65B40 , 11.9:1 compression ratio, #Carrillo high strength #H-Beam steel rods, #Mahle forged pistons, custom crankshaft, Schrick mild cams, #Eibach valve springs, Alekshop Race oil cooler, #Akrapovic GT4 Exhaust system, seven-speed #M-DCT gearbox fitted with GTS software.
CHASSIS: #Ohlins-Racing true coilover suspension, RD Sport adjustable sway bars, Alekshop solid (Delrin/aluminium) subframe bushings, #Alekshop adjustable toe links.
BRAKES: Six-piston front callipers and four-piston rear callipers with GTS rotors and Endless brake pads.
WHEELS & TYRES: #BMW-GTS 19-inch wheels with GTSspec 255/35/19 and 285/30/19 Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres.
INTERIOR: BMW GTS steering wheel, roll bar, rear seat delete kit, fire extinguisher, Euro sun visors, centre arm rest delete, door seals, seat slides and side mounts, #Recaro Profi GTS-spec seats, #Schroth-Profi six-point GTS spec harnesses.
EXTERIOR: BMW GTS black front and side grilles, Makrolon side windows, front aero spoiler, rear aero spoiler.
THANKS: We would like to say thank you to everyone who helped us with this project. It started with our great friends from East Bay #BMW who helped us to get the car. Our great friend and partner did a fantastic job sourcing GTS parts for our project. Our friends from ESS Tuning, #Brembo , Akrapovic, Recaro, Hasselgren, Carrillo, and Mahle helped us to make our dream come true. A lot of people were involved in this project and we are grateful to have such good friends!Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationFURY ROADSTER
This might look like a mildly modified Z3 M but under the bonnet hides 800whp of sheer rage. With an earth-shattering 800whp, this turbocharged #BMW-Z3-M-Roadster / #BMW-Z3-M will definitely put the wind in your hair. Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Darren Maybury
While I’m generally not a huge fan of convertibles, Roadsters are a whole different kettle of slightly windswept, sunburnt fish. I like the fact that they are built from the ground up as soft-tops, with less compromise on all fronts, and they don’t attempt to try and shoehorn in a pair of rear ‘seats’ for the vertically challenged or your shopping. Engine. Two seats. Boot. Done.
BMW’s Z3 was met with mixed reviews when launched, but it’s ageing well. The retro lines look ever more retro, and the styling has plenty of character and muscle about it. When it was handed over to BMW M’s engineers to work their magic, there were certainly plenty of fireworks and, while the M Coupé might be the one that turns heads, there’s lots to love about the #Roadster , especially when there’s the small matter of 800whp going on.
Why wouldn’t you want to stuff a turbo under the bonnet of your Z3 and make 800whp? Mark Christofis is a man who clearly took a look at his life, realised it was missing an 800whp Z3 Roadster and set about correcting this problem. Mark is a man who loves cars and, as a metallurgical engineering consultant, is lucky enough to be in a suitably serious and important sounding job that means he can really indulge his passion for all things automotive. Hats off to that man.
This passion for cars is long-standing and both his previous and current rides are seriously nice. When it comes to cars Chris does not beat around the bush: “My first car was a 1970 Pontiac GTO with a manual four-speed transmission and 400 CID Ram Air III engine.” This engine was a 6.6-litre V8 which made 350hp; it was a hell of a way for Mark to earn his motoring stripes. “I’ve owned a number of performance/sports cars over the years,” he continues, “including various muscle cars and European models. I currently have a Ferrari 360, an Audi B8.5 S4 and, of course, my BMW. I’ve also driven a host of other performance cars like the Dodge Viper, various 911 Porsches, Nobles and Lotuses. I’ve been interested in cars since I was a kid, particularly American muscle cars, and being born and raised in Detroit it was almost a natural occurrence. Of course, this carried over into becoming an engineer and I eventually wound up working for Ford Motor Company as a Metallurgical Technical Specialist for the Product Development Group of Axle Driveline. So my passion for cars runs deep.
“My brother and I were both really into cars when we were younger and we carried that with us through the years. Early on we pretty much did all the mods ourselves out of necessity as we just didn’t have much money, but as I got older and eventually married, it became increasingly difficult to work on them as I just didn’t have the time with work, kids and all. Eventually, though, the modification bug hit again but now I leave the major work to the professionals.”
And this Z3 has had more than its fair share of work, that’s for sure. Mark’s been a fan of BMWs for around 15 years now, having cut his teeth on a ’95 M3, but this Z3 is something else; not only is it his first major build, it’s arguably his wildest car so far. The Z3 was spotted for sale in Florida, where Mark’s brother happened to be vacationing, and so he helped Mark out and duly popped over to take look at it. It turned out to be a very clean example with just 20,000 miles on the clock and a Dinan supercharger to boot. A deal was done and the car was delivered to Mark’s Michigan home where he could begin to enjoy it. “I never bored of driving this car,” he says.
“It was so easy to just drop the top and take it out for a cruise. Eventually, though, my craving for more power got the best of me and I started sending it out for major upgrades, eventually leading to its current state of tune. I also was into weight reduction mods and everything I did was kind of geared towards that. The roof, seats, wheels exhaust pretty much everything was weighed.” The supercharger was doing a good job on the power front but for the kind of figures that Mark wanted the engine needed to be pretty much stripped down and built from the ground up.
The car was handed over to the guys at ICS Performance, who know a thing or two about making fast, force induced BMWs and after chatting with head man, George Kakaletris, it was agreed that 600whp would be a good figure to aim for. Unfortunately, ICS discovered two cracked piston ring lands, so Mark decided to go all out on the engine because that’s what we as enthusiasts do when something breaks – we use it as an excuse to repair it but make it better at the same time.
The engine component list reads like a turbo build wish list and ICS really left no stone unturned when it came to creating this monster of a Z3. Inside the 3.2-litre S52 you’ll find Mahle 9:1 compression triple-coated racing pistons, K1 forged con rods, ACL Racing bearings, titanium valve kit, springs and retainers and ICS Stage 1 performance camshafts. There’s also a CES cut ring head gasket and ARP series 2000 head studs, while the Precision 4094R dual ball bearing turbo sits on an Otis tubular twin-scroll manifold with a Tial 60mm wastegate vented into the exhaust to keep things a little more civilized. You’ll also find a Tial 50mm BOV, while the exhaust is custom-made. To ensure that enough fuel makes it into the engine there are 80lb (840cc) injectors with both a Walbro 400 and Bosch 044 fuel pump, running with an Aeromotive fuel filter and a custom fuel rail.
To help keep the engine cool in all conditions, a high flow aluminium BMW racing radiator has been fitted along with a VPD custom racing oil cooler and then there’s the custom intercooler, measuring 610x305x102mm and squeezed in behind the front bumper.
It’s one hell of a line-up and, unsurprisingly, it makes for some seriously heavy-hitting power figures. On 109 octane fuel at 1.8bar of boost on what Mark calls a fairly conservative tune, the Z3 made a spectacular 803whp and 776lb ft of torque at the wheels, and that’s with the tyres spinning! “She probably makes a bit more,” says Mark, “but who’s counting? That wasn’t my primary objective – after all it’s just a street car. With a few upgrades, though, like a larger fuel line, bigger injectors, larger turbo, more boost and a more aggressive tune it could be closer to 1000hp but I have no interest in doing so as the car is already a handful to drive weighing in at only around 1250kg. Currently, I’m not aware of another M Roadster producing more horsepower or torque.”
For Mark, this build wasn’t just about power, it was about weight, too, and both the exterior and interior styling has been shaped by his desire to shave and shed weight wherever possible. There’s a lightweight vented FG Racing bonnet, Recaro Pole Position seats mounted on lightweight aluminium brackets with Imola red leather centre sections to tie-in with the rest of the interior colour scheme, there are lighter UUC race pedals, the bumper weights have been removed along with the air-con, the sound deadening and Mark’s fitted a lightweight Odyssey battery. Even the carpets are lightweight!
Mark has extended the Imola red colour scheme throughout the interior and it also appears on the badges. A rear spoiler and diffuser were also added as subtle cosmetic enhancements.
As far as the chassis is concerned, the Z3 has been fitted with a Ground Control adjustable Eibach spring kit, Koni adjustable sport dampers, a Bavarian Autosport rear bush kit, IE Engineering rear camber/caster adjustment kit and a Randy Forbes rear axle reinforcement kit, along with a Rogue Engineering dual rear differential housing.
With so much power, you need a suitably powerful braking system on board and lurking behind the staggered 18” Work Meister SP1s you’ll find a UUC/Wilwood front BBK with four-pot calipers and superlight 325mm discs, while at the back there are #StopTech Z3 M cross-drilled discs with braided hoses and Axis Ultimate brake pads all round.
Mark’s Roadster has been through various stages of development, with this last stage taking seven months. In that time it has gone from brisk to ballistic, with the kind of power figure that is actually hard to imagine. “The turbo system is my favourite modification on the whole car,” he smiles, “as it’s just so powerful. Being in such a lightweight car puts your eyes on stalks when you squeeze the throttle. I’ve not experienced acceleration quite like this before and I’ve been in some pretty fast cars.” Mark has really ticked all the boxes with this project and built his ultimate Z3 and all that’s left to do is just drive it and enjoy it. You know he will…
TECH DATA FILE #BMW-Z3-Roadster / #BMW-E36/7 / #BMW-Z3-Roadster-E36/7 / #BMW-Z3-E36/7 / #BMW-Z3 / #BMW-Z3-M-Coupe
ENGINE: 3.2-litre straight-six #S52B32 / #S52 , #Mahle 9:1 compression triple-coated racing pistons, #K1 forged and coated connecting rods, #ACL-Racing coated rod and main bearings, titanium valve kit, springs and retainers, CES cut ring head gasket, #ARP series 2000 11mm head studs, #ICS Stage 1 custom performance camshafts, Precision 4094R DBB 1.06 A/R turbo, 610x305x102mm custom intercooler, custom intercooler shielding, Otis coated tubular twin scroll turbo manifold, #M50 (OBD 1) intake manifold, custom turbo engine mount arm, Tial 60mm wastegate vented into exhaust, Tial 50 blow-off valve, 840cc fuel injectors, #Walbro 400 and #Bosch-044 inline fuel pumps, custom relay kit for fuel system with circuit breaker, Aeromotive fuel filter, custom fuel rail kit, RK Tunes custom tuning OBD 2, 3.5” HFM, welded oil pump nut, Dr. #Vanos unit, #BMW high-flow aluminium racing radiator, VPD custom racing oil cooler, custom 3.5” exhaust with dual 3” Magnaflow silencers, Rogue Engineering racing engine mounts. 803whp and 776lb ft of torque at the wheels on 109 octane race fuel at 1.8bar.
TRANSMISSION: #ZF-Type-C / #ZF five-speed manual gearbox, #Rogue-Engineering transmission mounts, #Clutch-Masters custom clutch, lightweight chromoly flywheel, 2.79:1 built differential with 40% lock up.
CHASSIS: 8.5x18” (front) and 11x18” (rear) Work Meister SP1 wheels with 225/40 (front) and 285/30 (rear) Toyo R888 tyres, Ground Control adjustable Eibach spring kit (525lb front, 600lb rear), Koni yellow adjustable sport dampers, Randy Forbes rear axle reinforcement kit, Rogue Engineering dual ear differential housing, IE Engineering rear camber/caster adjust kit, Bavarian Autosport rear bushing kit, #UUC/Wilwood #BBK with four-pot #Wilwood calipers and Superlite 325mm floating cross-drilled discs (front), StopTech Z3 M cross-drilled discs (rear), #Axis-Ultimate brake pads and stainless steel brake lines all-round.
EXTERIOR: #FG-Racing lightweight vented bonnet, rear bootlip spoiler, rear diffuser, bumper weights removed.
INTERIOR: #Recaro Pole Position racing seats with custom red matching inserts, Recaro lightweight aluminium side brackets and TC Kline floor mounts, AEM UEGO A/F gauge, SPA dual readout gauge (boost and fuel pressure), E Boost 2 electronic boost controller, Autometer dual gauge pod, Autometer mini shift light, #TRM racing shift knob, #UUC race pedals, lightweight carpeting, lightweight Odyssey battery, AC delete, sound deadening removed.
Vented bonnet looks the part, is lightweight and helps to keep underbonnet temperatures down.
Top: Engine may not look special but the 800whp magic is hidden away beneath the surface; diffuser looks cool and was added for that very reason, along with bootlip spoiler.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationE34 #Alpina-B10-Biturbo - a Taste of the Future.
Alpina’s glorious B10 Bi-Turbo may well be 26 years old but it provided owners back then a glimpse of what the future would bring. Looking back on the glorious #Alpina-B10 Biturbo and why it was so far ahead of its time.
You know those crazy concept cars from the Eighties that were all angles and glass, gullwing doors and digital instruments? The ones that had an electric motor, fourwheel drive and steering at both ends?
That was how the industry saw the future of the high performance car 25 years down the line. However, if they’d really wanted to see what the performance car of the future looked, felt and drove like, then they could have done so right there and then, back in #1989 , if only they had visited a small German car manufacturer based in Buchloe. For there they would have found a car that very accurately replicated the typical high performance car of 2013.
No sharp angles or crazy doors, just a normal saloon with four doors, adorned with a few subtle spoilers for a suitably aggressive appearance. No flashing instruments, just some conventional dials in a conventional dash angled purposefully towards the driver. No electric motors, instead a twinturbocharged, drive-by-wire multi-cylinder engine that, although big, might not be as big as you’d expect considering the performance on tap. Rear-wheel drive, not four, simply with some electronics to keep all the power in check.
And the way it drove would have provided a similarly accurate taste of what was to come. Refined, smooth and comfortable most of the time but able to suddenly switch character, to excite and entertain whenever the mood took the driver, boasting an engine with huge, effortless performance thanks to lots of mid-range torque.
You’ve probably by now got the point we’re trying to make here. Above is clearly a reference to the #BMW-E34-Alpina B10 Bi-Turbo, although it could quite easily have been the F10 M5 or highly-anticipated F30 M3 that we were talking about. Arguably it is Alpina’s first Bi-Turbo models that are more closely related to today’s M cars than stuff like BMW’s own E30 M3 and E34 M5.
Obviously such advanced technology back then didn’t come cheap. It’s rumoured that Alpina spentthe equivalent of £2 million on R&D alone for this model, and so it shouldn’t (but probably still will) come as a shock to hear that E34 Bi-Turbos sold for the equivalent of nearly £150,000 in today’s money. Still, it made 507 of them between August 1989 and March 1994, so clearly Alpina’s achievements were understood by the wealthy.
Let’s hope the M cars of today age as well as the #BMW-E34 Bi-Turbo, because, looked after, these B10s have a habit of feeling as fresh and tight now as they did when they left the factory. Obviously they will have been cherished far more than most BMWs but the difference between examples of the two is quite considerable in my experience. And this one, number 299, owned by Swiss Fredy Lienhard who runs a track car rental company based at the ’Ring, is no different. Hardly a surprise that it drives so nicely, really. The car is 100 per cent original even down to the decals, and has done only 120,000 kilometres (about 75,000 miles) in its life. It has only had two previous owners, too, although the second didn’t register the car so Fredy is actually down on paper as the second. And it has a full service history, with all work carried out exclusively at Alpina or BMW dealers. So it’s a good example, to put it mildly.
I’ve never driven a brand-new E34. I wasn’t old enough to have done back in day and, well, there aren’t many brand-new ones around now. But pooling together my brand-new or nicely sorted BMW experience, I can say with some certainty that this one drives as near as dammit exactly as it would have done when it was built back on the 26 September 1991. And I mean very near.
It is, I think I can safely say, exactly how every E34 owner wishes their own car would drive. You know, after all those little jobs have been done to it and everything has been replaced with new. The gearshift is firm and precise, if characteristically notchy, the clutch satisfyingly chunky but still easy to operate. The damping is excellent, the body never swaying or lurching or nose diving, and the ride is almost as quiet and supple as that of a new car’s.
It feels big and butch, like a lot of brand-new M cars do, but it has a lot of things different about it too. The steering, obviously, is no way near as quick and direct as a modern BMW’s – although it provides far more feedback. The gear change is quite stiff, not as easy as the change in today’s M cars (if you can find one with a manual shift at all, that is). And the engine, although it feels mighty in a big, boosty way, it still has a little more lag and does sound a little more mechanical and busy than a modern turbocharged BMW powerplant.
Obviously the big straight-six dominates proceedings once the Garrett T25s are fed with the engine’s waste, and once the turbos are giving their lot you aren’t really able to think of much else. It’s typically turbo, though far better than other turbo engines of the era, with boost starting to build at around two-and-a-half thousand (being a 3.4 ’six there’s still a not unreasonable amount of urge before this) and fully on song around a thousand rpm later.
And then the driver is in for a treat, the torque seemingly building and building for the next two thousand rpm to a peak of 384lb ft, going on until around 6000rpm before the torrent starts tailing off. It must have been crazy to behold, this luxury saloon going so damn fast, back in 1991. And this one is particularly healthy, it turns out, as Fredy has a dyno printout proving this example makes more than standard; 389bhp, in fact. “Owners do that to check if the engine and the turbos are still healthy and spooling up,” he explains. “The Bi-Turbos tend to eat turbos.” No such problems here, clearly.
Yet when the excitement is over, it turns into a smooth operating executive saloon – although there is still plenty to keep you interested, if in a very different way. It’s brilliant, the interior of the Bi-Turbo, full of cool little period Alpina touches that makes it feel special: the adjustable boost dial; the numbered plaque; the small digital readouts showing boost pressure, oil temperature and oil pressure; the very Nineties Alpina-branded mats; the wooden gear knob. They’re all so cool. Bi-Turbos obviously come well-equipped, so there are also Recaro multiadjustable leather seats that are heated, an electric roof and front and rear windows, OBC, cruise control, air-con and an electric blind.
Your attention is drawn to Alpina touches when you’re standing outside the car, too. The stance, like all the best hot BMWs, is mega; the Alpina chin spoiler is subtle yet aggressive; and the colour combo of black with silver decals and wheels is pure class. Even the little red details of the badges work perfectly with the black. And the 235/45 front and 265/40 rear tyres stretched ever-so-slightly over the 20-spokes is pure ‘90s fitment perfection.
“When the owner took me for a ride in it, the only thing I could speak about afterwards was this car,” says Fredy, remembering his first experience of it. “When I bought it, it really was a childhood dream come true. To me it’s a legend. I love the look of the #Alpina-B10-Biturbo-E34 and I love the fact that it’s like a race car with an executive car suit. The car came out when turbo cars were known to be very laggy, and this changed that, the two smaller turbos making it more driveable and better for daily use. It was a very modern car for its time for other reasons, too, because of the electronic stability programme and drive-by-wire throttle.” Although perhaps the technological highlight of the car is the auto-dimming rear view mirror: it doesn’t work by way of a gel between glass layers, rather it actually changes the angle of the mirror using little electric motors.
“I didn’t buy this car to drive really, just to look at and to enjoy having!” admits Fredy, smiling as he realises himself how crazy that sounds, even if we can all understand exactly where he’s coming from. He goes on to redeem matters somewhat, though: “I do take it for the odd drive to warm it up and obviously I haven’t been able to resist an autobahn drive.” 315km/h on the speedo was the result of that rare little foray, so maybe it’s for the best that this awesome piece of automotive history is left safe and sound in the garage.
E34 #Alpina-B10-Bi-Turbo #M30B35 #Getrag-290
ENGINE: #M30 3430cc 12-valve straight-six, bore 92mm and stroke 86mm, compression ratio 7.2:1, seven bearing crankshaft, alloy cylinder head with optimised combustion chambers, optimised camshaft, uprated valves, lightened #Mahle pistons, strengthened con-rods, forced lubrication circulation with oil filter in main stream, engine oil-cooler, #Garrett-T25 turbochargers, intercooler and water-cooler, #Alpina stainless steel exhaust system, #Bosch-Motronic-M1.2 engine management with variable boost control, 110-litre fuel tank; maximum power 355bhp at 6000rpm and maximum torque 384lb ft at 4000rpm.
TRANSMISSION: Five-speed manual #Getrag 290 gearbox, #Fichtel&-Sachs clutch, final drive ratio 3.15, uprated rear axle with separate oil-cooler and 25 per cent lock limited-slip differential.
SUSPENSION: #Bilstein front shocks, #Fichtel-&-Sachs selflevelling rear shock, linear rate springs, 25mm front and 18mm rear anti-roll bars.
BRAKES: Twin-piston front and rear callipers with 332mm front and 300mm rear disc.
WHEELS & TYRES: Alpina lightweight 8.5Jx17 front and 9.5Jx17 rear 20-spoke alloys, with 235/45/17 front and 265/40/17 rear Michelin Pilot Sports tyres.
EXTERIOR: Alpina front spoiler and rear bootlid spoiler, Alpina bumper and side decals, Alpina badging.
INTERIOR: #Alpina-Recaro black leather heated seats, #Alpina-Momo leather steering wheel, Alpina wooden gear knob, Alpina floor mats, polished wood trim, digital display for oil pressure, boost pressure, engine oil temperature, adjustable boost knob, numbered plaque.
“I love the fact that it’s like a race car with an executive car suit”
The B10’s twin-turbo ’six was a masterpiece and cost Alpina a small fortune to develop.
It must have been crazy to behold, this luxury saloon going so damn fast, back in 1991.
The B10 Bi-Turbo’s interior is both sumptuous and sporting and featured a number of items that were pretty hi-tech back in the late 1980s.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.