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    TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED Wild supercharged E90 M3

    Karel Silha’s M3 has been evolving for a few years, getting ever madder and more frightening. As he teeters on the cusp of his next round of innovations, we pin down his green monster to see just how deeply this lunacy has spiraled… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Patrik Karlsson.

    840HP E90 M3 Supercharged wide-arch beast

    The most fun cars are the ones that do surprising things; ones that subvert your expectations and lead your preconceptions down a hitherto uncharted path. We’re not talking about sleepers here – that’s a well-documented area, and a whole textbook in itself. No, what’s flicking our switch today is the idea of using a novel base to build something devastating. Like when Top Gear commissioned Lotus to build a trackslaying Lada, and the Norfolk spannertwiddlers ended up throwing £100k at it. Or when Volvo entered the BTCC in the 1990s with an 850 estate. These are not the logical cars to choose for such endeavours, which is what makes the whole concept so eminently desirable.

    So it is with Karel Silha’s M3. He wanted to build an unstoppable and terrifying car with which to distort reality in the otherworldly and near-mythical amphitheatre of the now-world-renowned Gatebil events, so he chose to go with an M3. Fair play, sound reasoning, we can see why you’d do that But, just for the sake of waving two fingers at the rest of the paddock, he didn’t take the obvious route and buy himself an E92 coupé. He chose the sensible, dad-spec E90 fourdoor saloon.

    Alright, we’ll immediately retract ‘sensible, dad-spec’, that’s a moronic way to describe a machine as formidable as the E90 – but you have to admit that the act of deliberately choosing a car with extra doors you know you’re never going to use is something only a belligerent and confrontational person would do. It’s Touring Car rules; you’ve got four doors so that people spectating can relate your car to their own salesman-spec diesel commuter. Karel’s just cranked things up a notch, simply to be mischievous. Oh, those effervescently zany Swedes…

    “My first car was a Toyota Starlet,” he explains, which is actually something we hear a lot. A surprising number of skilled helmsmen cut their teeth in that balletic Japanese poppet, it must teach its drivers an awful lot about car control. “I’ve been working with BMWs for about 12 or 13 years now though. My first was an E30, which I wanted to turn into a bit of turbocharged weekend fun. Most of my BMWs have been E30s in fact; the most recent one was making 982hp and 887lb ft on an old M20 engine.”

    It’s probably safe to assume that this fella knows what he’s doing when it comes to perving over BMWs then. However, the E90 is a world apart from the E30 (just look at the maths, it’s 60 #BMW Top Trump points adrift), so this little race car project was always going to be something of a challenge, right? No, not a bit of it. Karel’s the sort of chap who just knuckles down and gets on with it and there’s no half-measures here. Allin or nothing.

    “I wanted to do fast lap times and the goal was to be quick,” he says, with hilarious modesty and masterful understatement. “With that in mind, there was only one chassis that was suitable for this: the E90 M3. So I bought the car from a friend – it was in really good condition, aside from the engine, which was trashed. One of the rods had found its way out…” But with the plans that Karel had made, a blown motor was an irrelevance. Stock engines aren’t Gatebil fodder. It was always the gameplan to tear the motor apart and beef everything up like Meat Loaf in an Angus Steakhouse.

    “Yes, the whole build was fully mapped out from the start,” he assures us. “We even drew up 3D renderings of how it would look when it was finished. The plan was always clear.” Oh, and what a plan it was. With ruthless efficiency and the sort of clockwork dominance of the to-do list that you normally find in school staff rooms, Karel and his crew set about ripping the E90 to shreds and building it back up as an apex-humiliating, spectator-arousing beast.

    “In the first year, we dealt with the chassis,” he says. “KW three-way competition suspension, and also a big brake upgrade from Endless, to get the chassis fully dialled-in. We’d initially talked to a local company about our suspension options, and the support was terrible, so we ended up talking to KW suspension in Germany. They answered all of our questions in one email and the support was just above and beyond, so it was a no-brainer to go with KW! They made a custom three-way competition kit for us, and those guys have been a strong partner ever since.”

    With the chassis tested and thoroughly proven, the second year of the E90 build threw up some proper mischief. “In year two we did the forged engine,” says Karel, “and then we supercharged it – and this was no off-the-shelf kit, it was the biggest setup ESS could make for us. We ended up with 840hp, and we also upgraded the ECU to a full Motec setup, with PDM [Power Distribution Module], dash and ECU. We fitted a Samsonas sequential gearbox with paddleshift too.” Phew. Time to take a breath, drink in the magnificence of the spec, and just have a little think about our own life choices. Stick the kettle on for some pondering time, we’ll see you at the next paragraph.

    Better? We know, it’s a lot to take in. But brace yourselves, as there’s a little more to come. You see, it would have been amusingly stealthy to jam all of this sweaty grunt into a stock-looking four-door shell, but stealth has never been the Swedish forced induction enthusiasts’ watchword. So what you’re seeing here is a searing vision in Snakeskin Green, a Dodge Viper colour no less, and to prove that this build isn’t just about dumb horsepower there’s a frankly staggering aero setup. Just look at the frickin’ size of that rear diffuser, for goodness’ sake! And the front splitter’s big enough to stand a family of six upon, let alone allowing them all to have a little nap on the rear wing. This thing may have enough horsepower to make a Bugatti owner think twice, but it’s also glued to the track by the crushing inevitability of downforce. It’s actually kinda frightening. Another hugely impressive element of this build is just how stock that S65 motor is, aside from the comically large blower. It’s got forged pistons and rods from Pure Performance Motorsport in Australia, and a suitably juiced-up fuelling system feeding through a Weldon 2345 pump (which is good for 1300hp!), but aside from that it’s pretty much as the M Division intended. Talk about over-engineering, eh?


    Still, there was a global vibe developing in this Swedish-honed, German-built car with Australian engine upgrades and Japanese interior addenda, so it only made sense for the rolling stock to come from somewhere unexpected too. That’s why you’ll find a set of Work VS-XX wheels under those widened carbon fibre arches – custom-built wheels from Japan. And the rears are a spanking 12.5” wide, which allows for some seriously dirty contact patch. “We wanted a wheel that could match the rest of the car,” Karel reasons, “and Work Wheels were the only choice for a quality wide wheel.” Having hand-crafted his own bruising arches, we’ll happily take his word for that.

    “Function over form was the overarching idea,” he continues. “The look has always been secondary to the act of going fast. The chassis’s actually being modified for a Version 3 that we’ll be debuting soon, but yes – the capability has always been more important than the look.” This statement, of course, writes a very large cheque, as the car looks absolutely phenomenal. Thankfully, we know that the setup can cash it with ease. “I’d say my favourite element of the build is all the carbon fibre,” Karel grins. “When you start with carbon, you kinda get the fever and it’s hard to stop! For 2017 most of the car will be in carbon fibre, and for 2018 a new chassis is being built with even more mods and 100% carbon.” Blimey. 100% is a big percentage. We’ll report back as the news filters in.


    “It took some five-to-six months to build the first version of the car,” he says, “then it evolved over the off-season; 2015 Version 1, 2016 Version 2, and 2017 is Version 2.1. Just wait – 2018 will bring it up to Version Badass.” We can’t wait to see that. But for now, let’s just bask in the unutterable lunacy of Version 2.1 – the as-yet ultimate evolution of your neighbour’s four-door 3 Series, built to tear up Gatebil and atomise any rubber that may stray into its workshop. The fact that it’s not a coupé just makes the flawless victories all the sweeter. ¬

    TECHNICAL DATA FILE #Supercharged / #BMW-E90 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E90 / #BMW-M3-Supercharged / #BMW-M3-Supercharged-E90 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E90 / #BMW-3-Series-M3-E90 / #BMW-3-Series-M3 / #ESS-supercharger / #ESS / #BMW / #Work / #MoTeC-ECU

    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 4.0-litre #V8 #S65B40 / #BMW-S65 / #S65 , fully-forged, custom #ESS-supercharger-kit , 1000cc injectors and uprated fuelling with #Weldon 2345 pump, #Motec engine management. #Samsonas six-speed sequential gearbox

    CHASSIS 11x18” (front) and 12.5x18” (rear) #Work-VS-XX wheels with 305/35 (front) and 335/35 (rear) tyres, #KW three-way competition suspension, #Endless race brake setup with six-pot calipers (front and rear) with 355mm (front) and 345mm (rear) discs

    EXTERIOR Dodge Viper Snakeskin Green, wide steel rear wings and plastic-welded M3 front wings – now remoulded in carbon fibre, Gatebil-sized custom wing, splitter and diffuser

    INTERIOR Sparco seats, Takata harnesses, OMP steering wheel, custom cluster by Karel S Motorsport, paddle shifters, full painted FIA rollcage

    THANKS All of my friends who helped, especially to Tim and Jens, and also all of my sponsors last year and also the new ones for 2017 – it would not have been possible without them

    No air-ride here, just air jacks.
    The rear view is dominated by that custom diffuser.
    Fully-painted FIA roll-cage.

    “Function over form was the overarching idea, the look has always been secondary to the act of going fast”

    MOTEC engine management keeps things running right.
    Sparco seats with Takata harnesses up front.
    MoTeC C127 Race Display behind OMP steering wheel.
    Custom ESS supercharger kit makes 840hp.


    “In year two we did the forged engine and then we supercharged it [with] the biggest setup ESS could make for us. We ended up with 840hp”
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    SPORT QUATTRO REP GET SHORTY Slick #SWB rep packs 509bhp / Stunning, 500bhp replica

    SINGLE-MINDED

    This Lamborghini-coloured Sport #Quattro #replica has been transformed from rough and ready into a 509bhp, road-legal track toy.

    Celebrated automotive restoration and tuning outfit, Retropower, has long been recognised as a force for good that takes on projects that start with tired, broken and rotting vintage vehicles and end with glistening, modified and mechanically sound high-horsepower masterpieces. Needless to say, we were excited to hear that the latest fettled fourwheeler to roll out of the company’s Leicestershire workshop is wearing an Audi badge.

    The car in question is a #1983 quattro that at some point in the past had been subjected to short-wheel base chassis remodelling by renowned #Audi specialists, #Dialynx-Performance. The Swindonbased firm has been a supplier of aftermarket tuning components for turbocharged Audis since its inception in 1988, but Dialynx is perhaps best known for its many Sport quattro conversions.


    Developed for #Group-B rallying in the mid 1980s, the Sport quattro featured an all-alloy 2.1-litre 20-valve engine sat inside a lightweight body shell comprising carbon-Kevlar panels and a windscreen rake borrowed from the Audi 80. In order to get rid much of the bulk that the manufacturer deemed to be an obstacle when competing against the rally-ready chariots of rival car makers, the Sport’s chassis was made considerably shorter than that of the ‘regular’ wheelbase rally quattro that preceded it. This ditching of metal delivered reduced understeer, more responsive handling and quicker turning, while the large body panels allowed for the use of bigger wheels and an increased track width.

    A couple of hundred road-going Sport quattros were produced for homologation purposes, but buying one today will set you back a serious amount of dosh (over £100k), not to mention the horror of the associated running costs. This is where Dialynx Performance steps in – the company has transformed many factory quattros into Sport replicas over the years, resulting in what is claimed to be a car that is virtually indistinguishable from the model that it mimics.

    Furthermore, Dialynx says that its replicas offer lucky owners tameable levels of performance as opposed to the uncompromising aggression produced by genuine Group B belters.

    “I’m led to believe that the Audi that made its way into our workshop was the third quattro that Dialynx had converted to Sport spec,” recalls Retropower co-founder, Callum Seviour. “Sadly, time hadn’t been kind to the car, and we discovered a huge amount of work that needed to be done in order to bring it back to its best,” he says. The striking body kit applied to the race-inspired rep was just one of many areas in need of attention. That said, a cosmetic overhaul was all that the car’s owner was prepared to commission until he could be sure that Retropower’s work was of a standard that he was happy with.


    “I guess you could call it ‘testing the water’!” laughs Callum’s brother, Nat. “We stripped the car, treated it to new subframe mounting points, removed and replaced its roof, built a new supporting roof frame, double-skinned its chassis legs, restored its body panels and bonded the corrected wide-arch kit into place before covering every part in a coat of primer. We were about to follow up with a lick of sparkling grey lifted from the Lamborghini colour catalogue when the quattro’s owner signalled his approval for us to start a long list of mechanical upgrades!” he confirms.

    Ordinarily, Retropower would take care of any spanner wizardry and/or fabrication work that needed to be carried out on one of its customer’s cars before tackling aesthetic updates, but the instruction that it was given with regard to the Audi forced the Seviour boys to work in an unorthodox manner. “The car’s owner was thrilled with the revitalised appearance of his ride,” continues Callum. “This gave us the green light to strip and rebuild the 2.2-litre ‘RR’ five-cylinder powerplant that sits beneath the vented bonnet up-front, although requested modifications that included a relocation of the engine’s cooling system and a boot-mounted dry sump kit forced us to cut away at metal that we’d only just prepared for paint!” he groans. Nevertheless, the 20-valve lump was carefully inspected before a period of planning that would transform it into an absolute monster. Not that the work involved in achieving such a feat was as easy as we might have made it sound...

    The car’s inline-five had suffered severe mechanical failure at some point in the recent past following work that a third party had undertaken on behalf of the owner. Subsequently repaired under warranty, the revised nuts and bolts were supposed to be producing in excess of 500bhp, but the condition and performance of the engine that Retropower were asked to work with casts doubt over that figure. Indeed, a sump populated by metal particles, a cracked cylinder head, a weeping head gasket, worn bearings and a mismatched piston that was making contact with a valve face all pointed towards what can be politely labelled as a ‘bodge’, and that’s without mentioning the serious lack of grunt that the car was producing under load.

    “We reground the engine’s billet crankshaft, machined all piston pockets so that they matched one another, and we sourced a new head before enlarging and smoothing its ports,” Callum tells us. As many original parts were retained as possible, with CNC polishing and restoration being employed to ensure the continued use of expensive equipment that was considered to be perfectly serviceable, while fuelling upgrades included twin Bosch high-flow pumps and 1000cc #ASNU-injectors .

    A Wagner Tuning inlet manifold and a chunky #Garrett GT40 turbocharger were called upon to work alongside a side-exit stainless steel exhaust system in the airflow department. Routing of the custom pipework demanded significant modifying of the Audi’s floor. Further metalwork involved the creation of a custom rear bulkhead and channelling for water pipes that travel the length of the car and back now that its cooling and lubrication systems sit in its boot space.

    A roll cage was already present, but door bars and diagonals were literally left hanging. “We were shocked to see that such an important safety device was so poorly fitted inside the car!” gasps Callum. “To counter this worrying discovery, we fabricated a comprehensive multi-point cage that travels through the dashboard, triangulates and attaches itself to key structural components throughout the chassis,” he explains.

    Talking of which, suspension and braking upgrades were already evident in the form of modified struts (to allow for coilovers) and braces, Koni damper inserts and Tarox six-pot stoppers, yet the Retropower touch bettered these key features thanks to the appointment of SuperPro polybushes and a Wilwood pedal box. The latter inhabits a cabin that also boasts Recaro Pole Position buckets, a flocked dash, Stack gauges and an SPA KitDash that occupies space once reserved for standard quattro clocks.

    Even though the completed car is used as a track toy, it remains road legal. This surprising fact meant that its owner wanted a show-quality finish to what is essentially a motorsport body kit. To that end, masses of effort went into filling and block-sanding what would otherwise be “ripply” panels before the Lambo paint was finally splashed across the flawless build.

    Azev A wheels coated in a similar shade were already in place when the Audi arrived at the Retropower workshop, unlike this awesome VAG machine’s current power output. “I’m delighted to be able to say that the car is now producing over 500bhp following the huge amount of time and effort that my team has spent on the project,” beams Callum. He’s being typically modest; despite a dyno printout displaying an impressive 509bhp and 410lb per foot of torque (delivered by a custom map on a MoTeC M48 ECU), this fantastic four-wheel drive pocket rocket has the potential to knock on the door of 600bhp if its owner ever fancies investing in a transmission upgrade.

    In the meantime, running a powerful engine well below its top end abilities should result in a safe, reliable delivery of ponies both on and off the track. Retropower, we salute you!

    SPECIFICATION #Audi-Sport-Quattro-replica / #Audi-Sport-quattro / #Audi-Quattro / #Audi / #MoTeC-M48 / #Motec / #MoTec-ECU

    Engine: 2.2-litre I5 20-valve DOHC ‘RR’, steel crankshaft, forged connecting rods and pistons, enlarged and smoothed cylinder head ports, combustion chambers reshaped and cc matched, standard camshafts, standard valvetrain, custom dry sump system, dry sump located in boot, radiator and twin slimline fans relocated to boot space, electric water pump and controller, #ASH silicone hoses and tubes, twin #Bosch-044 fuel pumps, #ASNU 1000cc fuel injectors, alloy fuel cell, MoTeC M48 ECU with single-channel capacitor discharge ignition, #Wagner-Tuning inlet manifold, #Garrett-GT40 turbocharger, custom side-exit exhaust system, #Varley race battery, custom wiring loom.

    Performance: 509bhp @ 7050rpm, 410lb/ft torque @ 5800rpm
    Transmission: Standard quattro five-speed manual gearbox, quick shifter
    Suspension: Standard struts modified with coilover conversion for adjustable ride height, Koni damper inserts, SuperPro polybushes throughout

    Brakes: Tarox six-piston front calipers, Audi RS4 rear calipers, Sport quattro discs, Ferodo DS3000 pads, Wilwood pendulum bias pedal box

    Wheels: 8x16in #Azev A five-spokes, Toyo Proxes R888 225/45x16 tyres

    Exterior: #Dialynx-Performance shortened quattro shell, replica Sport quattro enlarged body kit, modified floor for exhaust and coolant pipes, full respray in Lamborghini Grigio Estoque

    Interior: Fully stripped, #Recaro-Pole-Position bucket seats, custom multi-point roll cage, fuel and oil lines throughout cabin, electro-hydraulic power steering pump positioned behind driver seat, battery positioned behind passenger seat, flocked dashboard, SPA KitDash, electric water pump ECU mounted on dashboard, aluminium false front floor panels, all new wiring, steering column stalk deletion, custom switch panel, Stack gauges, start button and kill switches

    Thanks: Callum and the team at Retropower www.retropower.co.uk

    Top: Moody front end shot.
    Above: Flocked interior and lots of custom switches Below: Looks fantastic side-on.
    Above: That iconic front end Right: the 5-cylinder powerhouse Below: It’s all in the details.
    Above: Bumper cut out for air flow.
    Below: Slimlime rads moved to the boot.

    “We sourced a new head before enlarging and smoothing its ports”
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    Ultimate 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 ton
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