- Post is under moderationAUDI S3 TTE420 turbo and
APR-tuned / TTE420 S3 8P – photographed by AJ Walker
Words Davy Lewis Photography AJ Walker BRIGHT IDEA The TTE420 turbo set up is a fantastic way to liven up an S3, and the new / TTE-specific APR software has taken it to the next level…
AUDI S3 TTE420 and APR-tuned
There’s an old adage that bigger is better. But, when it comes to turbos, bigger is not automatically better.
The thought of bolting on a whopping great GT40 with 700bhp+ potential to your 2.0 #TFSI #Audi may sound exciting – and with a fully built engine and drag racing in mind, it may be just the job. However, for the road, it will be a bit limiting. For starters it will likely as not offer a very narrow power band – that bit of the rev range where you can actually use the damn thing. It’ll take time to spool up and require a very careful custom map to use it. Performance road cars need a more user friendly set up, which is where TTE come in.
TTE or The Turbo Engineers, to use their full name, specialize in creating high performance blowers that are carefully developed to get the most out of specific engines. While peak numbers are of course important (everyone wants to know how much you’ve got), it’s the real world drivability that’s key to every TTE set up. The hardware is only part of the puzzle, however. Without well-developed ECU software, you’ll never get near to the full potential of an after market turbo set up.
Renowned US tuners, APR, recognized this, and developed software calibrated especially for the TTE420 kit. A huge number of man hours went into the map, which has been created to deliver great power, but more importantly, excellent drivability. So when Dan Svarups, the owner of this subtle looking S3, was looking to harness the potential of his TTE420, he headed to APR UK to see what they could do for him.
“I had an 8L S3 before this but wanted the newer model,” says Dan. Having spotted the immaculate Imola yellow 8P, he knew it was the car for him. “The owner had really looked after it as it was an ex-show car.” The 2007 S3 had everything he wanted, so it was almost perfect.
Dan drove it for a couple of months before starting to look at engine tuning. “Over the next six to nine months I did the intake, exhaust and had a Stage 2 map applied,” recalls Dan. It made a big difference to the performance of the 2.0 TFSI. Next came Stage 2+ (335bhp), which entailed a fuel system upgrade. “I did all of the work myself, before taking the S3 to its first track day,” he says.
The testing Oulton Park circuit was the perfect place to really see what the upgrades could do and the S3 didn’t disappoint. “It was one of the fastest cars on the day,” smiles Dan. “One of the guys from PistonHeads, who was testing a Caterham 360R and couldn’t get past me, came up to me and said, ‘That car is rapid!’”
It was around this time that the TTE420 turbo kit was released and an offer came up to buy a kit for the S3. The uprated blower was duly fitted by VAG Technik, before a map was added. Unfortunately, the car didn’t run as well as Dan had hoped and peak power was down to around 380bhp – a good 40bhp lower than predicted. At this stage, Dan spoke to Awesome. It turned out they had a brand new map, calibrated specifically for the TTE420 set up and his would be the first car in the UK to take advantage of it. So the S3 was dropped off at Awesome’s Manchester HQ…
“When I picked up the car, it was like night and day,” laughs Dan. It was unbelievably fast – in fact it was f***** violent when you put your foot down, he continues. “The power comes in about 3,500rpm, with full 2bar of boost – but put your foot down, in any gear, and it just pulls.” In fact it goes so well that Dan is looking into improving the brakes. But like the rest of this stock looking S3, they’ll need to be stealthy so as not to give the game away.
The interior has also been left untouched, save for a neat little Prosport boost gauge that’s housed in one of the central air vents. It’s this OEM+ focus that I really like about this S3. On the face of it, you have a great looking car that most people would view as a fairly quick car. And it can be driven in a very civilized manner thanks to the welldeveloped APR map. But when you drop the hammer to unleash the potential of the TTE420 kit, it becomes an animal. It’s this Jekyl and Hyde nature that Dan loves about the S3 – the fact that it totally surprises people at the traffic lights – and can also offer big thrills on track. With track days booked at Spa and the Nürburgring, this summer, plus a session at our own VAG Tuner Live event on 10 July at Donington, this bright idea is set to surprise even more people.
Top: One not so mellow yellow S3...
Left: Boost gauge comes in handy.
Top right: Uprated brakes are next on the list Below: Stock interior is all good.
Above: Revo intake is a great upgrade on the 2.0 TFSI.
“The APR map has harnessed the potential of the #TTE420-kit ”
SPECIFICATION #2007 / #Audi-S3-8P / #Audi-A3-8P / #Audi-8P / #Audi / #Audi-A3 / #Audi-S3 / #TTE420-hybrid-turbo
Engine 2.0 TFSI, #TTE420 hybrid turbo, #APR-420 software, #Milltek cat back exhaust, #Pipewerx 3in downpipe and decat, #Revo cold air intake, #Airtec stage 2 intercooler, CTS turbo outlet pipe, CTS throttle pipe, #Autotech HPFP, DW65v LPFP, 155bar FPRV
Power 423bhp and 437lb/ft
Transmission 6-speed manual with uprated clutch
Brakes S3 with uprated discs and pads
Suspension #H&R ARBs, #H&R springs
Wheels Stock S3
Interior Stock S3, leather sports sets, flat bottom steering wheel, #Prosport boost gauge in air vent
Exterior S3 three door in Imola yellow
Contacts and thanks Mark and the team at Awesome/APR, www.goapr.co.uk, #VAG-Technik in Eccles, Dave Gregson for all the help, and missus Kat for putting up with me and helping to wax it for the shoot
“When I picked the car up it was like night and day... it was incredibly fast”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationROCKET FROM THE CRYPT
An #BMW-E30 four-door rocking a #Nissan-S13 Rocket Bunny kit is not something you see every day… The combination of Nissan Rocket Bunny kit and E30 won’t appeal to everyone, but that’s not what this build is about… Words: Peter Griffiths Photos: Jason Edwards.
Well, what have we got here then? I’ll tell you what we’ve got: a big statement. It’s a big statement about the scenes that have given birth to it and, most importantly, it’s borne of a love of those same scenes. I love big statements that are borne of the right intentions, and the intentions here are nothing to do with us; it’s what the owner wanted that matters. If you are reading this and think you might have a sensitive disposition or anything of a purist, conservative set of opinions in terms of modification but remain determined to read on then all power to you, but brace yourselves. Oh yes. Brace yourselves.
Obviously, it’s an E30 Saloon. But it has two more doors than most modified E30s and that is quite significant. The four-door saloon is possibly the last of the model variants to experience the favour of the classic #BMW scene, let alone the modified scene. Even the Touring, despite being the best of the E30’s many shapes, has picked up a fanbase on the modifying scene before the four-door saloon. So many noses on the modifying scene have been turned up at the lowly four-door over the years that it makes it highly unusual to find one as the focus of a project like this. Owner Rhys Walters, though, relished the thought: “I decided to build the #E30 out of curiosity. I had a completely standard 325i sitting outside and I couldn’t sleep one night, so at about 3am I went out with nothing but the light from the torch on my phone and started looking at her, thinking what I could do to make this my dream E30.”
Rhys is no stranger to the BMW brand. “I’ve been into BMWs for as long as I’ve been into cars. It’s down to their reliability and great build quality. I can trust their engines when I’m drifting on the limiter on track. They’re special to me because of the accessible rear-wheel drive and the shape of the older models, such as the E30 and E28, is just beautiful. My first BMW was an E30 #BMW-325i . I bought it for £400 specifically to go drifting. It had nothing but one bucket seat and a harness in it. I painted it black and pink and loved every second of it.”
Returning to Rhys’s driveway: “I had a couple of small arches sitting around so I took those outside with me and started eyeing them up. I liked it but as the arches on an E30 already protrude from the body quite nicely, it wasn’t quite the change I was looking for. Due to my drift background and love of Japanese cars I instantly thought of the #Nissan-S13-Rocket-Bunny-kit . I then spent the next couple of hours researching to see if there was anywhere I could buy E30 Rocket Bunny arches from. I was soon beginning to think there was nothing available. I could only find two E30s with the kit, both in the US and both were twodoors, so it was then I decided to build this car. I wanted to build the first Rocket Bunny ‘more-door’!
“The car began its transformation at home on my drive, where I started cutting it up, slicing all the arches off and cutting the inner rear skins and footwells, all done in the rain! Once the arches and footwells were cut I could fit the wheels.”
Rhys’s choice of rims are very similar to BMW’s own M-system IIs, but he had other ideas: “I considered a lot of wheels like Rotas, XXR, BBS, and Klutch. I wanted something wide with a bit of dish but didn’t just want to buy off-the-shelf, and I stumbled upon these 10.5J 17” KW Turbos. They’re a fairly rare wheel, with only two sets in the UK and the other set are 16”, so these are the only 17s in the country.
“Next up was fitting the arches. The only arches available to me at the time were for a Nissan S13 and, needless to say, they did not fit, so I had to cut the kit and re-fibreglass where needed to get it to sit the way I wanted, this was fine until I got to the rears as I wanted the doors to open. At this point I was really regretting the four-door idea and was tempted to weld them up, but I bit the bullet and cut through the arch and began the fabrication to get the doors to open and meet at the correct curvatures. The petrol cap also had to be fabricated to fit, too.
“All the M-Technic II Aero kit was in mint condition and I know a lot of people want this kit so initially I thought I’d try and sell it to someone restoring a mint example. Unfortunately, due to the fact it was a four-door car, I didn’t get much interest. I was quietly happy about this because I was itching to put it on but it just felt wrong to cut it up. Well anyway I did. I cut it all to fit with the arches and was just so happy to have an M-Tech II Rocket Bunny. It was like Germany and Japan working together in harmony!”
Moving to his unit at work, Rhys got down to giving the project some proper attention, pulling some all-nighters in the course of a three-month build. Rhys’s interest in Jap cars manifest itself through the ducktail (taken from an E36). He also added a front aero, splitter and struts. “I’ve always wanted a touring car-inspired E30 and the extra lip on the front really suited the theme I was going for,” he told us. “The oil cooler being externally mounted is not exactly practical or safe but it’s my final homage to the ZokuSha influence”
This project is particularly ballsy because it serves as a showcase for Rhy’s business, as he tells us: “Apart from the external oil cooler, I’ve done no engine modifications whatsoever because I run a bodyshop and I only offer bodywork. I wanted people to see the car and know that I can offer all you see. I didn’t want a 500hp beast which would distract from the bodywork and possibly misrepresent what I can do at my shop.” A lot of the appeal here is that nothing would be too extreme. No matter what you asked for, there would be no judgement or watering-down of ideas by Rhys.
This car certainly does court controversy, in subtle ways too. For example, its looks black on first glance but look twice! Rhys explains: “When it came to painting the car I refused to spend any more money, so owning a bodyshop really helped. I had left over paint from several jobs so I literally just bunged it all in a tin, mixed it together, and that’s the colour you see now. Sometimes it looks black, sometimes a bit silver, and in the sunlight it even has a brown and bronze tint to it.”
The finishing touches all fell into place nicely. “A friend offered me a set of mint Sparco recliners in black I couldn’t resist,” says Rhys. “I then re-upholstered all the carpets in jet black, fitted a deep-dish wheel and after a decent wash most of the original interior cleaned up really nicely. I didn’t want to change the interior too much as I love the styling of the E30. The car is now complete and looks just as angry as I had always imagined.”
You can ask him for the full story about that skull on his bonnet, but Rhys is pretty enigmatic about it: “I couldn’t help but laugh to myself when I stood back and saw it. Modifying has got so strict recently and people are taking fewer risks with it just in case their mates don’t agree, so this was my ‘I build my cars for myself’ statement.” Rhys hasn’t wasted any time in enjoying the car and getting out there. “The first show was a local one hosted by Cruise North Wales and Petrolheads North Wales. They’ve been so supportive of the business right from the beginning that I felt it would only be fair to reveal it to them first. The reaction was insane. There was so much positivity for the car, it made it all worthwhile.”
From small respray jobs for mates under a wedding gazebo on his drive to owning a well-established custom bod shop after starting with nothing but a tiny bit of capital and a lot of hard work, Rhys has got to the point where he can point a finger at the wilfully contrary modified scene where rules govern freedom of expression, and just put all the rules in the bin. The old rules are obsolete; don’t take it too seriously and do whatever you want.
“I was just so happy to have an M-Tech II Rocket Bunny. It was like Germany and Japan working together in harmony!”
DATA FILE #BMW-325i-E30 #M20 B25
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 2.5-litre straight-six #M20B25 , external oil cooler, five-speed gearbox.
CHASSIS: 10.5x17” (front and rear) #KW-Turbo wheels with 215/45 (front) and 225/45 (rear) tyres, modified #Prosport coilovers (front), lowering springs and dampers from a set of coilovers (rear), strut brace.
EXTERIOR: Front splitter on strut bars, tow hook, Nissan S13 Rocket Bunny arches, E36 ducktail spoiler, Subaru Impreza side skirts, shotgun shell wheel nut covers, camo boot wrap.
INTERIOR: Deep-dish drift steering wheel, #Sparco reclining bucket seats, Sparco harnesses, jet black carpet, twin 12” Fli 2400W subs.
THANKS: David Booker at Anglesey Auto Tint for the awesome job on the windows, Slambox, Unit 13 for its continuing support, and cruise North Wales car club for always supporting me right from the beginning.
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