- Post is under moderationUltimate Daily. We test VAGtech's RS3. With an explosive, tuned five-pot and everyday practicality, this Sepang blue RS3 is a true all-rounder… Words & Photography Davy Lewis. RS3 VAGtech’s potent daily driver.
One thing I’ve found from working in the UK car scene is that you tend to bump into the same faces over the years. It’s quite a small world really, so it’s to be expected, but I still love it when I meet an old contact from years back.
I first met VAGtech’s, Jon Watts, back in 2005, when I worked on Redline magazine. He’d built a turbocharged Golf R32, which he let me drive for a road-test feature. It made around 400bhp and coming from a 150bhp Golf GTI, it blew me away. Unsurprisingly Jon became known as the go-to man for R32s, but when the first generation of RS3 was launched, he got into Audi’s premium Sportback – in a big way.
With his own demo car making big power, and being used to constantly test and develop performance parts, it was a regular at events and track days. This extremely well-prepared RS3 was eventually sold to a customer, leaving Jon with a quandary: what to replace it with?
Well, that was an easy one – a brand new RS3 8V.
The Sepang blue Audi is Jon’s daily, but also a test bed for performance parts. Over a coffee, I asked him his thoughts on the tuning scene today.
“I think it’s come a long way. The thing is, cars are so good from the factory, that you don’t need to go too far – a few well chosen upgrades and you can create something that’s plenty fast enough for the roads,” he says.
The RS3 is a prime example of this. The potent 2.5 TFSI unit not only sounds fantastic, with that characteristic offnote warble, but it also makes strong power. Matched with the superb s-tronic transmission and quattro drive, it’s one of the best, all-round, practical, performance cars you’ll find. No wonder they’ve sold so well since launch in 2015.
Jon’s own car has been treated to the kind of upgrades that his customers ask for, so it represents a real-world example of what can be achieved. I’ve been fortunate to drive several RS3s now and I have to say, they’re great fun. Jon’s car is no exception.
Let’s kick off with the looks. There seem to be a lot of Nardo grey, white and black RS3s on the road, which is fine, as they’re all great colours. But I have to say it’s refreshing to see something else, and Sepang blue is a cracking hue. When the sun catches it, this thing really pings.
The subtly aggressive styling of the #Sportback means it doesn’t scream ‘look at me’ like say a Mercedes A45 AMG, but it packs enough firepower to show the majority of cars a clean pair of heels. I spent some time trying to figure out why this particular RS3 looks so pleasing to the eye and then figured it out – it’s the wheels. The genuine #BBS CH-Rs look absolutely, bang on the money, tucked up in the arches courtesy of Bilstein B16 coilovers. It sits just right – not too high, not too low and the offset is spot on, too.
Performance wise, even in stock fettle, the 2.5 TFSI unit brings plenty of grunt to the party. But with so much potential held in reserve, they can easily be persuaded to give more. As a #Revo dealer, Jon is beta testing Revo’s latest Stage 2 software. It’s still at the development stage, so no official figures are available, but it’s likely to be around the 420bhp mark.
The RS3 already had the required hardware fitted – namely a larger front mount intercooler and full turbo back exhaust system – these were supplied by Forge Motorsport and Milltek Sport, respectively. With the restrictive primary cats removed and replaced with a much freer flowing Milltek Sport downpipe with sports cat, the RS3’s potential can be unleashed. Getting at it is another matter.
To access the cats, you must first drop the sub frame. I actually watched the #VAGtech technicians do this before photographing the car. Fortunately, being a new car, everything came off easily and it was a pretty straightforward procedure. Again, Jon wanted to trial it on his own car before a customer asked for it, so he knew exactly what would be involved. You can see a full fitting guide next issue.
The hardware and software upgrades have given the RS3 a harder edge. It now pulls more strongly, right across the rev range and delivers an explosive punch when you really mash the throttle. But this isn’t at the expense of drivability or comfort. The #Revo Stage 2 development setup allows you to exploit the potential of that 5-cylinder, but it retains its manners. Around town it’s docile and just like a stock car. It’s only when you ask it for more that its character changes. Be in no doubt, this RS3 is very quick. Launch control is ridiculous and guaranteed to make passengers feel a bit funny. So full fat hooligan mode is just the flick of your ankle away. Yet, this car is so refined and well put together that you can pootle about in it all day with no fuss or dramas.
The only issue, as far as Jon is concerned, is that his daily commute isn’t quite long enough – a sure sign that you’re driving something a bit special.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE / SPECIFICATION #Audi-RS3-8V #2016 / #Audi-RS3 / #Audi-A3-8V / #Audi-A3 / #Audi / #Audi-RS3-Typ-8V / #Audi-A3-Typ-8V / #Audi-RS3-Typ-8V / #Audi-RS3-VAGtech / #Audi-RS3-VAGtech-8V / #Bilstein / #Audi-RS3-Revo / #Audi-RS3-Revo-8V
Engine 2.5 TFSI 5-cylinder, #Forge front mount intercooler, #Milltek non-res exhaust system from turbo back, #Revo-Stage-2 developement software
Power Around 420bhp (currently running beta testing software)
Transmission 7-speed s-tronic
Brakes RS3 Stock
Suspension #Bilstein-B16 coilovers
Wheels 20in #BBS-CH-R wheels with 245/30 Yokohama tyres
Interior Stock RS3
Exterior Stock RS3 in Sepang blue
Contacts and thanks #VAGtech www.vagtech.co.uk
Top: Performance is very brisk! Above: Sports seats. Left: Half-Alcantara wheel is very nice. Right: Milltek cerakote tips. Below: 5-pot is one of the best engines around.
“It delivers an explosive punch...”
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- Post is under moderationWRAPPER’S DELIGHT #Audi-S4-Tuned B8 daily driver / #Audi-S4-B8-Tuned /
When you’re the boss of a wrapping company, your own car needs to be something a bit different, but this S4 also has the performance to go with the striking looks… Words & Photography Davy Lewis.
When it comes to bang for your buck, it’s hard to beat a 3.0 TFSI. The supercharged V6 is one of the jewels in Audi’s engine line-up – an engine that is smooth, powerful and delivers a healthy 333bhp punch from the factory. Although available in a range of Audis, it’s the B8 S4 that has really made this engine famous, because with some relatively simple upgrades, you can transform your saloon or estate from a quick car, to a near 500bhp weapon.
The beauty of an S4 is that it can be used as a daily driver with plenty of room for transporting kids, dogs – you name it. They’re docile and well mannered around town, but when you want it, they can deliver a hell of a punch. It’s this everyday performance that appealed to Andy Roose, Director of Autowrap Manchester. Working closely alongside Colin Jackson and the guys at Stadt Technik, Andy has had access to a range of quality upgrades to make the most of the S4’s latent potential.
As a company demo car, it made perfect sense. Let’s start with the engine work. As Revo dealers, Stadt Technik took the car into their Manchester workshop and gave the S4 a full Stage 1+ makeover. This involved fitting the performance pulley kit, along with the induction setup and Stage 1+ software. There’s a Milltek exhaust system to free up the gas flow, and all told, the upgrades provide a healthy increase in both power and torque. The headline numbers are 448bhp and 450lb/ft. This sounds great on paper, but it’s even more impressive when you actually experience it.
Going from a stock S4 into a Stage 1+ tuned car really is a game changer. Whereas previously a squeeze of the throttle resulted in some rapid acceleration, with the upgrade, the same pressure unleashes a wave of torque. There’s so much instantaneous grunt available that it’s hard to believe you’re in the same car. In first and second it’s savage – although this is a manual, so there’s no S-tronic launch control, it’s still impressive. In fact, part of the fun of a Stage 1+ S4 is watching passengers as you demonstrate a launch – a word of warning though: make sure they haven’t just eaten breakfast.
It isn’t merely the low gear, off-the-line acceleration that’s impressive – press the throttle in any gear and you’ll be rewarded with instant, linear power. It’s almost as if there’s a larger engine up front – a very different sensation to a big-power turbo, for example. Part of the fun with an S4 is that it looks quite sedate and unthreatening. Other drivers don’t expect these cars to be so quick. That said, this one is a little more in your face than most.
You see, as director of Autowrap Manchester, Andy has access to a myriad of vinyl designs. So, as a company demo car, the S4 needed something a little out of the ordinary to help it to stand out. The current wrap is actually a one-off sample, but Andy liked it so much he’s keeping it. There’s an oldschool 2000s flavour to this flip colour, which changes depending on where the light is. It will not be to everyone’s taste, but the beauty of a wrap like this is it can be easily changed. To further enhance the exterior, Andy has fitted an RS-style front grille, along with some black badges to give an altogether moodier look to the S4.
A set of wheels, spacers and lowering springs is one of the easiest ways to transform the looks of a car. It’s something Stadt Technik always recommend, and, along with black optics, privacy glass and an RS-style front grille, is a guaranteed way to improve most non-RS Audis. This S4 benefits from all of the above, plus a set of 19in AC alloys finished in bronze. They sit perfectly within the arches and really suit the avant. And that’s about it. The interior is a stock mix of leather and Alcantara, which is a perfectly nice place to be. The exterior has even been finished off with a full ceramic coating to keep it looking tip-top throughout the winter. It really is the perfect daily driver.
“Going from a stock S4 into a Stage 1+ car is a game changer”
Below: Black details look very effective. Above: RS-style grille. Left: 3.0 TFSI has been fully Revo’d. Above: Privacy glass and black badges. Left: Carbon effect splitter is neat. Right: Alloys sit perfectly. Below: Milltek system. Above: The go-to guys for wraps in Manchester. Top: With getting on for 450bhp, this S4 is rapid.
“An S4 B8 avant is one of the best daily drivers out there”
TECHNICAL DATA SPECIFICATION #Audi-S4-Avant-B8 WIDE BODY / #Audi-S4-Avant / #Audi-S4-B8 / #Audi-A4-Avant-B8 / #Audi-A4-B8 / #Audi-A4 / #Audi-S4-Avant-Revo-B8 / #Audi-S4-Avant-Revo / #Audi-S4-Revo / #Revo-supercharger / #Revo / #Milltek / #Audi
Engine 3.0 #TFSI #V6 , #Revo-supercharger-pulley-kit , #Revo-air-intake-kit , #Revo-Stage-1+ software, #Milltek-exhaust
Transmission 6-speed manual
Suspension #H&R springs
Brakes S4 stock
Wheels 19in #AC-alloys with Vredestein tyres
Interior S4 leather and Alcantara
Exterior Black badges, custom vinyl wrap by #Autowrap-Manchester , carbon front splitter, privacy glass, #RS-style front grille
Contacts Autowrap Manchester www.autowrapmanchester.co.uk, Stadt Technik www.stadttechnik.co.ukStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationTUNED CAR TEST: Words Davy Lewis / Photography AJ Walker & Davy Lewis
DRIVEN: REVO RS3 We test the 420bhp RS
With 425hp, Revo’s RS3 promises strong performance – but does it deliver? We headed to an airfield to find out…
DRIVEN: REVO RS3 We drive Revo’s demo car…
There’s something about Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground that always gives me a little shiver of excitement. I’ve been coming here for over 16 years – testing everything from brakes and suspension, through to top speed runs – and it’s always good to be back. The Leicestershire airfield provides the opportunity to really push a car – to see what it can do, and find where its limits are. It’s for this reason that Revo has a base here.
Revo’s Training and Development Centre gives them amble opportunity to test their latest upgrades – both software and hardware. From brutal launches to lay down 0-60mph times, to more ‘real world in-gear acceleration and a multitude of other tests to ensure that each new product comes to market fully developed and ready to improve the performance and drivability of the customer’s car. As part of their ongoing tuning program, Revo runs a fleet of development cars, many of which happen to be Audis. I’ve driven their S7, S3 saloon, S1 and SQ5, but the current car of the moment is a very smart, white RS3. This five-cylinder Sportback has been with them for around 12 months and features the latest performance upgrades available. The plan is to spend some time in the car to see how it compares to a stock RS3.
Let’s kick off with the looks. The first items you’ll notice are the wheels – they’re a set of gloss black RV019 alloys. Revo launched their first wheel last year and it’s been well received – especially on MQBplatform cars. Teamed up with a set of Revo’s own performance springs, it lends the RS3 an altogether more purposeful look, with definite hints at motorsport. Wrapped in Dunlops, they reduce the unsprung rotational mass (which should translate to a keener handling feel) and offer prodigious grip (handy with 425hp on tap).
Staying with the chassis, peeking out from behind the RV019s is a set of uprated discs. The RS3 calipers do an admirable job of stopping this feisty five-pot, but as many RS3 owners have discovered, the stock discs can capitulate under sustained hard use.
This is due to the fact the cooling veins are not ‘sided’ so the air enters from the correct direction on one side to cool them, but on the other it does not, which can lead to premature wear – especially if used hard. Revo has developed ‘sided’ discs which offer maximum cooling potential for both sides. Developed in association with leading braking specialists, Alcon, it addresses an issue with stock RS3s.
And so to the ‘go-fast’ bits… Much has been written about the RS3’s ability to punch above its weight. That characterful 2.5 TFSI engine is a powerful and sonorous unit, which delivers strong performance straight out of the box. However, should you wish to unlock even more potential, then Revo has developed Stage 1 software for the Audi. This car also features a freer flowing performance exhaust (which also happens to sound fantastic), and brand new prototype carbon fibre inlet system. All told it delivers 425hp and 428lb/ft – a pretty healthy increase over stock. Revo’s own testing has produced a strong set of performance figures too: 0-60mph in 3.55secs and 0-100mph in just 8.37secs. Numbers on paper are one thing, but as Revo themselves advocate, it’s the driving experience that really matters – how a car behaves on the road – it’s drivability and the way the power is delivered that matters.
With the RS3 nicely warmed up, I take it for a slow sighting lap of the short course at Bruntingthorpe. There’s a selection of commercial vehicles all testing today, as well as the police practising their motorway stopping procedure. It actually feels a bit naughty to sit so close to a couple of traffic patrol cars, as I rev the RS3 before belting off the line like a scalded cat.
Once launch control is engaged (select Dynamic and switch off the TC), it’s a simple case of left foot on the brake, dial in the revs, before coming off the brake and letting the car do its thing.
As I sidestep the brake there’s an almighty howl from the five-cylinder lump as the revs hit 4,000rpm and there’s a violet shove as the quattro drive bites. There’s some wheel spin (it’s the middle of November and the concrete surface offers minimal grip), but the RS3’s electronics, aided by that extra slug of power and torque, courtesy of Revo, translates to epic forward thrust. It feels blisteringly quick (bear in mind I arrived in an RS7 Performance) and it doesn’t let up. As I hurtle past the bemused looking coppers, the RS3 feels relentless. The power just keeps on coming and we’re well into three figures, before I begin to ease off and apply the brakes for the right-hander approaching. As I switch from Sport to Drive (to reign in the shriek from that exhaust as we pass the noise testing microphone), I have time to gather my thoughts.
The first thing to note is that this thing is bloody rapid off the line. I’ve experienced launch control on several stock RS3s and this is significantly quicker. Revo claim a 0-60mph time of 3.55secs and while we’re not about to match that on this cold morning, I don’t doubt it for a second. The second thing is just how well matched the extra power seems to the car. It all feels very OEM – linear, tractable and totally in harmony with the rest of the car. But it isn’t just the off the line heroics that impresses. The in-gear punch is ferocious – which is perfect for the kind of real world situations where you’d use it – overtaking for example.
Prod the throttle in pretty much any gear and you’ll be treated to a wall of torque (in second and third it’s epic), but there’s plenty of punch in fifth and even sixth too. The seven-speed S-tronic box is very well matched to the RS3 and copes well with the rather immense strain placed on it by hard use. Backing off the throttle is rewarded with a crescendo of pops and crackles, which is one of the best noises ever.
Today’s test is mainly to get a feel for how the car handles the extra power, particularly in the real world, ‘straightline squirt’ scenarios. That said, I’m still able to chuck it around a few turns, which illustrates the taught handling. There’s less roll and pitch than with a stock RS3 and the whole thing feels tighter and more focused.
This really is the kind of fast Audi that you could live with every day. It’s got the best of both worlds: the refinement and class you’d expect from a premium model, but with the potential to induce a stupid grin when the roads open up, or you’re lucky enough to be on a track. It’s a real split personality: one minute a sensible (dare I say) grown up hot hatch, the next, a ferocious, raucous little monster that evokes memories of Group B rally cars.
Once we’ve finished testing and have the shots in the bag, I give the RS7 Performance a couple of laps of the proving ground. Even though it’s packing the mighty 4.0 TFSI twin turbo with 597bhp, the RS3 is quicker off the line. The RS7 is a wonderful thing (I’d have one in a heartbeat), but with the options it’s a £100k+ car; it’s also rather large. At around half the price and with significantly less weight to lug around, the Revo-tuned RS3 would leave its hefty big brother behind on twisty UK roads. No doubt about it. I think that shows just how good this thing is – a resoundingly positive outcome for Revo’s RS3 package then. But there’s more to come. The team is working on their Stage 2 package, which will unleash yet more power – to be released next year. If this thing is anything to go by, it’s going to be rather exciting.
SPECIFICATION #2017-Audi-RS3-8V / #Audi-RS3-8V / #Audi-RS3 / #Audi-A3-8V / #Audi-8V / #Revo-RS3-8V / #Audi-RS3-Revo-8V / #Audi-RS3-Revo / #Audi / #2017 / #Revo
Engine 2.5 #TFSI 5-cylinder, prototype #Revo-carbon-fibre-intake-system , #Revo-performance-exhaust , #Revo-Stage-1-ECU-software
Power 425hp and 428lb/ft
Performance 0-60mph: 3.55secs 0-100mph: 8.37secs
Transmission 7-speed #S-tronic
Brakes Revo RS3-specific left and right sided disc upgrade
Suspension Revo performance springs
Wheels Revo RV019 alloys in gloss black
Interior Stock RS3 with super sports seats
Exterior Glacier white with Revo badges at rear and on front wings, Revo graphics along bottom of doors
Contacts Revo www.revotechnik.com, thanks to Dan Edwards for arranging the shoot and braving a freezing airfield
Some fast laps on an airfield showed just how capable Revo’s RS3 is.
Left: Uprated Revo discs are sided, 1.2kg lighter per side and allow better cooling.
Above: Carbon intake is still in development, but we’ll have full details and prices soon.
“Backing off the throttle is rewarded with a crescendo of pops and bangs...”
“The in-gear punch is ferocious...”
As with all of Revo’s performance products, the upgrades fitted to this RS3 can be purchased separately from any of Revo’s wide network of dealers. However, the whole lot can also be fitted in a drive in, drive out package, which will see your RS3 transformed. Here’s what it will cost:
Stage 1 software: £718
Carbon fibre intake: TBC
Brake discs: £898
RV019 alloys: £1198
Performance springs: £178
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- 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 moderationDialled in! / #Audi-A5 / #Audi / #Bilstein / #2016 / #Audi-A5-Coupe /
For fine-tuned handling performance, with the characteristics changed at the touch of a button, Bilstein’s iRC kit does all of this from your phone… Words And Photos: Paul Cowland
Adjustable suspension is nothing new, of course. For years now, we have been able to modulate both the ride height and damping rate of any number of high-quality coilover suspension kits. This has been a boon, both for those looking to achieve the perfect ride height – and better still, for drivers genuinely in search of optimum handling. If the suspension of a car can be minutely adjusted not only to achieve perfect corner-weighting, but also tweaked to obtain the perfect damping rate, then you really can have your cake and eat it too.
German suspension leader Bilstein has long been at the forefront of this technology, raising the bar a few years ago with the advent of its ‘ridecontrol’ functionality, which put a switchable push-button on the dash of your car – and linked to switchable damper internals housed within its B16 suspension units. This gave OEM levels of fit and functionality to a wide range of tuner platforms and meant that you could ride around in relative comfort on a soft damper setting for the daily commute, before punching a smart brushed aluminium button to create a much firmer and more responsive set-up for your next ‘B’-road foray or trackday outing…
For most drivers, this was fine. The chance to endow your car with a ‘best of both worlds’ chassis set-up simply by pressing a button while on the move was all that was needed. As with all top-end technology, of course, it didn’t take too long for the boffins in Bilstein’s lab to want to move things forward into the world of the latest technology – so how about making damper adjustment available from your smartphone?
The result of much hard work, development and programming is Bilstein’s innovative iRC system. A combination of hardware and software, this kit can be added as a cost-option to many of the firm’s ridecontrol kits to add an extra degree of functionality and, let’s face it, who isn’t going to be impressed as you whip your phone out on the next track day and instantly transform your car’s handling characteristics while you’re not even sitting in it? As the perfect balance between functionality and technology, it’s a marketleading bit of kit, and like all Bilstein products, while it’s not the cheapest, the quality is sensational.
Keen to see it in action, we went along for the day while Bilstein UK sales manager Aaron Quilter was about to fit a kit to his own A5 Coupé, along with some complementary products from Eibach, Milltek Sport and Revo and also employing the talents of the TT Shop, who’d offered to help with the assembly.
In addition to the fully adjustable IRC coilover set-up, there was also a set of Eibach’s adjustable arms and anti-roll bars, while Revo had donated a set of their stunning 20-inch rims, shod with high-performance Vredestein tyres, and Milltek Sport had provided one of their sonorous exhaust systems – all of which we’ll revisit later on.
Fitting it up
As Aaron’s A5 had barely completed its running-in mileage, with not a hint of rust or corrosion in sight, removing the original equipment was the work of mere minutes for the TT Shop’s hugely experienced technicians.
After a few ‘before’ shots to chart progress, the car was put onto the ramp and work began in earnest. While nobody can deny that the standard Audi A5 is a great-looking car, it’s clear for all to see that the factory ride height and wheel combination lacks a little visual aggression, but the TT Shop team was about to transform both its looks and handling ability.
First on was the Eibach equipment. This tried and tested pairing of uprated anti-roll bars and adjustable front arms can really elevate the handling prowess of the Audi platform. The new anti-roll bars use uprated polyurethane bushes with a clever linen lining that not only helps to retain the supplied grease to prolong the life of the bushes, but it also makes for whisperquiet operation with not a squeak or creak to be heard. The bars themselves are also electrostatically powder-coated, so even on the UK’s oft-salted roads, you can expect many years of service from these parts. Eibach also supplied a full set of their adjustable arms as part of the upgrade.
This chassis is notorious for its lack of frontend adjustment, and this kit answers that problem by replacing the OEM fixed arms with an upgrade that offers total adjustment in every direction. Not only can you wind the all-important camber in – or out – with these new arms, but you can also select a fair degree of caster too, allowing the car to enjoy much greater steering feel and sensitivity, along with the increased self-centreing behaviour that is ideal for high-speed stability and confidence. As these parts offer so much adjustment, Eibach recommends referencing them against the original parts to begin with, adjusting them to the same size, before fine-tuning the alignment later.
The Milltek Sport exhaust had been quickly fitted during a moment of ownership enthusiasm prior to the shoot, by Aaron himself. By his own admission, this was done in rather a hurry, keen to get a dramatic improvement in style and sound. But with the car now up on the ramp, and the timeframe not quite so critical, the TT Shop team spent a few minutes carefully adjusting and fettling where the system sat to ensure that the pipework gave maximum ground clearance without touching the floor, before spending a few valuable minutes carefully positioning the trims in the bumper apertures to give the whole set-up a decidedly ‘OEM+’ feel.
As with all Milltek Sport systems, the fit and finish is exemplary, using factory pickup points to allow for a rapid fitment. Every part of this system is hand-finished using super-accurate jigs to ensure a perfect fit, as well as the kind of soundtrack that is such a major improvement for a diesel-powered vehicle. Finished from the highest quality aerospace grade, non-magnetic stainlesssteel, this is also another part that will be more than up to the rigours of year-round use in the UK’s harsh climate.
With these parts on, it was time to turn to the main attraction – the Bilstein iRC kit. As the pictures show, there’s a huge amount of adjustment with this kit, with threaded seats front and rear allowing a considerable degree of fine adjustment to achieve the desired ride height – and, if required, corner-weighting.
The front units are replacement struts, so these are simply built into the front subassemblies, complete with its new Eibach arms, of course, and then re-fitted to the car. The rears use separate spring seats and damper units, precisely replicating the OEM parts it replaces. As a serial OEM supplier, Bilstein designs and manufactures all of these parts to exceed original equipment quality, so as one would expect, these fitted quickly, precisely and without incident.
As the veterans of literally thousands of coilover upgrades, the TTS team used their ‘best guess’ to set a baseline ride-height and, as it turned out, it was almost perfect once the car was back down on the ground! Each kit comes complete with two ‘C’ spanners, which means that these can easily be adjusted once the units are in situ.
Where the iRC kit differs from normal coilovers is that each damper unit has a sender wire that must be returned back to the central control box. From this, the owner can then fit either the smart alloy pushbutton on the dash for manual operation, or if preferred, the iRC control box for integration with their smartphone. Alternatively, the system allows you to run both methods of adjustment – perfect for those days when you’ve left your phone at home and still want to adjust your suspension.
Once the wires have been carefully routed, each damper is a simple ‘plug and play’ fitment into the central control box. Then, once that has all been fitted and neatly cable-tied away, it’s only a case of downloading the software from the app store (currently £2.99) before the system neatly integrates onto your phone. The final touch was a full alignment session on the TT Shop’s ultra-accurate Hunter rig, ensuring that the A5’s wheels were pointing in the right direction with minute-perfect precision.
With this done, the smart new #Revo rims could be bolted up. These monsters weigh in at an impressive 9.5 x 20-inches and wear 275/30-20 Vredestein rubber. All decent rims have the power to truly transform the demeanour of any project, but these wheels dramatically alter the whole looks and proportions of the car, bringing the visual weight lower down and making the A5 look much more purposeful and aggressive.
On the road
Even before driving the car, it was clear that these new enhancements had added a great deal to transform the car’s visual appeal, but would this new look translate into equally wonderful road manners? With a substantial reduction in ride height and those huge Revo rims, would the car still maintain its everyday useability and prowess, or would it be a case of looks first, and handling a distant second?
The answer, thankfully, is that the resultant package has managed to keep a foot in both camps. The ride is certainly more positive and sporting, sure, but thanks to the dampers doing their job so efficiently, the ride quality really is excellent – particularly when switching the dampers into their softer ‘comfort’ modes. The Eibach anti-roll bars allow the car to stay flatter in the turns, reducing load transfer, and the new front arms have added a new-found urgency to the steering geometry, which makes the front end much more grippy and telegraphic – a facet nicely augmented by the wider Vredestein rubber. This car really has a great deal of mechanical grip now, but has gained it without ruining its original charm.
The subtle burble from the Milltek exhaust is also a real treat – Audi diesels always sound pretty good (for their genre) anyway, but in this one, with its fabulous new note, which gives just enough drama and noise under throttle – and whisper-quiet refinement off it – makes a compelling case for petrolheads to make the sensible move to fuel-efficient TDI. In short, it’s a very accomplished package. The final icing on the cake is the ‘geekfactor’ endowed by the iRC, of course.
In this app-driven age, you’ll never tire of adjusting and fettling your ride quality to suit and, let’s be honest, it does have more than a little novelty value too.
An all-round accomplished success then. The message is clear; next time you want to get your Audi sitting and handling right – get on the phone!
‘The ride is certainly more positive and sporting, sure, but thanks to the dampers doing their job so efficiently, the ride quality really is excellent...’
‘Where the iRC kit differs from normal coilovers is that each damper unit has a sender wire that must be returned back to the central control box...’
‘It’s clear for all to see that the factory ride height and wheel combination lacks a little visual aggression...’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 moderationREVO A3 Savage, Stage 4 2.0 TFSI / REVO A3 TRACK CAR
Revo Technik prove that a regular A3 2.0 TFSI can be taken to Stage 4, to create a reliable and seriously fun track car. Words Davy Lewis. Photography AJ Walker.
Those of you who have been with us from the start, may recall we introduced Revo’s stock looking A3 in our Projects section back in issue 001. The silver, three-door 2.0 TFSI quattro was pretty unremarkable, and looked a bit lost amongst some big-power RS models. But, I had a sneaking suspicion that this humble A3 was going to become something rather special...
the #Revo-Technik always run a fleet of the latest Audis, which are central to their development work (it just so happens they’re also great fun – perks of the job I guess!). But with access to a 550bhp S7, 400bhp S3 saloon, a 470bhp S5, and an SQ5, plus plenty of other cool cars, what on earth made them buy a #2005 A3?
“Whilst all our cars are developed to perform, our demo fleet has always consisted of the latest and greatest Audis. There’s a high value in them and we’ve always been precious about who drives them,” says MD, Mark Yates. “We wanted to build a car all our staff could have a go in; something not so elitist that a wider audience could relate to but, more importantly, something that could showcase the potential of Revo products on what could be classed as an underdog platform.”
It would give them something on which to demonstrate their range of tuning products, and prove that a regular Audi, like an A3 2.0 TFSI, could be tuned to Stage 4 to create a reliable and fun car. An 8P A3 made sense on many levels. For starters they’re a lot cheaper than an S3 – you can pick one up from around £4k as opposed to £10k+ for a decent, early S3. Okay, it makes do with 197bhp compared with the S3’s 261bhp, but with plans to rebuild the engine with a big turbo anyway, that wasn’t an issue. It’s a quattro, so there’s no problem with traction. And there are plenty around. “We always planned to strip it back to a bare shell so we could fit a multi-point roll cage,” says Revo’s Kev Hall, “So luxuries like electric leather seats, Bose audio and the other S3 goodies would’ve been wasted on this car.”
The build itself has taken the best part of a year. That’s mainly because the guys have been so busy taking the company forward – there simply weren’t enough hours in the day to work on the A3, too. But, over the last couple of months, it’s really started to come together. It is however very different to how it began.
The 2005 2.0 TFSI quattro was picked up for around £4,500. It had a decent spec, with leather seats etc, which were soon removed. The engine came out and the stripped out car was sent off to have a full FIA-approved roll cage fitted. The only interior bits left were the main part of the dash and some of the centre console. Everything else had been removed, including the surprisingly heavy sound deadening. The beauty of working in the vibrant #UK #VAG tuning scene was that Revo had no shortage of top line partners to turn to for upgrades.
While the rolling shell was being worked on, the guys got busy with the engine build. Having initially planned to create a blog to show people how to take a stock car like this all the way to Stage 4 or 5, they realised the turbo on the 100k-miler was in poor shape. So they jumped straight to a Stage 3 K04 setup and then on to Stage 4 with the GTX3071.
The engine was rebuilt using forged internals to prepare for its life of hard track use. This would also allow some big boost to be applied without the rods and pistons trying to make a bid for freedom from the block. You can see the detailed spec on the final page of the feature, but the focus has been on creating decent power while maintaining reliability. Keeping the charge temps down was a vital part of this, so the large Revo front mount intercooler plays a pivotal role in things. It reduces inlet temps by up to 35 percent.
For the large GTX3071 to do its job effectively, the exhaust needed upgrading. Scorpion came to the rescue with a 3in turboback system. With the all important downpipe now far less restrictive, the 2.0 TFSI could breath more effectively. The system currently runs two boxes to keep the noise as low as possible to avoid failing any circuit noise tests. A down-turned tailpipe also helps to filter the sound more effectively.
Peak power figures are great and it’s the thing people always get hung up about, but a big peak power figure is largely useless if it’s only accessible in the outer reaches of the powerband. So Revo have developed their Stage 4 software to offer bundles of usable torque throughout the rev range. Being fully in control of everything the engine is capable of doing, lets them get the most out of the car. It may be a track machine, but as it’s road legal and the setup is so flexible, you could still pop to the shops in it – if you really wanted to. As most Revo customers want tuning solutions for their road cars, it had to be this way.
Our man, Adam Walker, road shotgun for some fast laps around Bedford Autodrome and called me straight afterwards to say it’s one of the quickest cars he’s been out in. Considering he spends his time shooting RS6s and the like, often with over 700bhp, this is impressive. Of course part of the reason this thing feels so rapid is the no compromise way it does its job. You can hammer it into a turn, braking incredibly late – then turn in and get back on the power to exit in rapid fashion. The grip is immense and you can really feel the g-forces at work as the A3 does its thing. It’s here that you’re glad of the Cobra seats and harnesses, which prevent passengers from eating the dashboard and allow the driver to stay firmly supported through some rapid changes of direction.
Inside, all creature comforts have been removed. But then this was always intended to be an out-and-out track car. As you’d expect, with no sound deadening or trim to insulate you from the vibration and noise, plus those polycarbonate windows, it is quite lively inside – especially when you provoke that 480whp lump! With the glass removed, along with all of the interior trim, I’d estimate that well over 150kg has been saved, although bear in mind a fair amount has also been added with the installation of the multipoint roll cage.
The main part of the dash has been left in tact, although it has been cut to allow the cage to be properly fitted (no dash dodger efforts here!) The centre console now featured a custom panel which houses a smattering of gauges from Demon Tweeks. These include essential engine health monitors such as EGT, air fuel ratio and oil temp.
A competent chassis is a basic prerequisite for any track car. You can have all the power in the world, but if you can’t use it effectively because the brakes, suspension and tyres aren’t up to the job, then it’s pointless.
The Bilstein Clubsport coilovers provide a multitude of adjustability for both bump and rebound (as well as height of course) to get the perfect set up for track. For a car with less weight and the possibility of running slicks at some stage, the Clubsports allow all of these variables to be taken into consideration. With adjustable top mounts, the camber can also be fine tuned to get the front end dialled in. Some negative camber is key to this A3’s keen turn in which also offers staggering levels of grip. This is due in part to the Wavetrack differential which helps to maintain traction, even in the tight turns. Eibach provided uprated anti-roll bars front and rear, which really do come into their own on track. This thing has practically no pitch or body roll, thanks to this highly effective set up. The next chassis upgrade was a set of Powerflex Black Series poly bushes. On a ten year old car, the stock bushes are bound to be past their best, leading to play in suspension and steering components. The Black Series kit has been developed for track and firms everything up. This gives a very tight and direct feel to the handling.
When it came to the outside, Revo wanted a more aggressive look – but it had to be functional. The RS3-style front bumper certainly does the trick, and together with the honeycomb grille also helps airflow to the engine. With Revo’s own light weight 8x19in RV019 wheels fitted, the front arches would have needed some work, plus the RS3-style front bumper was designed to fit wide arches, so a set of fatter arches were also added. The car is essentially finished now. All that’s left to do is find some time and decent weather to go and lay down some performance times.
Of course, you don’t have to go to the extent that Revo has with their stunning creation. You could use some of the upgrades to create a highly competent and fun road car that can also be used for the odd track thrash. And with A3 2.0 TFSIs starting at around £3k, building an S3-beater needn’t brake the bank either. Just go and see team Revo...
SPECIFICATION #Audi-A3-2.0TFSI-Quattro / #2005 / #Audi-A3 / #Audi / #Audi-A3 / #Garrett / #Audi-A3-8P / #Quattro / #Audi-A3-2.0TFSI-Quattro-8P / #REVO-A3-Savage / #Revo /
Engine 2.0 TFSI, #Garrett-GTX3071R , #Revo built engine using #Carrillo rods and pistons, #Scorpion turbo-back exhaust with down turned tailpipe, Revo Intake kit, Revo runner flap delete kit, #HPFP and upgraded RS4 injectors, TT RS low pressure fuel pump, TT RS fuel pump ECU, Revo catch can kit, Revo boost tap kit, Revo throttle pipe, Revo engine mounts, #Forge-Motorsport silicone hose kit, Revo FMIC, #NGK Spark plugs BKR8EIX, AEM water/meth injection.
Power 480-485bhp (at the wheels) and 550-580Nm
Suspension #Bilstein Clubsport coilovers, #Eibach ARBs front and rear, Powerflex Black Series bushes, Wavetrack LSD, uprated clutch and flywheel.
Brakes Revo/Alcon big brake kit Wheels and Tyres Revo RV019 alloys in gloss black with Dunlop Sportmaxx.
Interior Fully stripped out, including sound deadening, with only top of dash remaining, Custom Cages FIA/MSA-spec welded-in roll cage, bespoke Cobra Suzuka Pro GT seats, bespoke Cobra harness and pad kit, flocked door cards with red door pulls, gauges (boost/EGT/OT/AFR) in custom flocked panel, fire extinguisher kit, Sparco steering wheel, battery, DV+ supplied by #Demon-Tweeks , AEM water meth kit.
Exterior RS3 style front bumper and grille, RS3 style rear bumper with gloss black rear diffuser, Plastics4Performance polycarbonate side and rear windows, custom gloss red wrap with Revo graphics, black Audi rings, Revo badge, rear wiper delete, gloss black rear spoiler.
Thanks Revo’s master tech/racecar engineer Kev Brown for building the beast. Our partners/suppliers: Bilstein, Cobra, Demontweeks, Dunlop, Eibach, Forge, Meguiars, Powerflex, Scorpion, Wavetrack and special thanks to Revo MD Mark Yates for instigating the project and driving it with his enthusiasm and wealth of motorsport knowledge.
Top Revo’s Paul Farenden was test pilot for the shoot.
Top: Only the dash remains inside Above right: Cobra seats and harnesses with Revo branding Facing page: The 2.0 TFSI is running Stage 4 and over 480bhp at the wheels.
Facing page top Revo RV019 wheels and big brakes Left: Fully committed on track at Bedford Above: Final checks before the track session Above right: The FIA multi-point roll cage.
Top: The Revo A3 is a monster on track.
Huge thanks to Bedford Autodrome, Motorsport Vision and also MSV Trackdays for allowing us to shoot the A3 at one of their events. If you haven’t been, Bedford is a fantastic venue with a huge amount of run off, allowing you to really push your car to the limit. MSV Trackdays run events at many circuits, which is a great way to spend a day. Head to www.msvt.co.uk.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationMAXIMUM ATTACK! KW’s S1 Clubsport takes on the Nürburgring / #Audi-A1 / #Audi-S1 / #Audi /
COVER STORY KW’s S1 Clubsport at the #Nürburgring
CLUB CLASSIC Words Davy Lewis Photography Mark Riccioni
KW Automotive tuned this 2015 #Audi-S1-Quattro to show what can be achieved with their track day-focused Clubsport coilover system.
The #Nürburgring #Nordschleife is an unforgiving beast. Over 13 miles of unforgiving tarmac that snakes its way through the verdant Eifel forest; it really does take no prisoners. A lap that begins in sunlight may turn to rain, fog or even snow by the time you’re halfway around. It is not a place for the faint-hearted. But therein lies its appeal.
The very nature of this ultimate ‘toll road’ means it attracts many thousands of visitors. From seasoned drivers keen to enjoy every twist and turn as they chase a Bridge to Gantry time; to beginners taking it steady, happy just to be at this legendary circuit; its appeal is enduring.
The brutal nature of the Nordschleife means that is has become the place to test cars. It’s not surprising, then, that manufacturers queue up to test their top secret new models here. You can see the heavily disguised mules being flung around by expert test drivers – if a car can perform well in this hostile environment, it will perform well anywhere.
It’s for this very reason that KW Automotive, one of the world’s most respected suspension manufacturers has a base here. Consequently, the UK arm of the business run by MD, Richard Good, spends a lot of time out here. So when their latest project S1 needed a full shakedown, the KW team headed to the Ring.
The car itself was purchased with a plan already in mind. “We wanted something to showcase the KW Clubsport range of coilovers,” says MD, Richard. “We’ve shown what our Variant 2 and 3 kits can do, but not really pushed the Clubsport range,” he adds. “Part of the challenge is making people aware of the differences between V3 and Clubsport. If you buy an S3 for example, a lot of people want to add some power, an exhaust and lower it. They want something that’s good for daily use and the occasional track outing. The Variant 3 is perfect for this,” he continues. “But, as soon as you get more serious; take out some weight; add semi-slicks etc, the Variant 3 is a bit soft.”
After two years adapting Variant 3 kits for those that wanted firmer spring rates for track days, KW decided to create the Clubsport solution – specifically tailored to the track enthusiast who demands more. The challenge was getting the message across that the Clubsport kit is a more track-focused solution, but not at the expense of on-road comfort. And so project S1 was born.
“We thought about a Porsche,” smiles Richard, “but they’re fast out of the box, so by adding our suspension, we’d just be making a fast car even faster.” The Audi on the other hand offered something else. “The S1 is okay in stock form but, for me, it’s a little boring,” admits Richard. Not to say that the baby quattro is a bad car. Far from it. I’ve driven several, including Revo’s 340bhp tuned example and it’s one of the most fun Audis I’ve ever driven. But, there’s the point – it’s been tuned. In standard trim they are a little safe; there’s so much more to be had.
“We wanted to make the S1 more aggressive,” states Richard. If it was to showcase the Clubsport coilovers, it had to have the full Clubsport package in the same vein as the mighty Porsche GT3 RS – that meant bucket seats, a half-cage and, of course, semi-slicks. With a virgin white S1 quattro delivered, work began on upgrading it.
As you’d expect, the first thing to do was get it to KW’s local track, Brands Hatch, to give it a shakedown. After all, it’s hard to measure improvement if you don’t have a stock car to compare it with. KW’s resident test driver, Marc Kemp, was drafted in to put the little Audi through its paces. As a professional instructor and Time Attack driver, he’s also a Ring veteran with well over 1000 laps under his belt. It’s safe to say the man can pedal a bit.
Unsurprisingly for a stock road car, the limits were soon reached and it was clear that huge improvements could be made with suspension upgrades (a tendency to under steer and a lack of willingness to turn in being the main issues.)
The S1 was rolled into KW’s workshop to have the Clubsport kit fitted up. The coilovers are fully adjustable for height, plus bump and rebound, and can be spec’d with adjustable top mounts for that extra fine tuning of the suspension geometry – essential to create a capable track car. This would allow the toe and castor to be tweaked for that crisp and predictable turn in.
“With the first test Clubsport kit fitted, I thought it felt great,” comments Richard, but test driver Marc spotted a couple of flaws at Brands Hatch. “Coming into a dip, the rear springs compressed so much that the rear wheel was in the arch – it wasn’t stiff enough under extreme conditions.” KW decided they needed to find a better balance. “We also found that if the rear end squats to a certain point, it trips a sensor and the ECU puts the car into limp mode – not what you want on track!” he laughs. “It’s things like this that you can only find out by testing things properly on track.” With a list of improvements noted, Richard, Marc and the team headed out to the Nürburgring. The first stop was KW’s partners, Raeder Motorsport. Here technician, Christoph, was tasked with carrying out the adjustments they wanted, which included firmer front and rear spring rates, plus adjustments to the toe, castor and a full corner weight set-up. All of this took a full day; then it was time to test it on track.
With over 1000 laps behind him, Marc Kemp knows every inch of the Nordschleife and he wasted no time in putting the S1 through it paces. “We joined an RMA track day,” recalls Richard, “it was full of high-end cars with well-heeled owners, and they were all amazed by the little Audi,” he smiles. “We had people coming over to say how impressed they were and wanting to find out what we’d done to the suspension.” The fact Marc was able to leave cars with much more power behind in the turns, demonstrated how well set up it had been. “They caught up with us on the straights, but once into the turns, we could brake later and turn in much harder; leaving them behind again.”
The revisions that had been suggested at Brands Hatch had now been fully proven on the most demanding track in the world. Of course, with the suspension set-up nailed, the rest of the car couldn’t be left stock. Cobra supplied a bespoke set of their latest seats, complete with KW logos and custom sub frames, to get them sitting nice and low (when your test driver is 6ft 5in, things like this matter!) The rear seats have been trimmed to match and Cobra went the extra mile by treating the gear and hand brake gaiters, together with the door cards to Alcantara with contrasting red stitching. It really does look like an OEM factory special. The final interior touch is a half-roll cage. It was designed and fitted by German company, Wiechers, who specialise in prototype cars; in fact they built the roll cage fitted to Audi’s very own TT Clubsport Turbo (featured in AT issue 006). It uses the seatbelt mounting points to create a truly bolt-in affair that can be easily removed. Although this S1 is very much about showcasing what can be achieved with the Clubsport suspension, there was no way the engine was going to be left stock. The 2.0 TFSI unit kicks out a healthy 228bhp from standard, but there’s a lot more to be had with some simple upgrades.
Revo were chosen to supply a custom map, and there’s a full Scorpion exhaust fitted. The turbo back exhaust includes a sports cat and some purposeful looking quad oval tailpipes. Together with a Revo carbon air intake, power is around 320bhp with over 360lb/ ft of torque. That may not sound huge, but bear in mind this is in an extremely well set-up car. The engine and chassis upgrades combine to create a devastatingly capable package on the road or on track days. As race instructor Marc Kemp says, “I was very surprised; I didn’t expect it to do what it did. You [Richard] must be very pleased with that.”
And there we have it. KW’s S1 quattro Clubsport is a little monster. Look out for it at track events this year and see it at our new indoor event, #VAG Tuner Expo on 25 October.
KW’S PARTNERS KW would like to say a big thank you to all their industry partners that helped to create this project: Cobra www.cobraseats.co.uk Revo www.revotechnik.com HEL www.helperformance.com Toyo www.toyo.co.uk Scorpion www.scorpion-exhausts.com Wiechers www.wiechers-sport.de Raeder Motorsport www.raeder-motorsport.de OZ Wheels www.ozracing.co.uk RMA Track Days www.rmatrackdays.com
Above: Test driver Marc Kemp rocking some cool shades..
SPECIFICATION #2015 #Audi-S1-Quattro-Clubsport
Engine 2.0 TFSI, Revo custom ECU software, #Scorpion turbo back exhaust system with quad oval tailpipes and sports cat, #Revo carbon fibre intake
Power 320bhp and 360lb/ft
Transmission 6-speed manual, stock clutch (for now)
Brakes OEM discs with Pagid RS Yellow pads, HEL lines, Castrol race fluid
Suspension #KW-Clubsport coilovers with adjustable top mounts, geometry fully setup and corner weighted by #Raeder-Motorsport
Wheels and Tyres White #OZ multi-spoke alloys in 8x17in with Toyo R888 semi-slick tyres
Exterior 3-door Audi S1 quattro in Ibis white with #KW logos
Interior Bespoke Cobra bucket seats with harnesses, rear seats trimmed to match, Wiechers custom half roll cage, Alcantara door cards and gear/handbrake gaiters with red stitching
Tuning contacts KW Automotive www.kwautomotive.co.uk
Thanks to Ben and Mark at SceneMedia for all their help with the feature
KW Clubsport coilovers have been designed to offer race car technology for the road and track day use. Think of the Variant 3 for the average guy with a mildly tuned Audi and Clubsport for someone that intends to drive harder and use their car more on track; but the Clubsport package still offers comfort and compliance for the road. There are a multitude of settings and adjustments available with the 2-way Clubsport – 16 clicks of rebound and 12 clicks of bump, so the perfect set up can be achieved according to your driving style. If you’re reducing the weight or adding different wheels and tyres, it allows a bespoke set up to be achieved. Adjustable top mounts are available for even more fine tuning of the castor and camber (dependant on model) to dial in that turn in. KW Clubsport is a very well made and easy to adjust system.
Far left: The KW test base left: Marc Kemp puts the S1 through it paces
The Ring is the most infamous track on earth. This 13+mile test of car and driver is unique in that it’s the longest circuit in the world, as well as technically a public toll road. You pay your entrance fee, then off you go for your lap.
The ageing surface and undulating geography is key to its character. Unlike glass-smooth modern race tracks, the Ring can and does catch people out. It’s for this reason that companies such as KW have test bases here, to put their products through rigorous testing. If something performs well here, it’ll perform well anywhere.
“We wanted to make the S1 more aggressive”
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