- Post is under moderationRazzle Dazzle Wild, wide-body, air-ride E36 M3. Beneath the jarring geometric shapes and black-and-white lines, there’s a pretty astonishing M3 hiding in here. And the deeper you dig into its story, the more mystery and intrigue you unearth… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Brian McGee.
The Zebra M3’. That’s a name a lot of people seem to throw at this car. But have you ever seen a zebra with stripes like this? That’d be one funky-looking equid. No, the style you’re seeing here is a retro mind-melter known as ‘dazzle camouflage’. We know what you’re thinking – camouflage is meant to blend you into the background, right? Like the traditional greens and browns of army gear, or the beige tones used for desert combat. But what can possibly be so jagged in black-and-white that you could morph with its style like this? Some sort of explosion in a print factory? No, the idea here is not simply to hide, but to hide in plain sight; to confuse and distort. Dazzle camo first appeared on ships in World War I, its deliberately interruptive patterns intended not to conceal the vessels, but to make it impossible to judge how big they were, how fast they were going, and how far away they were. And that’s why the offbeat camo works so well today on a wide-body Pandem E36 M3, and makes those three questions are easy to answer. How big is it? Very, thanks to those Rocket Bunny extensions. How fast is it going? Again, very – it’s an M3. How far away is it? Sweetheart, it’s totally in your face.
The act of being totally in your face is all in a day’s work for Carl Taylor, of course. He, as some of you will be aware, is the driving force behind the Players shows as well as a marketing superhero for Air Lift, and what he doesn’t know about badass show-stopping rides could be comfortably felt-tipped on the back of a postage stamp. The germ of the idea that led to this car in fact appeared back before Wörthersee 2014, when Carl and Rotiform’s Brian Henderson built a pair of E36 Art Cars with Rocket Bunny kits; a 323i and a 325i. “I loved driving that car, and I decided I needed to build another one once I moved to the States… but this time with more power,” he recalls. “So I bought an M3. I found it locally after I moved to California – it was in pretty good condition, the paint was sunburnt but that didn’t matter as I was planning to wrap it anyway,” he says.
Now, you don’t get to be the figurehead of an industry powerhouse like Players without having a few ideas buzzing around the ol’ brainbox – here’s a man who, after all, can count around fifty cars in his personal history with every single one of them being modified in some way or another – so of course he had a plan for the car. Its fate was written in the stars before he’d even hauled it back to his sun-drenched new home. “I’d broken up the Wörthersee car and saved some parts from that,” he explains. And before the scene knew just what had hit it, Carl was delivering a sucker punch at SEMA 2014 with a fresh, super-wide new build. It wore a minty green Tic-Tac race livery, chosen to emulate the Team Valier E30 M3 that used to race in the DTM, but caricaturised to be broader, fatter, meaner, scarier. The E36’s stock arches were unceremoniously savaged to allow the fitment of a full Sarto Racing kit, with non-M bumpers swapped on to flow more cleanly with the new lines. A set of colossal Rotiform ROCs filled the arches, resplendent in satin gold, and – inevitably, given Carl’s line of work – a top-of-the-range Air Lift setup found its way in. It had a full-on race car look inside; Cobra bucket seats, a rollcage, not a lot else. The effect was pleasingly startling, Carl’s decades-old coupé with its relatively short (but nevertheless superbly well-chosen) spec list more than holding its own against the show’s multi-million dollar builds. What’s key with projects like this, you see, is being relatable as well as aspirational. When you make something as awesome as the Tic-Tac E36, you can shift a lot of wheels, and air-ride kits, and seats, and bodykits, and… well, you know how the game’s played.
The game, naturally, never stops. Not for a second. So it was imperative for Carl to shake up the formula right away; the car would be returning to SEMA the following year, and it had to be rocking some significant changes. You can’t stand up on a Broadway stage and sing the same song twice. The next thing we knew, the broadhipped M3 was wearing a fresh Art Carinspired wrap, emulating that Wörthersee road trip that kicked the whole process off, along with a Rocket Bunny Pandem kit, a jarring set of Rotiform USF wheels (a sort of double-three-spoke affair, very retro JDM) and a raft of detail changes. The scene was set for the car to once again break necks and steal hearts at the world’s largest aftermarket tuning show.
Except that, as is his wont, Carl changed his mind at the eleventh hour. “Six weeks before SEMA 2015, I decided to change it a bit,” he says, dabbling masterfully in understatement. Indeed, you’ve probably spotted the car’s not dolled up like an oldschool Art Car in these photographs; no, we’re back at the dazzle camouflage motif we opened with. And there’s also a V2 Pandem kit thrown into the mix. This isn’t so much hiding in plain sight as just running up to people in the street and smacking them across the chops with an embroidered leather glove. If you want a fight, sure, this angry M3 is definitely spoiling for a rumble. “Being a sales manager for Air Lift Performance, I had to equip the car with the latest 3H system with Performance struts,” Carl reasons, “and we had Because Bags create a custom rollcage install for it too.”
This really is a sight to behold, the way the tanks and hardlines caress the cage like one of those terrifying metal spiders in The Matrix. It’s details like this that steal the SEMA headlines. “I only ever run Rotiform too,” he grins. “The design was left down to Brian Henderson, however I did choose the Corky Pink finish myself to add some colour to the car.” Yep, you certainly can’t argue with the logic of that. Those flashy fourspokes do stand out, don’t they?
“We’d just decided that we really needed to make a change if we were going to return to SEMA with the same car,” Carl shrugs. “We had the race car interior theme reworked with some custom Cobra Suzuka Pro seats, and the wheels came out perfectly, the finish is amazing – I think they’re my favourite part of the car. The rebuild took Vaderwerks around two weeks to finish up, with the kit install and then wrapping it and setting the air up with the new wheels. Everything worked out perfect.”
Now, it’s probably time to address the elephant in the room. SEMA 2015 was a little while ago… so why are we featuring the car now, in 2017? Well, this ‘zebra’ evolution was only one step of many along this everevolving car’s path. Things have happened between then and now. Important things. “The car was sold before we were even back from SEMA,” Carl admits. “Someone heard about the project and made an offer, so it was time for something else. I regret selling this car, to be honest, as after all the work it looked the best ever.”
But he needn’t be sad, as the car’s latest curator isn’t one to rest on his laurels or let the grass grow. Dylan Coleman is the name to watch – you may know him as @hawaiianeze on Instagram – and he’s a man with more than a few plans. Dylan’s set up a pretty astonishing business in Hollywood, you see: he and his father, Lee, are the brains behind StreetFighter LA, and they’ve been working with the fabled Long Tran at LTMW to kick out some pretty mould-breaking builds. “I was looking for another project to start after we parted with our #ProjectHulk Liberty Walk Challenger,” he explains. “I’d come from a BMW background, and the E36 M3 has always been one of my favourite models. While looking around for potential cars, our friends at Rotiform Wheels contacted us and just so happened to know someone who was looking to sell…”
Yes, Sherlock, that person was Carl. So Dylan was cruising around LA in one of the world’s best-known BMW builds. That must have felt pretty good? “Well, yes and no,” he says. “We brought the car back to Los Angeles after SEMA, where I started to use it as a daily driver while we were finishing up some other projects. But although the car was a great build that caught the attention of everyone on the road, I never truly felt the connection like I did with my past projects; with high mileage and a stock engine it was time to look to start rebuilding or swapping the engine…”
But that, friends, is another story for another day. You’ll just have to keep an eye on your favourite BMW modifying magazine for the next chapter. For now, however, let’s leave Dylan basking in the glory of Carl’s achievements, sprinkling on some of his own unique blend of magic, and formulating his plan of attack to take this iconic build to the next level. Hiding in plain sight? Boy, it sure is dazzling.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #Wide-body #Air-ride #BMW-E36 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW / #BMW-M3-E36 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-M3 / #BMW-3-Series-E36 / #BMW-3-Series-M3-E36 / #Rotiform / #Air-Lift-Performance / #Air-Lift / #BMW / #BMW-M3-Wide-Body / #BMW-M3-Wide-Body-E36 / #BMW-E36-Wide-Body / #BMW-E36-Art-Car / #BMW-Art-Car / #BMW
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION Stock #S52B32 / #S52 / #BMW-S52 3.2-litre straight six, full #Magnaflow stainless steel exhaust system, #K&N induction. Five-speed manual gearbox, welded diff
CHASSIS 17” #Rotiform-RBQ wheels in Corky Pink with 235/45 (front) and 255/40 (rear) Toyo R888 tyres, full #Air-Lift-Performance-3H airride System
EXTERIOR #Rocke-Bunny-Pandem-V2 wide-body kit with #Downstar fixings, custom-designed 3M wrap by JD Wraps installed by #Vaderwerks , #AC-Schnitzer mirrors
INTERIOR #Renown steering wheel, custom Cobr a Suzuka Pro seats, #Wiechers roll cage, custom Because Bags roll cage-mounted #Air-Lift install
THANKS Gino the Master Sepe at Vaderwerks, Brian, Jason and the Rotiform team, Mark and Adam at Cobra Seats, James and Ken at Because Bags, Corey and all my Air Lift Colleagues, Russ and Erik at JD Wraps, Paul Kitch at 3M, Stan at Toyo Tires, 714 Tires, LTMW, Magnaflow, and Renown
“I had to equip the car with the latest 3H system with Performance struts”
“The wheels came out perfectly, the finish is amazing - I think they’re my favourite part of the car”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationV8 DTM quattro racer for the road. Words Davy Lewis Photography Jape Tiitinen.
This is a road-legal replica of the magnificent V8 quattro that dominated the DTM series in the early ’90s…
V8 DTM QUATTRO Stunning race replica for the road
Audi Sport has produced many iconic racing cars over the years. But perhaps one of the most successful and best-loved, is the V8 DTM quattro. Based on the road-going #Audi-V8-Saloon , the DTM ( #Deutschen-Tourenwagen-Meisterschaft ) cars were comprehensively re-engineered for the track. With strict #DTM regulations outlawing turbochargers, Audi’s mighty five-pot was sidelined. So #Audi-Sport turned their attention to an altogether different beast.
The range-topping V8 saloon featured a naturally-aspirated 3.6-litre unit. With power boosted from 250hp, in factory tune, to an initial 420hp, the all-alloy V8 certainly had the credentials to challenge the best from Mercedes and BMW – although many thought the large V8 Audi would struggle against the smaller M3 and 190 Cosworth. Indeed with an extra 300kg to lug around, you’d expect the Audi to be outclassed by its lightweight competition. However, the combination of lusty V8, #4WD and with Hans- Joachim Stuck and Frank Biela at the wheel, the big saloon made the podium in its debut race and went on to give Audi the Manufacturers’ title in 1990 and 1991 The following season there was a flurry of complaints about Audi’s quattro system, which led to weight penalties being imposed. In response, Audi’s engineers tweaked the engine, which ultimately led to the modifications deemed illegal and Audi’s complete withdrawal from the series.
So the life of the V8 quattro racer may have been ephemeral, but it remains one of the most talked about cars Audi has produced. It was with this in mind that serial Audi tuner, Roni Collin, created this road-going replica.
You may recall Roni from issue 018, where he showed us the world’s first RS6-inspired S6 C7 saloon, complete with genuine RS6 front end, wings and a host of custom fabrication. This V8 DTM is another of his projects that has been many years in the making.
The previous owner had intended to build a DTM replica, but had never really got going with it. Roni decided he would finish the job – although his would be fully road-legal and have a much better stance.
The work took over five years in total, but this was in between other projects and Roni’s hectic work schedule (as a serial entrepreneur, he’s always busy.) “I’ve always been more excited by the process of the build than the end result. I don’t participate on the actual builds that much, but I enjoy the planning, getting all the parts, and designing the unique look of the car,” he says.
Creating something bespoke like this is never an easy undertaking, but as Roni explains: “Luckily I have Björn who never says no to my crazy projects. Not even then when I bring him a brand new car to be cut in pieces and replaced with another OEM look parts welded back in.”
In the case of the V8 DTM, the main aim was to make it look like an original racer, so the interior was stripped out and a comprehensive roll cage fitted. All unnecessary pieces of trim were removed and a single bucket seat with harnesses added. But that’s not all – there’s a flocked dash, a custom centre console housing switches, carbon fibre door panels and a long-reach gear lever. It really does have a motorsport feel to it – you almost expect Hans Stuck to clamber out of it.
When it came to the exterior, Roni insisted on full period correct motorsport livery. Everything looks as it should, complete with sponsors’ logos. Even the cross-spoke split-rim wheels are similar to the BBS items on the original (although Roni has since fitted some genuine BBS items).
To get the big saloon sitting nice and low like a DTM car, a set of KW coilovers have been fitted. The 8.5 and 9.5x18in Rotiform alloys sit perfectly in the arches, wrapped in Pirelli road rubber.
Under the bonnet, the 3.6-litre V8 is currently in factory trim and makes about 250hp. But Roni has plans for a tuned engine, so this faithful replica will, at some point, also have the performance to match the looks.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE / SPECIFICATION #Audi-V8-Quattro / #1991 / #Audi-V8 / #Quattro / #DTM / #Audi-V8-Quattro-DTM / #Rotiform / #Audi-V8-Typ-4C / #Audi-V8-Typ-4C-DTM / #Audi-Typ-4C / #Audi-V8-DTM-Replica / #Audi-V8-Typ-4C-DTM-Replica / #DTM / #Audi-V8-Quattro-Typ-4C / #Audi-V8-Quattro-DTM-Typ-4C
Engine 3.6-litre V8 40v
Transmission 6-speed manual
Brakes Audi S8 year 2000
Suspension KW coilovers
Wheels & Tyres #Rotiform-SJC 8.5 and 9.5x18in 225/40 Pirelli
Interior Custom roll cage, extended steering column, #Audi Ur-quattro steering wheel, extended gear lever, #Recaro PP seat, Schroth 6-point harnesses, upholstery stripped, flocked dashboard, rear seats deleted, new custom wiring
Exterior Repainted in original colour with DTM-livery
Contacts/thanks @ronicollin @Bjornwerks
Above: A tuned V8 engine will come next... Left: big V8 bruise looks stunning in profile. Right: Interior is fullon racecar spec. Right: If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big (V8) surprise...
THE V8 DTM RACER
In the hands of #Hans-Joachim-Stuck (pictured #Stuck ) and Frank Biela, the #V8 3DTM #Quattro was very successful, beating the much lighter Mercedes 190 Cosworths and BMW M3s to win the title for #Audi in #1990 and #1991 . The big Audi initially featured a 420hp all-alloy V8, but, as weight penalties were imposed to counter the supposed advantage of quattro, the engineers developed a modified flat-plane crank, taking power up to 460hp. This glorious V8 would rev to a heady 9,500rpm. Unfortunately, in #1992 the new crank was deemed illegal and Audi withdrew from the series. Check out YouTube to see these amazing cars in action.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationFive star. This ballistic B5 is packing 500bhp so has the go to back up all that show… Words Davy Lewis Photography AJ Walker. AUDI RS4 500hp B5.
There’s something about an original that gets under your skin. The first version of something – whether it’s a trainer, a film or a car is somehow special. It’s odd when you think about it, as quite often, the first version of something isn’t quite right. It’s not until it’s refreshed and V2 is releases that everything comes together. This may be true of smart phones, TVs and other tech gadgets, but with cars? I’m not so sure.
On the one hand, you can’t deny that each time Audi releases a new version of a well-loved model, it will be bristling with technology. It’ll be more powerful, more reliable and generally better all round. Yet many of us still hanker after the original. Nowhere is this more so than with the RS4.
The original B5 was released in 2000 and immediately made a statement. Here was a 375bhp, four-wheel drive estate car that could outflank a Porsche. It boasted a Cosworth-tuned, twin-turbo V6, fantastic blistered wheel arches and a presence that oozed understated aggression – something #Audi does so well.
But here’s the thing: the B5 RS4 is now 17 years old. Two further generation of RS4 have been released, with another, the B9, due to drop later this year. But, for many, the original B5 is still the one.
Forget the fact that it’s been eclipsed dynamically by the newer models. Ignore the issues with reliability inherent in a highly-tuned-from-the-factory machine like this. Put to the back of your mind the horror stories you’ll hear from B5 fans who have almost bankrupted themselves attempting to keep their pride and joy on the road (times this by ten if you’ve tuned it) and focus on the good bits. Of which there are many. Which is why there’s such a healthy appetite for these things.
So when serial Audi tuner, Julian Loose and our man, Adam Walker, spotted this in-your-face RS4 in Austria, I was keen to find out more.
On the face it, this is ‘just’ another RS4 with a fancy wrap. It has a taste of the Jon Olsson about it– he of the extreme RS6 and R8 Gumball fame. However a bit more investigation revealed that this was a proper build, featuring a 500bhp engine, tuned chassis and more.
Let’s kick off with that engine. The twin-turbo V6 needs no introduction. The 2.7-litre unit came with a factory fettled 375bhp and went very well indeed. But, as the years pass, this highly-tuned lump needs plenty of TLC to keep it running as it should. It’s a complete arse to work on and needs to be dropped for many, even routine jobs, which is why it can end up costing a small fortune in labour rates alone. Plus there are numerous documented issues that will occur at some stage from corroded pipework to blown turbos.
So, it you’re really going to do it, you may as well get stuck in and go for more power right from the off – and make sure you uprate all the necessary parts in one hit. That way, you (hopefully) won’t be spending more time in the garage than on the road.
The owner, Ilkka, has gone for a tried and tested setup of RS6 hybrid turbos to provide the boost. There are 630cc injectors and a TFSI coil conversion, plus Wagner intercoolers, a cold air intake and custom made exhaust with the cats removed – a sure fire recipe for big fun. With around 500bhp on tap performance is best described as brisk.
The whooshing of those twin-turbos, combined with the snarl from that unrestricted exhaust means this thing emits the kind of V6 howl that makes you smile. It’s a special B5-ness that you simply can’t find anywhere else.
The stock transmission copes admirably with the extra grunt and the tough sixspeed box takes it all in its stride. Again the manual gear lever is part of the reason so many people love these things.
With significantly more power than when it left the factory and with the ravages of time, the chassis needed updating to cope. A full complement of poly bushes was fitted, to remove that saggy, vague feeling that occurs when stock bushes wear out.
Again it’s a pain in the ass job to complete, but it makes a big difference, especially on older Audis. With less play in the suspension and steering components, the B5 feels tighter and more responsive. To allow the suspension to be finetuned, a set of KW Variant 3s were ordered.
These multi-adjustable units allow full control over bump and rebound, to provide a sporty, yet forgiving feel. The geometry has been professionally setup to give this RS4 a more dialled feel, with far more adjustablity than the neutral, understeer focused stock set up.
The final upgrade for the chassis is a set of brakes nicked off a Porsche. These meaty calipers were designed to stop a 170+mph sportscar, so do a fine job on the RS4 teamed up with ECS Tuning discs and Ferodo DS2500 pads.
Styling wise Audi got it right first time and there’s no need to add bits, aside from the odd splitter or maybe vent if you’re into that sort of thing. So this B5 remains stock, aside from a wrap. Now, it’s not going to be to all tastes, but Ilkka wanted something to make the car stand out at events and the Jon Olsson-inspired camo wrap certainly ticks that box.
One thing that had to be bang on the money was the wheels. The 3-piece, multispoke Rotiforms fill the wide arches very nicely – and at a girthy 10.5-inches, they should. Some work was required to get them to fit right, but they look great.
Inside, the stock seats have been replaced with some of the best in the business, Recaro Pole Positions. These fixed back efforts not only look great but also save weight. The GT-inspired interior is completed with a suede steering wheel and gear knob.
So there we have it – another wellfinished RS4 B5 that reminds us how much love there is for these things.
TECHNICAL DATA SPECIFICATION #2000 / #Audi-RS4-B5 / #Audi-RS4 / #Audi-A4 / #Audi-A4-B5 / #Audi / #KW / #Rotiform
Engine 2.7 twin-turbo V6, #RS6 hybrid turbos, #Wagner intercoolers, cold air intake, custom turbo back exhaust with cats removed, custom map, #Siemens-Deka 630cc injectors #TFSI coil conversion
Transmission 6-speed manual
Brakes Porsche 911 calipers with #ECS discs and Ferodo DS2500 pads, braided lines
Suspension #KW-Variant-3 coilovers, polybushed, full geometry set up
Wheels 10.5x19in #Rotiform-INDT 3-piece wheels with 255/30 Michelin Pilot SuperSports
Interior Recaro Pole Position seats, suede RS4 steering wheel and gearknob, PLX a/f ratio meter FIS control in the OEM screen to show boost, exhaust temp etc
Exterior Full Avery charcoal matte metallic wrap
“There’s still so much love for the B5”
Above left Recaro Pole Positions.
Above Alcantara-clad wheel.
Above top: Porsche brakes sit behind 10.5x19in Rotiform INDs.
Right: The 2.7 #V6 heart pumps out around 500bhp.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderation
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS #Audi-SQ5-Stance / #Audi-Q5-Stanced
3.0 BiTDI SQ5 killing it on 22” rims with lashings of carbon and 570lb ft of torque #Carbon-Clad #Audi SQ5. Built away from the social media limelight and unveiled without warning, Ian Kelly’s impossibly stanced SQ5 is a daily driver with details to die for. Words: Alex Grant. Photos: Si Gray.
As a global melting pot of ideas, a live feed of projects and a route to finding obscure parts, you’d struggle to argue that the scene would be a better place without the internet. But for all the good it’s done, there’s one thing that the rise of forums, social media, and updates on every detail has robbed us of: surprises.
That’s not to say we don’t enjoy a good build thread or finally getting to see the end result in the metal when it rolls into its first event. But those show-stopping projects, patiently and quietly put together out of the digital limelight and unveiled without warning, are becoming a real rarity. Which makes them all the more remarkable when they do happen.
When we first met Ian Kelly back at Ultimate Dubs in #2014 we’d got no idea how he’d managed to keep this one quiet. In six months, he’d turned a box-fresh SQ5 into the talk of the show without even hinting at what he was up to: an impossibly low static drop over 22-inch wheels on a car nobody else had modified to this level in the UK. Impressive not only because the work needed to get it there was more than worthy of a project thread but also because it’s his daily drive.
“I’d only told a handful of people that I’d bought the car,” Ian recalls. “The plan was always to keep it under wraps until it was ready for its first show. That was quite a challenge given I used it daily – especially once it was lowered. It was spotted a few times but nobody knew who the owner was.”
Just under three years later and it’s lost none of its impact, the studio lighting picking out every crease of the carbon-accented, Zaino’d bodywork and two-tone Rotiform DUS wheels. But it’s more than just a one-trick car; the result of 15 years of developing ideas, this might just be the ultimate nu-wave build. Ironically, for someone who’s never gone for project threads, that’s something you don’t fully appreciate without understanding the work that’s got into it.
Even Ian admits it almost never happened. Having moved out of an S3, he’d got far enough down the road of planning a Tiguan build that he’d even bought a Golf R bumper to graft onto it. But the performance, economy and rarity of the e big Audi was too good to pass up. “The key thing about the SQ5 for me was the engine,” he explains. “I wanted big power and torque but without having the fuel bills of a petrol car as my daily commute is 100 miles. Plus the fact the car was so fresh. Apart from the odd Q5 in Japan and the US no one was really modifying them.”
Plans had started coming together before this car had numberplates. Ian is good mates with Paul Brown at C6 Carbon, having worked together on his previous cars, and they’re used to bouncing ideas off each other. For the SQ5 the route ahead was pretty obvious: the biggest drop, with the largest wheels that would fit, and enough carbon fibre to make a Formula One car feel inadequate. But getting there without the backup of other Q5 owners’ shared solutions to problems was never going to be simple.
Even the car itself was a leap of faith. “I’d never even driven a Q5, let alone an SQ5,” Ian says. “Some would say that was pretty risky on such an expensive car but I knew I’d love it. It came from Bath Audi, which is a long way from my home in Newcastle, but the drive back home was fantastic. The exhaust note on the 3.0 #V6 #BiTDI in Dynamic mode is like a screaming petrol V8. I was hooked.”
Ian didn’t make things easy, starting out with a static drop and a need for custom parts to get it as low as the picture in his head. Si Sweetland at StillStatic put him onto Alois Hankover at AH Exclusive parts in Germany to build a 150mm H&R Race Kit for the Audi; the first of its kind, it took two attempts to bring the back end low enough, and caused problems he didn’t notice at first. For example, taking several inches out of the ride height gave it excessive negative camber, lunching a set of tyres in a couple of thousand miles (the same also happens with the A4 and A5). “Everything was very much experimental at that point because nobody else was modifying the SQ5 or Q5,” he says. “I imported a set of 034Motorsport front upper control arms in the hope this would resolve the issue… it didn’t. The kit simply isn’t designed to run on cars as low as mine was, so we had to redesign them and C6 machined a new set to work with our specifications.”
Even this didn’t fix all the problems. Filling the arches with 10.5x22-inch Vossen CV-T wheels highlighted a total lack of clearance, with suspension components hitting the frame on bigger bumps. Getting the ride height where he wanted eventually meant ditching the rear anti- roll bar and making some ‘adjustments’ to free up extra space.
“The front and rear chassis modifications mean we can run the biggest drop of any Q5 or SQ5 to date, and it can drive this low static. The trouble was, having got the ride height how I wanted, it was too low to run daily. I was scuffing the fuel tank, so I had to change to air. People thought I was anti-air as I’d resisted it for so long; I wasn’t, I just hadn’t needed it until that point.” The end result of that two-year trial and error is a setup which Ian reckons is pretty much perfect. Paul at C6 Carbon modified a set of airbags to fit the shortened H&R dampers Alois had built for the car, and the kit is controlled via Air Lift 3P management. He drives it as low as it was when it was static but lifts it over tank- scraping obstacles when needed. Not that it’s finished yet. “We’ve got plans for some more front chassis development,” Ian laughs.
“It just depends when we can fit it all in.” There was, at least, plenty of room to be greedy with wheel sizes. It’s still remembered on the Vossens it was wearing when it broke cover, but they spent only a year on the car before Ian moved on to the set he’d wanted from the start. “I had been a fan of Rotiform from day one and had been chatting to Brian for a while about changing to a set of three-piece wheels,” he says. “They were going to be the main change for the car in 2015 and they were fitted just before MIVW. It totally changed the look of the car, adding more class to it. The centres are painted the same dark black bronze as the Vossens.”
As easy as it is to get wrapped up in that hard-earned stance, it’s only part of this car’s talents. Ian and Paul’s collective eye for detail is woven through every part of the SQ5. For example, they deleted the chrome before Audi offered that as an option and replaced the seat belts and all the stitching with yellow matched to the brake calipers – one of the few bits of colour left on the outside. Both bits you can miss at a glance.
Harder to miss, though, is the acres of carbon fibre. Ian had started working with C6 Carbon when he was building his old S3 but the SQ5 took that carbon skinning obsession to an all-new level. We’re even talking boot hinges, the inside of the armrest, even the end caps of the dashboard – parts that are usually out of sight. Everything got treated the same way, with Paul using a larger weave than usual and rotating the roll 45 degrees which means the weave follows the line of the car instead of being diagonal.
Actually, Paul’s had such a big hand in the project that he’s the only other person who gets to drive it. When it made the trip to MIVW last year with its new RS6-style front bumper, it was Paul who’d fitted it while Ian was on holiday in Ibiza. It had also meant a week of frustration when the new bumper’s paint didn’t match, and a last-minute rush before heading for Valkenburg.
But it seems Paul likes a challenge; so when Ian opted for seamless air tanks for the boot install, there were no corners cut with the layer you can actually see. Paul skinned the tank in a single sheet of carbon fibre – a job which would usually take three pieces. As we said, it’s as much about what you don’t notice at first, as what grabs you at a glance.
Ian’s had his hand in where possible, though, as he explains: “The air install was my first attempt at air and hardlines. It didn’t go to plan first time and after a set of PTC cartridges later and numerous lengths of tube, the air install was finally in. Then the management just wouldn’t fire up. Paul eventually found the issue after chatting to Phil James at the Install Company. Somehow the loom was wired incorrectly from the factory. It’s never easy.”
With 313bhp and 480lb ft of torque, and 62mph out of the way in around five seconds, big performance upgrades were never really on the shopping list. Ian’s swapped to an APR intake and custom DTUK map which takes power up to 370bhp and 570lb ft of torque without denting economy for commuting. He then treated the bay to plenty of matte carbon fibre to bring it in line with the rest of the car.
Which means – even with a two-year-old daughter and a wedding to pay for this year – life shouldn’t get in the way of SQ5 ownership any time soon. Just as well, really, as it almost happened the other way around. Ian’s fiancée Karen went into labour while he was at Edition 38, leaving him frantically shuffling of the showfield before sprinting back to Newcastle to get there in time. Having poured so much effort into the Audi, 2017 is all about the final details rather than big changes – the priorities, for now, are elsewhere.
“It’s great taking it all in when it’s parked-up at shows – I love how complete it is yet how simple. There are so many details that most people miss and that is how I wanted it, and how it should have left the factory.” So it’s part of the family now then? “Karen, my fiancée doesn’t mind it although she does say it’s ‘daddy’s silly car’ to our daughter… read into that what you will,” Ian laughs.
Of course, that’s not stopping him planning further ahead. So, what’s next? “I have a plan for a new car. However, I’m not going to say too much… all will be revealed once the car is ready to show, just like the SQ5,” Ian smiles.
We love this new-wave Audi, not just for what Ian has done to it but because it’s right out of the old-skool – built the way projects used to be before the internet made every nut, bolt and late night public. For that, Ian, we salute you. Now close those garage doors and get building!
“Everything was very much experimental because nobody else was modifying the SQ5 or Q5”
“There are so many details that most people miss and that is how I wanted it”
Dub Details #ARP / #Rotiform / #Audi-SQ5 / #Audi-Q5 / #Audi-SQ5-3.0-BiTDi / #Audi-SQ5-Tuned / #Audi / #Audi-Q5-8R / #Audi-SQ5-8R / #Audi-MLB /
ENGINE: 3.0 BiTdi diesel, #C6-Carbon / #APR-intake , #DTUK-Tuning-Box (370bhp, 774Nm), one-off C6 Carbon strut brace, C6 Carbon slam panel and scuttle panel, one-off C6 Carbon R8 washer bottle cap, R8 coolant cap and oil cap
CHASSIS: 10.5x22” forged #Rotiform-DUS , 265/30 Nankang NS2 tyres, #H&R 150mm #RSS-Race coilovers modified to run airbags on C6 Carbon CNC hardware, Air Lift Performance 3P management, C6 Carbon front upper control arms, C6 Carbon chassis development, rear anti-roll bar deleted
EXTERIOR: #Xenonz-UK RSQ5 front bumper conversion, C6 Carbon grill surround, C6 Carbon crash bar, C6 Carbon side blades, C6 Carbon rear diffuser, exterior trim painted black
INTERIOR: Yellow seat belts and stitching, C6 Carbon dash/door trim, sill trims, seat backs and seat sides, RTA Fabrications #Air-Lift-3P controller holder modified to fit into the ashtray, C6 Carbon air install with Speciality Suspension one-piece seamless tanks, C6 Carbon acrylic/carbon illuminated #Air-Lift manifold plate, C6 Carbon fire extinguisher #Air-Lift-Performance-3P
SHOUT: My fiancée Karen and daughter Grace, my family, my friends, Paul at C6 Carbon, Simon at StillStatic, Alois at AH Exclusive Parts, Brian at Rotiform, Steve and Rod at RA Bodyshop, Simon at Syco Graphix, Matt at Only Charged Dubs, Parm at Car Audio Security, John at Bespoke Leathering, Richard for CAD work, RTA Fabrications, Zeeshan at Xenonz UK Ltd, John at Zaino Europe
The perfect daily? We’re struggling to think of many cars on the road today we would rather have for the daily drive!
There’s just something so badass about slammed SUVs isn’t there? Imagine seeing this in your rear view… GET OUT OF MY WAY!Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationA6 3.0 TDI 850Nm and some amazing images
Performance Audi contributor, Jape Tiitinen, tells us about his stunning, 850Nm A6 3.0 #Bi-TDI – his daily driver during the harsh Finnish winter…
A6 QUATTRO Stunning C7 with 850Nm
For regular readers, our Finnish contributor, Jape Tiitinen needs no introduction. He’s an accomplished photographer, demon skate boarder (even at 43!) and a committed Audi fan, responsible for bringing us some of the most inspirational and exciting cars from all over Europe. When he’s not behind the lens (or busting some moves on his board), you’ll find Jape working on his cars.
His real passion is a stunning RS4 B5, which we featured back in 2015 – a real labour of love that goes every well as bit as it looks. But for the daily grind, he runs something a little more sensible.
“When I saw a C7 bi-turbo diesel for the first time I knew I had to get one someday,” says Jape. “I had only three mandatory requirements for the car: it had to be an S-line, in Daytona grey with full LEDs.” The big diesel A6 would serve as the perfect family car, swallow his full camera kit with ease, provide sure footed grip in the harsh Finnish winters, and not bankrupt him on fuel costs.
“My friend Ville at Realcars.fi. texted me to say he’d found the car from East Germany, close to the Austrian border,” says Jape. “I didn’t see any pics of it (only an equipment list) but I was sold. It was almost fully loaded with HUD, ACC, NVC, Webasto, S-line in and out, air suspension etc.” The car was delivered to Jyväskylä in Finland where Jape collected it right before Christmas 2015. He wasted no time getting stuck into the upgrades.
“I fitted some 21in RS6 C6 wheels with winter rubber to replace the originals that had summer tyres which are no good in Finnish winter,” says Jape. The following week he ordered an air suspension control module, to lower the ride height, and a sound module from Active-sound.eu.
“The air suspension module is super easy to use and takes only 5mins to install. You just plug the module into Audi’s own system and save different ride heights to the drive select.” The sound module allows the V6 to really open up and can also be saved differently in selected modes on drive select. It’s a very OEM solution and typical of Jape’s attention to detail.
Next came some VCDS coding to personalise the car to his own tastes. “I deactivated the start-stop system, but this the button still works if I want it to. I also deactivated the rear wiper. It was really annoying that rear wiper went on every time I put the car in reverse if the windshield wipers are on mist.” Finally, he added the cool RS6-style needle sweep on start up and auto boot closing to work from inside the car and via the remote – very cool. “There’s a good link (http://tinyurl. com/hs39ypk) for all these and tons more upgrades on the Audizine.com forum,” says Jape.
When it comes to wheels, Jape is a self-confessed addict. The A6 currently has three sets available. In the summer it runs either OEM RS6 C7 21s, or Rotiform 21in 3-piece forged ROCs. In the pics it’s on a set of winters – some RS6 C6 segments with studded Nokian tyres. To fit the 21in wheels, the arches had to be rolled and the camber adjusted, as well as skimming 2.5mm off the S6 discs.
Lurking behind the rims you may spot a set of red calipers. Jape fitted a set of 8-pot S6 units complete with 400mm discs, with adapters. “These brakes give some serious stopping power. A big thank you goes to STRSolutions’ Sami for install,” says Jape.
When it comes to performance the 3.0 Bi-TDI isn’t exactly lacking, but when your other car is a 600hp RS4, you need something a bit lively to keep things interesting. These units respond really well to remapping and Jape took his C7 to STR-Solutions and Petri at Erikoismoottori.fi. A headline figure of around 400hp is estimated along with 850Nm of torque – impressive numbers for sure. “The difference between stock 650Nm to current 850Nm is huge – the car pulls like a train, but it sure should with an extra 200Nm!” laughs Jape. “There’s no need for any more in winter,” he smiles. The A6 will be back to STR in the summer to see if they can extract even more power with some further upgrades.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this A6 is the exterior – it looks fantastic. It helps that it’s Dayton grey of course, but Jape has refined it to create something with the presence of an RS6. The gloss black window surrounds, roof rails and door handle tops looks sweet, as does the RS-style front grille and black fog light surrounds. Even the larger oval exhaust tailpipes are black. With the badges removed and the front windows tinted to match the rears, it’s a very moody looking A6 – emphasized by Jape’s stunning images using light painting in the snow. It was minus 5 when he did it, so there’s dedication for you!
The final upgrade was to put 2016 maps and firmware on the 3G MMI system. “It took me a good two days to upload all the data and transfer it in the system – I don’t want to do that again,” he laughs. This is one of those cars that on the face of it may not have many modifications, but the more you look, the more you see, and the overall effect is absolutely stunning. As Jape says, “With the RS4 sleeping for winter, this has been the perfect daily for me.” Of course, it’s still used during the rest of the year, but as winter transport goes, this has to be one of the finest around.
TECHNICAL DATA SPECIFICATION #2012 / #Audi-A6-C7 / #Audi-A6-3.0-TDI-Quattro / #Audi-A6-3.0-TDI-Quattro / #Audi-A6-3.0-TDI-Quattro-C7 / #Audi / #Audi-A6-Avant-C7 / #Audi-A6-3.0-TDI-Quattro-Avant-C7 / #Audi-A6-3.0-TDI-Avant-C7 / #Audi-A6-3.0 / #Audi-A6-3.0-TDI-Avant-C7 / #Audi / #Quattro / Audi-A6 /
Engine 3.0 #V6 #Bi-TDI with #STR-Solutions and Petri at #Erikoismoottori / .fi re-map
Power 400hp and 850Nm
Transmission 8-speed tiptronic
Brakes 400mm S6 C7 discs with 8-pot S6 calipers in front, 365mm S6 rears
Suspension Factory air suspension lowered with Active-sound.eu control module
Wheels & Tyres OEM C7 RS6 9.5x21in ET25 with Continental 255/30 tyres, #Rotiform forged 3-piece ROC 10x21in ET35 with Continental 255/30 and winter OEM C6 RS6 9.5x20in ET36 (CB drilled to 66.6mm) with Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8 255/35 studded tyres
Interior Stock S-line sports seats in black Valcona leather, centre console wrapped in flat black. Head up display, 2016 maps and firmware on 3G MMI system
Exterior RS6 style front grille, EZ front lip, ACC surroundings painted in gloss black, window trim and roof bars wrapped in gloss black, rear valance painted in gloss black, oval exhaust tips from Martelius.fi, front and rear arches rolled, tinted front windows, semi-dynamic rear indicators, debadged
Tuning contacts/thanks Fb.com/JTmedia.fi and IG @jap3 https://vimeo.com/ Japetiitinen
Top: Fiinish plates are way cooler than ours. Fact.
Left: Front end looks bang on the money.
Left: Interior is nicely kitted out with options.
Bottom: S6 brakes and RS6 C6 wheels.
Above: Loving this front end shot.
“The A6 pulls like a train, but it should with an extra 200Nm!”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationHOT RIDE: Porsche 993 Words Daniel Bevis Photography Mike Kuhn On (Roti)form RWB 993
Planet Girth The wide, wide Porsches of RWB are a global phenomenon. You’ll find them in Japan, Indonesia, Australia, Thailand, and now, thanks to the work of Crolls Customs, a bright green 993 has popped up in Pennsylvania. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Philly #1.
RWB 993 Have you seen enough RAUH-Welt Begriff Porkers yet? No, we didn’t think so!
Ben Harmony’s RWB 993 Porsche
The acid-green vision you see before you is the product of passion and heritage, of vintage methods and new-wave thinking. You may be familiar with the cult of the RAUH-Welt Begriff (RWB) Porsche. But do you know just how deep the rabbit-hole goes?
The whole trippy merry-go-round is a million miles from simply buying and fitting a bodykit – it involves the synthesis and fusion of sensibilities, a personal commitment in time from Akira Nakai himself (for he is the enigmatic figure behind RWB), and a mind-boggling array of decisions in order to arrive at something unique. RWB cars are rare fruit indeed.
This car, which began life as a 993 Carrera 2, is the proud possession of Ben Harmony, Philadelphia resident and seasoned car modifier. His roots lie in the VW scene, although it’s fair to say that this scene-defining build has really taken the idea of OEM+ to a whole other level. This isn’t just bolting a set of Twists to a Golf. This is a different hustle on another game court.
“My first car was a 2008 Golf R32,” he says. “It was lowered on coils, and I did the exhaust, chip tune and so on. That started the car craze for me! My next project was a 2012 Golf R, which was bagged, stage 2+, and had a full Milltek turbo-back, APE fuel pump, tune, intake, and also HRE 501s and OEM European Recaro seats imported from Germany.” This car was sold to partially fund the RWB build, as well as Ben’s beloved daily – a 2004 Golf R32, which was also bagged, and running Rotiform INDs. “I miss that car a ton,” he laments. But don’t feel too bad for him. Just look where that money went.
Now, there are two key steps to take when you start down the bespoke RWB path: one is that you need to source and prepare the right car, and the other is that Nakai-san needs to interview you, to get inside your way of thinking and see how the car will intertwine with your wants and needs. And after numerous lengthy discussions with the great man, pinpointing every specific element of the details, Ben was ready to take the plunge, having been deemed worthy by the creative puppetmaster who pulls all the strings.
“It all really started about three years ago, when I found the original build videos on YouTube,” Ben recalls. “I began watching them and fell in love with the look of the cars and just Nakai-san’s passion for building. And I knew one day I had to have one!” At this point Ben had a shiny new BMW M3 on order, but he made the call to cancel that and instead refocus his life in an entirely more lairy direction. “It was the best decision I ever made,” he grins.
A suitable donor was soon found advertised on eBay and Rennlist: a straight Cherry Carrera with no accident damage and just 52,000 on the clock. “It was a three-owner car with a good history,” Ben explains. “Not many people would buy a mint car for an RWB build, but I wanted to find the cleanest because my ultimate goal is to have one of the most all-round best built cars. I don’t cut corners – if you’re going to do it, do it right from the start.”
The 993 was located in Kansas City, Missouri, so Ben sent over a PayPal deposit and got himself booked on the next flight out, along with buddy Roman, to collect the car and take it on a road trip back home.
If your knowledge of US geography is a little rusty, a quick route-planner on your favourite online mapping service will reveal that this is a journey of well over 1,100 miles. “It was one of the best experiences of my life,” he laughs.
And what better way to get to know your car. Before entirely tearing the thing to pieces and starting afresh?
So, what’s it like watching a RAUH-Welt Begriff creation be spirited into existence by the frenzied, nicotine-fuelled Nakai-san? “I’ll be honest, it’s pretty surreal,” says Ben, in masterful understatement.
“The car was getting worked on for over a year getting it ready for Nakai-san’s arrival. It was a long journey of emails, details and planning. These builds take a lot of time and effort, especially when you’re a young kid who runs his own business and goes to school full time, it can be very stressful! I flew out to visit a build a few months prior to mine commencing, to meet some of the RWB guys, and also set my date with Akira Nakai and meet him for the first time – which helped out a lot! When he arrived in Philly we already had that bond and knew each other, which was very cool. But to see it all come together and hang out with Nakai-san at my house and watch him build my car was probably one of the greatest events I’ve ever experienced.”
RWB builds are noted for being a three-day process, but such was the quality of the base car and the fastidiousness of the planning that Ben’s Philly #1 only took two days to build. “It was a weekend of hanging out with my best friends and family, and just watching the project car I worked hard to build finally come to life,” he enthuses. “The best part was just watching my buddies’ eyes light up as Nakai-san worked and put the car together, because they used to joke and say ‘Ben, get real, you’re not building one’. But now it finally happened it just made it that much sweeter.”
As you can probably imagine, this certainly isn’t a car for shrinking violets, and Ben gets a fair amount of attention when he’s out and about. “I do drive the car a decent amount,” he assures us. “I’ll take it to dinner with my girlfriend, drive it to class, or just run errands. People go crazy over the car trying to take pictures while driving, or just stop me to talk about it. I get tagged in so many social media pics! Whenever I drive it I usually end up talking to at least one or two people about the car, and I always take the time to answer questions and let them take photos. People love Nakai-san’s work, and it feels great to be a part of that.”
The nature of extreme modification is not to rest on one’s laurels. Sure, Ben may have had his car converted into something hand-crafted and unique by one of the world’s premier automotive artisans, he may be rocking some obscene wheels and a delectable interior, but there’s something about that standard flat-six that’s niggling him.
“The motor’s still stock, aside from a custom titanium exhaust, which weighs around 5lb compared to 98lb for the stock item,” he says. So what’s the future? “Turbo, turbo, turbo,” he cackles triumphantly. “What I really want to do is swap in a 993 Turbo engine, shoot for about 450bhp – not crazy power, because everything on this car was done for reasons of balance and handling and I don’t want to throw that off.” He says that. But this Porsche’s all about the crazy. Let’s see where the mischief takes him, shall we?
TECH SPEC: 993 CARRERA / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche-911-993 / #Porsche-993 / #Porsche / #Porsche-911-RWB-993 / #Porsche-911-RWB / #RAUH-Welt-Begriff / #Porsche-911-RWB-993 / #Air-Lift / #Airdynamiks / #Rotiform-LVS / #Rotiform / #RWB / #Porsche-911-Carrera / #Porsche-911-Carrera-993 / #Air-Lift
STYLING Full custom RAUH-Welt Begriff wide-arch bodykit; Porsche Gelb Grün paint by Josh at Crolls Customs.
TUNING #Porsche-M64 3.6-litre aircooled flat-six; custom titanium straight-piped exhaust system; manual ’box with CAE shifter.
CHASSIS 10x18in (front) and 13x18in (rear) Rotiform-LVS; 265/35 (f) and 315/30 (r) Pirelli P Zero Rosso; #Airdynamiks-air-ride with #Air-Lift-3H management; #Brembo discs with ceramic pads.
INTERIOR #Recaro-A8 seats; full colour-coded #RWB rollcage; doorcards retrimmed in black; new black carpets; Alpine Bluetooth headunit; JL speakers; Focal amp.
THANKS I want to thank Josh at Crolls Customs for the killer paint and bodywork; Brendan Ginty for the interior work and getting all the suspension done – the man is a perfectionist and there isn’t a thing he can’t do; and all the RWB guys for the help along the way.
WHEELS: GET THE LOOK Philly #1 is rocking a set of miles-deep Rotiform LVS wheels, measuring 10x18-inch up front and a whopping 13x18-inch out back. Proudly manufactured in the USA, these wheels can be ordered in anything from 14-24-inch in diameter, and 6-16-inch in width. (Well, within reason – if you ask for a set of 14x14” they may look at you funny. Still, can’t hurt to try.) You can also choose between forged monoblock, two-piece, or the full-fat three-piece, as you see here. Get in touch via rotiform.co.uk to discuss specs and pricing.
What is RWB?
RWB stands for #RAUH-Welt Begriff , roughly translating as Rough World Concept. It’s the brainchild of legendary and revered Japanese tuner Akira Nakai. Beginning operations in his hometown of Chiba, Nakai-san’s outrageously widened aircooled Porsches have captured the tuning world’s imagination, being immortalised in countless frothing Instagram posts and even the Need for Speed video game franchise. Each car features custom arches, bumpers, wings and skirts, decided upon when Nakai-san interviews the client to ascertain how the car will match their character and fit into their lifestyle. The parts then get shipped to the customer for prep and painting, before Nakai-san flies in with his tools and gets to work building the thing. On a diet of beer and cigarettes, he works through the night until the car’s perfect. Everything’s cut freehand, by eye rather than measurement, in the manner of a traditional craftsman. The quality of the finish is testament to his unique skills.
The youngsters would say Ben’s 993 is ‘on fleek’
“People love Nakai-san’s work, and it feels great to be a part of that”
The Rotiforms hide Brembo discs and ceramic pads. Nice.
Nakai-san has got a lot better looking.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationESTATE OF MIND
/ #Audi-S6-JNL-Racing has created this highly-tuned 650+bhp monster of an avant – surely the finest Ur-S6 in the world… Words Davy Lewis /// Photography Matt Dear
JNL Racing's fierce 5-pot unleashed.
UR-S6 JNL Racing’s 520bhp avant
I first met JP, the main man at #JNL-Racing , at Santa Pod back in 2009. I was working on the now defunct Redline magazine and we’d got together a selection of the UK’s fastest tuned cars to go head-to-head in our Fight Club event. The premise was simple; entrants had to take part in two disciplines – a quarter mile and then a handling course – with the best overall time winning the day. Several Audis took part including Dialynx’s black SWB quattro and TTS Roadsport’s TT RS, but the one that stood out was a humble estate.
This stock-looking #1996 #Audi S6 #Avant C4 / #Audi-A6-Typ-4A seemed a bit out of place among the track prepped competition – which made it all the more impressive when JP proceeded to kick the arse out of it, laying down some impressive times in the process. All of which he did with a smile on face. Here was a man who clearly didn’t take it too seriously. However, when it comes to tuning, he is deadly serious.
Specialising in bespoke, hand-crafted cylinder head work and engine builds, JP has carved out an enviable reputation. Although VAGs feature heavily, he works on anything and has customers all over the world; working with anything from old school E-Types to the latest Japanese, European and US brands.
I bumped into JP just before we launched AudiTuner and said I’d love to feature the S6 when it was ready. It had come on a bit since the first shootout, that’s for sure. JP said he’d love a feature – especially if it made the magazine on sale in December as that’s his 40th birthday. So, here you go, JP – many happy returns!
With so many Ur-S6s pulled apart to scavenge their engines it’s not easy to find a stock car, let alone a 650+bhp weapon that’ll worry most supercars. “There are only 55 cars left on the road in the UK, and 85-90 left in total,” says JP. So what made him choose such an unorthodox Audi as a project?
“I had an Audi 200 running a tuned 10v engine, but it caught fire and I needed something else,” he recalls. “A mate had an S6 and I fancied an estate, so began looking for one. I found this one for sale for £2.5k and jumped on it quick.” From here the engine work came thick and fast as JP focused on creating a fast daily driver. “Being a daily, all the work had to be done over the weekends so that I had the car ready for the Monday school run,” he laughs.
The 20v engine was tuned with a ported head, uprated rods, a 63 hotside 3076 turbo on Wagner manifold, and SFS hoses as boost pipes. It made over 500bhp and offered plenty of fun. But, the constant flow of work on other fast Audis got him thinking.
“I built one of the UK’s most powerful B5 RS4s; I think it still holds the record on MRC Tuning’s dyno with around 780bhp and 1000Nm,” he smiles. “I did a 3.0 litre stroker kit and that car made me stop and say, ‘Why am I building all these fast cars for others and not doing my own?’” The RS4 had certainly made an impression. “You know that feeling as a passenger in a really quick car when the driver accelerates and you feel a bit sick and light headed – it catches you off guard. Well, I had that as the driver in the RS4! I decided that’s what I wanted to achieve in my S6.”
The engine itself is based around a 2.5 diesel block, which effectively created a stoker kit (the original was a 2.2 of course). Clearly a diesel block is designed to run in a diesel configuration, so JP welded up any holes and channels that were not required and added holes for the stuff he did need. Custom Pauter rods and JE pistons from a petrol engine were then added. The whole build needed to be bullet proof, so Mahle motorsport bearings were added plus a main girdle to prevent bowing at high RPMs.
Key to this estate’s sleeper nature is the fact that, to most people, it looks pretty innocent. Aside from the 9x18in Rotiforms, which necessitated the custom wide arches being fabricated by Ish and the crew at Quattro Coachworks, this looks to all intents and purposes like any other mid-90s Audi estate. This is just how JP likes it. “When I drive it through a village, people turn to see where the noise is coming from but don’t even look twice at the car – they’re looking for something that looks like this sounds!” With a 3.5in exhaust and 2.25in screamer pipe, it certainly makes all the right noises, just in a discreet package. But, as we all know, appearances can be deceptive.
Drop the hammer in this sedate looking Audi and it’ll attempt to head-butt the horizon at a startling rate. Having experienced the all out mayhem of 650bhp, JP has temporarily turned it down a few notches to an estimated 520bhp. And the rest of the car has been suitably uprated to ensure it’s provides a stable and safe ride. “It got to 650bhp with a slipping clutch, but there was nowhere you could properly open it up without getting into trouble,” he smiles.
I ask JP what it feels like when you really drive it hard at 650bhp. he pauses for thought, then says, “To be fair, I think my youngest son summed it up best when he was about ten,” he continues, “I launched it hard and he said it felt like his willy had gone into his back!” An unconventional response perhaps, but then that’s JP all over.
You get the feeling that he tells it like it is, with no bullshit. If something proves to work well, then he’s the first to praise it. But equally, if something doesn’t do what it says it will, he’ll be brutally honest. This sort of candour is refreshing in a scene that can attract people who like to make unsubstantiated claims, especially when it comes to power figures. But, JP has earned the tight to question things. He tests everything he does – often to destruction – to ensure that any upgrades not only deliver the goods, but also stay in one piece. As he says, “You need to blow things up to find the limits.
How else are you going to know how to improve on the original design?”
While there’s no doubt that JP was put on this planet to make cars go fast, he has a very specific focus. Everything must be about making the car perform more efficiently, which in turn makes it faster and more reliable. So although huge turbos combined with a remap and supporting upgrades can achieve eye watering power figures, it’s often at the expense of drivability.
“My S6 has a usable powerband from 3,250 to 8,200rpm – I see some of the German tuners with 1200bhp with cars that have nothing until 5,000rpm – that’s no use anywhere except on a drag strip,” he comments. Part of the reason behind the chosen upgrades (you can see the full list of goodies on the last page) was to show what could be achieved, without simply buying everything that’s available. “I saw so many owners on forums going on about how much they’d spent on this and that, and I thought, hang on, you don’t really need half of that.” So JP set about proving it with his S6 build. In the process it became the demo car for the business.
It’s currently running a baseline map that JP did himself, which he says was pretty straightforward using the 2D mapping of the Maxx ECU set up, “It’s easier for a non-IT guy like me!” The plan is to start upping the power again now that the rest of the car is ready to take it. ECU legend, Jonus Racing, is due to fly over to the UK to work on a bunch of cars, so JP’s S6 will be in very good hands. “This is the final throw of the dice – I won’t be re-doing this car again, so it has to be right,” he says.
As a cylinder head and engine building specialist, JP’s philosophy is to make engines as efficient as possible. Rather than simply bolting on a bigger and bigger turbos, he looks at ways to make more power off-boost with a less spiky delivery, while holding peak power for as long as possible to the redline. For those who are used to the kick of a big turbo coming in at 4,000+rpm, JP’s set ups can feel like the car is actually slower, but one look at the speedo will show it’s moving faster than the rev counter. By maximising the efficiency of the engine, including the head flow, there’s less pressure on the turbo, which in turn will be more responsive, with a wider power band – all the key ingredients of a usable, fast car. As JP says, “The proof is always in the performance – it either goes fast or it doesn’t.”
With lots of usable power, the brakes and chassis had to be more than up to the job of keeping this big estate on the road. A set of custom front coilovers were created by JP using shortened Bilstein B8 inserts. Gaz adjustable dampers bring up the rear, together with custom pig-nose springs and an Apikol uprated ARB. 2Bennet adjustable top mounts allow the perfect caster/camber to dialled in for that crisp turn in – not something usually associated with nose heavy 90s Audis. With a full complement of uprated bushes and solid sub frame mounts, this near 20-year old S6 now handles with aplomb. The Wavetrack diffs front and rear certainly help deliver the fun factor – whether launching hard or hitting twisty roads – especially with the re-timed factory Torsen unit that JP built up now giving a more rear-biased delivery over stock.
With plans to drive this thing hard on track, JP has wisely upgraded the brakes. The B7 RS4 calipers have been fully rebuilt together with high-temp seals and meaty 360mm discs. With Yellowstuff pads all round and DOT 5.1 fluid, this set up provides ample stopping power.
Inside, this mid-90s estate has been treated to a selection of upgrades befitting something with serious performance. The front seats are the first items that jump out at you. The carbon fixed back buckets look like they came out of a Porsche Carrera GT – but surely not – those things are about £500k now!? “They’re actually copies,” admits JP, “but they’re very good ones. They came out of a Porsche – I got them shipped over from LA Porsche dismantlers in the US.” The leather wrapped seats were in decent nick, although JP has changed the colour of the seatbelt guides, before having them recovered in leather and black Alcantara. They really look the part, right at home in the S6’s cabin complete with OEM carbon fibre trim. The rears were trimmed to match. One thing you wouldn’t see in a 90s estate is a 10.5in tablet fixed to the dash. This wifi-enabled device allows JP to keep an eye on the vital stats via the Maxx ECU.
Having followed the progress of this car for the last six years or so, it’s great to see it almost finished. Once the final mapping session has been completed by Jonus Racing, JP is hoping for up to 680bhp on V-Power and 700+bhp on E85. This S6 is beautifully engineered, extremely rapid, highly usable and, like JP himself, a little unconventional. We love it!
Top: One of the finest sleepers you’ll find.
SEE IT IN ACTION There are several videos of this savage #Audi-Ur-S6 being driven hard, plus some dyno footage. Head to JNL Racing’s YouTube channel to check them out – www.youtube.com/jnlracinguk
“My S6 has a usable powerband from 3,250 to 8,200rpm...”
Far right: Engine bay is a work of art Below right JNL custom inlet Bottom left Heat management has been taken seriously.
There are very few UrS6s left now, so here are three other S6 variants to consider...
Audi C5 S6 1999-2003
This 4.2 V8-powered S6 arrived in 1999 and went down a storm. The beefy V8 gave 335bhp and made all the right noises. The only downside was that tuning the NA lump was tricky and it liked a drink. Fewer and fewer of these around now and many have fallen into the hands of those that can’t afford to run them, so if you’re after one, be very choosy. Avants are more sought after than saloons.
Audi C6 S6 2006-2011
Launched in 2006 the C6 was packing a NA version of the 5.0 V10 from the RS6. This ten-cylinder monster gave it the sound of a supercar, all wrapped up in a very discreet saloon or estate. Loaded with goodies and that fabulous 429bhp engine, we’ll never see the likes of these large capacity cars again. Not cheap to run and expensive to fix, they are still very desirable. Available in avant and saloon, if you’re after one, make sure it’s been well loved and comes packed with options.
Audi C7 S6 2011-present (2017)
After increasing its capacity with every new model, the latest S6 goes back to its turbo charged roots and back down to a V8. Great news for tuners as the 4.0 V8 twin turbo can easily be cranked up to RS6 levels of grunt. A remap, full exhaust system including downpipes and uprated air filters will see you on the way to 550+bhp with more available depending on how deep your pockets are. Better still, unlike the RS6, you can get the S6 as a saloon, so you could create one of the fastest four-doors around – a true sleeper.
TECHNICAL DATA SPECIFICATION #1996 / #Audi-Ur-S6-Avant / #Audi-Ur-S6-Avant-C4 / #Audi-S6-Avant-C4 / #Audi-S6-Avant / #Audi-S6-C4 / #Audi-A6-Avant-C4 / #Audi-A6-C4 / #Audi-A6 / #Audi-S6 / #Audi /
Engine Re-engineered 2.5 diesel block and crank, #Pauter rods with ARP 625 plus, custom JE coated pistons, mains girdle, #ARP mains and headstuds, #Mahle-Motorsport bearings, baffled sump, #Gates-Racing timing belt, custom timing belt tensioner, secret spec cylinder head, #Jonus-Racing camshafts, lightweight flywheel, twin plate tilton for 800ft/ lb, steel crank timing belt pulley, #Vernier cam pulley, custom carbon timing cover to clear vernier, tubular #Vband manifold, 60mm #Tial wastegate, #HTA3586 m-spec with tial v-band hotside, 3.5in downpipe and straight through to twin 3in tail, 2.25in screamer with custom made side-exit, custom 4in intake filter housing w/integrated recirc pipe, custom 2 piece intake heatshield with bumper and bonnet cold air feeds, red TFSI coilpack conversion with custom coil cover, custom twin plenum intake manifold, overbored throttle body w/ Linden power coupler, billet fuel rail, 1000cc #ASNU-injectors / #ASNU injectors, Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator, twin #Bosch-044 / #Bosch in tank fuel pumps, custom one of header tank, custom designed breather system, electric fan conversion, lambda heatsink, Thermal velocity magma exhaust wrap, #PTP turbo blanket, 300x600x76 bar and plate cooler 2.25in in and 3in out, grille mount remote oil cooler, 50mm tial recirc valve, #Maxx-ECU running 720 sequential injection with 60-2trigger, multi-boost/fuel application, variable fuel pump speed via CAN-bus 10.5in tablet monitoring 5 x egt, exhaust back pressure, boost pressure, oil pressure and temp, coolant temp, air temp, lambda and various other parameters via Bluetooth
Transmission Custom geared 01E 6-speed, updated 1-2 slip collar, carbon 1-6 synchros, #Wavetrac front diff, retimed factory torsen diff for improved rear bias, custom 3.5in carbon propshaft, Wavetrac rear diff
Brakes B7 RS4 8-pot front calipers rebuilt with high temp seals, 360x32mm front discs, refurbed single pot calipers with custom mount 335x32mm rear discs, Yellowstuff pads
Suspension Homemade front coilovers w/custom length #Bilstein B8 inserts, #Gaz rebound adjustable rear shocks with custom pig nose springs, #2Bennett fully adjustable camber/caster front top mounts, solid front and rear subframe mounts, new oem bushes all round, polyurethane front snubmount and rear diff hanger and mount, 034 track density gearbox mounts, custom delrin/urethane engine mounts, #Apikol uprated rear ARB, custom front A#RB mounts for improved caster
Wheels and Tyres #Rotiform-Nue / #Rotiform 9.5x18in with one-off centre caps, Federal RSR 255/35x18
Exterior Widened arches front and rear, widened bumpers front and rear, debadged trim, colour coded trim, rear wiper delete, custom bonnet air duct, painted custom metallic grey/silver, front and rear cameras linked via wifi to tablet
Interior Porsche Carrera GT style carbon bucket seats retrimmed with logo and Alcantara centres, retrimmed rear Alcantara seat centres and door cards, 20v Ur-quattro custom flat bottom steering wheel with Alcantara centre, custom steering column cover, modified front speaker pods with 4in focal speakers, 17cm Alpine rear speakers, Bluetooth enabled Pioneer headunit, 10.5in tablet
Contacts/thanks JNL Racing www.facebook. com/jnlracing, www.youtube. com/jnlracinguk,
www.instagram.com/jnlracinguk, email@example.com. Thanks to Ish and crew at #Quattro Coachworks for not only doing the most amazing work but also helping to realise my vision, and of course all the friends and family that have assisted and put up with my shit for the existence of the two-ton Bugswatter, with special mention to Karl and Sean
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- Post is under moderation(NOT) GROWING UP Beautiful blue bagged E92 320d
Deciding it’s time to grow up and stop modifying a car is easy, but actually doing it is much harder… Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Simon Ward
There comes a time, we suppose, in all our lives when we will start thinking that maybe, just maybe, it’s time to stop modifying cars and start putting money away, sensibly, for the inevitable arrival of The Future and spending what spare money we have left on more grown-up interests, such as old whisky and expensive wax jackets or hand-crafted ethnic fair trade furniture. Perhaps that’s already happened, perhaps you’re sipping an 18-year-old single malt while wearing an expensive jacket, sitting on a chair made from Sheesham hardwood. What’s Sheesham? Exactly…
Or perhaps it’s already crossed your mind while you were out shopping for your new car, or when you decided to spend three months’ wages on a new set of wheels, but you’ve not managed to commit yet. You can’t quit the grip of modding and you keep telling yourself that you’ll start being sensible any day now, but there’s just time for one last big score…
That’s where Will Drayson found himself about four years ago, but we’ll let him tell his tale: “I’ve dreamed of owning a BMW since I first passed my test – something has always drawn me towards them. This was my first BMW; at the time I had just been promoted and began working in Sheffield. I had a modified Mk4 Golf and wanted something a bit smarter. I tried to be sensible and choose something with good economy as I was commuting about 300 miles a week. I went for the E92 320d as I loved how it looked and knew the running costs wouldn’t be an issue. It seemed like the perfect car for me.
“I travelled to Leicester to get it. I’ve always been a bit OCD with my cars and paintwork and I’d spoken to the seller on the phone and told him that if it wasn’t perfect then not to waste my time, but if it was as good as he’d said I’d pay the full asking price. True to his word it was immaculate and when I pulled up to view it, before I even started the engine, I knew I wanted it. I was so happy when I bought it, I’ll never forget that day.
“I originally told myself it was time to grow up, save money and take a break from the modifying scene… and then within four days had already painted the wheels a dark anthracite and ordered some coilovers. I couldn’t help myself – to me, modifying my cars is an expression of who I am. I don’t think it’ll ever be anything I can leave alone.”
Will is most definitely a serial modifier and looking back through his case history it’s clear that nothing short of an intervention will be able to kerb his habit. After leaving school and starting work as a joiner, he modified his Astra work van. This was followed by a modified and financially crippling SEAT Leon Cupra R and then the slightly more sensible Golf GT TDi. This leads us neatly on to the 320d, the car that would not be modified, except is now probably more modified than all of the others put together. If we were mean, we’d go for a slow hand clap, but we’re sympathetic so we’ll opt for a consoling pat on the back instead. Not that Will needs consoling because his decision to go to town on his E92 means he’s ended up with a spectacular machine that turns heads wherever it goes.
The reason for all that attention is simple: it looks absolutely spectacular. Will’s done a first rate job on the styling but what really sets it all off is that custom paint; it’s a gloriously bold blue, solid and striking and completely custom, conjured up by the mind of Will himself. We happen to know the ingredients that went into this unique blend but if we told you, we’d have to kill you, and then Will would probably come and kill us, so we won’t. All we can tell you is that it was created in a bit of a mad scientist moment of mixing, a Willy Wonka-esque colour mixing adventure with Will having no earthly way of knowing in which direction he was going, and when the smoke had cleared and it was all over, he’d conjured up his perfect shade of blue.
But a blue E92 alone isn’t enough to stand out from the crowd. It needed to be sprayed over a body that’s deserving of all that love and attention: “I wanted quite an aggressive look while avoiding the M3 bumper/replica route,” he explains. “With it being a 320d the last thing I wanted was to ‘pretend’ it was an M3.” He’s certainly done a grand job of making his E92 look suitably aggressive without following the crowd. Will has smoothed the front bumper, removed the headlight washer jets, smoothed the bonnet, added NEM angel eyes with tinted internals along with tinted rear lights and then he’s gone to town on the carbon. There are carbon kidney grilles, front splitter, mirror covers that he skinned himself, Ericsson bootlid and a rear diffuser, which has been embellished with a pair of 335i tailpipes.
Naturally, all that visual drama needed the right wheels and this too was an area where Will was keen not to blend in with everyone else and he wasn’t afraid of going off-piste in order to give his E92 a unique look: “The first set of wheels I put on were some Bentley Continental 19s,” he says. “I’d seen them a lot in the VAG scene and wanted to break the mould with the BMW scene. I’ve always liked how the VAG scene is about thinking outside-the-box, while on all the BMW forums everyone was just buying CSL replicas and it was bland in honesty. All modified Threes looked similar. I wanted to take a different route. Everyone told me it wouldn’t work and would look terrible but I hit up G23 Engineering for some adapters and put the Bentley wheels on and people’s minds were soon changed!
“The car looked great – I miss that look to be fair. I ran them for a couple of years until I fancied a change and that’s when I spotted these concave Rotiform BLQs for sale with the exact same width and offsets as the Bentley wheels. They would be a straight fit onto my existing adaptors without any extra work so I thought it was a no brainer really!” Indeed, no brain was required for this decision as the BLQ is a great looking wheel, the concave profile really suiting the E92 styling and the black centres are the perfect match for the carbon elements scattered across the exterior.
The perfect wheels need the perfect suspension setup and while Will’s first efforts were static, air was always an inevitability. “Originally I bought some D2 coilovers but they lasted about a year until they collapsed and went to an oily grave,” he says. “I then went with BC Racing coilovers, which were brilliant. I’d wanted air during that time but couldn’t afford it. I ran the BCs for about a year until I finally caved and went with the new #Air-Lift 3H kit. A friend of mine, Vick Nagi, mentioned I could be a guinea pig for the new kit through his company, Lowpro, so I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a kit as a test vehicle before the official release!” The 3H has been treated to a sexy floating boot install, comprising a single tank and twin compressors, complete with lighting and finished in satin grey to match his wheel lips.
With the 320d having been purchased for its economy, Will has decided to leave the engine alone, bar the addition of a K&N panel filter and covering the air intake panel in carbon himself. “Even when I got to the point that I decided it was a show car and no longer a daily commuter I didn’t think it was worth spending money trying to squeeze more power from the engine. I’ve considered a 335i engine swap but it’s never really interested me; I love driving the car as it is and I’ve got nothing to prove, I don’t need 400 horses to enjoy it!” he smiles and that might be the most sensible thing we’ve heard him say all day!
The engine might be stock, but the interior most definitely is not and Will’s made it a very nice place to spend time in.
Gone are the stock M Sport front seats and in their place have been fitted a very sexy pair of leather-wrapped Recaro CS seats. “I’d seen an orange M3 on the internet with the BMW M Performance seats; they looked amazing and I was instantly hunting the web and eBay for a set,” grins Will. “They were like hens teeth to get hold of and at crazy prices whenever I found any. In the end I found a guy who stripped out Lotuses and made them into track cars who had taken a brand-new set of CSs out of an Exige. I bit his hand off when he mentioned selling them! I dismantled the original runners on the M Sport seats and fabricated some adaptors to put them onto the base of the CSs. I fitted the seats myself in about ten hours, doing the wiring and runners etc which I didn’t think was bad seeing I’m pretty much self-taught with vehicles!” With a pair of gorgeous leather seats up front the cloth rear bench really wouldn’t do, so this has now been trimmed in black leather to match. The trims have been painted in Land Rover Lago grey while after the shoot Will replaced the M Sport steering wheel with a flat-bottomed one complete with carbon trim panel. Finally, the audio has been uprated with a set of Focal speaker, tweeters and under-seat subs.
While it may not have ended up being quite as sensible as Will might have initially wanted, his E92 remains a grown up car that’s the perfect blend of diesel frugality and jaw-dropping show car looks meaning he is both having his cake and eating it, which is about as much as you could ever ask for. Any future plans for the E92 that may have been brewing have currently been put on hold as Will has just bought a house, arguably the most sensible and grown up thing you can purchase, but that’s no big deal because at the moment he says he’s really happy with how the car looks and we’re with him on that one.
“I love driving the car as it is. I don’t need 400 horses to enjoy it”
“Before I’d even started the engine, I knew I wanted it. I was so happy”
TECHNICAL DATA FILE Air-ride #BMW-E92 / #BMW-320d / #BMW-320d-E92 / #BMW-320d-Air-Ride / #BMW-320d-Air-Ride-E92 / #BMW-E92-Air-Ride / #Rotiform-BLQ / #Rotiform / #BMW / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E92
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel #N47D20 / #BMW-N47 / #N47 , #K&N panel filter, carbon air intake cover, 335i tailpipes, six-speed manual gearbox
CHASSIS 9x19” ET41 (front and rear) three-piece forged super concave #Rotiform BLQs with gloss black faces and satin gunmetal lips on G23 adapters with 215/35 (front and rear) tyres, #Air-Lift-Performance-3H air-ride with performance struts, chassis modified for greater front end drop, grooved discs and pads (front and rear)
EXTERIOR Full respray in custom mixed bright blue, smoothed front bumper with washer jets removed, smoothed bonnet with #BMW roundel removed, carbon fibre kidney grilles, #Ericsson bootlid, diffuser, splitter and wing mirror covers, #NEM-angel-eye headlights with blacked-out internals, tinted rear lights
INTERIOR #Recaro-CS seats, flat bottom steering wheel with carbon fibre trim added after the shoot, internal trims painted in Land Rover Lago grey, rear seats retrimmed in black leather, Focal speakers, tweeters and under-seat subs, full floating boot install with single tank, twin Viair compressors, lighting and satin grey tank
THANKS Adi Camm and Dave Shaw at A&D Autos for all your help and support over many years and allowing me to spend hundreds of hours generally getting in the way at your unit! Vick Nagi at Lowpro for all his encouragement and helping me achieve my goals. Phil James at The Install Company for the wicked install and hard work on getting that front end drop so low. My mum and dad for supporting me throughout all of this and letting me dismantle cars on the drive at 1am on multiple occasions! All my close friends for the constant wind-ups about my car – it spurred me on to do better
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- Post is under moderationSHOCK SEMA builds are never anything less than utterly spectacular and this LS-swapped E46 M3 with air-ride and a supercharger is no exception. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Brian McGee.
V8 E46 6.0-litre supercharged showstopper. #2017
SYSTEM SHOCK Wide-body, supercharged V8 E46
You know what the trouble with the #BMW scene right now is? Too many awesome cars, that’s what! Not a week goes by when we’re not being inundated with offers of amazing new builds. How can we possibly say no? You can’t have too much of a good thing, really. The only problem for us is that we’ve only got so many pages each month and that means we can only stuff so many cars into each issue, which is why we’re only just now getting round to showing you one of the most spectacular builds from the 2015 SEMA show. However, it’s lost none of its impact in that time…
The name Carl Taylor will be familiar to most people with a toe in the tuning scene because not only is he one of the founding fathers of the Players brand, back home in Huntington Beach he’s Air Lift’s regional sales manager for California and Nevada, so he’s got just a bit of experience when it comes to modded machinery… but not BMWs, funnily enough. “Having being involved in the VW/Audi scene for many years, I felt I needed a change. I bought my first BMW, an E36 325i, in 2014 when we had the two Rocket Bunny Art Cars made to drive to Wörthersee in. Within a year I went from having no BMWs to owning an E36 M3, an E46 M3 and an E92 M3.” It’s clear that Carl is not a man who does things by halves. This E46 M3 was bought with the specific intent of turning it into a SEMA booth car for Air Lift, purchased in Colorado with no engine and no front seats, making it ripe for both a new engine and a little bit of interior work; nothing fancy, you know…
“The only plan we had was that it had to be completed or at least look finished for the SEMA show in Las Vegas, which was five weeks away when we started the project,” Carl continues. There’s nothing like a tight deadline to focus the mind, although it also makes for a challenging build. “On paper it seemed really easy,” says Carl, “but actually carrying out the job and having everything working and finished within the deadline was not. Having to rush the build and being limited with knowledge and advice, maybe we did not go down the correct route with the build. This caused us issues with the car never running correctly in the time I had it,” he says, which is always a shame to hear because a large part of the pleasure gleaned from a project is being able to actually enjoy it, but it certainly takes nothing away from the end result. And as far as the aim of building an attention-grabbing machine for the Air Lift booth goes, it was mission accomplished and then some.
While Carl says that there was no outright plan as such, some things were a given: buying a car in the States with no engine automatically means V8 swap because, if the tales are to believed, LS V8s grow on trees out there. Being an Air Lift car meant that there was only ever going to be one choice of suspension, really. And with Carl having been involved with Rotiform over the years and running the company’s wheels on every single car he’s owned over the past five years also meant wheel choice was not a hard decision to make.
Engine first, and while deciding to fit a V8, deciding which one to fit is a little trickier because there are so many to choose from. Even if you narrow it down to arguably one of the best, the LS family from GM, you’ve still got an overwhelming array of choices as far as displacement and power output goes. With the E46 M3 making 343hp out-of-the-box you want something that’s going to be more powerful than that for starters. And that makes the all-alloy LS2 the perfect choice, as it develops a nice, round 400hp and 400lb ft of torque from its 6.0 litres of displacement. Now that’s great, but it’s not really revolutionary; people are swapping LS V8s into everything from lawn mowers to washing machines (that might not be strictly true) and while a V8 in an E46 M3 is cool, you need a little more, a little extra spice to really get people’s attention. How about a Vortech supercharger? Yeah, that’ll do it. With the blower strapped to that V8, power jumps to around 550hp while torque is pushed up to around 470lb ft. Impressive numbers and a seriously impressive sight when the bonnet’s off.
The engine bay isn’t the first thing you’re going to notice about this car, though. That honour goes to the luminous shade of green it’s been painted in, closely followed by the outrageously wide bodywork. As far as visual spectacle is concerned, this M3’s been turned all the way up to 11. “The car was built and painted by LTMW,” says Carl. “It also installed the Rocket Bunny Pandem kit.” Based on the success of Carl’s previous Rocket Bunny-based adventures it was the obvious choice for beefing-up the E46. The riveted-on front and rear arches add some serious muscle to proceedings, further aided by that hugely aggressive front spoiler, plus a CSL bootlid. We like how it looks although we recognize it won’t be for everyone, certainly, but it works for us and it definitely works on a build like this. Of course, a kit this wild deserves a suitably wild paint job and this E46 M3 doesn’t disappoint, with Carl opting for Lamborghini LP700 pearl green, Verde Ithaca, an absolutely spectacular shade that delivers a knockout blow.
As for the interior, remember the lack of front seats? Well, that problem was solved with the addition of a pair of customfinished Cobra Suzuka Pro single-piece buckets. They’re the perfect choice to go with the rest of this build, oh, and the Renown steering wheel, too.
On the chassis front, we already know that Air Lift and Rotiform were going to play a part in the construction of this E46 M3 but here, too, the boat was well and truly pushed out. This build was just crying out for Air Lift’s latest 3H air-ride kit, with ride height sensors and a fancy controller. And that’s exactly what it’s got, with the boot hosting a single air tank finished in the same shade of Verde Ithaca as the rest of the car. Naturally.
As far as the wheels are concerned, Rotiform offers a dazzling array of designs catering to all tastes but on a build like this vanilla simply wouldn’t do; something more exciting was needed. Enter the Rotiform HUR, a wheel really quite unlike anything else. It’s actually pointless even trying to describe how it looks. The best thing to do is to just look at them because then you can drink in all those delicious details and that incredible Double Dark Tint clear coat over fully polished finish before deciding which side of the fence you want to be on, because there’s no middle ground here. We’re going to say that, much like with the Rocket Bunny wide-body additions, we are on board with the wheels. They really work with this build whereas a more subtle wheel would be overwhelmed with everything else that’s going on. With an almost Lamborghini vibe they are a particularly good match for the paint.
The finishing touch? A set of Brembo front and rear BBKs, in yellow no less, because no show build is complete without a seriously beefy set of brakes and, sometimes, it’s better to clash than to match. The fronts use six-pot calipers wrapped around 380mm discs while at the back sit four-pot calipers accompanied by 345mm discs. They do a seriously impressive job of filling out both front and rear wheels.
“The car will actually have been sold by the time this is published, due to continuing issues with the wiring harness and some of the work that was rushed due to #SEMA deadlines. If money had been no object, I probably would have bought a proper car and not had all the stress and continued issues with this build in the first place,” Carl explains. He says this not with a grimace but with a smile, and that speaks volumes about this car. Most show builds are finished and sold on in the blink of an eye to make way for the next project. The fact that Carl has kept this car for almost a year and actually used it during that time makes us happy. For Carl, it’s time to move onto pastures and projects new and there are bound to be many of those, but we reckon this one won’t be forgotten about anytime soon.
Rocket Bunny Pandem kit won’t be to all tastes but delivers plenty of impact.
Interior has been kitted-out with Cobra Suzuka Pro buckets and Renown steering wheel while air tank in boot has been matched to the wild Lambo green bodywork.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #Supercharged #LS2 V8 #BMW-E46 M3 / #BMW-M3-E46 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-V8 / #BMW-M3-LS2-E46 / #BMW-M3-V8-E46 / #BMW-M3-LS2-Supercharged / #BMW-M3-LS2-Supercharged-E46 / #BMW-E46-GM-V8 / #Rotiform / #LS2-Supercharged / #LS2-Supercharged-Vortech / #Vortech / #Vortech-supercharger
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 6.0-litre #V8 #GM-LS2 / , #Vortech-supercharger-kit , custom exhaust system, T56-six-speed manual gearbox.
CHASSIS 10x18” (front) and 11.5x18” (rear) #Rotiform-HUR wheels with Double Dark Tint clear coat over fully polished finish and 265/35 (front) and 295/30 (rear) Toyo R888 tyres, #Air-Lift-Performance air-ride with #3H management, #Brembo #Brembo-BBK with six-pot calipers and 380mm discs (front) and four-pot calipers with 345mm discs (rear).
EXTERIOR Rocket Bunny Pandem wide-body kit, CSL bootlid, full respray in #Lamborghini-Aventador-LP700-Verde-Ithaca-pearl-green .
INTERIOR Custom Cobra Suzuka Pro buckets, Renown USA steering wheel, colour-coded air tank in boot.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationThat a car built by the owners of S6 Wraps would be wrapped is no surprise but there are plenty of choice mods on this E92 that make it stand out from the crowd. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Adam Walker.
ALL WRAPPED UP Wrapped and bagged E92 335i
The E92 3 Series has one of the most appealing shapes going. It’s lovely and smooth, sleek, streamlined and perfectly proportioned. It still looks as good today as it did when it was launched back in 2006 but that’s not to say that it can’t be enhanced with a few tasty styling additions. The E92 has such a vast range of aftermarket support that it’s crying out to be modified, especially if it happens to be a 335i with that eminently tuneable turbo straight-six.
That’s certainly what Dan Roache and Paige Walton, owners of S6 Wraps in Pickford, thought when buying their E92 335i but, then again, that’s no surprise considering it was always destined to be modified and built up into a show car. The pair have both owned and modified BMWs for the past four years, with a 120d and E91 320d having undergone dramatic transformations at their hands before the 335i came along. “We decided to sell both Paige’s E91 and my Audi TT to buy a joint car to turn into a show car and we knew it was going to be this 335i,” says Dan. “Paige’s uncle owned it from new, and since I had a ride in it on the first day he got it I knew I wanted to buy it from him when he was finished with it. He called me one day and gave me the first refusal so we couldn’t say no.” With the intention always being to modify the 335i, Dan and Paige had actually started buying parts before they had even bought the car, and work began almost immediately.
As we’re sure you well know, the turbocharged straight-six in the 35i models is so keen to make more power that you’d be silly not to turn the wick up a touch, and the later single turbo N55B30 as fitted here is no less receptive to a bit of underbonnet tinkering than its twin-turbo predecessor. “The second week of owning the car we took it over to our friend Badger at Hard Knocks Speed Shop for a full custom 3” stainless exhaust system with a cat-less downpipe and the rest straight-through with just a back box and 4” tips,” says Dan. These would help the engine breathe and bring some extra ponies to the party but there was still more to come. “We got chatting with Burger Tuning who sent us the JB4 and BMS intake direct from the States, and our friends at Forge helped us out to get the FMIC changed for a bigger one and the car is now running approximately 400hp,” which a nice increase over the stock output of 306hp for not much effort.
Belonging to a wrap company meant that the E92 was destined to be wrapped and aesthetics were always going to be an important aspect of the build for a company whose primary focus is how cars look. “We have always been into the clean and simple styling with nice subtle mods like carbon fibre,” says Dan, “so we knew straight away what direction we were going with the car.” That’s the sort of approach to styling that works really well with the E92’s natural clean lines. The pair’s taste for carbon fibre means that a few of the exterior elements have been touched by the exotic weave, with carbon grilles, carbon mirrors and a carbon boot spoiler plus the most impressive addition of all: the custom-fitted genuine E92 M3 carbon roof. In keeping with Dan and Paige’s appreciation of clean styling, the front bumper has been smoothed and then there’s the wrap. The colour is limited edition Avery Dennison Metallic Meteorite and it is insane; at first glance it looks like just another shade of grey but then the light hits it and you realise that it’s covered in a dazzling glitter flake, which really adds an extra dimension to the colour and definitely makes this E92 stand out.
Such a dazzling colour deserves some suitably dazzling wheels and here Dan and Paige went for a set of fully polished 19” Rotiform TMBs for the car: “We wanted the car to be a head-turner so as soon as we saw the fully polished TMBs we couldn’t say no to them,” says Dan. “At the time Rotiform was the only way we wanted to go wheel-wise and the TMB design really suits the shape of the car.” They do look fantastic on the E92 but wheels are nothing without a drop and that’s where the Air Lift 3P kit comes in. “We would only use Air Lift on the E9x platform as it’s the safest and most reliable system you can buy,” says Dan, “and we also fitted new uprated rear arms.”
Considering how spectacular the outside is you’d be forgiven for thinking that the interior would have a hard time topping that but, if anything, the interior is even more impressive. For starters, it’s finished in stunning Dakota red leather, which make such a nice change from boring old black and works perfectly with the grey exterior. The most impressive aspect of the interior is the addition of a pair of M4 front seats, which look fantastic, are incredibly comfortable and supportive and so much more special than even the E9x M3’s seats. The plan had actually originally been to fit a pair of Audi RS4 seats but Dan and Paige didn’t like the fact that it wouldn’t have been in-keeping with the OE look, so decided to stay within the BMW family and it was definitely the right decision. There’s also a BMW M Performance flatbottomed steering wheel, complete with matching Dakota red centre stripe, while the controller for the suspension has been neatly mounted in front of the centre armrest.
You may have also noticed the custom doorcards, which house four speakers each plus a tweeter by the door mirrors. These form part of the serious audio install; one of Dan’s favourite modifications on the entire car. But you need to look in the boot to find the real meat of the audio upgrades. The twin air tanks have been mounted in the sides of the boot while the twin Viair compressors and Air Lift manifold sit in a recess in the boot floor. Then there’s the Audison bit One digital audio processor and mono block amp powering a pair of Gladen 10” subs mounted behind the rear seats, and a four-channel amp for the two sets of Rainbow 6.5 components and Harman Kardon speakers in the front doors. It’s clearly a serious audiophile setup that has not only been beautifully installed but we wager sounds pretty incredible too.
A lot of work and thought has gone into this E92 but, amazingly, it only took two months to build from start to finish, with everything bar the custom exhaust having been done in-house at S6 Wraps. As far as future plans are concerned, there aren’t any, because the 335i is currently up for sale, but such is the life of a project car, especially when it’s a company demo build. But that does make it easier to move on and start the next project, which we anticipate is going to be something equally eye-catching.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-E92 / #BMW-335i / #BMW-335i-E92 / #N55B30 / #BMW-N55 / #N55B30 / #N55 / #Rotiform / #Air-Lift-Performance / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E92 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E92
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre straight-six turbo #N55B30 , custom 3” turbo back de-cat exhaust system, #Forge-FMIC , #BMS intake, JB4 , six-speed auto gearbox
CHASSIS 9x19” (front) and 10x19” (rear) fully polished #Rotiform-TMB wheels with 215/35 (front) and 225/35 (rear) Falken tyres, #Air-Lift-Performance-3P air suspension, EBC RedStuff pads all-round
EXTERIOR Full wrap in Avery Dennison Metallic Meteorite, smoothed front bumper, custom fit genuine E92 M3 carbon fibre roof, carbon fibre door mirrors, kidney grilles, #BMW-M-Performance spoiler
INTERIOR M4 front seats retrimmed in Dakota red leather, custom doorcards with speaker pods housing two sets of 6.5 Rainbow components and Harman Kardon speakers, #BMW M Performance flatbottomed steering wheel, custommounted 3P controller, custom mounted Audison bit One controller, boot build for air-ride and audio including Audison bit One digital audio processor, Audison mono block amp, Audison four-channel amp, Gladen 10” subs mounted behind rear seats, twin air tanks, twin Viair compressors
THANKS #S6-Wraps , Badger at Hard Knocks Speed Shop , #Burger-Tuning , #Forge-Motorsport
“We knew straight away what direction we were going with the car”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.