- 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 moderationM3-STYLED F31 335d
Touring gets M makeover. Some may think that the inherent boxiness of estate cars is fundamentally unsporty, but #PITSTOP Performance has other ideas, as this #BMW-M3-styled 335d Touring proves… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Hjalmar van Hoek.
TOURING DE FORCE F31 335d with #M3-conversion
Estate cars, it’s fair to say, come with a certain amount of baggage. And not just the junk in the trunk, but the whole history of their being, the fundamental point of their existence: take a sensible family car, realise there isn’t enough space in there, and graft on a few extra square feet of glass and steel at the rear. Then you’re well served for carting refuse to the dump, cramming in luggage for family holidays, feeling smug in the Ikea car park while those around you try to squeeze wardrobes into hatchbacks, and everything else that goes with station wagon ownership. You buy them because you need to, not because you want to.
At least that used to be true. Then the 1990s happened, and things started to get silly: Audi began hiding Porsches inside its Avants, Volvo dropped massive Touring Car motors into its turbobricks, and before we knew what was happening the idea of having an estate car was edging away from ‘do I have to?’ and toward ‘I really want to’.
It’s for this reason that the base car for the project you see before you isn’t as embarrassing as it might once have been. Sure, when you note down the layout on a stark and unforgiving set of bullet points, it should be the sort of thing that’d satisfy your grandad rather than your boy-racer cousin: a boxy wagon with a diesel engine and an automatic gearbox. Hardly the stuff of schoolyard dreams is it?
Oh, but it is. For this is an #F31-generation 335d – a car that came from the factory boasting 313hp from a 3.0-litre common-rail diesel straight-six with a pair of turbos strapped menacingly to the side. It’s got piezo-electric injectors and aluminium construction and variable turbo geometry… this is quite a long way removed from the rattly oil-burners of yore.
The only real hurdle here, then, is its boxiness. It’s an estate car, and there’s no escaping the utilitarian vibe of that. But as any of the best tuners will tell you, hurdles are really just upstart opportunities, and Blend Maroof, owner of Sweden’s PITSTOP Performance as well as of this F31, is eager to springboard off that bland reputation and transmute it into something awesome.
The first thing you’ll probably have spotted is that this 3 Series Touring has received a full M3 body conversion. This is a fiery move, as the fabled M badge has a tempestuous relationship with estate cars. The idea of an M3 Touring is one that consistently gets BMW fans whipped up into an excitable lather, the internet bristles with pages upon pages of forum posts and blog entries along the lines of ‘it’s the best car that BMW never built’. It does, after all, seem unfair that the wagons were left off the product planning chart, particularly given the proven global enthusiasm for hot estates; the RS4 and RS6 have paid for more than a few posh dinners in the steakhouse next to the Audi factory. And the E60- generation M5 was offered as a capacious load-lugger – V10 up front, Labrador in the back – so why not the M3? Well, it’s all down to maths, probably. Or physics. But that hasn’t stopped the aftermarket bolting together what #BMW never dared…
“My first car was a 316ti, and from that point on I was firmly in the BMW groove,” laughs Blend. “That car was RWD, red, and a BMW, which was all I wanted at the time.
Since then I’ve owned and modified an E61 535d, an E60 535d, an E60 M5, an E39 M5, an E91 M3, and many others.” It helps that his hobby is also his job, of course, as that provides a handy excuse to constantly be tweaking, refining, and generally getting up to a whole mess of Bavarian mischief.
It’s worth pointing out at this point that this isn’t actually Blend’s first crack at building an M3-alike Touring; regular readers may remember his E91 335i Touring that appeared in these pages some time back, sporting genuine E92 bodywork and a menacing attitude (the eagle-eyed will have spotted his mention of the technically non- existent E91 M3 in the preceding paragraph!). “I sold that car to an amateur, who destroyed it,” he sighs, “so I told myself I needed to build another one. We have to have at least one M3 Touring in Sweden! So I started searching for a good base, and decided on this well-optioned F31 335d xDrive.”
The car was sourced from a German dealer in mint condition, but naturally this didn’t make Blend pause as he was single- minded in his mission; indeed, he went one step further than having a plan in mind – he already had most of the parts for the project before he even took delivery of the car.
“The rear bumper’s probably my favourite modification on the car, as I’m the first one in the world to do that,” he grins. “I also swapped the front carrier, the bonnet, wings, lights, front bumper, mirrors, side skirts, rear panel and rear doors, and then it was all painted in original Sapphire black.” A pretty comprehensive conversion – and you’ll note that he’s cheekily left the M3 badge on the grille too; something we wouldn’t normally condone on a non-M car, but given the effort that’s gone into crafting this machine we reckon he’s earned it.
“The car’s static, running KW coilovers,” Blend explains, “because of the quality of the brand, and the fact that I’ve used them before. Also at the time there weren’t many manufacturers that had coilovers for the 335d xDrive! The wheels came at this point too, and I knew I wanted something deep concave with nice wide rears – I found the ‘right’ wheels a few weeks before the project was finished, they’re Japan Racing JR21s.”
The rears measure a whopping 11x19”, which certainly makes the most of Blend’s newfound hip girth (not his, the car’s), and their smoky finish really works with the overall aggression of the build.
The engine was the next item on the list, and while it may have already been packing a serious horsepower figure backed up by the trademark stump-troubling torque of the modern diesel, Blend had a few ideas to spice things up further. So now you’ll find it running a PITSTOP remap along with the company’s own custom 3” downpipe and exhaust system, along with #K&N induction and a big intercooler. Any of you who are still questioning the impressiveness of a diesel estate car as an M3 tribute will hopefully be gratified to learn that Blend’s creation will now run from 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds. And that, fittingly, would match an Audi RS6. “The engine work all took about a week,” he explains, with the nonchalant air of someone who truly knows his stuff. “It runs real good, I haven’t had any problems!”
From start to finish, the transformation took around three months, which is really quite hair-raising. Blend’s proud to say that he planned and executed all of the work himself too, with the exception of the installation of the rear panel, which was done by the paint shop while it was spraying it. And it’s impressive to note that when we ask him what more he might have done to the car if money were no object, his response is a humble “Nothing, I’ve done everything I wanted.” Although, when we press him further, he does admit that he’ll be sprucing up the interior to matching M3 spec in the coming year.
This, then, is the product of a man unafraid to build the cars that BMW didn’t; a singularity of vision that dismisses the notion of the estate car’s perceived lack of coolness with nary a second thought. And before we have time to catch breath, he’ll be starting down the path to creating an M2 hatchback. The fella clearly has an axe to grind with BMW’s product planners, and he just cannot be stopped.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-F31 / #BMW-335d-Touring / #BMW-335d-Touring-F31 / #BMW-335d / #BMW-335d-F31 / #BMW / #Wagner / #Akrapovič / #Akrapovic / #BMW-M3-styled / #BMW-335d-Touring-M3-Styled / / #BMW-335d-Touring-M3-Styled-F31 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-F31 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-Touring / #BMW-3-Series-Touring-F31 /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre straight-six twin-turbo diesel #N57D30T1 / #N57 / #BMW-N57 / #N57D30 / , 3” downpipe, #DPF and #EGR delete, 3” #PITSTOP custom exhaust system with #Akrapovič tails, #Wagner-Evo intercooler, K&N induction, PITSTOP custom remap, eight-speed #ZF-BMW-Sport-automatic transmission ( #ZF8HP / #ZF )
CHASSIS 9.5x19” ET22 (front) and 11x19” ET25 (rear) #Japan-Racing-JR21 wheels with 255/35 (f) and 295/30 (r) tyres, #KW-V2 coilovers, MSport brakes
EXTERIOR Sapphire black, full M3 body conversion including custom rear bumper
THANKS Thanks to my wonderful wife, PITSTOP and Schmiedmann – without them the project wouldn’t have been possible, Streetwheels for the fast job on the wheels, and to all of you out there who stood by my side from the start and helped me with everything
“The rear bumper’s my favourite modification, as I’m the first one in the world to do it”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationMTM S1 QST's 350bhp uber hot hatch
/ Words Davy Lewis / Photography Aron Vickers / FIRECRACKER
This 365hp, Misano red S1 not only packs a serious punch, but it’s great fun to drive, too.
S1 QS Tuning’s 360hp monster
QS Tuning are one of the UK’s original Audi performance specialists. Set up by Kim Collins over 20 years ago, they have carved an enviable reputation for building a wide range of fast Audis, from original quattros, through to the very latest S and RS models. We’ve featured several of QST’s demo cars including a supercharged RS5 and the latest RS3 (their RS7 will be coming soon). But there’s more to these guys than high-end V8-powered Audis. Like this little S1, for example...
Let’s get one thing straight from the off – the Audi S1 quattro is a fantastic car. Small, nimble and powered by a potent 2.0 TFSI (the same lump that’s in the S3), it’s a genuinely fun car to drive. Part of the appeal has to be that sweet, six-speed manual gearbox, which helps to lend this modern day Audi a distinctly old-school, hot hatch feel. Don’t get me wrong though – this is still a very refined and well-developed car, but it has a character all of its own. I’ve driven a few of these now and every time – weather stock or tuned – I always return with a smile on my face.
One thing the S1 has is huge potential. Which is exactly what QST’s Alex Collins set out to prove with his own car.
As the UK’s main dealer for MTM, the S1 was always going to feature some high-end German upgrades. But rather than fit the well-respected M-Cantronic unit (which effectively piggy-backs the ECU), Alex wanted to show that MTM also do re-mapping. So he organised a road trip over to Germany to allow them to develop their Stage 2 software for his car. “We had great fun on the drive over,” says Alex, “we managed 163mph, three-up, with luggage on the autobahn.” As the S1 already had some hardware upgrades – a Wagner intercooler, uprated inlet and full Scorpion exhaust with custom back section – it was ready for some Stage 2 calibration. The MTM crew spent a long time mapping the S1 and the final numbers are pretty impressive – 365hp and 480Nm.
Back in the UK, on a short test drive around the Wiltshire countryside, I have to say this S1 feels very lively indeed. The power is delivered with a real punch and second-gear acceleration is pretty ferocious. Nail the throttle and there’s a snarl from the custom Scorpion exhaust as the quattro drive does its thing and the little hatch fires itself up the road. You need to be quick with the gears (it’s a manual remember) but before you know it, you’re making very rapid progress. Soon, we’re hard on the brakes approaching a roundabout, and the bright yellow TT RS stoppers do an admirable job of scrubbing off speed. The fact that every stab of the throttle is accompanied by a crescendo of noise from the exhaust only adds to the sense that you’re driving something rather special. It may be a tad too loud for some, but there’s no doubt that at full chat, it sounds plain evil.
You may be surprised to learn that a stock clutch is still being used, although for how long, no one knows. Factory S1 units are known to give up, even on unmodified examples, so it seems like this is on borrowed time. When it does go, it’ll be replaced with something far more able to stand up to spirited launches and the increased torque now available.
The interior of this S1 is very special indeed. It may look like an Audi exclusive option, but it’s actually a bespoke retrim from Plush Automotive. The front and rear seats, plus door cards are finished in Ferrari tan leather, which gives the cabin a supercar feel.
The exterior of this fiery little S1 has been kept nice and OEM. The Misano red paint has been lovingly prepared and radiates a deep, glossy shine. Some discreet MTM badges hint that this may be more than a stock car, and of course the large, yellow TT RS calipers are easy to spot, tucked behind the MTM alloys.
Since the photoshoot, Alex has decided that air-ride is not really for him. As this car gets driven hard, he’ll soon be swapping the bags for a set of high-end coilovers. He also has new wheels and is looking at bigger turbos. Watch this space....
Above: S1 maybe small but it packs a real punch.
Below: Plush Automotive interior is stunning in Ferrari tan leather.
Above: MTM alloys and TT RS brakes.
Above: TT RS brakes feature custom carriers.
Above: Scorpion exhaust.
Right: Love a bit of light painting.
“The power just builds and it keeps pulling until the redline”
“I had 163mph with three up and luggage on the autobahn...”
TECHNICAL DATA SPECIFICATION / #Audi-S1-Quattro / #Audi-A1-Quattro / #Audi-A1 / #Audi-S1 / #Audi-S1-Quattro-MTM / #MTM / #Audi / #Audi-S1-Quattro-QS-Tuning / #QS-Tuning / #Audi-S1-QS-Tuning / #Audi-A1-Type-8X / #Audi-A1-8X / #Audi-S1-Type-8X / #Audi-8X
Engine 2.0 TFSI, #MTM-Stage-2 re-map, #Wagner front mount intercooler, #MK-Performance intake pipe, #ITG filter, #Scorpion de-cat exhaust with custom rear section
Power 365hp and 480Nm (tested on MTM’s dyno)
Transmission 6-speed manual, stock clutch (for now!)
Brakes TT RS front brakes with Ferrari yellow calipers, custom carriers, re-drilled to 5x100
Suspension HP Drivetech with Bilstein struts, Air Lift Performance management
Wheels 8x18in MTM alloys with 225/35 Bridgestone Potenza
Interior Full re-rim in Ferrari tan leather, #Recaro CS front seats, charcoal Alcantara seat backs, parcel shelf and door cars matched, S1 quattro gearknob
Exterior 3-door S1 quattro in Misano red, black pillars, MTM badges
Contacts & thanks Kim, Mike and Simon at QS Tuning, Luke and the crew at Plush Automotive, everyone at MTMStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderation702bhpS2 #MTM-Talladega-R / Words Davy Lewis / Photography AJ Walker
More power than an original Ferrari Enzo - MRC Tuning's original stealth bomber!
HUMBLE BEGINNINGS MRC TUNING S2
This stealthy looking S2 was the catalyst that led to #MRC-Tuning being born, and now it’s been fully refreshed – with a monstrous 712ps (702bhp)
Always remember where you came from – that’s a phrase that you hear a lot in these celebrity obsessed times. From Hollywood stars that started out as waiters, to world champion boxers that used to clean cars for a living – it’s amazing how far you can come in life. But staying true to your roots isn’t easy. The pressures of success can change people – and not always for the better.
Having worked on performance car magazines for over 16 years, I’ve seen this happen many times over. Tuning enthusiasts grow into a commercial entity and become a bit ‘corporate’. They lose touch with the very people they should be appealing to. Which is a shame.
One company that has managed to grow, and stay in touch with the real Audi fans, is MRC Tuning.
Set up in 2005, MRC is the collaboration of S2 enthusiasts, Doug Bennett and Mihnea Cottet. As a regular on the well-respected S2forum.com, Doug reached a point where no one in the UK could modify his S2 to the level he wanted, so he decided to do it himself and get Mihnea over from Europe to tune it.
The 1995 Coupe, which he purchased in 2002, had already been converted to RS2 spec and was running around 330ps. With further work from Doug, it got to a K27 turbo level of tune, and offered a good balance of power and drivability. However, as is often the case with these things, once a business takes off, a tuner’s own car tends to get left behind.
And MRC Tuning has certainly taken off. These guys are now one of the world’s most respected performance Audi specialists, with a huge flow of S and RS models going through their Banbury workshop. Always at the cutting edge of Audi tuning, MRC has created the UK’s first 1000bhp RS6 C6; cracked the 200mph barrier in a B5 widebody and an R8 turbo at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground; and they continue to the lead the way with everything from B5 RS4s, through to the very latest RS6s.
Over the last 11 years, Doug has been fortunate enough to indulge his passion for fast Audis. His S4 widebody, R8 turbo and RS6 C6 have all been featured in #AudiTuner and reinforce the fact that he’s an Audi enthusiast first and foremost. However, one car will always remain extra special.
“It’s the car I’ve owned the longest and will never get rid of,” confirms Doug. “It always gives me a buzz – from the old school lag of nothing – then bang – all the power and torque in a small power band,” he smiles.
Although the S2 was well cared for, it didn’t have the ‘wow’ factor that befits an MRC staff car. So, when team member, Stuart Fourie, offered to carry out the custom fabrication necessary to take it to the next level, Doug didn’t hesitate. The S2 was officially ‘reborn’ in 2014, but it was only relatively recently that all of the finishing touches have been completed ready for a feature.
To the man in the street, it may look nothing special – just another mid-90s Audi. But those in the know will appreciate the latent violence that simmers just below the surface of this unassuming Coupe.
The current engine spec is a master class in how to achieve reliable, big power and, more importantly, immense torque, from the venerable 2.2-litre ABY lump. At 2bar of boost, this 20v turbo delivers a sledgehammer blow of 712ps and 717Nm – more than a Ferrari Enzo.
However, don’t confuse this with the linear and relentless surge of torque that you get with a modern RS6 running similar power. In the S2, it’s much more aggressive, with the power coming in with a bang. There’s nothing progressive about this thing. It has a very old school feel – an almost Group B savagery – that is guaranteed to shock the unprepared. In fact, at last year’s AudiTuner Expo, Stuart brought the car along to display, and his mate, who was riding shotgun, recalled how he’d almost been sick when the boost kicked in on the journey to Donington. This sort of animal is, of course, not for everyone. But when you spend each and every day tuning and testing some of the most powerful Audis in the world, you need something a bit special to get your own kicks.
The engine itself is a work of art. Dominated by the big external wastegate and GTX3582 turbo, it looks as if it just came out of some special projects division at Renn Sport. Everything, from the black crackle finish on the cam cover and inlet manifold, through to the shiny alloy goodies (even the clips and hoses look immaculate), it’s clear to see a hell of a lot of care has gone into this engine bay.
The prodigious power is transferred via a B5 S4 6-speed gearbox, which is mated to a strong, 6-puck Sachs clutch and solid flywheel. It’s a tried and testing combination, that’s able to handle the immense force created with such a powerful 20v turbo. Talking of which, it doesn’t half sound good.
A stock 5-pot is a very sonorous thing to behold, but this is on an entirely different level. It’s part jet fighter, part Group B rally car – you really need to hear it being driven in anger to appreciate it. It chuffs and snorts in a real old school fashion – there’s no modern Audi noise suppression here – and it’s all the better for it.
The whole car has a very raw feel to it. In this digital world where everything from the weight of the steering, to the firmness of the dampers, the speed of the gear changes to the sensitivity of the throttle can all be controlled by a computer; this is a very analogue beast. You get in, turn on the ignition, put it into gear – and drive the bugger.
Aside from the specialist fabrication work to the exhaust, intercooler, catch can and breathers (all thanks to the talented Stuart), the rest of this S2 is dripping with tuning goodies, but as with all MRC projects, everything is fitted with performance in mind first and foremost. The chassis, in particular, has received lots of attention to ensure the power can be controlled and corners attacked with aplomb. From the #AP-Racing 6-pots nestled behind the gorgeous BBS CH alloys (which look like they were made for the S2), to the H&R coilovers and uprated ARBs, this thing is ready to rock whenever you need it to. Not wishing to spoil the fantastic 90s styling of this curvaceous Coupe, Doug has been careful to add only OEM parts to give it a little lift. The front end has been treated to genuine RS2 door mirrors, plus grille and front bumper, which look both more aggressive and affords better airflow to the hard worked engine. The rear end simply wears a neat alloy MRC badge – there’s not even a clue that this is an S-model Audi.
Inside, you’ll find a set of factory optional RS2 leather seats. They have the creases and patina you’d expect from a car made in 1995, but they’re all the better for it. In fact, the whole of the cabin has that certain feel and even smell of a mid-90s performance Audi. It feels very solid and has real character – something that’s arguably missing on the latest crop of S and RS models. It’s part of the reason that S2s, along with RS2s, B5 S/RS4s and C5 RS6s are still so well loved by enthusiasts.
So there we have it. This is kind of Doug’s life’s work. He’s owned the car since 2002 and it’s the one he’ll never let go. Considering the amount of unbelievably quick and desirable Audis this man has access to, it speaks volumes about what this S2 means to him. From humble beginnings – the car that started it all.
Top: You’d never guess it had over 700bhp. Below: Doug’s other ‘toy’ see the RS2 next issue.
SPECIFICATION #Audi-S2-Coupe / #1995 / #ABY / #Audi-ABY / #Audi-S2 / #Audi / #GTX3582 / #Garrett-GTX3582r / #Garrett-GTX3582 / #Garrett / #Audi-80-B4 / #Audi-Typ-8C / #Audi-S2-B4 / #Audi-8B / #Audi-S2-8B / #Audi-80 / #Audi-S2-Coupe-B4 / #MRC-Tuning / #Bosch / #Audi
Engine 2.2 ABY overbored, uprated rods and REC pistons, ported head with oversized valves and lightweight valvetrain, #Wagner inlet manifold (modified for throttle body to fit at 90deg), 850cc #Siemens injectors, High Octane tubular exhaust manifold, #Garrett-GTX3582R-turbo turbo, HKS wastegate, stock ECU with 4bar map sensor, #Bosch-413 fuel pump, custom intercooler, full custom exhaust, custom catch can and breathers through brace bar, #MRC-Tuning-Stage-3 remap
Power 712ps and 717Nm at 2bar / 627ps and 685Nm at 1.65bar
Transmission Audi S4 B5 gearbox, #Sachs 6-puck clutch with solid flywheel
Front: #AP-Racing 6-pot calipers with Phaeton discs
Rear: VRS Porsche 4-pots and Brembo handbrake calipers
Suspension #H&R coilovers, RS2 front #ARB , Whiteline rear ARB, #Powerflex polybushes
Wheels 19in #BBS-CH with 235/35 Yokohama tyres
Interior Factory optional RS2 #Recaro seats, RS2 steering wheel, boost and EGT gauges, RS4 Alcantara gearknob, RS2 dash and aux gauges
Exterior RS2 front bumper, RS2 wing mirrors, RS2 grille, MRC badge
Contacts and thanks MRC Tuning www.mrctuning.com, Stuart, Chris and Mihnea for helping look after it over the years, S2forum.com, Dhyllan at Automotive Addiction for the wheel refurbishment
Top: RS2 seats were a factory option Above: Gauges in custom vent housing.
Above: Interior is solid and has that special 90s feel to it.
“It’s part jet fighter, part Group B rally car – you really need to hear it driven in anger...”
GTX3582 turbo supplies ample boost. Catch can and breathers are bespoke items. Custom MRC Tuning intercooler.
Left: AP Racing 6-pots and 19in #BBS alloys – perfect Main pic: Not even an S2 badge to give the game away...
“It’s the car I’ve owned the longest and will never get rid of”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationAUDI S2 / TRACK S2
700bhp Time Attack contender 700bhp, home-built S2 track monster.
Words Davy Lewis / Photography AJ Walker / #Audi-S2 / #Audi-80-B4 / #Audi-Typ-8C / #Audi-S2-B4 / #Audi-8B / #Audi-S2-8B / #Audi-80 / #Audi /
Taking an angle grinder to a mint S2 may make some of you wince, but chef, James Dorey, has transformed his into a 700bhp, be-winged monster of a track car…
First impressions count for a lot. How you’re dressed for a job interview; the opening line on a first date – human nature dictates that we all form an opinion. Take this S2 for example. The first time I set eyes on it, I came to the conclusion that it had been built by a bunch of highly skilled motor sport engineers with years of experience on the racetrack. I was wrong, of course.
The man behind this be-winged creation is a chap called James Dorey. When he isn’t tweaking the aero of his S2, you’ll find him cooking up a storm in the kitchen, as a chef. So how did a chap who earns his crust (pun intended) creating taste sensations, manage to build one of the wildest S2s ever seen?
Well, if you think about it there’s a fair few similarities between cooking and tuning a car. You need to have the right ingredients. Everything has to work together and complement each other. Plus you need to keep a cool head under pressure and have a vision for the end product. That and the ability to learn as you go.
“I bought the car when I was 20,” recalls James. “I wanted something fast that wasn’t an Impreza or an Evo and the S2 was the easiest to insure at the time.” The car was finished in pearlescent white, and, in James’s own words, was in immaculate condition. He proceeded to enjoy his new joy and began to tune the venerable five-pot engine, until it went bang.
“When the engine broke, I removed it and decided to rebuild it properly.” That meant a bigger turbo, forged internals, uprated fuelling and cooling systems, plus all of the other goodies you’d need for a reliable 500bhp at low boost. At 2.2 bar it made a savage 700bhp. At this point he made the decision to fit a roll cage.
“I drove it like that for a while, but it had the stock geometry,” recalls James. “My mate, Toby, who’s a race car engineer, told me the engine was in the wrong place and that it needed moving back for better weight distribution.” It was here that the S2 was taken off the road and its transformation began.
Die-hard S2 aficionados may wish to look away now, because James took an angle grinder to his beloved Audi. The whole thing was stripped back to a rolling chassis, with all of the body panels and windows removed. The plan was to create a tubular front end – just like you’d find on a racecar and get the engine as far back as possible. Pretty comprehensive then – especially as James is not a trained engineer. “I made everything myself – there was a lot of trial and error,” he admits with a smile. For James, this was all part of the fun. He freely admits that all of his spare time is spent working on the car and that most of his salary goes on it too; it really has been a labour of love over the last few years.
Fortunately he’s been able to call on some good friends for advice. “Aside from my day job in the restaurant, I supply catering to race tracks at weekends, so I’m always around racing cars,” says James. This constant source of inspiration has been instrumental in the evolution of the S2.
The engine has remained largely unchanged since the car was on the road. All that’s been added is a custom Wagner intercooler, which replaced the cheap unit originally fitted. It offers immensely improved performance and helps keep the charge temps down on this hard-used car. The entire powerplant has been moved back 200mm – enabled by the tubular front end. A huge amount of custom fabrication was required, all carried out by James in his workshop at home. “I even had to teach myself to TIG weld,” he laughs. Working like this certainly kept costs down, but it did often result in some jobs having to be done two, or even three times to get them right. To further aid weight distribution the radiators have been mounted at the rear. The exhaust is another custom effort; a beefy 4in in diameter, which is routed via a tunnel into the car, then into twin 4in oval pipes with twin side exits. There are three silencers to ensure this S2 never falls foul of track day noise limits.
With up to 700bhp to transmit to the track, the drive train needed to be strong. James has retained the 6-speed manual box, but added a whole lot of strength. This includes plated diffs with custom ramp angles, diff coolers, and genuine Audi motorsport drive shafts – there’s even a carbon centre prop. Throw in the custom flywheel and triple plate clutch and it’s ready to rock.
The exterior is made up of carbon composite panels, which were made in Sweden. Although designed for the S2, James admits they didn’t fit very well, so he had to do a lot of work adapting them so that they sat properly. The wings, bonnet, bumpers, rear quarters, and roof are all made of the lightweight material and contribute towards the low weight of 1150kg.
Perhaps the biggest talking point is the aerodynamics. There’s a whacking great M3 GTR rear wing, plus deep front diffuser and canards. Aerodynamics is a notoriously tricky area to get right, but fortunately, James’s mate Toby (who incidentally designed the BMW Z4 GT race car) offered sterling advice.
So what’s next for this monstrous S2? Well, James has set his sights on the UK Time Attack Series. The only problem is fitting it in around work, but he’s determined to compete in at least a couple of rounds in 2016. In the meantime, he’ll continue to develop the car. “I’m going to fit a sequential box and cut the rear end out to tubular frame that too,” he says. Having seen this S2 in the metal I can confirm that it looks mind blowing. If you fancy seeing it in action, then it will be at our very own VAG Tuner Live event at Donington on 10 July. Head to www.vagtuner.co.uk to book your tickets and track time.
The entire build of this savage S2 has been a process of trial and error, with James learning as he went along. It’s taken many years to reach this stage and it’s fair to say that it hasn’t been easy. But then nothing worthwhile ever is. To use an old chef’s analogy, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and this S2 is guaranteed to make your mouth water.
Top The S2 in its natural habitat.
SPECIFICATION Audi S2
Engine 2.2 #Audi-ABY / #ABY engine bored to 82.5mm, engine moved 200mm back to get corner weights even, custom pistons, Pauter rods, home made dry sump system, custom grind #Shrick cams, custom flywheel with triple plate clutch, lightened and balanced crank and blueprinted engine, custom cam gears, Comp CT67 turbo, #Wagner intercooler, #Raychem-DR25 custom made harnesses (engine and chassis), #Tag-McLearne alternator, #Tatech-ECU , rear mounted rad, external wastegate, custom inlet and exhaust manifolds ( #Zircotech coated), 2200cc #Bosch motorsport injectors, 2x #Bosch-044 high pressure pumps and 1x lift pump with catch tank, custom 4in exhaust which goes into an in-car tunnel and then to 4in oval exhaust with twin side exits (3 boxes to make track day safe), mapped for Shell V-Power or Sunoco 109 fuel
Power 500hp at just over 1bar, 700hp at 2.2bar; weight 1150kg (wet)
Brakes #Brembo brakes with 380mm discs using a Padig endurance compound that has been skimmed down, titanium pistons etc; rears are 320mm with braided lines all round
Transmission 6-speed manual, plated diffs with custom ramp angles, diff coolers, Audi motorsport drive shafts, Audi motorsport carbon centre prop
Suspension 3-way fully adjustable AST suspension with remote Reservoirs
Chassis Rear tubular removable frame (DMD designed), front removable frame, tubular front end, knife anti roll bars, DMD steering bracket, quick rack, air jacks
Wheels 10x18in Dare motorsport wheels and Dunlop race slicks
Interior Race Technologies Dash, data logger, steering wheel controls for driver, Sparco steering wheel, Tilton pedal box, Corbeau seat, TRS harness, carbon door panels, multi-point FIA-approved roll cage, ATL 60-litre fuel cell in rear with filler in rear window
Exterior Carbon/composite body panels, carbon splitter, carbon front diffuser, front canards, carbon M3 GTR rear wing, carbon rear diffuser, cut out rear end, custom heated windscreen, Perspex windows, custom wide arches, carbon vent in rear quarter, carbon headlight surrounds, Aerocatches everywhere!
Contacts & thanks Mark at Wagner for the intercooler, Jay at DM Developments for the laser cutting, bushes and more, Tero from Finland for the mapping, Toby for the advice
“I’m going to fit a sequential box and cut the rear end out next”
Right: Adjustable pedal box Below: Rear mounted rads Main image: Quick release panels Bottom right: Seat moved back for better weight distribution.
Right: Carbon canards Below: Front end is easily removable.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationNO COMPROMISE RS4 B5 Mint, 500bhp daily driver RS4 B5 One of the most complete UK B5s. With a solid 500bhp and some careful chassis upgrades, Carl ‘CJ’ Johnson proves you can use a tuned B5 RS4 every day… Words Davy Lewis. Photography AJ Walker.
Daily driver. For many of us, this means something boring – the kind of vehicle that’s sole purpose is to get you from A to B as reliably and cost effectively as possible. For many of us into tuning our Audis, the daily is just a run around. There’s no emotional investment. No quick look over your shoulder as you walk away after parking up. No love.
Which is totally understandable. Think about the mileage; the depreciation, and the fuel that a big-power Audi would incur. Who’d be crazy enough to run something like that every day? Say hello to Carl Johnson or CJ, as he’s better known.
CJ is a committed B5 fan and knows these things inside out. Having owned a tuned S4 for several years, he fancied moving up the B5 ladder – into the holy grail of RS4 ownership. “I’d always wanted one since I MoT’d them when they were three-years old,” comments CJ. “I’d actually gathered many of the parts needed to do a B5 ‘RS4’ widebody conversion,” he continues, “then my missus said, ‘Why don’t you sell all the parts, plus your motorbike and just buy an actual RS4.’” With the green light from the missus, he wasted no time in looking for a suitable car.
“I wanted something bone stock that I could put my own stamp on, “ he explains. “I looked at some 500bhp tuned B5s, which were great, but they were already done. Plus I didn’t know how well they’d been built.” Determined to find the best example he could, this black model ticked nearly all the boxes. “It was really well specced and even had the Alcantara steering wheel and gear knob options, as well as the nav; the only thing it didn’t have was the sunroof.” Most importantly it was 100 percent standard. All was not well though…
“When I drove it, I thought I’d made a big mistake,” laughs CJ. “It felt slower than my 360bhp S4!”
The initial disappointment soon became a positive, as CJ began planning how to make it faster and more exciting.
“First came a Milltek exhaust system complete with de-cats and a modified air box, before I took it to MRC Tuning for a remap.” The RS4 was now much more fun and had the power to see off his old S4. But there was more to come.
“I fitted larger intercoolers, bigger injectors and uprated fuel pump, and with an MRC Stage 3 map, it made 500bhp and 700Nm,” smiles CJ. “The power with the Stage 3 is aggressive and the traction control kicks in in first, second and third. The mapping is second to none and the 0-60mph is less than 4-seconds.”
Although CJ takes advantage of the flat-shift function, he admits to only using launch control on three or four occasions to preserve his clutch. This thing really is an animal when you want it to be. But it’s also docile as anything when you don’t.
Part of the reason this RS4 handles so compliantly on the road is due to the chassis upgrades. CJ lives in an area littered with speed bumps, and although he fitted lowering springs, they didn’t suit him as they were too crashy. At the time of writing, a set of Bilstein B8 dampers are ready to go on the car to complement the OEM RS4 springs.
There’s a lot more to it underneath, though.
034 Motorsport anti-roll bars have been added, along with an AWE drive train stabiliser, which CJ says has transformed the way the B5 handles. You’ll also find an 034 snub mount. With a full complement of new bushes and a geometry set up, this RS4 now offers pin sharp steering and can be persuaded to corner at phenomenal speed. It feels tight and responsive – not at all like a 15-year old car. In fact, the only area letting it down now was the brakes.
“The stock brakes were useless,” admits CJ, “so I got hold of a set of B7 RS4 brakes front and rear.” The calipers have been painted bright yellow and feature the logo of a rather high-end Italian supercar manufacturer.
Throughout the entire build CJ has been careful to keep everything very OEM. One area where he was prepared to go aftermarket was the wheels. “I had the original RS4 wheels refurbed as two were buckled,” recalls CJ, “but I really wanted something to show off the big brakes better.” Not wanting anything too fussy, good mate and serial Audi tuner, Julian Loose, suggested a set of quality MTM alloys in the perfect size and fitment for his B5. These nicely understated wheels are different enough to notice, yet subtle enough not to spoil that OEM look of the car. And with 10mm spacers they fill the arches to perfection.
The rest of the exterior has been left pretty much as Ingolstadt intended, except for a SEAT Cupra splitter and Wagner foglight delete grilles. The glossy black paint receives regular TLC using Auto Finesse products, as well as a full Scholl Concepts three-stage mop several times a year. “I get the wheels off and clean them with Ph-balanced cleaner, as well as regularly doing inside the arches – it gets pampered!” smiles CJ. But then it should.
As we’ve said before, the only way to keep on top of an older RS model like this is with regular, preventative maintenance and cleaning. This is doubly so with it being used daily. Incidentally, when pressed on the matter of fuel consumption, CJ confesses that he gets about 16mpg, which makes the fact he still uses it all the more remarkable. But he sums it up by saying, “What’s the point of being into a car for £20k and not using it?” It’s this refreshing attitude that has seen CJ get to the heart of the B5 community. He looks after the maintenance for owners across the UK and has worked on many of the UK’s finest B5s including Julian’s B5 wide body from the cover of AT013. He can regularly be found on the Audi SRS and B5 owners’ forums.
Inside, as you’d expect, things are very OEM. The sat nav unit has been upgraded to the later RNSE system, and there’s a boost gauge nestling in one of the air vents, but aside from that it’s all standard RS4 fair. Even the Alcantara steering wheel and gear knob were factory options, which CJ sent off to be refreshed – “they were black,” he adds.
The RS4 is now at the stage where CJ is happy with it and he’s even booked his first track day at our own event, VAG Tuner Live at Donington on 10 July. “I only live five minutes away, so if I break it, I can walk home!” he laughs. We don’t think that’s likely though and can see him continuing to have one of the best commutes to work of any of us.
SPECIFICATION #Audi-RS4-B5 / #Audi-RS4 / #Audi-A4-B5 / #Audi-A4 / #Audi / #Audi-RS4-Milltek-B5 / #Tanoga-Engineering / #MTM-Bimoto / #MTM / #Carl-CJ-Johnson /
Engine 2.7 biturbo #V6 , #Milltek dual exhaust system, Originial Fabrications 3in catless downpipes, #Siemens-Deka-630 fuel injectors, #Bosch-413 fuel pump, #Wagner intercooler kit, #MRC-Tuning panel filter with MRC modified air box, 034 silicone intake hoses, 034 TFSI coil conversion with copper plugs, MRC Stage 3 remap with launch control and flat shift, Devil’s Own water methanol kit
Power 500bhp and 700Nm
Transmission 6-speed manual box with #Tanoga-Engineering short shifter
Brakes B7 RS4 brakes front and rear with braided lines
Suspension #Bilstein B8 dampers, OEM RS4 springs, 034 Motorsport front ARB, 034 rear ARB with billet strengthening brackets, 034 snub mount, AWE drive train stabiliser, new bushes throughout
Wheels MTM ‘Bimoto’ alloys in 9.5x18in with 255/30x19in tyres and H&R 10mm hubcentric spacers
Interior RnsE headunit conversion with 2015 maps and factory integrated Bluetooth, Podi boost gauge mounted in air vent, Alcantara refreshed
Exterior Stock RS4 with SEAT Leon Cupra front splitter, Wagner foglight delete grilles, genuine Audi headlight protectors, stubby roof aerial, tinted windows, Jaguar front wing stone deflectors
Contacts/thanks MRC Tuning for the map, Cookie and Caddy for the detailing, Julian Loose, WOT Motorsport and my long suffering wife Natalie
Above: A man who knows his B5s Bottom: Audi gecko.
Above: B5 perfection? It can’t be far off Left: Original interior has been subtly updated.
“This thing really is an animal when you want it to be”
Above: Water/meth kit in the boot Below: Alcantara wheel has been fully renovated
Left: Who doesn’t love the front end of a B5 RS4? Above: Fog light delete Below: Those brakes aren’t shy!Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationTWIN-TURBO ONE #N54-swapped three-door
REBEL HEART / #BMW-135i-E81 / #BMW-135i / #BMW-E81 / #BMW-E81-N54-swapped / #BMW-135i-swapped /
The #BMW-135i was never offered as a hatchback, so this German BMW enthusiast decided to make his own fierce three-door. There are subversive rumblings in rural Bavaria, and it’s nothing to do with the sausages. Keep an eye out for low-flying stealth machinery – you may not see it coming until it’s too late… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: André Neudert.
Rebellion and the counterculture have symbolised all that’s aspirational for disaffected youths since the dawn of time itself. Twentieth century history shows Teddy Boys preening as fuming dads look on in distaste, mods and rockers pounding the hell out of each other while teachers despair, punks waving two fingers at the late-Seventies establishment. Go far There are subversive rumblings in rural Bavaria, and it’s nothing to do with the sausages. Keep an eye out for low-flying stealth machinery – you may not see it coming until it’s too late… enough back through the swirling mists of time and you’ll find troglodytes painting their caves with ram’s blood in deference to the contemporary enthusiasm for slathering everything in horse dung. Whenever there is conformity, there must surely be rebellion. It’s how us humans operate.
You’ll have spotted this behaviour in the car modifying scene, naturally. Here we see it refracted through a fast-paced filter, fashions blow in at gale-force pace. As soon as Rocket Bunny or Liberty Walk release a wide-arch kit for any given model, the aftermarket pounces upon it to make it even wider. Being the most outrageous is, for many, the key to success. So where do we go from there? Does everything just keep getting more and more obscene? No, that probably wouldn’t work. That way madness (or bōsōzoku) lies. While it works for some to be the loudest, widest, lowest, meanest, it’s not for everyone. For some people, the new rebellion is a pastiche of conformity, a transcendence of doing-it-by-the-book.
The 1 Series you see here is a clear indicator of this nu-wave obscenity. You see, rebellion in 2016 isn’t about surface, it’s all about depth. Remember in the 1990s when people were customising their Game Boys, and the way to do that was to have the most colourful case-mod – repainting the shell in candy pink or what-have-you? Well, today’s gamer modifies their gaming experience by tapping into the very data itself, forcing in new lines of code like Morpheus, altering its structure from within. On the surface all seems calm and straight-laced, but it’s a custom job inside. That’s the spirit you’re seeing in this car. Modern rebellion. A radical reworking shrouded in a mask of conformity. This stealthy machine belongs to Frank Haas, a 27-year-old from Gössenheim. Don’t reach for the atlas, I know your geography GCSE was a long time ago – it’s a sleepy village in Bavaria, not far from the amusingly-named Bad Kissingen.
Now, you know what small-town life can be like. It’s a pressure cooker; everybody knows everybody else, you’re all in each other’s business, nothing is private. But this isn’t always a bad thing; sometimes it fosters new hobbies, kinships of like-mindedness, and that’s just how Frank’s interest in carfettling came about. And being in Bavaria, it could only be a BMW that he’d start poking around at, right?
“I came into this hobby through my friends, who were all into building their own cars,” he explains. See, what did we just say? “My first car was a Mitsubishi Legnum, I didn’t really have much to do with BMWs…” (okay, this is deviating from our logic somewhat, but let’s soldier on) “…and I just bought the 118d rather spontaneously.” Sure, the Bavarian propeller may not have been hardwired into Frank’s mainframe from birth as one might expect, but he’s really latched on to it now, hasn’t he?
There’s an E46 323i sitting on his driveway beside this E81 that’ll bear witness to that. “Yes, the E81 was my first BMW,” Frank confirms, “and it’s the first car I’ve really modified. My previous car received new wheels and springs, but after an accident in that one I replaced it with the 118d and, well… the modifications just came of their own accord really, I thought it’d be fun!” It should perhaps be pointed out at this juncture that Frank isn’t just some amateur twirling spanners in his garage but is, in fact, the big cheese at NWBMW – a BMW tuner of some repute, not far from his small village home. With a wealth of knowledge and experience (not to mention a diverse skillset) at his disposal, the collective superminds of NWBMW swarmed on to the 1 Series like a buzzing cloud of locusts, eager to strip it clean in order to grant it rebirth in a more interesting form. And this is where we find the concept of modern rebellion really coming to the fore.
“The motto all along was ‘sporty, but understated’,” says Frank, enthusiastically gesturing toward the car as he explains the thought process behind it. “I only wanted to use BMW parts, in particular parts from the BMW Performance program. It was done step-by-step from 2012 to today, and it’s a true self-made project.”
There are many modifications under scrutiny here – far more than you might at first suspect, in fact, given Frank’s keenness to keep it all relatively unassuming – but the key alteration that cannot be ignored is the engine, so that is where we shall peer first. You see, having bought the car from a local dealer in uninspiring production spec (no sat-nav, no sport pack, nothing except Xenons and air-con), Frank was always bound to tart it up a bit, but it was the diesel four-pot that he found particularly irksome. That was unceremoniously junked in short order, to be replaced with something rather more engaging.
“The engine swap’s definitely my favourite part of the car,” he laughs, as if we’re daft to even ask. Perhaps we are. “I swapped it in myself along with three friends, and it took us around two months to get it all functioning perfectly. It all works just as we were expecting it to, and in its stock configuration it offers a factory-quoted 302hp and 295lb ft of torque.”
A bit more than a pedestrian 118d, right? The source of these aggressive figures is an N54 motor – the turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol straight-six as found in such entertaining fare as the E9x 335i, Z4 sDrive35i and, most relevantly here, the E82/E88 135i. To those not familiar with the geekery of the nomenclature, the latter refers to the coupé and convertible versions of the first-gen 1 Series – what Frank sought to create, in essence, was the 135i hatchback that BMW never built. With this sort of in-house tuning at the core of the project, you can see where his OEM+ focus was headed.
“My one deviation from the plan was the wheels,” Frank concedes. “I wanted something from the aftermarket that was rare and unusual, something that you never see on a 1 Series. And, of course, something open enough to showcase the BMW Performance brakes!” The final decision was to employ a set of staggered-width 19” KV1 wheels from mbDESIGN, a fashion-forward outfit manufacturing bespoke rims right there in Germany. They’re a pretty stealthy choice and, while there may be hints of Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG in the design, the sharp-shouldered five-spokes certainly do a grand job of showing off those vast brakes with their shouty orange calipers.
Meanwhile, back at the plan, things were starting to shape up nicely. “Because of the OEM+ style I was going for, most of the parts I desired were found in the BMW parts catalogue,” says Frank. He’s a man with a good eye for what works, and it’s clearly been a lot of fun choosing the bits for his stealth weapon. “I love the mixture of carbon fibre and Alcantara in the interior. There are a lot of retrofit parts in there, including a full coupé interior conversion, BMW Performance steering wheel with its data display and shift lights, and the sat-nav system from an F10 5 Series, along with various custom-made carbon fibre parts which work nicely with the Alcantara trim from the 1M Coupé – that stuff is all plugand- play, just sporty and elegant.”
The exterior is equally subtle, enjoying BMW’s own Performance pack to add such slick details as the carbon fibre rear diffuser, and that fuses happily with a variety of subtle touches that only a true Beemer nerd would clock: the 1M Coupé mirrors, for example, and the X3 roof antenna.
“The reaction at shows is brilliant, in that there generally isn’t much of a reaction,” Frank grins. “You can tell that people are thinking ‘oh, just another 1 Series’ and moving on.” Which proves that the plan worked! This manifestation of modern rebellion is exactly what it should be, subverting expectations in clandestine fashion and flying completely under the radar. “My friends think it’s crazy,” he admits, although he remains tight-lipped as to whether that’s ‘wow, your car is crazy fast’ or ‘woah, you put a crazy amount of effort into a 118d’. Presumably the former, but people are strange.
“I think the OEM style is something that will become more widespread this year,” Frank concludes. “It’s always funny how many people underestimate this little 1 Series, and I think people are really catching on to the idea of this sort of tuning.” You can see the inherent paradox here, can’t you? By rebelling against the extreme nature of modern modifying and going subtle, this man has created a template that many will wish to follow. His act of rebellion will become mainstream, and thus his own car will no longer be rebellious. QED. So where does he go from here?
“Well,” he ponders, “I’d like to see around 420hp from the engine. And I’d like to make the car wider, like a 1M Coupé.” Gosh. He really is in deep, isn’t he? But who can blame him? On top of the original €17,000 investment in buying the base car, Frank’s spent a good €70,000-odd turning it into something that belligerently isn’t a headturner. He’s swimming upstream, fighting against fashion. When you zig, he zags. So don’t bet on this car remaining the same, but don’t expect it to turn into something generic or by-the-numbers either. Frank’s a true modern rebel, a 21st century punk, and you can no more second-guess him than you can stop a tidal wave. Stealth? Why, it’s just one weapon in his arsenal.
Interior has been extensively modified, with 1M Coupé seats, BMW Performance steering wheel and F10 5 Series sat nav.
DATA FILE #BMW-N54 / #BMW-1-Series Hatch / #BMW-1-Series-E81 / #NWBMW
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre straight-six twin-turbo #N54B30 / #N54 , #BMW-Performance exhaust system, #Wagner-Tuning-Evo-I-Performance intercooler, six-speed manual / #Wagner /
CHASSIS 8.5x19” (front) and 9.5x19” (rear) mbDESIGN KV1 wheels with 215/35 (front) and 235/35 (rear) Hankook Evo S1 tyres, #BC-Racing coilovers, M3 anti-roll bars, BMW Performance brakes
EXTERIOR BMW Performance pack with carbon fibre splitters and diffuser, 1M Coupé mirrors with carbon fibre covers, LCI Coupé headlights, #BMW blackline rear lights, BMW aerodynamic spoiler, X3 roof antenna
INTERIOR 1M Coupé interior including seats and doorcards, carbon fibre trim pack, BMW Performance steering wheel with data display and shift lights, F10 5 Series NBT Navigation, 1M Coupé speedo, retrofit BMW options including high beam assist, rain sensor, anthracite headlining, cruise control, TV and interior/exterior mirror with auto-dip, BMW F2x Performance gear knob, BMW Performance pedals
THANKS #NWBMW (www.nwbmw.de), TS-Cardesign (www.tscardesign. de), #mbDESIGN (www.mb-design.de)
N54 swap took two months to complete and while the engine is currently stock, 420hp is the aim.
Quilted underbonnet insulation sits alongside carbon details like the diffuser and 1M mirrors; antenna taken from the X3.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationUltimate Sleeper 668bhp S2-engined 90 quattro. Words and Photography Davy Lewis. 80s Revival With the help of a 668bhp S2 engine, this rare #1986 Audi 90 has been brought slap bang into the 21st century. AUDI 90 668bhp S2-engined sleeper.
At first glance, this may look like a fairly stock and well used Audi 90. This in itself is worthy of attention as there are very few of these mid-’80s saloons left. It’s also a quattro, which makes it even more of a find. The simple, boxy design is everything you’d expect from a 30-year old car – it has the original paintwork and that distinctive smell that only an old car can have. But look more closely and all is not as it seems. The clues are there: the Aerocatches on the bonnet; the motorsport style wheels and those sticky Toyo R888 semi-slicks. But it isn’t until you see the engine that you realise just how special this thing is.
Lift the bonnet and you’re greeted by a fantastic looking 2.2 5-cylinder 20v lump complete with big turbo. These saloons may have originally come with a 2.2 unit but, the normally aspirated KV lump made a lowly 136bhp. This one produces 668bhp. This is actually an S2 3B engine, and to say that it’s been tuned is an understatement. Will from VRS Northampton has completely transformed this 5-cylinder unit to create a big-power, but highly usable car that fits Stuart’s Elliott’s driving style.
Stuart takes up the story, “I’ve loved Audis since my dad had them,” he recalls. He had a 100, then a 90, before getting a 90 quattro, which I learnt to drive in,” he says with a big grin.
While his mates were driving old Mk2 Escorts, he had the keys to the quattro, which must have really been something back then. Fast forward 20-odd years and Stuart was in a position to relive his youth. “I was working offshore and stared looking on eBay for 90 quattros,’ he says. “I found one that had already had the S3 3B engine conversion – it looked a bit rough and had a stock gearbox, brakes and suspension but, I put a bid in.”
Being six hours ahead he won the car and called his dad to go and pick it up for him. We all know eBay purchases can bite you on the arse, but the car was as described. It was also well known on the S2 forum, so there was a wealth of info available. “I came home and drove it for 100 miles or so just to see what it needed,” says Stuart. “It was running about 280bhp, but with stock brakes and suspension, that wasn’t a good thing,” he laughs.
Having decided the car deserved some proper love, it was sent to a company who ‘talked the talk’ for some renovation and tuning work. Sadly it then sat there for a year and made no progress. Having bought an uprated radiator from Will at VRS Northampton, Stuart told him about his predicament and Will told him to bring it to him. That was the best decision Stuart could have made.
VRS has a great reputation for building some of the most capable VAGs in the UK. Main man, Will, takes real pride in each car and this 90 became a true labour of love.
“We decided to start from the arse-end and work forward to see what needed doing,” says Stuart. “I’d already had some welding done to the offside rear arch and the fuel pump area,” so the upgrades could begin.
“The plan was to create a quick road car with 500-600bhp that looked stock, but could have a go at Porsche 911s and the like,” smiles Stuart.
To say he’s nailed it is an understatement. In fact, I can’t think of many other cars that offer such ballistic performance, all wrapped up in such an innocent looking package.
The heart of this ’80s powerhouse is the S2 engine. It was actually fitted by a previous owner, but has been completely reworked by VRS. You can see the full details in the spec panel at the end of the feature, but the highlights include a fully forged bottom end, beefy GTX3576 turbo, huge 1100cc injectors and a feature packed MoTec ECU mapped by the legend that is, Dave Rowe, from EPS. “There are nine boost settings,” says Stuart. “One to six are for regular super unleaded pump fuel; while seven to nine have advanced timing to allow race fuel to be used.” With nine different maps, there’s something for every situation, making this a very usable and drivable car. “You can just do 30mph with no bother,” says Stuart “and it’ll cruise in sixth on the motorway fine – you don’t get out of it with a headache!” But when you do want to drop the hammer, this 5-cylinder monster delivers a huge punch. Stuart continues, “Using it in the gears it’s savage – in third gear acceleration is brutal and it’ll hit 100mph plus (on a private road of course). A powerful engine is one thing, but unless you can get that power down, it’ll never make for a truly fast car. Fortunately, the chassis and drivetrain has been suitably beefed up to cope with all 668bhp.
To transfer the power to the road, a B5 RS4 gearbox has been fitted. Mated to a VRS Northampton-spec 6-paddle clutch and flywheel, this thing properly hooks up and goes. With launch control and Toyo R888 rubber, acceleration is mind blowing. On many shoots it’s hard to get a feel for how a car actually performs, but as we’re at Santa Pod for the GTI Festival, I get to watch Stuart take it down the strip.
Before Stuart hits the quarter-mile, he spends a few minutes prepping the car. By prepping, I mean removing seats. The rear bench is taken out, followed by the passenger leather Recaro. Incidentally, the front seats are from an RS2 and as Stuart says, “weigh a bloody ton!”
He’s the first to admit he launches it sympathetically, but once it gets into its stride, this thing is quick. A few runs in the high 11s are respectable but, we all know there’s more to come. After a quick chat with Will from VRS, Stuart uses launch control and nails an 11.1sec pass. Impressive stuff – more so when you consider he then drove over 200 miles home afterwards. With some more practice, and an aggressive launch, this thing has the potential to dip into the 10s – seriously impressive for a full road car.
As he waits in the queue for his next run, Stuart spots a very tidy looking Ur-quattro and stops to chat to the owner. It turns out they know all the same people from the quattro Sport and S2 forums and spend a good 20 minutes chatting about their plans. Before long there’s a small crowd of onlookers. Seeing these two cars together is a rare treat; from middle-aged guys who owned one back in the day, to younger fellas that have been seduced by the iconic lines – everyone loves these ’80s treasures.
The chassis has seen some extensive work to create something with contemporary handling. There are no off-the-shelf coilovers available for these things, so rather than go to the trouble and expense of having a bespoke set created, Stuart fitted S2 subframes. These allowed the well respected KW Variant 3s to be added. With two-degrees of negative camber, the turn in is crisp and sharp, making the already capable quattro handle amazingly well.
The paintwork is best described as original. It has a certain patina that adds to the overall character of this car. There’s the odd mark and rust spot, but it’s authentic. Plus this saloon gets used. Hard. Although Stuart is planning to have a few bits tidied, it’ll remain original. “It still had the tow bar on until two weeks ago!” he reveals, “I only removed it cos it weighs 20kg.” Talking of weight, the kerb weight on this thing is just 1200kg. That gives a power to weight ratio of 556bhp per ton, that’s better than a Ferrari 458 and a McLaren F1.
So what’s next for this 1980s sleeper? Well, after five years in build, Stuart plans to use it as much as he can. That means more quarter-mile runs, some track days and plenty of cross country runs on the road. “I’m going to have the leather removed from the front seats too,”says Stuart. “I’m not a fan of leather, plus these things get hot inside,” he laughs. With some tweed cloth to match the rears, this Audi 90 will look even more period correct, further cementing its status as one of the UK’s finest sleepers.
It’s so good to see a car like this being kept alive, but more than that, being given a new lease of life thanks to modern tuning upgrades to create an absolute weapon.
SPECIFICATION #Audi-90-Saloon / #1986 / #Audi-S2-3B / #Audi-90 / #Audi-90-B2 / #Audi-Typ-81 / #Audi-Typ-85 / #VAG / #Audi-80-B2 / #Audi-80 / #Quattro /
Engine S2 3B 2.2 20v turbo, overbored 0.5mm, #Mahle pistons, forged steel rods, ported cylinder head, VRS-spec cams, stock valves with 5 angle seats, #ARP head bolts with sport #Quattro washers, VRS custom fuel injector rail, #ASNU 1100cc injectors, Audi 7A cam cover machined to accept B7 RS4 coil packs, ARP studs and nuts, #Wagner inlet and exhaust manifolds, #Turbosmart 50mm wastegate, 4-port boost control, #GTX3576 turbo with 0.82 housing, #VRS custom stepped ‘L-shaped intercooler with lightweight core, Turbosmart BO V, #CatCams vernier pulley, motorsport kit sensors – fuel, oil, 4 bar map sensor, custom 65mm core rad, Kenlow fan, custom heat shielding, carbon/Kevlar cam pulley cover, custom VRS 3in exhaust and downpipe, 19 row #Setrab oil cooler, #Aeroquip fittings, VRS custom breather tank, #Motec-M84 SLM shift light, #MoTec-M84 ECU / #Motec , custom loom, mapped by Dave Rowe from #EPS-Motorsport , 9 position adjustable boost, launch control, 2 stage anti-lag, full logging facility, custom VRS strut brace
Power 668bhp and 519lb/ft DIN (tested)
Transmission 6-speed B5 RS4 gearbox, VRS-spec 6-paddle clutch and flywheel, 16-row Mocal gearbox cooler just in front of drivers rear wheel
Brakes Brembo custom calipers with 314mm discs (front), vented S8 mix rears
Suspension KW Variant 3 coilovers, S2 Coupe ABY subframes front and rear, Powerflex bushes, 2-degrees negative camber
Wheels and Tyres Compomotive TH with Toyo R888 tyres
Interior Leather RS2 Recaros up front, OMP dished suede steering wheel, SLM shiftlight, boost gauge, controls for launch control and anti-lag built into centre console, battery relocated to boot, fire extinguisher
Exterior 1985 4-door Audi 90 saloon, Aerocatches on bonnet, front slam panel modified to fit intercooler, original paintwork
Contacts/thanks Will at VRS Northampton www.vrsnorthampton.com, Dave Rowe at #EPS-Motorsport
www.epsmotorsport.com, my missus, my mum and dad, S2 and Classic Audi forums
Top: Stuart on his way to an 11.1sec quarter.
“It still had the tow bar until two weeks ago!”
Left: Interior includes RS2 seats Above right: 668bhp S2 power house Below: Classic ’80s profile.
Far right top to bottom: #MoTec-ECU in glovebox; gauges and controls for LC and ALS.
“Using it in the gears it’s savage – in third gear, acceleration is brutal”
POWER TO WEIGHT
To appreciate just how fast this Audi 90 is, have a look at these power to weight comparisons. With up to 500kg less to pull around, but similar power, the 90 would be at a huge advantage over these £100k plus supercars...
2016 Porsche 911 Turbo S 991.........................344bhp per ton
2016 Ferrari 458 Speciale..........................470bhp per ton
1992 McLaren F1.......................................550bhp per ton
1986 Stuart’s Audi 90.................................556bhp per tonStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderation2016 #Audi B5 RS4 530hp and an interior you won't believe
Words Davy Lewis Photography Urban Style Fotographie.
GREEN MONSTER RS4 B5 With an amazing interior.
We spotted this stunning B5 RS4 at the Essen Motor Show – fortunately we managed to track it down…
Of all the Audi models that we feature, there’s one that seems to get people going more than any other. It not the newest and it’s certainly not the fastest. In fact, it’s become known for its general recalcitrance and ability to drain your wallet faster than teenage kids. The car is, of course, the B5 RS4. Things got off to a good start when the car was launched back in 2000. In these more innocent times, RS models were few and far between. The RS badge was only ever available on one model at a time (imagine that now) and for a very limited run of no more than two years. They were then, pretty exclusive cars.
The B5 had a couple of aces up its RS sleeve – namely the fact it’d been tweaked by engine gurus Cosworth and featured a hefty 375bhp out of the box. Add to this a subtly aggressive, wide shouldered style and it was clear to see why people loved them. The thing is, they still do. In fact, I’d got so far as to say B5 RS4s are loved more now than when they were first launched.
Part of the appeal is the fact they are getting on a bit. With new car design dictated by crash test performance, resulting in higher bonnets, chunkier A pillars and much larger overall dimensions, the distinctly old-school B5 harks back to a less complicated age.
It has a regular six-speed manual gearbox, that you operate via a clutch (yes, how novel). There’s no fancy electronic steering gubbins – just a regular PAS unit that allows you to feel what the front wheels are doing. There’s no keyless entry; nowhere to hook up your smart phone (unless you want to charge it) and if you find one with original sat nav – you’re best off using google maps on your phone. And did I mention they can be a tad – how can I put this – temperamental? Anyone that’s owed a B5 RS4 will know what I’m talking about.
These cars needed regular maintenance when they were new, but now, fifteen years later, you need to be on good terms with your Audi specialist if you want to enjoy your B5. It’s all age related stuff – boost leaks, turbo seals blown, oil leaks, suspension failure – but it all adds up. The fact it’s an engine out job for many, seemingly simple issues is what drives the costs right up. So, let’s look at the facts: on the face of it, a B5 RS4 is quite ordinary looking. It tends to break a lot. And holds its value well. Plus spares are very hard to find. Sounds like a terrible proposition for a project car. So why do so many people in the UK and abroad love them more than a free bar at Christmas?
The owner of this immaculate Goodwood Green example certainly agrees. He’s a member of the Hanover Hardcore club (most famous member, one Philipp Klaess – he of the 225mph, 1000bhp B5 widebody). It was on display at last year’s Essen Motor Show and attracted crowds of admirers. And with good reason. It has to be one of the finest RS4s we’ve ever seen. It looks like it just rolled off the production line at Ingolstadt and has an interior that you will not believe.
From the outside, it looks like a very well presented RS4. The Goodwood Green paint has a mirror finish and has clearly seen more prep and pampering than most. As should always be the case, things have been pretty much left as intended here, with the few, subtle changes including the black Audi rings on the front and gloss black lower intake mesh. The front RS4 badge has also been removed for the ultimate in stealth. With many favouring the all black look, it’s refreshing to see plenty of bright work done in matt silver. The roof rails, window and grille surrounds all contrast well with the deep green paintwork.
The biggest eye catcher outside is the ride height. Dropped very low over a set of mouth wateringly tasty BBS splits, you’d bet your last buck that this was on air-ride. It isn’t. The Gepfeffert crew have worked some voodoo with some KW V3 coilovers to create an ultra low ride height. It looks great for shows, but has to be said isn’t much fun on the road. That said, it can easily be adjusted when owner, Ewe wants to drop the hammer.
Going back to those wheels, they really are rather delicious. A beefy 9x20in split rim with gold centres, they suit this 15-year old car to a tee. Look carefully and you’ll spot some rather high-end Lamborghini brakes tucked up behind them.
Being an RS4, this car had to offer decent grunt as well as immaculate looks. The 2.7 biturbo has been treated to a pair of TTE turbos, which together with supporting upgrades to fuelling, and uprated freer flowing y-pipes and exhaust, give this B5 a healthy 537hp and 710Nm.
Now, at this point I usually begin to talk about the interior, but in this case, it’s not so easy. The thing is, the inside of this RS4 is nothing short of stunning. Literally every piece of interior trim, whether cloth, leather or plastic has been redone in a fantastic tan colour scheme. Open the door and the car is awash with soft touch, high quality materials – you can even smell it. The front B7 RS4 seats are done in leather and Alcantara, as are the door cards, the centre console and the dash itself. A late-spec flat bottom steering wheel has also been lovingly covered, complete with natty RS4 badge. But it doesn’t end there. The roof lining and all pillars are also covered. Then there’s the carbon. You’ll find it on the doors, the dash, centre console even the steering column and seat bases. Inside, this RS4 feels more Bentley than B5.
So there we have it – a possible contender for best interior of
2016. Not bad considering it’s only February…
SPECIFICATION #Audi-RS4-B5 / #Audi-RS4 / #Audi / #Audi-A4-B5 / #Audi-A4
Engine 2.7 V6 biturbo, uprated downpipes, full 3in exhaust system, 630cc injectors, #TTE turbo, uprated #Wagner intercoolers, uprated fuelling, custom remap.
Power 537hp and 710Nm
Transmission 6-speed manual with uprated clutch.
Brakes Lamborghini brakes front and rear.
Suspension Gepfeffert by #KW-V3 .
Wheels and tyres 9x20in #BBS-E88 magnesium split rims with gold painted centres, 235/30 Hankook S1 Evo tyres.
Interior Full retrim in tan leather and Alcantara; includes B7 RS4 seats, dash, centre console, door cards, pillars, roof lining and flat bottom steering wheel, carbon trim added to doors, dash, centre console and steering column as well as seat bases.
Exterior Full respray in Goodwood Green, refreshed headlights, black Audi rings, de-badged grille.
Above: BBS split rims are simply stunning.
“The 9x20in #BBS alloys are truly amazing”
Above: B5 was one of the stars of the 2015 Essen Motor Show (note Goodwood green paint looks very different under the show lighting).
“One of the finest looking B5 RS4s around and that interior is on a different level”
Right: RS4 handles like a go-kart Bottom Engine now makes 537hp.
Above: Side view shows the stunning interior Below left: Carbon has been used extensively Below right: Late spec steering wheel has been retrimmed.
Above: Attention to detail is superb Right Custom trimmed steering wheel.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationAUDI S2 Immaculate #Audi-S2 with 500bhp / #Audi-80 / #Audi / #Quattro / #1993 / #Audi-S2-Coupe / #Audi-S2-B4 / #Audi-80-B4 / #Audi-80-Typ-8C / #Audi-Typ-8C / #Audi-ABY /
PASSION OVER PROFIT
This freshly rebuilt Audi S2 cost DNA Autocare £25,000 in parts alone, so why is it up for sale at just £18,000? Words Dan Goodyer. Photography AJ Walker.
What’s important to you? Not in car terms, but in terms of what you want out of life. Do you want to be rich? To be successful? Famous? Thirty seven year-old Damir Sahman, the smiley-faced boss of DNA Autocare in Nottingham, has a very simple outlook on life: “I want to take my grandchildren to Santa Pod in years to come and see this car, still being looked after and driven properly, and say to them, ‘Your Grandad built that’”.
In a world where people are willing to trample over each other in the Black Friday sales just to save a few quid on a television, it’s a heart-warming thought. It’s quite possibly a reflection of his upbringing. Damir’s nickname is Danny, and Danny was born in the part of the world that used to be called Yugoslavia. He explains the effect that had on him: “If something is broken, you fix it. Simple as that. These days, people tend to replace white goods and electronics if they don’t work. In eastern Europe, you take it apart and fix them. That’s always stayed with me.”
Getting to the heart of the matter, Danny’s parents spotted very early on that he was naturally talented at repairing faulty goods. Fast forward many years and he has moved to England, studied Engineering at Derby University and worked for some big names. Most notably Toyota, where he worked for seven years, most of that time as a test driver. So he knows his way around a car, and just as importantly, how a good car and driver interact. Following senior roles with both Cadillac and the RAC, Danny felt the urge to go out on his own. In the last issue we brought you his white Avant; this month we feature his immaculate S2. A car that has received a meticulous nut-and-bolt rebuild, with performance upgrades in key areas to make a truly unique car.
“Every year we take on one special build to show what we can do, and this S2 is our latest creation,” explains Danny proudly. While DNA Autocare perform their magic on all makes and models, Danny has a passion for Audis, particularly ones from this era: “I like the 5-cylinder engines. They sound like nothing else and they always produce the power I expect from them; they’re reliable in that way. I also love the fact everything is built to last.”
Danny argues that the 4WD gearbox in the S2 is “a proper 4x4 gearbox”, compared to modern cars that have smaller, lighter gearboxes that can’t take the huge torque levels provided by bigboost engines. This is how he assesses all his projects. Every car has its strengths and weakness, and DNA Autocare’s ethos is to provide the biggest real-world performance gains, without spending any money unnecessarily.
“For example,” he adds, “I wouldn’t go to the expense of porting and polishing the cylinder head on one of these engines if the customer only wants 400bhp. A free-flowing head always makes the engine feel stronger but you can get to 400bhp on this engine without touching the head.” So with this attitude of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” Danny bought a well-used burgundy S2 with a grubby tan interior. It was largely used for commuting by the doctor who owned it and was pretty straight, if a little rough around the edges.
DNA Autocare began the transformation by stripping the car down completely. Even the glass came out for the full ground-up restoration. The engine was removed from the car and Danny set about stripping that down to rebuild it for more power. He adds: “I generally build the engines in our workshop at night. Engines are like plants. You have to nourish them, talk to them even. At night there are no distractions; I can just enjoy getting everything absolutely right.”
The bottom-end has been strengthened with forged pistons and connecting rods, while a lot of work has gone into the turbo and exhaust area. Danny’s aim for the build was to create a tough engine that wouldn’t need to be opened again even if the new owner wanted more power. He explains: “Unless you’re running a drag car where everything is being pushed to the limits, I don’t understand the idea of building an engine for one power level, only to strip it and rebuild it again when you want more. I’ve built this engine so it will take six or seven hundred horsepower, but it’s running much less. So it will stay reliable and if the next owner wants to increase the power, they just need to add a larger turbo and re-map the ECU.”
This is why the car also has a set of 1,000cc Bosch fuel injectors. At the current power level, which we’ll get to shortly, they’re only running at about 60% duty cycle. So there’s lots of headroom. “We bought them from Grams Performance in the United States,” says Danny. “They’re not the cheapest but they’re flow-tested and tweaked so they’re all closely matched.” It’s these small details that can’t be measured on the dyno, but reveal themselves during years of ownership as the car stays reliable.
The cylinder heads are from a naturally-aspirated 7A engine. Danny explains the reason he didn’t re-use the turbo heads from the original 230bhp ABY engine: “The naturally-aspirated heads haven’t had the abuse, or the heat cycles, that the turbo ones have. We’ve ported and polished these heads fully because we don’t want the future buyer to have to touch the engine for more power. The base is there. We’ve also used the 7A camshafts because they have higher lift which provides more gas-flow. This delays the main chunk of torque by a few hundred rpm, but when they come in, the 7A cams deliver a real punch.”
Selecting a turbo is tricky and usually dependent on how much power you want. After some careful thought, Danny went for a Garrett GTX3071R dual ball bearing turbo. This features an 11-blade compressor wheel and can take around 2 bar of boost. The turbo is mounted on a rather special exhaust manifold, too. Danny explains: “It’s a Wagner Tuning Sport quattro Evo cast-iron manifold that is obsolete now. I had two. One I put on this car and the other I’m guarding closely! I think this is the strongest, highest-flowing manifold on the market. It has large primary runners and being cast-iron it is strong, so you can hang a Holset Scania truck turbo off it if you like. Tubular manifolds have so many welded bends they can leak, and you have to brace them off the top of the engine really which doesn’t look very OEM.”
DNA Autocare fabricated a custom exhaust system for the car too and it’s fair to say the resulting sound is nothing short of incredible. Just the right side of loud on the road, without being too anti-social. Controlling everything is a VEMS ECU and at the time of writing only the initial mapping has been completed. Jase from Area 52 Motorsport has extracted 449bhp from the 2.2-litre 5-cylinder engine at 1.7bar of boost (25psi). Very soon the car will mapped for a bit more boost by Kamuto, a friend from Lithuania that Danny has made from the world of drag racing. So it should be making somewhere around the 500bhp mark before long.
“One thing I love about the S2 is it can actually use all this power too; get it down to the road effectively.” Of course the 4WD drivetrain plays a big role in that, but DNA Autocare have also tweaked the suspension and brakes to make sure it’s a well-rounded and balanced car. They’ve been clever with the anti-roll bar setup, while the front brakes feature a combination of Brembo 4-pot calipers from a Porsche mated to Audi A8 discs. Even the choice of Azev A wheels is in keeping with the period-correct “resto-mod” vibe of this 90s beast.
This is one of those rare cars that ticks a lot of boxes. It’s had a full restoration, yet it’s been tuned, too. In such a cultured fashion, that it has barely any compromises on the road despite having double the power and huge gains in grip and braking power. Equally, with its fresh Tornado Red paint and immaculate engine bay, even a detailer would be impressed with the fit and finish. Grabbing a cliché from the motoring journalist’s Big Book of Things To Say, it’s so carefully modified it looks like a special edition Audi might have made themselves. A sort of S2 Evo. Best of all, it’s up for sale several thousand pounds cheaper than the parts alone cost! So if you like what you see, make sure to give DNA Autocare a ring. Cars like this will only go up in value but please don’t lock it up in a garage. Buy it, use it, love it. Hopefully you’ll be at Santa Pod in years to come, when Danny is showing his grandchildren what real cars can do. It would be a fitting tribute to a man who puts his passion before profit.
Top One of the finest S2s around.
SPECIFICATION #1993 8B #Audi-S2 / #Audi-80-B4 / #Audi-Typ-8C / #Audi-S2-B4 / #Audi-8B / #Audi-S2-8B
ENGINE ABY 2.2-litre 20v inline 5-cylinder built by Danny at #DNA-Autocare , #Wossner forged pistons, Scaat connecting rods, #DNA Autocare ported and polished 7A cylinder head, 7A cams, #VEMS ECU mapped by Jase at #Area-52-Motorsport , #Garrett-GTX3071R turbocharger mounted on Sport quattro manifold, 44mm external wastegate with screamer pipe, custom DNA Autocare 3in stainless steel exhaust with titanium wrap, large aluminium radiator, #Grams-Performance 1,000cc #Bosch fuel injectors, #Bosch-044 fuel pump, braided fuel lines, 5bar fuel pressure regulator, silicone hoses, high-density engine mounts, #Wagner short intake manifold, Wagner short intake intercooler kit, Ramair filter.
POWER 449bhp @ 1.7bar (25psi) and 425lb/ft torque.
TRANSMISSION 6-speed manual gearbox, RS4 Stage 3+ Feramic clutch plate, Sachs 707 pressure plate, 034 Motorsports solids billet aluminium flywheel, high-density gearbox mounts.
BRAKES 4-pot Brembo (Porsche) front calipers, A8 330mm discs, Brembo race pads. OEM rear brakes (rebuilt) with Pagid RS pads. HEL braided lines, converted to servo brakes.
SUSPENSION KW V1 coilovers, Powerflex bushes all round, powdercoated and galvanised subframes and lower arms, RS2 front anti-roll bar, original front S2 anti-roll bar moved to rear, lower chassis legs swapped around, strut brace.
WHEELS & TYRES 17in Azev A alloy wheels wrapped in 225/45x17 Goodyear Eagle F1 tyres.
INTERIOR Full leather retrim, headlining and all trims flocked in black, 3x Innovate Motorsport gauges: Boost, Exhaust Gas Temperature and Air-Fuel Ratio. 3x lower dash gauges, carbon dash trim, carbon sill trims, Sony headunit and JL Audio speakers.
EXTERIOR Fully respray in Tornado Red, by John from Paintology factory S2 bodykit, Xenon light upgrade.
THANKS/CONTACTS www.dnaautocare.co.uk (01159) 861186, John at Paintology.
Top: Full respray in Tornado red by Paintology. Above: Seats have been retrimmed in black/red leather Top right: Air vent mounted gauges are a nice touch.
Top: Immaculate bay houses the 5-cylinder lump Above left: Cooling is well taken care of Above: #Garrett GTX3071r turbo provides the boost.
“Every year we take on one special build to show what we can do...”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.