Vendor Spotlight: CTS Turbo means Big Power for your Audi or Volkswagen

The old phrase “there is no replacement for displacement” has met its match in today’s aftermarket performance world. The recipe for huge horsepower was to have the biggest bore, most aggressive cams, and a fuel economy that was measured in feet from the largest engine possible. While turbocharged engines are not a new concept, the reliability and potential for forced induction engines have become rivals to their naturally aspirated cousins. CTS Turbo is one of the foremost aftermarket manufacturers who capitalizes on the turbocharged Audi and VW engines and forces respectable power from small displacement forced induction platforms with their performance contributions.

Just like Simba’s reign covered everything light touched, CTS Turbo offers performance upgrades for everything air flows through and more. Their improved charge pipes, intercoolers, inlet pipes, outlet pipes, exhaust systems, and more open up the crucial airways that make forced induction effective. CTS Turbo’s focus is clearly turbo-related support, but their product catalog extends beyond those accessories.

Hardware like subframe inserts, transmission mounts, catch cans, and short shift kits broaden CTS Turbo’s reach into the VAG market and give a range of options for the performance-minded Audi or VW owner. Making big power, adding rigidity, and improving drivability are all key concepts involved in a well-rounded build, and that is just what CTS aims to provide. Their mounts allow for reduced deflection, which means the additional power from their K04 turbo upgrade, more efficient intercooler, and better flowing exhaust will actually be transferred to the wheels rather than lost in drivetrain flex.

CTS Turbo allows you to cover all your bases in your Audi or VW build by providing power, chassis, and drivability improvements without breaking your bank. Their accessible upgrades offer incredible performance upgrades to your forced induction engines and are designed for perfect fitment. Since technology has finally advanced in the forced induction community, we are starting to see outstanding horsepower output from small displacement engines thanks to companies like CTS Turbo. Give your Audi or VW that extra power you know you want with CTS performance parts, on sale now!

 

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CTS Turbo Parts and Accessories

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ECS Explores the Brand New Audi R8 V10 Prestige Plus Edition and Supersprint Sport Exhaust

The Audi R8 is one of the less-conspicuous supercars available and hints at a refined taste for luxury and performance in a comparatively understated package. When it was released in 2006, the R8 was available only as a 4.2 Liter V8. Nearly immediately, Audi slapped a 5.2-liter FSI V10 into the Quattro coupe, and the powerhouse from the GmbH Audi division rocketed into supercar territory. This week, we had the opportunity to check out the brand-new R8 V10 Plus Prestige edition loaned to us by none other than Jamie Orr, a well-known VW, and Audi performance personality. He brought us his R8 for a little tune-up courtesy of Supersprint. The currently unreleased Supersprint Sport Exhaust for the brand-new R8 is just what the Audi needs to match its bark to its bite, and they partnered with Jamie and us to make sure the exhaust matched the grace and beauty of the sleek coupe.

This particular R8 is brimming with all the features available from Audi. Most notably, the carbon fiber trim spilling from every line of the car is a dead giveaway for the V10 plus. A multitude of sensors and cameras lie hidden perfectly in nooks, crannies, and angular design aspects of the car to provide visual and spatial information to the driver situated in the quilted interior. The white stitching on black quilted patterns adorns the seats, headliner, and other bits of the interior to differentiate from your run-of-the-mill R8. The only thing it needs is a screaming exhaust system…

Supersprint sent us their new Sport exhaust to test for fitment and function, and our first impressions of the system were those similar to opening the surprise N64 on Christmas morning back in the 90’s. Something about seeing the rear bumper cover and carbon fiber splash covers both tarnish the magic of seeing a supercar as a solid piece of perfection, but also offers this giddy feeling like peeking behind the curtain of a stage production and seeing all the actors frantically running around mid-costume change. The wrapping, twisting, coiled exhaust system lives between the bumper cover and the engine bay in the rear of the car, packed in like a snake between two rocks. This aggressive exhaust installed looks incredible, but the real test is how it opens up the roaring small-block V10.

As the rear covers were reinstalled, the electricity and anticipation were palpable. The first start, of course, happened before the wheels hit the ground on the lift. The whole ECS Studio shook with the cold start rumble emitted from the quad-tip Supersprint pipes. It only sounded better as the idle calmed and the throttle was blipped to release a screaming wail followed by a series of cracks and pops that almost sound organic as fuel was dumped into the cylinders. We carefully maneuvered the car into our lot and handed Jaime the keys once more to see if the exhaust met his expectations…

The R8 left the parking lot and instantly changed from a docile porch dog to a vicious attack canine as it ripped up the street. The sound was similar to hearing an F1 car from a distance as it took off and disappeared up the street. The unmistakable sound of the irregularly-firing V10 is amplified and bolstered by Supersprint’s impressive exhaust system to a degree that anyone within the huge radius of audible range can’t control the hair-raising reaction to its attention-demanding wail.

We were heartily impressed with both the R8 V10 Plus Prestige edition and the Supersprint Sport Exhaust that helped make it that much more lovable. We look forward to seeing the Supersprint exhaust ramping into full production so we can encourage every R8 owner to make their engine sound like a 10 cylinder chorus of angels with every touch of the throttle. Be sure to check out our other Supersprint exhaust options for your car and give @jamiexoe a like and follow on social media!

Product Spotlight: New ECS Downpipe for your Audi B9 A4 2.0T

Automotive enthusiasts love aggressive exhaust notes like fat kids love cake; it’s just a fact. While full stainless steel exhausts sound incredible and are definitely worth it, folks just looking for a little more growl out of their B9 A4 should choose our brand new ECS Stainless Steel 3” Down Pipe. The cost savings and benefits of our Down Pipe will make your B9 A4 louder, more enjoyable, and best of all, is compatible with all stock components!

The B9 A4 doesn’t have the most audible exhaust, but the 2.0T engine has potential to sound fantastic without massive changes. Our 3” downpipe is a lighter section than what it replaces and provides a throatier exhaust note that will satisfy any enthusiast’s noise cravings. Since the non-resonated downpipe is set up to mate with the factory components, it will fit with the factory catalytic converter to maintain emissions compliance.

Despite needing to work with factory exhaust pieces, our downpipe is still the largest possible diameter for a substantial rate of flow increase. With the larger diameter and better flow, you can expect reduced turbo spool time for more immediate power delivery that makes this piece more than just a fun increase in volume from your B9 A4. The ECS Down pipe does not affect the emissions and will not cause a check engine light, which means you get to enjoy the sound of your 2.0T engine without consequences.

The ECS Downpipe for your B9 A4 provides the improved exhaust flow and sound that are sure to leave you warm and fuzzy, while the savings compared to a full exhaust system will keep your wallet (or significant other) happy, too. Make sure your B9 A4 build includes this downpipe for either a better than stock sound and flow, or to complete your full exhaust for the best possible rumbles from your Audi!

 

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Turn up the volume on your B9 A4 exhaust!

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Product Spotlight: New ECS Center X-Pipe Exhaust Section for your Audi B8 S4

We love the B8 S4. The incredible power band, comfortable interior, and connected driving feeling still present in the late-model Quattro are just a few of the things we like most about our own S4. Unfortunately, the exhaust note is somewhat lacking in our opinion. Of course, there are full exhaust options that can add gobs of noise and some power benefits, but what if you are just looking for a little more grunt and not a deafening roar? Our new B8 S4 Center X-Pipe is just for you.

While the S4 doesn’t exactly have immensely restrictive exhaust, it is tuned from the factory to provide a quiet and comfortable sound more than anything. In its stock form, the only audible sounds that make us giddy are those from the whiny supercharger stacked on top of the engine. This is one of our favorite supercharger noises, especially paired with our X-Pipe. The bolt-in replacement exhaust section fits just like your factory exhaust mid-pipe but adds a throaty resonance to the sound produced by the 3.0T engine.

We have prepared a comparison video here below for you to listen to the difference between a factory setup and our new X-Pipe to hear exactly what a change the X-pipe provides. The B8 S4 now growls from a launch and has a noticeable increase in volume during the camera fly-by, but is not as attention-demanding as the noise from full aftermarket systems.

Since our exhaust is just a bolt-in swap for a restrictive piece, you can improve your driving enjoyment easily from your own driveway or garage with basic hand tools. Your B8 S4 will sound more like the powerful German sedan it is known for without leaving you deaf or ever having to break out a welder. Make sure to add the ECS Tuning Center X-Pipe to your B8 S4 for better sound and more fun!

Interested in purchasing?

Give your B8 S4 a volume increase!

ECS Center X-Pipe Kit for your B8 S4

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ECS Kohlefaser Luft-Technik Intake and Turbo Back Exhaust for your VW MK5 GTI

One of the best ways to add power and enjoyment to your VW MK5 GTI is to add a performance intake and exhaust. When used with software tuning, your MK5 GTI can pick up considerable horsepower and torque while also providing a satisfying increase in noise. There are quite a few options for intakes and exhaust on the market, but we think our Kohlefaser Luft-Technik Intake and 3” Valved Turbo Back Exhaust are the best options for gaining power, performance and makes driving a pleasure.

The bigger of the two jobs is the exhaust installation. Exhaust increases the rate of flow for expelled waste gas and provides a throaty sound more fitting of a performance vehicle. A major drawback of aftermarket performance exhaust is that the increased volume can sometimes be obnoxious or too conspicuous.The stainless steel construction makes our aftermarket exhaust a lightweight system compared to stock, like most aftermarket exhaust, but ours has one critical difference. Our 3” turbo-back valved system allows you to flip a switch to have power and noise or switch back to a comfort and stealth mode to quiet things down.

The ECS Swivel Tips included in this kit allows you to perfectly set the angle of your muffler tips and is available in chrome or black to suit your preferences. The attractiveness, sound, performance, and adjustability make this comprehensive kit an awesome upgrade for your MK5 GTI.

Next, no stranger to this blog is our Kohlefaser Luft-Technik Intake System. The carbon fiber intake box, attractive intake tubing, and high-flow filter adds a tasteful look to your engine bay while improving the performance. The induction noise alone is a worthy benefit, but our system does more than just sound excellent. Our countless hours of research and development resulted in a system that not only looks good, but adds an impressive 17whp and 12Ft-Lbs of torque over the stock system with a tune and our turbo-back exhaust!

We are enormously proud of our dedicated hours of engineering and designing that have allowed us to bring quite possibly the highest performing, most attractive, and cost-effective aftermarket upgrades. Our intake and exhaust give you a more enjoyable driving experience and are perfect DIY’s to knock out in a weekend. We have installation documents you can read to make sure you get the job done like a professional so you can feel confident your new upgrades will install quickly and easily. Add power and performance to your VW MK5 GTI with ECS Performance Upgrades!

Interested in purchasing?

Grab your ECS Valved Turbo Back Exhaust and Kohlefaser Luft-Technik Intake Here!

Kohlefaser Luft Technik Intake

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ECS Valved Turbo Back Exhaust

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Best Mods for the BMW E36 3 – Series 1991-1999

If you have a BMW E36, you most likely have already begun to modify it in some way. The E36, which was produced from 1991 through 1999, was the successor to the highly-praised E30 chassis. The E36 featured a range of engines; the most desirable in America being the M5x line or the S5x line. The six-cylinder inline engines have been popularized by their steady power bands, high potential for modification, and incredibly balanced performance. We have devised a list of the best modifications you can make to get the most out of your E36.

Software

If you haven’t already, taking full advantage of your engine’s potential is as easy as a plug-and-play software chip for your ECU. The Shark Injector Performance Software is designed to raise the rev limit, improve throttle response, remove the top speed governor, and improve the overall power output. If you have a stock vehicle or if you have hotter cams and an M50 OBD1 manifold you can select an appropriate software tune to maximize the output of your engine.

Brakes

We highly suggest addressing the brakes on your E36, especially if you just purchased the vehicle. Our Performance Front and Rear Brake Service Kits adapts your E36 brakes to the floating 2-piece rotors and calipers found on the CSL E46 M3. These lighter weight rotors significantly reduce unsprung weight on each corner, which adds to the handling ability of your E36, while greatly improving your ability to stop effectively. Remember, more power means you need more stopping power, but you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to give your E36 beefier brakes.

Intake

The best way to make the most out of your Shark Injector Software is to equip your E36 with a high-flow performance cold air intake and switch your OBD2 Intake Manifold for the OBD1 version, which improves torque and horsepower dramatically. Both the addition of the OBD1 Manifold and the Cold Air Intake are taken into account with a specific tune and allow you to achieve the most reliable and consistent power from your modifications. The overall horsepower gains can be upwards of 30HP to the crank, so these are definitely highly suggested and inexpensive ways to improve your power drastically. We carry a range of intakes on the site as well as offering OEM manifolds and gaskets to ensure you are receiving the highest quality parts. DINAN has been the preferred choice by many to improve the induction capabilities of their BMW and bring years of excellence to the BMW tuning community.

Wheels

The biggest visual difference that can completely change the profile and stance of your E36. Our own Alzor Wheels brand offers several BMW fitments for improving the visual appearance of your BMW and lowering unsprung weight. With myriad styles, sizes, and offsets, Alzor Wheels offer a great upgrade to your car’s aesthetics while being relatively inexpensive. Alternatively, Apex Wheels are known for their dedication to providing lightweight and trackable wheels specifically designed for BMWs. The incredibly popular Apex ARC8 wheels are featured on many track and street BMWs and have been dubbed as one of the best wheel choices around to improve your BMW.

Exhaust

Without going into a full exhaust setup that can get incredibly pricey, the best way to gain some power and increase the volume of your engine is to equip a cat-back exhaust. UUC, a premier BMW performance company, offers a stainless, true-dual, lightweight dual exhaust that is 2.38 inches in diameter as opposed to the smaller diameter factory exhaust. This eliminates back pressure and allows the exhaust gas to be expelled more quickly, which increases your performance slightly. Paired with software tuning and supporting modifications, you can expect noticeable power gains and a throaty growl to put a smile on your face at any RPM. The System U Exhaust runs from the midsection all the way to the exhaust tips and includes a muffler that mounts identically to your factory exhaust to provide the easiest and most secure fitment.

Take-Aways

With the above modifications to your E36 complete, you can expect dramatic increases in both power and driving pleasure while enjoying a unique look with the aftermarket wheels and a more enjoyable exhaust note thanks to that UUC cat-back. The lighter weight components help increase what the performance gains will actually do for your acceleration, and the lower unsprung weight from the improved brakes will improve your cornering ability noticeably. Make sure to grab all this and more right here at ECS to build the perfect E36 for the street or track!

Interested in our other products for your BMW E36 3-Series? Shop by car here!

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DIY: B8 RS5 ECS X-Pipe Installation

rs5_xpipe_install

The photo above shows a few of the exhaust components we will be referring to during this install, so let’s take a moment and review what we will
be doing today. First, we will measure from the Rear Pipe Brace to the
YELLOW lines and mark where the pipes will be cut. Then we’ll suspend the Rear Pipe Brace from the Rear Sway Bar (located directly above it), cut the pipes, remove the Exhaust Hangers, remove the Front Exhaust Clamps, and remove the original center muffler from the vehicle. Next we will need to clean up the pipes where we cut them with a metal file or a die grinder, then we’ll install the new X-Pipe into position using the original Front Exhaust Clamps (unless they are too rusted to reuse) and the included new Rear Exhaust Clamps, as well as the original Exhaust Hangers. To wrap things up we will adjust the X-Pipe so it does not come into contact with the vehicle chassis, then we’ll tighten everything down into position. Now, let’s continue to the next page for detailed instructions.

Measure 9.5” down the Driver’s Side exhaust pipe from the rear pipe brace, then mark the pipe with a permanent marker as shown in photo #1. Next, measure 12.75” down the Passenger’s Side exhaust pipe from the rear pipe brace, then mark the pipe with a permanent marker as shown in photo #2. Finally, extend the marks around the pipes so you will have a nice, straight line to reference while cutting the pipes. We wrapped masking tape around the pipe with the sticky side facing out to achieve this.

Suspend the rear pipe brace from the rear sway bar with a length of Mechanic’s Wire, then mark the brace with a permanent marker as shown in photo #2. Loosen the nut on the brace, but don’t completely remove it.

Cut the exhaust pipes along the lines we marked in step 1.

Remove the exhaust hangers from the exhaust pipe as shown in the photos.

Loosen the front clamps until they can be moved around freely, but leave them on the downpipes while removing the center muffler in the next step.

If the original clamps are too rusted to reuse, or they break during removal, replacement clamps can be found by clicking HERE.

Remove the original center muffler from the vehicle by first lowering the rear, then sliding the entire unit down and out as shown in the photo.

Now is the perfect time to remove any burrs from the exhaust pipes, this will ensure a proper fit and seal once the new center X-Pipe is installed.

Slide the two new rear exhaust clamps over the rear exhaust section, making sure to leave the clamps with the nuts facing downwards and positioned on opposite sides of the pipes as shown in the photo below.

Lift the X-Pipe into position as shown
in photo #1. Guide the pipe over the chassis brace, then slide the front of the X-Pipe into the front exhaust clamps (not pictured). Install the exhaust hangers onto the X-Pipe to hold it in place as shown in photo #2.

Slide the original front exhaust clamps forward until they bottom out on the locating bump on the downpipes (shown in the photo below).

If the original clamps are too rusted to reuse, or they break during removal, replacement clamps can be found by clicking HERE.

Center the rear exhaust clamps between the X-Pipe and the rear exhaust section, then push upwards on the exhaust while tightening the clamp nuts until they are snug.

Push the X-Pipe towards the front of the vehicle while tightening the front exhaust clamp nuts until they are snug.

Closely inspect the entire length of the X-Pipe checking for any areas where the pipe the clamps may come into contact with the vehicle body or bracing, re-adjust if necessary.

At least one of the exhaust hangers should rest as shown in the photo, tilted towards the front of the vehicle. This is NORMAL, the hangers will straighten out as the system heats up and expands.

One of the exhaust hangers will likely not be tilted as far as the one shown in the photo. This is NORMAL as long as at least one hanger is tilted forward, and the other hanger is at least straight up and down (vertical).

CAUTION: After approximately 500 miles, be sure to inspect the system for signs of leaks, and ensure that all of the clamps are tight.

Your Center X-Pipe installation is complete!

Interested in purchasing?

ECS Center X-Pipe for 2013+ Audi B8 RS5

Better sound, better flow, better performance; all with a quick and easy installation!
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Evil Touring: Evan’s E61 535xi/M5 Touring Build

One of the most incredible things about the car community is the use of forums and social media to coordinate, swap parts, share knowledge, and most importantly: post build threads. When we found Evan’s E61 535xi Touring build, we sifted through his sixty-plus page build threads and were absolutely floored by the amount of work and passion present in what we would call an unusual choice for a project of this type.

e61_touring_m5_clone

We say unusual because, as Evan mentions several times in his threads, E61 Touring AWD models were almost exclusively automatic in the states, and were generally driven by your local well-to-do elderly ladies shuttling casserole dishes to church luncheons. Evan was able to see past the grandmotherly exterior and envisioned a brutally evil spirit lurking just below the paint.

e61_touring_m5_clone

Developing a devastatingly quick Touring was not his original intention, however. Evan originally planned on taking a stock, one-owner E61, and turning it into a bit of an M5 clone powered by the original N54. He extensively modified everything from lighting, interior trim, and bumper covers, to more extensive custom fabrication under the hood and even some fairly aggressive coilovers from KW.

After quite involved aesthetic and performance modifications, Evan decided on a manual transmission swap for his wagon. Anyone familiar with manual transmission conversions in any car knows their difficulty. Evan approached the manual swap with the same attention to detail present in the entire build and was rewarded with one of the only manual transmission E61 Touring in existence, and an incredible sense of accomplishment.

The engine saw some heavy modification as well, but unfortunately for Evan, disaster was right around the corner. As the gruesome pictures show, the E61 decided it needed to remodel its block on its own. A complete and total self destruction is the only way to put the catastrophic detonation depicted here.

Evan found a 335is N54 for little money and went to work cleaning the valves, replacing belts, gaskets, studs, seals, and more. All the engine work paired well with nearly a complete rewire; Evan’s engine bay was given its due attention while the motor sat on a stand.

e61_touring_m5_clone

e61_touring_m5_clone

e61_touring_m5_clone

e61_touring_m5_clone

When it was time to put everything back together, Evan took great care to make certain every inch of the rebuild was flawless and meticulously cleaned for a perfect fit-and-finish that would make any enthusiast drool. Final touches included a beautiful polished plenum from Evolution of Speed, which mated to a new fuel rail by the same company. 

This whole build could only be described as a fairly exploratory conversion: the N54 Touring saw an M5 Driveshaft, M5 LSD, M5 Axles, M5 Brakes, M5 Rear Suspension, and of course the manual transmission. The transmission swap also took Evan into new territory for USDM BMW’s. His conversion included a RWD setup as opposed to his original AWD factory setup. This required a custom driveshaft, fabricated transmission support, and additional coding in the programing.

e61_touring_m5_clone

Lastly, Evan sorted out a unique shifter that he pieced together himself in his now hybridized Touring. A gated shifter almost found itself at home in the wagon before ultimately it was decided to be fitted with a more traditional setup.

e61_touring_m5_clone

e61_touring_m5_clone

e61_touring_m5_clone

 

e61_touring_m5_clone

Overall the Touring rebuild is a monument to absolute perfection. The pristine, show-quality, professional vibe one is imbued with as a result is astounding. Evan, we at ECS salute you and your immaculate 535i/M5 E61 Touring!

Spotlight: Harley’s Supercharged Corrado Build

Sometimes, the cars we own sort of ‘end up’ (for better or worse) in our garages and we look to ourselves and think: “When did I start becoming interested in this?” For Harley, this is very much not the case. Originally from the UK, Harley has always held a great appreciation for European hatchbacks. Specifically, Volkswagens. The appeal began for him when he modified a 1998 VW Polo 16v with his brother.

During that time, Harley’s father rekindled his interest in VW’s and purchased a 1995 Corrado VR6. A supercharger found its way under the hood along with several hard to find OE components offered on unique production models. That sound, exclusive to the VR6 motor layout paired with a supercharger whine, stuck Cupid’s Corrado-shaped arrow deeply into Harley forever.

vr6_corrado_supercharged

Four years ago, Harley found himself living in the United States. Over here, the eclectic car communities range dramatically from JDM imports to mud-boggers, but are heavily dominated by muscle cars and modified trucks.  Harley didn’t stray from the European vehicles he grew up with and purchased a MK5 GTI with the DSG transmission. While he enjoyed it and modified it lightly, the mechanical and connected appeal found in older German performance vehicles was just not present. He found himself searching for the car which had cemented his love for VW ownership: a VR6 Corrado.

Eight months of searching culminated in a nail-biting eBay ‘buy it now’ gamble and the need to drive 10 hours one-way from his home in Michigan to Pennsylvania, where his new VR6 was waiting.

With help from a friend he knew was down to embark on a lengthy road trip for a sight-unseen car purchase, Harley drove the twenty-hour round trip with little drama and soon had his prize sitting exactly where he dreamed: right at home.

vr6_corrado_supercharged

While he had originally planned to leave the incredibly clean and unmolested example of European performance completely factory, the appeal of his father’s modified VR6 was too strong and soon a Milltek Sport exhaust found its way under the car, which was quickly followed by coilovers.

After enjoyable driving, the Corrado was parked inside for its first winter in Harley’s possession. Unfortunately, when he parked the car, he noticed the heart-sinking sound of timing chain rattle, signifying the guides were not long for this world.

The exposed Timing Chain ready for service

Harley had never delved into an in-depth internal engine service before, and thought of it as an opportunity to not only gain valuable experience in working with his motor, but also to take the performance aspect of his Corrado and dramatically improve it.

vr6_corrado_supercharged

vr6_corrado_supercharged

Only the finest shop towels for blocking intake runners

With a V3 supercharger kit, bigger injectors, cams, a performance clutch, and host of other modifications, Harley found himself with the product of extensive, yet rewarding, hard work which presented him with an excellent Corrado reminiscent of his dad’s from previous years.

Harley’s Corrado is remarkable; both incredibly clean for an aging European late model car, and  unbelievably quick, this car is one that certainly captures the attention of anyone remotely interested in European Hot Hatchbacks and the tuning culture which so gracefully surrounds them.

vr6_corrado_supercharged

vr6_corrado_supercharged

Beauty covers, accessories, and of course the supercharger, all at home in the bay

Harley does have plans to continue improving the tune, finding more capable injectors, and E85 conversion to begin with. We all look forward to seeing where this build continues here at ECS.

ECS Exact-Fit Stainless Braided Brake Cables found their way into Harley’s build

vr6_corrado_supercharged

 

 

 

Interested in overhauling your engine or need performance parts like some of the ones seen here?

ECS Tuning offers a wide range of performance-oriented and OEM replacement parts for nearly every major European car. Take on your next project with ECS Tuning!

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Tyler’s B8 A4 Daily Monster

Modifying cars for many enthusiasts is not only a hobby, but a form of expression you take with you everywhere. More accurately, this form of self-expression takes you everywhere. For our friend Tyler that was exactly the purpose behind this B8 A4 build.

Tyler sat down with me at a small sandwich shop in Ohio to give me a better idea of what he wanted his Audi to be. An avid enthusiast, Tyler is not new to modifying cars. Since his DC2 Integra GSR in 2001, Tyler’s car history is filled with Subaru and Honda enthusiast vehicles. All of his builds have been heavily modified. Specifically, most of his previous cars included big turbos, extensive performance modifications, were intended for dedicated ‘spirited’ driving: both on tracks, or back roads.

Alzor 349 19×9.5 square sets on 235/40/19 tires finish off Tyler’s stance with an aggressive, yet classic look.

The Audi he most recently built tells something of a different story. A few years ago, Tyler made the switch to German performance with the purchase of an Audi B7 A4. One of two automatics he has ever owned, he enjoyed the B7 for its comfort and reliability. While he is not looking for something to put earthquake-inducing power into, an important factor in his driving experience was to be able to enjoy the car every time he drove it.

His B8 is exactly that: a beefed up, mature, and comfortable daily driver. With a new Frankenturbo, new pistons and rings from Audi, aesthetic changes like the ECS Carbon Fiber Trunk Spoiler and Engine Cover, and a few bolt-ons, Tyler took his run-of-the-mill A4 and turned it into something special. This car is an extension of his personality. He is as much an outdoor enthusiast as he is a car enthusiast, as you can see by his bike and kayak racks. The Audi checks those boxes perfectly.

“The car was supposed to be something I could drive every day. That could take me kayaking, hiking, or snowboarding. Something I could rely on year-round and still enjoy”

This idea is apparent when one hops in the rear seat and looks over to see a Recaro baby seat. Tyler and his wife are expecting shortly, and have already purchased things like the seat and VW clothing to indoctrinate their new son as quickly as possible into the way of the car enthusiast. The inclusion of his new family addition is exactly what the Audi was ready for.

While His B8 makes significant power over a stock equivalent, the car remains comfortable over bumps and is never excessively loud. Even more surprising is the traditional manual transmission equipped with the Quattro rather than the now favored automatic. The signs of an enthusiast are all there, coupled with the reliability and panache of a classy every-day utility vehicle.

ECS Carbon Fiber beauty and performance pieces accent the natural beauty of the Audi under-hood, and do more for performance than just sit pretty.

Overall, Tyler is able to drive a well equipped and comfortable Audi that is still able to satisfy his enthusiast bug without making hardly any sacrifice. Isn’t that what tuning is about?

Tyler’s B8 A4:

ECS Carbon Fiber Trunk Spoiler
ECS Luft-Technik Intake
ECS Carbon Fiber Engine Cover
Maxton Gloss Font Lip
Honeycomb Grille
Alzor 349 19×9.5 et+40 square sets on 235/40/19
Black Forest Industries Shift Knob
ECS Boost Gauge and Vent Pod
Frankenturbo Upgraded Turbo
ECS FMIC
CTS High Flow Cat
Malone Stage 3 Software
Recaro Baby Seat!
SoloWerks Coilovers
Prosport Oil Pressure Gauge Red/Blue
ECS Exhaust Swivel Tips
ECS Wheel Spacers (8mm rear)
ECS Billet Aluminum Oil Dipstick Upgrade
Mishimoto Intercooler Charge Pipes
Carista OBDII Dongle
ECS Billet Boost Tap Kit
42 Draft Designs 4-Way Oil Pressure Splitter