Classy and sexy, the Volkswagen Comfort Coupe (CC) has been called the 'Baby Benz' without the premium price tag. Unlike the stereotype associated with the Passat or Jetta, this sedan is definitely for the cool kids.
Its short overhangs and low roofline give the car a sleek, elegant profile. Step inside and you might have entered a Lexus or Mercedes. The two-tone seats, panel-stitched upholstery and rear bucket seats scream luxury and quality. Without question, the CC is VW's new hotness for everybody from swanky execs to celebrities and even enthusiasts like Adam Woodhams.
You should recognize Mr Woodhams as a eurotuner regular. His 20th Anniversary GTI wasthe poster child of et 12/08, while his awesome '07Audi A3 was showcased in et 8/09. The man has now returned with a more mature '10 CC 2.0T, and it's nothing short of genius.
Adam fell in love with the VAG family after a critical accident driving his first project car - a B6 Audi A4. He survived a 75mph collidision with a boulder and credited VAG's engineering for saving his life. After building two hatches, he finally summoned the courage to return to a sedan.
"I went from karts to a chill-cruiser. I bought my wife a Jetta and then saw the CC," he began. "This thing has serious potential. It's bug-looking when stock, with its tall, thin stance. But once you dump it, I thought the CC would come alive, so I took a gamble and bought one."
Even before taking the CC home, Adam had conceived a game plan. "I don't buy cars I can't mod," he explained. "I always buy with a plan and had built a mod list before I owned the car."
Another reason Adam adored the CC was its familiar 2.0T FSI engine. "You don't see big, luxury sedans with a four-cylinder turbo; it's usually a V6 or V8," he said. "So when I saw it was a 2.0T I was really excited, and then I found out I could even get it with a six-speed manual!"
Experienced with the 2.0T in his A3, Adam contacted Eric Nareshni at Supreme Power Parts and ordered all the basic bolt-ons. It included a host of Neuspeed products, such as an intercooler, turbo inlet pipe, cold-air intake and short shift kit.
A CC-specific exhaust was hard to find, so Adam sought the expertise of his local exhaust shop. "It was a big obstacle, especially since I wanted a custom system with no cats and big tips," he explained.
The shop fabricated a system using stainless pipe, quality J-bends and two Magnaflow race canisters. The 3'' downpipe split into two 2.5'' pipes before exiting through 3.5'' angled tips. "It fills the stock valance perfectly and roars like you would never expect. Fortunately, it's neither obnoxious nor raspy, and has zero drone. But when you're on it, it just growls," he smiled.
Surprisingly, software wasn't readily available. "Why the hell wouldn't it be?" Adam questioned. With none of the tuners offering an application at the time, Adam hooked up with Singh Autosport. Synonymous with tuning exotics, they tuned the CC as a personal favor. "It's the same 2.0T motor but apparently the ECU was updated for the '10 model," Adam noted.
With no easy solution, Singh overnighted the ECU to its UK HQ, where the engineers could interrogate the software. Five days later, the ECU was back and installed.
Adam happily reported no check engine lights. "It runs really smooth without any cutting out," he explained. "It improved both low- and top-end power, making everything come alive. The car now rips pretty good, especially for a big sedan."
No dyno figures have been recorded, but Adam explained boost was increased to 15-18psi. A Forge diverter valve was fitted to relieve the pressure and give the turbo its pronounced sound.
Following the horsepower adders, Adam addressed the chassis with new suspension and brakes. With experience of H&R on past projects, he picked up coilovers plus sway bars. "I dumped the settings all the way down but it just wasn't low enough," he explained "I wanted it slammed, so I removed all the locking rings and the rear perches. After a couple of weeks the suspension settled and the car is now dead level and looks proper. It handles great too."
BRR Performance provided the CC with Rotora front big-brakes. They featured 14'' rotors with four-piston calipers painted red. To match, Adam machined the stock rear rotors and painted the calipers - a task he's accustomed to since starting his own company, Adam's Rotors.
Choosing the right set of wheels led Adam to DPE, where he selected the new MT-10 monoblock design. "I never wanted to do monoblock wheels, but DPE had just released these and they looked classier," he told us.
The wheels measured 20x9'' but employ a staggered offset. "The rear hubs are concave, so it digs way deeper than the fronts."
For an extra dash of class, the centers were finished in brushed aluminum with a matte clearcoat.
Toyo T1R tires provided a comfortable ride and sticky grip. The 235/35 series rubber also allowed a subtle stretch. The whole wheel and tire combo sits flush with the fenders.
Wheels can transform a car, but Adam wanted more. So he chiseled at the exterior to bring everything together with a new body kit and subtle color changes.
Unveiled two years ago at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, Adam's CC sports the same European Votex body kit as VW's Gold Coast concept car. The kit included a muscular front lip, side skirts and rear deck spoiler. "It's a mild kit but finished the body nicely. I didn't like it when stock, but the kit really beefed it up," he told us.
The next mission was to rid the CC of its chrome accents. Matte black was the preferred finish, with the grille, lower splitter, turn signals, mirror caps and rear reflectors finished that way. "It created a real concept feel," he reasoned.
Adam finished the exterior with detailed work on the lights and logos. Firstly, Euro-spec headlights were imported from Germany with their clear reflectors. He then upgraded the headlight, turn and foglight bulbs to HIDs.
Europe also offered smoked tail lights, but instead of paying a hefty price for them, Adam taped off his stock units and darkened the lenses to a deeper color. Finally, the front and rear logos were scoured with sandpaper to a satin finish to match the matte accents on the rest of the car.
The interior was already near perfection from off the production line. The owner didn't see much to improve, but he was introduced to 02 Creation from Union City, CA. "They do phenomenal work, so we decided to suede it out," he explained. "I've always wanted to do it because I never really played with the upholstery before."
As a result, the headliner, pillars and rear deck were upholstered in black suede, which eradicated the factory tan. "It totally changed the interior," he enthused. "We blacked it out and it looks really proper." The owner painted the grab handles, center console and other hardware matte black to compliment the new fabric.
The interior was finished with custom aluminum pedals from BRR Performance plus an R36 dead pedal. Adam switched the interior lighting to white LEDs and installed a Defi gauge in the A-pillar - which appropriately lights up white to match the instrument cluster.
Hidden in the trunk, a JL Audio system provided prominent bass while leaving plenty of room for groceries. He also has a 'color-matched' iPod that integrates with the factory head unit. "That's my ICE. It's as far as I go with that shit. No TVs or other fancy stuff," he laughed.
You might think all this effort took forever, but, Adam had the CC wrapped up in less than 12 weeks. "I usually get a car, tune it and then sell it," he confessed "This one I want to keep, though. Maybe I'll have it for a few years. I say that now but we'll see..."
Adam's the epitome of a VW/Audi enthusiast. He's built four clean project cars in a handful of years and has developed close relationships within the industry. We know he'll never leave a car stock, nor leave the Dub family.
2010 VW CC Sport 2.OT
Owner: Adam Woodhams
Location: San Jose, CA
Occupation: owner Adam's Rotors
Engine: 2.0 liter 16v turbo with Singh Autosport stage 2 software, A&L 3'' stainless cat-less downpipe, 2.5'' stainless cat-back exhaust with Magnaflow mufflers and dual 3.5'' tips, Neuspeed hard intercooler pipe, turbo inlet pipe and P-Flo intake, Forge Motorsport atmospheric diverter valve, dogbone engine mount
Drivetrain: six-speed manual with Neuspeed short shifter
Brakes: 355mm Rotora two-piece drilled and slotted front big-brake kit with four-piston red calipers, Adam's Rotors machined rear rotors and painted calipers, Motul fluid, stainless steel lines
Suspension: H&R coilovers plus front and rear sway bars, -3.5° rear camber adjustment
Wheels & Tires: 20x9'' DPE MT-10 monoblock forged wheels with matte brushed aluminum finish, 235/30 R20 Toyo T1R tires
Exterior: OE Votex front lip, side skirts and trunk spoiler, matte black grille, front splitter, turn signals, mirror caps and rear reflectors, Ruby red smoked tail lights, brushed emblems, tint, OE Euro headlights with 6000K low beam HID bulbs, 3000k foglight bulbs with adaptive lighting, LED puddle, city and license plate bulbs
Interior: black suede headliner, pillars and rear deck, matte black visors, grab handles, center console, seatbelt hardware and light housings, Defi white LED boost gauge and pod, brushed aluminum race pedals, OE R36 dead pedal, LED lighting
Audio/Visual: JL Audio wedge box with 10'' 500 W3v3 sub, JL Audio J2 500.1 amp, four-gauge wiring, iPod integration
Thanks: Eric Nareshi at Supreme (supremepower.com), Robb, Bruce, & Ken at BRR (brrperformance.com), Manu at DPE (dpewheels.com), Jags at Singh Autosports (singhautosports.com), Kurt at Babe's Lighting & Muffler, Mike at 02 Creation, Marin at White Oaks Autobody, Rotora, Neuspeed, Toyo Tires, Jens, Bud, wife Kathy and close friends