Video Sam Du
Over the years many seminal cars have been built that have altered the course of the Euro scene and influenced what came after it. You probably have your favorites but I'm thinking of the firsts: the first Mk1 VR6, first twin-engined Mk1, first Mk2 VR6, first Mk4 Jetta coupe, etc.
These cars weren't about bolt-ons and fancy paint. They took genuine engineering ability and got people thinking about what was really possible.
In our opinion, we're witnessing another of those seminal moments today. With this incredible machine, 034Motorsport is taking it up a notch. Turning it up to eleven, if you will...
In six short years, 034Motorsport in Fremont, CA has been transformed from fledging wrench-monkeys to one of the premier tuning shops in the country; dare we say the world?
And if you're a regular reader, you've witnessed greatness happening before your eyes because the company's growth has been directly linked to eurotuner magazine. How so?
The company was formed in 2004 and entered an Audi Coupe in the '05 eurotuner GP event. The following year the Coupe was joined by an Audi 80. In '07 they modernized their GP entry with a B5 Audi A4 fitted with a 12v VR6 turbo. The next year it was converted to 24v and last year they swept the board, winning the dyno, drag and circuit disciplines to be the 2009 etGP champions.
What makes 034 remarkable isn't that they throw a lot of money at a problem. Rather, they have the intelligence, ingenuity and persistence to solve problems within their budget constraints. Each time something failed, they made it better, and then track tested it to ensure durability. Nothing was left to chance. They're undoubtedly the most organized and dedicated team that's ever entered our event. And they don't take a conservative approach. Last year's winning dyno run was 908whp, and the A4 clocked a 10.7sec quarter-mile time on street tires.
Despite the earlier success, we predict this new car will bring them global attention. Not only have they built a mid-engined GTI with a hyper-powerful Audi S4 2.7, but they're going to put it to use. This isn't a show queen that will disappear in a year's time. It's going to compete in etGP and will then graduate to time attack events.
"On our way home from the '09 event we discussed what we should do next year," explained Javad Shadzi, president of 034, describing a conversation with Christian Miller, the team's driver and touring car hotshoe.
"The problem with GP is that the multiple disciplines require a compromised approach. You need weight and displacement for the dyno and drag, yet still have to perform on the track.
"With all the A4's weight up front, we felt it would be better to have it in the middle, so thought about going rear-wheel drive since it made the most sense for a mid-engined configuration," Javad continued.
With a strong following, the Mk4 Golf GTI made the obvious donor car since they were relatively cheap and there was plenty of space in the rear for an engine. To turn the concept into reality, 034 purchased a salvaged '01 GTI for $1000 back in 1/10. By February the interior, engine and suspension had been stripped. By March they were fabricating the engine cradle.
With the A4 running a VW engine, 034 perversely decided to squeeze an Audi lump into the GTI. "We have a good following for our 2.7T tuning program, where we can easily get 600-700whp but felt it had the potential for 1000whp," Javad explained. "And with the V6 being relatively short, it was ideal for the GTI installation. As it is, we only have about 1'' between the engine and the roll-bar, so we couldn't have used anything longer."
Having settled on an engine, it needed a transmission. They discovered the B5 S4's 01E six-speed gearbox was also available in 2WD form in a European Audi 100 diesel: perfect for this application.
The engine and trans were bolted together, positioned into the car and the cradle was built around it. Knowing the car would need extensive development, the cradle was engineered so that it's held with only four bolts, meaning the engine and trans can be removed in about 30min if necessary.
A rollcage was fabricated at the same time. It's NHRA-approved, so the team won't encounter problems if the car drops into the 10s on the quarter-mile. It also supports the car, binding the front and rear subframes together for rigidity.
The next obstacle was the rear suspension and axle location. The team initially looked at a Noble sportscar and considered fabricating their own double wishbone arrangement, but after comparing it to a Porsche 911, they simply bought the rear-end of a 996 Turbo. This included the subframe, suspension arms, links, knuckles, calipers, rotors, wheels etc.
One of the first surprises was that the 996 axles bolted straight to the 01E and were even the correct length for the car. So they got on with mounting the suspension and adding high-end Ohlins coilovers. At present the sway bars are stock but they have the option of fitting any aftermarket Porsche upgrades.
The same is true at the front, where the 911's MacPherson struts bolted into the Golf's hubs once the Ohlins bodies had been machined a few thousandths. And with 13'' 996 rear brakes, 993 Turbo calipers were bolted to the front with Audi RS2 mounting brackets and custom 034 drilled rotors.
The front hubs required H&R adapters to fit the stock 18x8'' 996T Twist wheels. They had intended to leave the front track stock and widen only the rear fenders to accommodate the 18x11'' rear wheels. However, the bodywork didn't look right when they tried it, and a wider front track would aid stability, so 2'' spacers were added. These were increased to 2.5'' for our photos to ensure the wheels filled the fenders, but don't expect the stance to be quite so aggressive when it runs in etGP10 (appearing in et 2/11).
To prepare the V6, it was fitted with a 92.8mm forged crank from the Audi A6 3.0. The capacity was then stretched to 3013cc with custom 83mm JE pistons on Pauter rods. The assembly was balanced to ±1g before the bearings were coated to reduce friction.
The heads got 034's stage three porting that uses 1mm larger valves with Supertech springs and retainers to maximize the lift from the 264/250° Cat cams without coil-binding.
As before, the team plan a turbo swap for etGP, so quick changes were engineered into the custom bracket for the top-mount system. Using a T04 inlet flange on both turbos means they don't need to swap the manifold when they switch between a Garrett GT45R (as photographed) for the GP's dyno and drag racing, with a Precision GT35R used on the road course for better acceleration.
The smaller snail has the potential for 650whp, while the big turbo should produce around 1000whp if all goes to plan...
The exhaust manifold feeds into a 4'' pipe that splits into two 3'' pipes. And while the GT35R application will get a muffler, the 45R doesn't. And yet the noise was surprisingly muted, as you can hear on our online videos.
Obviously a front-mounted intercooler wouldn't be ideal for the mid-mounted engine, so the car has an air-to-water chargecooler system with a massive heat exchanger up front. With the length of hose and a four-gallon reservoir, the electric pump moves about six gallons through the system to maintain charge temps.
The giant 6'' AEM cone filter in the photos will be replaced by a K&N in a sealed airbox for the dyno. It will be fed cold air through the passenger-side NACA duct on the rear to minimize power loss through heat build-up. The second duct is used to circulate air through the engine compartment.
Acting as a counterweight, the engine bay houses a 10-gallon fuel cell. That fills a one-gallon surge tank equipped with twin fuel pumps to avoid fuel starvation under cornering. These in turn feed the 850cc injectors that have been programmed to run at a higher pressure with the bigger turbo rather than changing them.
The injection, ignition, boost, cooling fans and variable cam timing is managed by an 034EFI Stage IIC computer that also allows anti-lag and gear-based boost control to help with the GP's drag racing. However, an additional Bosch ME7 ECU controls the drive-by-wire Audi S8 throttle-body. Not only does it allow the engineers to control throttle opening angles and speed, but it also eradicated the need for extended throttle cables in the engine compartment.
With so much power, the 11" wide hollow-spoke Porsche rear wheels should allow the GTI RS to find traction, but they had to be suitably covered. So Rolf By Design was given the task of fabricating the widebody fenders.
In order to keep the original shape, he cut off the outer fenders and then cut slits in the remaining metalwork. The resulting tabs were bent out, filled and welded together. Finally, the original outer fender was welded back into place to keep the OE look.
A pair of R32 bumpers were then extended with the end pieces from the original GTI bumpers in order to increase the width and match the new fenders.
With the NACA ducts grafted into the sides, the car went to Coelho's Bodyshop for the Ford silver metalflake paint. The wheels were originally painted to match, but damage inflicted during tire fitting meant they were repainted with extra black to create a gunmetalflake mix.
Contrasting red paint was used on the rollcage to match the Porsche brakes and GT3 RS-style body graphics. The remainder of the interior was treated to an aluminum and lexan firewall that still needs to be sealed. There's also a pair of R32 seats and steering wheel up front, along with a 996T shifter and cable linkage.
Following our photo shoot, the car has an intensive schedule of dynomometer tuning in order to optimize the electronics for the two different turbochargers. It's then got two track tests booked at Infineon Raceway as well as drag racing to check it all works.
Just like the Audi A4 that preceded it, this 034 GTI RS will be fully prepped in the time remaining. So check out the online videos and don't miss the 2/11 issue where you can see how it fared in the eurotuner GP 2010.
2001 VW GTI
Location: Fremont, CA
Occupation: VW/Audi tuners/racers
Engine: 2.7T V6 24v engine increased to 3.0L with custom 83mm JE Pistons, 9:1 compression, Pauter rods with ARP 625+ bolts, 034 coated rod and main bearings, main and head studs, main bearing cap girdle, 2.8L large-port heads, 034 stage 3 porting, Supertech 1mm oversized intake and exhaust valves, high-rate springs and titanium retainers, Cat 264/250° cams, OEM lifters, RS4 intake manifold, Garrett GT35R or GT45R turbo, twin TiAL V38 V-band wastegates, TiAL Q-Vent BOV, custom long-tube headers with secondary pipes for divorced turbine housing, 034EFI Stage IIC engine management and custom wiring harness with mil-spec hardware, 034 boost control valve, Bosch Motronic ME7 ECU for dash, ABS and Audi S8 throttle body, custom chargecooler with Bell core and front-mounted heat exchanger, five-gallon reservoir, electric pump, 10-gallon ATL fuel cell in engine bay, 1-gallon surge tank with twin Bosch 044 fuel pumps, modified Bosch 850cc injectors on 034 fuel rails with adjustable regulator with -10AN fuel line splitting into dual -6AN, upgraded cooling systems, 034 Track Density mounts
Drivetrain: Advanced Automotion six-speed 01E 2WD transmission with custom ratios, Porsche 911 Turbo shifter box and cables with custom adjustable linkage, Driveshaft Shop rear axles with high strength Chromoly shafts, prototype Spec triple-disc carbon clutch and lightweight aluminum flywheel, 034 custom clutch-type LSD, WPC gear surface treatment
Brakes: Porsche 993 Turbo front calipers with 330mm 034 rotors, OEM 996 Turbo rear calipers and 330mm rotors, Cobalt Friction pads, stainless lines
Suspension: Ohlins three-way adjustable front dampers with custom-valved remote reservoir, H2Sport front spindles and spherical control arms, Ground Control adjustable front camber plates/strut tops, tubular rear subframe for engine, and trans mounts plus Porsche 996 Turbo rear suspension, NHRA-approved roll-bars with rear chassis reinforcement
Wheels & Tires: 18x8'' front, 18x11'' rear Porsche 996 Turbo Twist "hollow spoke" wheels, custom painted, 5x130 wheel adapters, 265/35 R18 front, 285/35 R18 rear Continental ContiSportContact 3 tires
Exterior: custom metal widebody, modified VW R32 bumpers, custom metalflake silver paint
Interior: AIM Sports MXL Pro Dash and data acquisition with mil-spec wiring harness, R32 seats, steering wheel, NHRA roll-bars
Audio/Visual: Speedcom "dual channel" two-way radio system
Thanks: Advance Automotion, Bell Intercoolers, Cat Camshafts, Ground Control, H2Sport, JE Pistons, Pauter Rods, Spec Clutch, Supertech, WPC, Rolf By Design, Coelho's Body Repair & Auto, Driveshaft Shop