Super Street Network

Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
 |   |   |  Audi A3 2.0T - Project A3 >2.0T
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

Audi A3 2.0T - Project A3 >2.0T

Part 2: Bland On The Run

Karl Funke
May 29, 2007
Photographer: Eric Simpson
0707_EPCP_01z+audi_a3_20_t+front_view Photo 1/6   |   Audi A3 2.0T - Project A3 >2.0T

Roughly two months ago, we introduced our new Audi A3 2.0T, talked about how much it kicks butt, and outlined where we want to see it go. The focus is two-fold: one, to make a great street car even better, and two, help Penske Audi promote its new dealership in West Covina, California.

Normally, we'd start a new project with some performance upgrades, a new suspension for a better stance and improved handling, or maybe some simple power upgrades to take the incredible 2.0-liter turbo engine up another couple notches. After that, we'd start worrying about cosmetic improvements.

0707_EPCP_02z+audi_a3_20_t+front_grill Photo 2/6   |   Audi A3 2.0T - Project A3 >2.0T

Due to the timing of things, however, we started with a body kit. We had options; there are a handful of excellent and fairly well known German manufacturers offering complete kits for the range of Audi vehicles, from mild to wild. One of the best known and respected is Oettinger, and that's who we decided to go with. Partly because of name recognition, but mostly because, after informal inter-office surveys among ec and Penske staff, we felt-from an aesthetic standpoint-that it struck the best balance between subtlety and mild aggression.

Oettinger components are TV-approved, and have therefore been subjected to a wind tunnel. Will we ever drive this car fast enough to generate beneficial downforce? Probably not. For the most part, aftermarket aerodynamic components are largely cosmetic. And no, you do not need to put an aero kit on your car. There is a small cadre of enthusiasts who actually take grave offense to comprehensive body mods. For good reason: a lot of kits are obnoxious, wingy, venty, scoopy, ill-fitting and shabby looking.

But I'd counter any argument against aero mods with my own. It's this: if there's any initial criticism I have of the A3, it's that it's visually boring. Audi designs are fairly understated, but on the A3, the staid elements are conspicuously prominent. Whereas the A4 looks more grown-up and muscular, from certain angles this sport hatch just looks like a bar of soap.

0707_EPCP_03z+audi_a3_20_t+side_body_kit Photo 3/6   |   Audi A3 2.0T - Project A3 >2.0T

The Oettinger kit adds that touch of edginess the A3 needs, while keeping its lines clean. It improves the front end, banishing the chrome bezel around the trapezoidal grille, enlarging the corner air inlets, and imparting just a smidgeon of carbon fiber to the lower central section. Now that I study it again, it looks freakin' great.

The package also includes side skirts, a roof-mounted wing for the hatch, and a new rear apron with cut-outs for dual exhaust exits, which CEC also saw fit to fill with a dual-exit Oettinger silencer-bonus. Call me crazy, but this A3 is suddenly looking like quite the badass.

0707_EPCP_04z+audi_a3_20_t+exhaust Photo 4/6   |   Audi A3 2.0T - Project A3 >2.0T

It's conceivable that you could install the kit yourself, but considering the amount of work and the required precision involved, I'd say a professional installation would be the best choice. You'd likely have it painted by a pro in any case. Oettinger components are traditionally designed to work with existing designs, so modifications to either the kit or the car shouldn't be needed.

Part of the body kit deal was showing the car at CEC's booth in Las Vegas at SEMA 2006. On that occasion, it was wearing the thick-spoke Oettinger wheels (the only part of the cosmetic package I don't particularly like). We've since switched to signature CEC alloys in a 19-inch format. They look good, but we'll be changing them again shortly with a new, more custom set-up when we turn our attention to the suspension.

By Karl Funke
177 Articles

BROWSE CARS BY MARKET

MORE HOW TO

For years Honda/Acura owners have been using chassis codes to refer to their cars, but because chassis codes can vary based on a number of factors, there's a good chance that they've been using the wrong labels
Aaron BonkJul 27, 2020
Eventuri has been a favorite among the most elite and highest-performing European sports cars out there. We see if the hype behind them is real using Sam's Supra.
Sam DuJul 23, 2020
A blowoff valve is designed to protect the turbo against damage. They just happen to make a loud sound while doing it! But the noise they make shouldn't be what you're most concerned about
Evan GriffeyJul 16, 2020
Tires are the most important investment you can make when it comes to your safety and car's performance. There's a lot of factors that go into choosing the right tire, some of which may matter to you more than others
Sam DuJul 13, 2020
At its most basic level, porting the intake and exhaust ports on a rotary engine is the same as porting the cylinder head(s) on a piston engine, in that the objective is to improve airflow in and out of the combustion chambers.
David PratteJul 9, 2020
Sponsored Links

SEARCH ARTICLES BY MAKE/MODEL

Search
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP