With this month being an Audi-themed issue, we felt it was the perfect time to welcome the newest member of the eurotuner family – say hello to our ’07 Audi A3 2.0T.
It’s as basic as it comes with no sunroof, cloth interior and manual seats. But it has all the right pieces for a fun project car with its potent 2.0T FSI turbo motor, six-speed manual tranny and Brilliant black paint.
We should have built an A3 project years ago but when they were first hit the dealers, the sticker price was too steep. But as the cost of pre-owned A3s has dropped, the opportunity finally arose to pick one up at an affordable price. Let the modding begin…
We’ll be upgrading the chassis first, because that’s where you get the biggest visual and handling transformation, making you appreciate the money you forked out. Just like Project Passat (et 1/11), we sourced new suspension, wheels and tires for part one.
Once again, we opted for H&R coilovers. In our opinion, they offer the best combination of sharp handling and a comfortable ride, which is why we happily used them on past project cars such as the Passat, 135i, A4 and GTI.
After a quick phone call, we ordered the H&R Street Performance kit, comprising threaded front struts, rear dampers with adjustable rear spring perches plus springs to lower the front 1.2-2.3" and the rear 1-2".
For wheels and tires, we returned to TSW Alloy Wheels and Continental Tire. The wheels are 19x8.5" TSW Nurburging. You’ll remember these from our Mesh Wheel Guide (et 12/10) and also our et 11/10 giveaway. The clean design of these rotary forged wheels caught our eye and we discovered they’re both strong and exceptionally light (at 20.5 lb for a 19"). What’s more, they’re available in almost every five-lug bolt pattern, with sizes ranging from 17x7.5 to 20x10.5".
We opted for the cool matte-bronze finish to give the A3 some personality. Initially, we were concerned about how they might look, but once they were on the car we loved them!
If the bronze isn’t for you, the wheels are also available in either matte-gunmetal or matte-gunmetal with mirrored faces.
As the winners of our last giant tire test (et 12/09), the Continental ExtremeContact DW tires were another no-brainer. They work well in the wet and dry, so we ordered a set of 235/35 R19. The rubber were also used by all the teams in our last eurotuner GP (et 2/11), providing plenty of grip under severe track conditions, so we know they can take all we’ll throw at them.
We returned to Raven Motorsport in Long Beach, CA for the grunt work. In the past, we’ve entrusted Project Silverstone’s two-liter stroker build to them. As reliable VW/Audi specialists, we knew they’d look after our virgin Audi A3, conducting our fundamental chassis upgrades.
Raven was also able to mount and balance the wheels and tires. They then set to work on the suspension, getting the car low and handling better. The following steps demonstrate how the pros do a proper suspension installation.
We were glad to be using Raven when we realized we might need longer bolts to fit the wheels. This was the perfect opportunity for Raven to fit its wheel stud kit that overcame the length issue and makes it easier to fit the wheels.
Wheel studs are widely used in motorsport because it makes it easier to locate the wheel on the hub. You don’t have to try and insert the bolts while support the wheel and aligning the holes. Studs make the process far simpler, especially if you change wheels regularly.
Note: Setting the ride height is a time-consuming task. It takes several tries to get the car level on each corner, measuring from the floor to the fender. Be patient and take accurate measurements. Also, remember to get the suspension aligned. Failure to do so will increase tire wear and won’t allow optimum performance.
|ExtremeContact DW tires||Continental||$206* each|
|19x8.5" Nurburgring wheels||TSW||$296 each|
|stud kit||Raven Motorsport||$45|