SportAuto magazine and Reader Motorsport - a race and tuning company that participates in VLN Northloop endurance series and 24 hours of Nurburgring with cars like the Gallardo, Ford GT and Audi TTS, showed Sport Auto what realy makes a car fast...
SportAuto and Reader Motorsport met at the Hockenheimring with a stock 272PS TT-S with S-Tronic gearbox. The car was sponsored by a local car dealer and showed up on worn-out Pirelli Zero Rosso tires.
Without any modifications, the TT-s lapped the Hockenheimring in 1 minute and 17.1 seconds. This laptime was used as reference for the rest of the day. Fortunately, because of clouds, the temperature did not change during the day, so all laptimes were driven under same conditions.
Now the work of Reader Motorsport could really begin...
Wheels and tyres
Reader chose 9 x 18 "Rial GTR", which were the same size, yet 10kg lighter than stock. The Pirelli rubber was replaced with "Dunlop Direzza-Pneus" semi slicks. These mods alone allowed for a laptime of 1:15.1 - 2 seconds faster than the reference time.
The driver reported that car felt completely different - free of understeer and willing to move exactly where wanted. However, tyre wear and tyre temperature readouts showed that there is still much potential left, because of the “soft” nature of stock suspension.
The car was then changed back to stock wheels and tyres, but this time there were engine modifications.
Engine and DSG tranny remap, in combination with other changes (such as torque limited delete) raised the power output to 315hp (272 stock) and 420Nm (350 stock). Improvements on straight line performance were quite evident - 0-100km/h 0.2 and 0-200km/h 2 seconds quicker than stock.
Laptime with modified engine but stock tyres - 1:16.4.
The suspension was changed to a KW coilover kit. The car was lowered by 3 centimeters and received the standard Audi axle geometry.
New laptime - 1:16.5... No improvement? Raeder Motorsport explained that the tyres were the limiting factor even when the car felt much better and more direct. The trick was to set-up the suspension to work with the tyres. This is where you really need knowledge and skill to get the most out of the car.
The goal was to get the car into a crossed wheel balance. With a front-heavy car like the TT, it is impossible to get 50/50 weight distribution, yet it is possible to get a 50/50 diagonal crossed weight balance with nearly the same effect. Goal - neutral handling and willingness to turn into corners.
Result of the fine-tuning of the suspension - 1:15.6 - nearly one second just from the right suspension setup.
After replacing the stock Pirelli tires and stock wheels with the Dunlop Direzza-Pneus and Rial GTR wheels the laptime shrunk to impressive 1:13.2.
The TT-S with 8500 Euro worth of modifications was already faster than M3 on semi slicks, Carrera S PDK on semi slicks, CLK 63 AMG and, more important - these changes turned the TT-S into a pure driver's car.
Reader installed a MovIt performance brakes at the front axle, reducing the weight by more than 10kg because of the lighter aftermarket parts. In addition to that, they sent the TT-S on a quick diet, which reduced the weight further by approximately 100kg. Most of it come from the interior - stock seats were replaced by Recaro buckets, the rear seat as well as some other interior parts were completely removed.
After some roll-in laps for the new brake system, they put new Dunlop Direzza-Pneus on the car and went for the final time attack.
Final result - 1:12.0! Faster than M3 GTS, 996 GT2 and F430!
Raeder used the same engine modifications for their VLN Audi A3 with 330hp where the engine did over 10,000km in race conditions without any problems.