July 4, 2022

Audi’s five-cylinder engines have all the time been celebrated for making fabulous noises. And whenever you crank a 20v turbo as much as 450bhp and conceal it inside this stealthy modified Audi 200, that’s simply in regards to the good mixture…

Characteristic from Efficiency Audi. Phrases: Dan Bevis. Photographs: Mike Crawat

There’s a easy system that can help you make folks’s heads spin on the retro scene, and it’s this: obscure automobile + obscene mods = dropped jaws. Consider it as a really primary two-circle Venn diagram, if you’ll; the occupants of the ‘obscure’ circle will all the time draw a crowd – think about displaying up at TRAX or Gamers in a Zaporozhets or a Goggomobil, you’ll be preventing off the gawping admirers with a smelly stick. The ‘obscene’ circle is reasonably extra polarising; image, say, turning up at a kind of occasions in a Hillman Hunter with a radial engine and bolt-on Rocket Bunny arches, or a Renault Espace on air-ride – some folks will wish to pat you on the again and shake your hand, others could want to spit in your eye and forged ailing will over your desires.

It’s within the crossover between the 2 circles that the actually meaty stuff occurs, and among the many Turner drag racers and V8-powered Daihatsu Charades you’ll discover this reasonably naughty modified Audi 200.

‘What’s that,’ you ask? Effectively, thanks for becoming a member of in – enable us to elaborate. You see, the 200 was the automobile that occurred whereas everybody was distracted by the Coupes; the smart luxurious saloon that will likely be very acquainted to some readers, however fairly obscure to most. Badged intentionally to confuse, it was the 5-cylinder variant of the Audi 100; when the C2-generation 100 launched again in 1976, the addition of a fuel-injected 5-pot turned it right into a 200, and it was a lot the identical deal when the C3-gen vehicles emerged in 1982. The 200-spec arrived the next yr, boasting a turbocharged 20-valve model of the five-banger. An govt saloon for individuals who needed to waft underneath the radar, but additionally possess the firepower to significantly ruffle some feathers. Everybody eulogises in regards to the early-Nineteen Nineties being the glory days of the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth, however the Audi 200 20v in Quattro spec was packing extra energy than the Ford, and it had oodles extra grip too. It is a automobile that deserves to be remembered extra fondly and extensively than it’s.

Thomas Reidl is a person eager to reframe these perceptions, nevertheless. Recognized affectionately by the nickname ‘Dicker’, he resides in a small village in decrease Bavaria, the center of German horsepower junkie lore, and he’s doing issues to the Audi 200 that might make your head spin. Simply have a look at his superb creation, glinting within the mild: on the one hand it seems comparatively stealthy, an unadorned three-box saloon within the basic fashion. However on the opposite, it’s clearly sitting super-low over some tasty (and admittedly humongous) race automobile wheels. All is evidently not because it appears right here. And any ambiguity is blown into the weeds when Dicker buries the throttle, all 4 wheels staggering to deploy the mighty turbocharged grunt because the execu-barge scampers frantically for the horizon. Effectively, that’s the impact of 450bhp for you.

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Modified Audi 200

Apparently – though maybe not wholly surprisingly – it wasn’t the 200 that first ignited the Audi fireplace in his soul as a teenager, however one thing reasonably extra intense. “Once I was just a little boy, my father took me to observe a race with Walter Röhrl driving his well-known Audi Quattro S1,” Dicker recollects. “That was the second, proper there: I used to be hooked for all times.”

Quick-forward to the authorized driving age, and what do we discover our four-ringed buddy shopping for for himself? Err… okay, it wasn’t an Audi, and neither was the subsequent automobile, however lastly he discovered his ardour third-time-lucky with an A4. “It was a 2.5 TDI, and to be trustworthy I had a lot bother with it,” he recollects. “So, I made a decision to hunt out a brand new automobile – however I had no thought which might be the appropriate one for me… would I choose a brand new or an previous automobile? After which a buddy stated to me ‘Why not get an Audi 200? A 5-cylinder turbo, that’s what you want’ – and in order that was choice made.”

With the massive saloon firmly in his sights, Dicker set about scouring the classifieds for simply the appropriate instance. And after just a few weeks, he discovered it in Ingolstadt, a 1990 20v Quattro. This was again in 2006, and he readily admits that he was by no means planning on protecting it for this lengthy; “It’s addictive,” he smiles, “each time I drive it, it simply seems like my automobile.”

The situation of the automobile as-bought was usually good; it had been owned by a younger man who’d clearly been having fun with the mischief inherent within the inventory 220bhp motor and had endeavoured to place his personal stamp on the 200. “There have been just a few issues I needed to change immediately,” Dicker laughs. “It had actually darkish window tints, and a lot plastic crap hooked up to the outside – however the substance of the automobile was good. The very first thing I did once I bought it residence was to strip off the tints and take away the big ‘biohazard’ sticker caught to the again window!”

Every little thing was straight and strong, the unique Panther Black paint nonetheless gleaming and the bone-stock 3B 20-valve engine ticking alongside properly. For the primary 5 years or so of possession, Dicker merely loved it for what it was, daily-driving it and appreciating the mix of creamy-smooth torque and amusing enhance on demand, coupled with a wafty journey and all kinds of elbow room inside. However all of the whereas, these reminiscences of Walter Röhrl and his S1 have been nestled behind his unconscious, till the strain turned an excessive amount of to bear and, within the winter of 2012/13, the 200 was taken off the highway for a little bit of a seeing-to.

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Modified Audi 200

What occurred subsequent was splendidly shocking. Whereas the factory-fit 3B engine was a strong and dependable little unit making first rate energy, Dicker had executed his analysis and he knew simply what he wanted to do to level-up. So the previous motor was hoiked out, and changed by an ABY engine from an Audi S2. The basics are shared (it’s nonetheless a 2.2-litre 20v unit, with 5 cylinders and a turbo), however this motor made a greater base for what he had deliberate. This included the addition of a Garrett GT30/76 turbo, a home-made cost cooler setup, uprated fuelling by way of 630cc Siemens injectors and a Bosch 044 gasoline pump, and a 5-branch manifold going right into a home-made 76mm exhaust system. It’s all managed by a programmable VEMS ECU and has been painstakingly tweaked by the cautious palms at Audiland and PK Motorsport. The outcomes of this are a dependable and usable 450bhp, with 479lb.ft of torque, engineered to be without delay hilariously aggressive and pleasant sufficient to make use of day-after-day. It’s not highly-strung or boosty, it’s completely set as much as stability energy and usefulness. The inventory 5-speed gearbox and the Quattro system are greater than as much as the duty of dealing with all of it, and so with the efficiency taken care of, it was time to handle the aesthetics.

Dicker didn’t wish to rewrite historical past right here, the goal was subtlety reasonably than ostentation, and the primary stage was to ceramic-coat that lovely black paint. After which, after all, it was very important to type out the best way the factor sits. “It was all the time clear to me that I needed to drive static,” he explains. “I feel air-ride is for cruisers – like previous Mercedes, for instance!”

Modified Audi 200

The goal right here was for some excessive static lows, however with high quality componentry to permit him to deploy that energy successfully with first rate and predictable dealing with. Scene superheroes Gepfeffert got here to the rescue right here, with a set of their custom-modified KW V3 coilovers, allied to camber-adjustable high mounts. The brakes have been logically upgraded, as you may’t actually count on 1990-spec saloon automobile stoppers to fortunately cope with 450 horses with out wilting; the 200 now wears RS3 brakes with 370mm discs up entrance, whereas the rear sports activities a VW Phaeton setup with 330mm rotors. The wheels they sit behind are frankly phenomenal, imbuing the chunky saloon with an actual up to date Touring Automotive vibe, tucking the huge 19” diameter proper up contained in the flawless unique arches. They’re BBS Le Mans splits, for those who have been questioning, they usually pull off the neat trick of being period-perfect whereas additionally actually modernising the vibe.

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“I simply love the clear look of this automobile,” Dicker beams, and he’s proper to be pleased with it. “I feel the aspect view is my favorite, or the rear… hell, I simply love all of it! I feel it might be incorrect for a automobile like this to have an enormous bodykit, or bolt-on arches or giant spoilers, it must be clear and crisp. To me, it’s good as it’s, and it’s a lot enjoyable to cruise – and infrequently put your foot down, after all! One of the best reactions to the automobile all the time come from the older guys, those who used to personal these vehicles again once they weren’t that previous. It’s the five-cylinder engine that basically makes it although – each Audi 5-pot sounds unbelievable.” Yep, that’ll be the spectre of Walter Röhrl speaking once more. Dicker’s taken a mainstream affect, a motorsport hero shared by many, and painted that enthusiasm throughout a contemporary and surprising canvas. A 450bhp modified Audi 200 is squarely within the centre of the obscure/obscene Venn diagram, and that’s simply the place Dicker desires to be.

Modified Audi 200

Tech Spec: Modified Audi 200

Engine:

2.2-litre ABY 5-cylinder 20v (from Audi S2), Garrett GT30/76 turbo, VEMS programmable ECU, 630cc Siemens injectors, Bosch 044 gasoline pump, {custom} home-made cost cooler, Porsche catch can, tubular manifold, home-made 76mm exhaust system, tuned by Audiland and PK Motorsport, unique 5-speed

Energy:

450bhp, 479lb.ft

Chassis:

8.5x19in ET47 BBS Le Mans 154 (entrance) and 9.5x19in ET47 BBS Le Mans 155 (rear) – polished lips and blue centre caps, 235/35 (f) and 265/30 (r) Hankook Evo S1 tyres, 15mm monitor plates, Gepfeffert KW V3 Competitors Deep coilovers with adjustable camber plates, Audi RS3 entrance brakes with 370mm discs, VW Phaeton rear brakes with 330mm discs

Exterior:

Panther Black, unique 200 20v spec with carbon particulars, ceramic-coated, Mk2 Hella heckblende

Inside:

Black leather-based Audi V8 Unique Sport inside, brown Alcantara headlining, black RS2 handles, Nardi steering wheel, wooden gearknob, home-made wooden door inserts, Alpine head unit, Phonocar Hello Tech door audio system, 10-inch sub