March 16, 2003
Article and Photos by: Don Pavlik
APR and BBQ, two three letter words that make Audi and VW enthusiasts smile and nod with approval. And approve they do, flying or driving from locations all across the US, some as far away as California, to Auburn, Alabama for opportunity to see firsthand what APR has cooked up in the way of high performance.
The festivities were scheduled to begin at 10:00AM but, like kids outside a toy store, enthusiasts arrived early to get the day underway (yours truly, having started the day at 4:00AM to arrive on time from Texas). APR had a fine display of vehicles on hand to tempt those short of willpower and/or horsepower including examples of S4s, B6 A4, TT, Beetle and a Seat Leon all the way Mexico (a daily driver sporting race tires!). Also on hand were hundreds of enthusiasts vehicles in various stages of tune from mild to wild. Attendees, many long-time friends on the
internet, now face-to-face gathered in clumps, inspected, pointed and discussed all things Audi and VW.
After a BBQ lunch with all the fixin’s it was time to tour the APR facility. The tour provided the opportunity to observe some of the impressive technology that lives behind the scenes at APR. This technology included things like Pro/E workstations for drafting, design modeling and R&D, SLA (Stereo Lithography Apparatus) equipment that allows APR to literally grow parts out of polymer with a laser in a just a few hours for fast prototyping, a 4-wheel dyno, and a school bus-sized computer controlled Fadal mill for in-house manufacturing. Serious equipment!
With tours complete, APR provided more information on regarding new product announcements. Announcements included:
- The long awaited front-mount intercooler for the 1.8t Golf and A4 1.8t. The front mount intercooler offers increased heat capacity and efficiency over the tiny stock intercooler. An upgraded intercooler will lower intake air charge temperatures resulting in more dense air entering the engine. Dense air has more oxygen content meaning the engine computer can add additional fuel. Bottom line – more power!
- A nicely integrated vent mounted boost gauge for the TT. Great for keeping a watchful eye on turbo boost pressure.
- Machined shift knobs
- Also, mentioned on the tour were prototypes for high performance inconel exhaust manifolds for the S4 2.7t. Inconel has outstanding heat retention properties which means the heat energy from the exhaust is used by the turbo instead of being wasted heating the engine bay. The manifolds will also be optimized to improve exhaust gas flow over stock.
The day finished out with Q&A sessions provided by APR’s own staff and sessions for tires and turbos provided by representatives from BF Goodrich and Garrett Turbochargers, respectively. I had the opportunity for some one-on-one “talk turbo” after the group discussions and confirmed that, indeed, the K03 turbo used throughout the Audi/VW engine family has turbine speeds in the 180,000 to 200,000 RPM range!
As in years past, APR’s BBQ was a huge success chock full of great people, great information and great products. APR’s annual BBQ has quickly become one of the “no miss” events early each season.