A depiction of automotive evil
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this, and nothing more.” —Edgar Allan Poe, “The Raven”
In the 10.706 seconds just spent muttering the opening stanza of the infamous Poe-ism “The Raven,” Janis Krauklis—Krauklis is Latvian for “crow,” you see—is hurtling down the 1320 at 135.66 mph in his ’90 Audi 90 Coupe Quattro. And as doing is believing, my feeble mind struggles to process Poe’s maniacism nearly as much as I’m left with flailing understanding of what I’ve experienced in Janis’ somewhat staid looking coupe.
Sexy as this coupe is, sporting its RS2 headlights and front bumper assembly and in a particularly gleaming Tornado Red, realistically, this is a 21-year-old, stock-appearing Audi with a full interior tipping in at a not insignificant 3,317 pounds, including Mr. Crow. Ripping into the 10s in a nondescript fully streetable daily driven coupe defines the Crow as the depiction of evil.
Purchased with a blown 7A motor for $350 six years ago after driving a real S2 in Europe, Krauklis promptly swapped in the S2-correct AAN K24 motor, but even more promptly became bored. The boredom led to a GT2871 putting down 315 hp and 330 lb-ft at the wheels at 25 psi, melting more than a few SPEC clutches in the process. Quickly sliding down the proverbial oh-so-slippery slope, a GT3071 begat the 2871 in the quest for more power. With two steps forward, sometimes it’s eight back, as a dyno operator in a *cough* prominent, yet unnamed *cough* tuning shop nuked the poor AAN with a 7-degree timing mishap. Whoops. Buh-bye AAN.
Facing a pricey replacement, Krauklis instead turned to the coupe’s original trusty 7A and slapped in 83mm JE 8.5:1-compression pistons on Scat rods and 034 Motorsport coated bearings. Headwork included 034 solid lifters, slight porting, Ferrera exhaust valves and a 4-inch throttle body fed through a Hanks intake manifold. All said, this yielded a meaty 350 whp on pump swill, and a hefty 436 hp and 464 lb-ft of torque at 37 psi on 101 octane, which in turn netted the coupe a 13 flat at 115 mph on pump gas and on yet another slipping SPEC. Swapping the SPEC clutch in favor of a Southbend yielded a respectable 11.5 at 120, but worse, it yielded an unrelenting addiction: the pursuit of “nines.”
Powerless to resist, Krauklis afforded the Crow yet another turbocharger—this time a GT35—and suddenly Poe’s opening stanza was achieved—10.71 seconds at 135.66 mph.
Impressive, especially considering the amount of sweat equity Krauklis invested into the build via DIY, and how modest both he and his machine appear. And speaking of sweat – the 10.7 was achieved in sweltering New Jersey heat.
A number of broken CVTech axles, a mulched B5 S4 01E six-speed, clutches, clutches, and even more clutches later provided the answer: Insert a CompTurbo 70mm snail on an 034 stainless header and a Tilton double-disc clutch coupled to an 034 aluminum flywheel, and add DSS chrome-moly axles.
Tuning maven Marc Swanson of EFI Express (who himself pilots a Tornado Red 90CQ stuffed with an insidious 4.2TT) dialed in the 034IIc management as drag season drew to a close to yield a 5000-rpm boost onset all the way to an 8500-rpm redline, with the four wheels registering 400 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque at 22 psi on 93 octane. Fill up with C16 VP racing fuel, and she’s wailing out 644 whp and 436 lb-ft at 36 psi… or roughly 805 at the crank.