When I was eight years old I designed a car, a cross between a Lamborghini Countach and a Porsche 959. With my roughly sketched line drawing on the back of a math class review sheet, I was ready to take on the world. I already knew the quad-turbo V12 would propel the car to 300 mph, and my design was more beautiful than Pininfarina's best; I just needed the backing to make it happen. I went into a long meeting with my father, who at the time was the wealthiest man I knew, but all I got was a reaming out for drawing on my schoolbooks. And with that, my career as a young car designer was over.

Benjamin Abraham of PPI Auto Design was the same kid in third grade math class drawing on the back of his Trapper-Keeper, except he never stopped drawing. Benjamin (Benjie for short), has been interested in tuner cars for as long as he can remember and has owned, among others, an Alpina B12 and a TechArt CT3. But just owning a car from these legendary tuning houses is sometimes not enough. A fertile imagination and a clean piece of paper led him to start his own tuning company, PPI, based in Fellbach, Germany. After a month of initial drafting the prototype was built in 8 months. Impressive considering all 272 new parts in the catalog received full TÜV testing and certification.

"My favorite tuning companies are TechArt and RUF," Abraham said. "These are the companies I'm trying to emulate, the companies I aspire to be like." Not only does he aspire to be like these companies, but he's asked them for a helping hand. TechArt is the technology partner to PPI, and Alois Ruf has also given some guidance in the project.

But why Audi, and in particular the TT? "I love the Audi marque," Abraham gushed. "I don't think that any other company comes close in terms of technological achievement in the automotive field, and the TT was a perfect car to start with. Very sporty, perfectly proportioned, but there's one problem. It's missing the 'press-your-head-into-your-seat-until-you-scream' feeling when you hit the accelerator pedal."

When I first saw the RS blue coupe I couldn't help but think that if Audi were to build a TT supercar this is how it would look. The fit and finish of the matte carbon-fiber trim is as good as anything AMG is fitting to its DTM cars. The hollow carbon rear wing is a work of art with its weaves perfectly laid and aligned, and the electronically activated mountings seamlessly integrated. The rear wing is no boy-racer add-on, and has been tested up to 190 mph on the autobahn. According to PPI, the rear wing is the correct fix for the TT's famous stability problems.

Looking at the car from the back, you would really believe that it was tuned by Porsche, la Audi RS4 and RS2. The red taillight blend looks like It was taken straight from one of Porsche's finest, circa '78-97. All of the slats and grilles serve a purpose. This is no JC Whitney special. The openings beneath the taillights purge air from the rear wheel wells, reducing lift at high speed.

Some nice attention to detail comes in the form of carbon door trims and mirrors. If all of this is a little too much, all of the carbon parts are also available in titanium or matte black finish. Out front it's the same story. Besides the updated Audi "waterfall" grille, everything here has a function and was carefully thought out. The grilles in the bumper route air to the brakes, and the lower lip was designed to wrap air around into those ducts, as well as reduce lift at high speed.

Of course, all those parts on an untuned car would make the owner a poseur. The 20v turbo motor has been turned inside out, and the car now has the supercar power to match its looks. A PPI water- and oil-cooled turbocharger combined with strengthened internals and upgraded ECU bring the bhp tally to 355. A stainless downpipe and exhaust give the car just a hint of extra menace.

By Tony Harmer
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