I'm now back at school, but my summer was far from boring. I went backpacking through Europe for five weeks, spanning over a dozen cities and seven countries, starting in Holland and ending in Paris. Needless to say, I saw plenty of car porn, from a matte black Bentley GT in Prague to Wiesmanns in Dusseldorf. Being the avid young gearhead that I am, a trip to Stuttgart was in order. Unfortunately, I was only in the city for two days, and both the Porsche and Mercedes museums were closed. I, however, would not be denied. Thanks to you guys, I was aware of a small tuning "haus" by the name of TechArt in neighboring Leonberg. We got off the train stop quite literally in the middle of nowhere. After wandering through the picturesque German countryside, we happened across a lady kind enough to show us the way. One hour and two miles later, we arrived. I entered sweaty and exhausted; a smartly clad German approached me. I spoke first: "I'm from America, and I came to see TechArt." Seeing that I was the real deal, he quickly shot back: "I'll send my manager right out for you, he'll give you a full tour." From the interior workshop to the cutting-edge tuning facility, the entire building oozed world-class tech and superior quality. We ended the tour with a quick round in the TechArt Magnum, a Cayenne with serious go-juice. With a turn of the key, the bi-turbo V8 boomed to life and shook me like an airstrike on a balmy spring morning. And so began the most impressive ride of my life, in a German panzer that could run with those snooty Italian "superleggeras" and the like. And so I thank you, ec, for sating my ravenous hunger for all things Auto, and for making my already unforgettable journey so much more satisfying.
We're always happy to help. Thanks for the great letter and we're glad you had a good time.
Tornadoes and Lambo motors
I was about to request a feature on a Porsche Cayenne. The Gemballa Tornado (Storm Brewing, October '09) is freakin' sweet. I'm sure you all cringe at an SUV feature, but the Cayenne can interest a true Euro-car guy like no other. My dream garage would include a GTS manual.
Here's a goof-ball question: Does my Rabbit 2.5 share internal engine dimensions with a Lambo 5.0? Can I stuff parts like pistons, rods, or camshaft from the Lambo parts bin in the wee Vee-Dub?
Small-Potatoes Car Guy
The VW 2.5 is essentially half a Gallardo V10, so certain Lambo internals will in fact fit it. However, you'll likely end up spending a fortune for minimal gains. On the other hand, you could just fit a forced induction system and be done with it. C2 Motorsports and Late Night Tuning both sell kits for your five-cylinder engine.
Letter to Les
I want to first congratulate you on your longevity with the magazine. I've been a subscriber for I believe six years or better and aside from CarToons or Car Craft when I was younger, ec is the longest-running subscription I've kept to date. I look forward to and read first your Resonator column and have always admired your writing style, humor, and most of all, knowledge. You do a great job and I hope you'll be writing for at least another two decades!
Deep Small-car thoughts
I suppose it says something about my personality, but I appreciate a well engineered, affordable little car. It might spell community college for the kids, but I have the means to afford more. My wife has in recent years driven an A6 Avant followed by a 2.7T Allroad. I drive Volkswagens. They're what I love.
I'm soon to be in the market to replace my aging Mk IV GTI. I've ranted before about my model selection woes in light of VW's decision not to bring the new Scirocco Stateside, so I'll skip that for now. I have since refocused my attention on a modified Mk V GTI or a tweaked R32. Ian Kuah's recent coverage of Abt's VS4 has extended my interests to include the Mk VI Golf/Rabbit/Thunder Bunny, whichever your preference in terminology.
The GTI is still hot on my radar. The prospect of an R20 is almost enough to allay any lingering Scirocco sting (the Scirocco R-series is an altogether other matter worthy of a full-on tirade). Having spent many months marveling at what the tuner community can accomplish starting from a fairly modest base configuration, I'm especially impressed by Abt's interpretation of the 1.4 Twincharger. But being a fan of displacement, I can only imagine what might be accomplished with a similar twincharger setup applied to the 2.5L. VW, Abt, can we talk when you get a moment?
Buy this man a (root) beer
Before anybody says something else about how you guys should change your name to German Car because of the abundance of features on German cars, I want them to read this. Just think, this is an American publication about European cars, right? Now think about where most of the European cars available in the U.S. come from. Germany.
Colby, you seem like a pretty smart kid. If when you get out of school you need some kind of internship, give us a call.