vRS Take – II

Donec egestas diam arcu, id auctor turpis porttitor ac. Nulla feugiat justo mauris ( Photo by: jont dore )

BY
VIVEK VENUGOPAL

February 13

So people like your car, huh? You get thumbs up at traffic lights? How about a car, that has its own dedicated facebook fan page with over 9200 fans and counting? Log on to VRS7999.com and you can see pictures of the car at various stages of its build. And it wasn’t the owner Raj Paul who started it. “Two boys contacted me and asked if they can start a page for my car. Initially I was not so sure, but when they did, the response was overwhelming.” – he said to us.

Well, it’s not fair to say he didn’t start it at all. He created the car that became the sensation and we had to, once again, get reacquainted with the VRS7999 phenomenon. Regular readers of the magazine would remember, it was the cover car from February 2011. It was a great street car with big budget audio in the trunk and the stock turbo tuned to produce more power. The audio system not only sounded great, it looked the part too, at night when the bootlid was opened. And the car was such a wheel spinning monster, enthusiastically turning rubber into vapour at the slightest hint of throttle with massive torque steer to deal with on full bore starts. Clearly, looking good was more important than going faster.

Since its last make over a few months ago, it has become more purposeful and the focus has been shifted to the driving seat. The heavy audio system has been lost in favour of weight reduction. More weight reduction comes in the form of front seats which were swapped for lighter Recaro Pole Position non adjustable racing seats in red and black. With a turbo upgrade, it gets a dose of additional power too, but an LSD has been fitted to harness that along with super sticky Nitto tyres. So, while the mechanicals got all the attention, was the styling left unchanged? No way.

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Raj knows looking good is just as important and had thoughtful additions to his already exhaustive list of parts. In addition to the carbon fibre grill, air outlets on the bumpers, headlamp covers, wheel arch extensions, front and rear diffusers from Milotec, he has a new wider front splitter with adjustable tie bars and a Tegiwa tow hook. The bonnet and trunk now have AeroCatch fasteners. The rear bumper has an Aluminium plate integrated just above the exhaust to prevent it melting from the heat. The car sits on the road so nicely, it looks like a DTM racer without the sponsor stickers.

The 1.8litre, 20v motor of the vRS has huge fan following and is one of the most tunable engines in the world. The standard 150bhp motor in this car, has been tuned with lot of goodies from Pete’s Automotive. It breathes in through a Carbonio cold air intake, a JBS cast manifold and blows it out through a Milltek 3” exhaust system. 310cc injectors, 4 bar fuel pump and a Pete’s performance remap for roughly 320-350 horses take care of the fuelling and boost. We are talking about a JBS04 stage 3 turbo with Forge Intercooler, developing big dollops of boost here.

You can tell it the moment you drive off that this car has lots of power. The turbo has a huge firm shove in the back, accompanied by the bellow of an exhaust note, interrupted only by the release of the pressurized air from the Forge blow off valve. Acceleration is almost never ending. 0-100kmph figures though only tell you part of the story. It takes 7.8seconds, which is partly down to the way the turbo delivers its boost. Every time we attempted a launch, it kept bogging down before the engine picks up revs and that adds probably an eighth of a second to the timing. The tricky launch aside, it delivers where it matters. 120-140kmph takes only 2.91 sec and 100-140kmph comes up in just 5.72 sec. That is Nissan 370Z territory! Eventually when we hit a true 187.4kmph, it was still accelerating hard.

Then we come to the dynamics of the car. Running on H&R Sports Cup kit suspension and uprated anti roll bars, this has the potential to scare many track spec machines costing twice as much. Tarox 6 pot front brakes
and G88 rotors and pads at the rear, do a great job of stopping it too. Raj’s car has Borbet 18” LS wheels painted in glossy black and inner rim in red wrapped in Nitto Invo 235/40 R 18 tyres.

This is possibly the best Octavia RS in the country. And that is high praise for a car that has been a sensation in the tuning world with some running even 500bhp setups. It is the blend of looks, performance and well chose upgrades that make it special. If there is anything faster than this car, it is the growing facebook fan base it has got. We are not surprised.

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BY VIVEK VENUGOPAL

ASSISTANT FASHION EDITOR

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