Audi TT 2001 LeMans Edition – Complete MakeOver

Its not very often that a customer comes in and just says, “I want to do a complete make-over for my car.” She loved her car, which was a special model to begin, as it was the Audi TT cabriolet LeMans Edition, w the higher output engine.  But normally a customer comes in with a much more specific set of objectives, such as “better handling”, or “more power”, or “special external effects”, or we are more constrained on budget.  This customer had seen our other cars and projects, and had full confidence in what we could produce, and gave us an open book to develop a complete solution for her Audi.  What would the factory have done if they created a show car version?

We reviewed the whole car…and felt that almost every area could be attacked and made better…exterior styling, wheels, tires, suspension, brakes, engine performance, interior, seats, exhaust…that pretty much covers it.

Here is the result…the before and after versions –

Audi TT comparo

And more views of this amazing project car

RDH_7470 adjusted

RDH_7475 adjusted

RDH_7456 adjusted


RDH_7455 adjusted sm

Audi TT side sm

Audi TT side2 sm

Looking under the skin, here are some views of the before and after –

Audi TT susp comparoAudi rearsusp comparo

Now, for the breakdown of what was done –


The Audi TT LeMans already is the most powerful of the Audi TT lineup, producing 225HP.  It already has the upgraded K04 turbo’s, injectors, intake, exhaust manifold…so, not a lot can be done.  But, there is always more.  To this baseline, w added a new software tune, upgraded boost, new injectors, and intercooler…now producing somewhere in the neighborhood of 285HP.


If you have followed any of our other builds, are favorite suspension upgrade is the Bilstein PSS9 or PSS10 coil-over kit.  For this age of car, only the PSS9 is available.  Why do we like this kit so much? Because it does everything well, and makes having an adjustable shock suspension a reality, rather than a figment of someones’ imagination.


The Bilstein PSS9 is unique in having a single adjustment knob that does dual roles…it adjusts the slope of both the shock compression curve as well as the shock rebound curve.  Most other coil-overs in this price range have just one adjustment, but it only adjusts rebound….which in our view, is not what street cars need to really dial in the ride and handling. Besides having the one dual role adjustment (PSS9), Bilstein places the adjustment knob in an easily reachable location on the bottom of both the front strut and the rear shock…and makes the knob large enough to easlly adjust and read.  What good do the other coil-overs do if you can’t access the adjustment knob (like putting it on the top of the rear shock….or making the knob hard to read or adjust)?


As part of the complete overhaul of the suspension, and again, given the age of the car, we replaced the front lower control arms (Lemfoerder brand).


What’s to love about the original OEM brakes…either front or rear?  Not much, and their not much to look at.  Part of the problem when doing a complete make over, is that you can’t leave any rock unturned.  Sort of like when doing a remodel on your home, and you start w the kitchen, and somehow end up doing all the bedrooms as well.  With the increased HP of the engine, and the better handling of the suspension, we needed upgraded brakes….and they had the added advantage of looking killer too.  If you are picking the best, then the best in brakes means Brembo.  We didn’t need to do both the front and rear, but we did need to make them look like they were a matched pair, so we pulled the rear calipers, and had them powder coated red to match the fronts, and then added ss brake lines all around.  The new front Brembos are better in every way…bigger rotors, better cooling, more pistons in the caliper (4 piston caliper in this case), and larger pad set w a longer moment arm for increased braking capacity.




There are literally a thousand different choices in wheels.  Even different manufacturing types…..cast, flow formed, forged.  In our view, the choice is a lot easier than this…you just pick the best, which is HRE. For the Audi, we went w the new HRE FlowFormed FF01 style, in a special athracite color to just offset the base color of the car (silver).  The wheels are amazing, strong, light weight, and the perfect compliment to the car.  We shroud these wheels in Continental DW performance street tires.

Audi TT frtwheel sm


For most projects, this area is often left out.  But the interior needed a make over as well.  If you were driving, you would slide around in the seats.  If you tried to grip the steering wheel, it felt like you were gripping cold steel.  Nothing in the interior exuded warmth or excitment…so, enough….we replaced the seats ( and had them made w matching red trim stitching), the shifter boot and e-brake cover (red alcantara), pedals, and the steering wheel (Sparco).  Now, the interior is something you want to get into, and you want to go on a drive.


RDH_7456 adjusted


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