The unique Audi R8 has power, lots of power. The factory-installed mid-engine R8 V10 plus coupe with its revving 5.2-liter V10 impresses with 610 hp. For our KW Performance Partner, Stephan Klasen from Klasen-Motors, this performance was not sufficient.
Viewed through the rear-view mirror, the “Klasen-Audi” is one of the most spectacular upgrades based on an R8 in recent years. The special thing about it is that the Audi deliberately hides its potential not only at first glance, but also at second and third glance.
While Stephan Klasen was still a student in the late nineties and participated in various acceleration races with his own Opel bolides, everyone expected Stephan Klasen to increase the vehicles’ performance.
“I barely had the time to work on my own cars,” recalls our KW Performance Partner. “And I kept getting more and more.” It is not surprising that he then suddenly had to make a decision. Either he could finish his studies in automation and electrical engineering, or he could take the risk and enter the tuning industry. Stephan Klasen opted for the adventure.
Numerous standard vehicles with factory-installed turbos came at just the right time for him. The wild Opel times, when Stephan Klasen installed the modern Opel engine Z20LET with oversized Klasen turbocharger upgrade in almost every customer vehicle, are unfortunately gone. On the other hand, Klasen has worked hard to earn a good reputation in the industry.
Two decades have long passed since our KW Performance Partner in Oberhausen, in the Ruhrgebiet Area (Western Germany), has dedicated to establishing his own business. One of his main businesses are the engine software programming and sophisticated turbo retrofits, including all necessary approvals made in Germany.
Since Stephan Klasen is absolutely in favor of suitability for everyday use, he attaches great importance to a suspension that performs perfectly in all situations and always keeps the 1,050-hp R8 under control. No matter if he’s cruising with the Audi or wants to speed up on a free and empty highway.
“There’s simply no way around Variant 4,” concludes Stephan Klasen. “As soon as the KW coilover is installed, the drive is simply more beautiful, harmonious and sportier in everyday use. The R8 does what it’s supposed to do, whether you’re racing it on the highway or cruising through the Bergisches Land (hilly remote countryside close to the Ruhrgebiet).”
If you like, you can further fine-tune the preset basic setup of our coilover, which is adjustable in high-speed and low-speed compression as well as in low-speed rebound. The high-speed compression is always used on a suspension when the road causes unrest in the car with short bumps, transverse grooves, or bad asphalt surfaces.
On the one hand, the low-speed compression is used to adapt the body roll when turning-in and the pitching behavior when braking and accelerating. On the other hand, the rebound allows you to influence how the suspension is connected to the road and to further adjust the handling.
To ensure that the 20-inch Audi wheels are placed perfectly in the wheel arches, a lowering of 25 millimeters was chosen and ST spacers, which have a thickness of 12.5 millimeter, were fitted all around. In addition, the KW Variant 4 coilover received an HLS kit.
You can purchase our hydraulic lift systems for selected vehicles as a retrofit option for the standard suspension, as an upgrade for KW coilovers or as a complete package including coilovers.
In comparison to air bellows technologies, hydraulic lift systems are much more compact, lighter, require less maintenance, and are also more interesting in terms of driving dynamics. Our HLS kits are rooted in the world of motorsports.
“Today, the trick is to tune the engine performance steadily only with accessories, without going into the hardware the way we used to,” according to Stephan who is describing the change in his sector. “Nowadays, many engines are so powerful that there’s no need to use up the last reserves like it used to be. Even with our own projects for the road, we don’t do anything to the interior of the engine anymore.”
“Audi has developed a highly elaborate engine and there’s really not much more you can do. Sure, you can replace the exhaust system and adjust the valve control via some software, but you shouldn’t expect much. Depending on the stage and the base engine, we’re talking about up to 80 hp and even just 20 hp for the top model,” explains Stephan Klasen. “We developed our Bi-Turbo kits for those who are looking for something that is well-considered.”
Klasen-Motors developed a Biturbo modification for the Audi R8 with parts certificate including exhaust emission certificate. It’s no secret that Stephan uses two Garrett turbochargers. The charged air is cooled by two aluminum water charge air coolers via a separate water circuit with a cooler in the front, including a catch tank (reservoir) and a brushless water pump with stepless control.
The turbo kits, which are available as stage 1 (up to 850 hp) and stage 2 (up to 1,050 hp), also include air-flow meter housings, throttle bodies, blow-off valves, air filters, an additional fuel pump, and mounting hardware and lines needed for installation. All connections are made with Hydraflow quick disconnects. “I no longer use silicone hoses for this kind of work. In the same manner, we use nicely shaped and bent 6-mm stainless steel tubes to control the wastegates and blow-off valves,” clarifies Stephan Klasen.
If the stage II with 1,050 hp is installed, the standard dual clutch is always replaced with a Promax clutch from Dodson Motorsport. Of course, with optimized transmission software (launch speed, clutch pressures, torque limits, …).
One of Stephan Klasen’s passions is programming and software adaptation for performance enhancements. Each vehicle supplied by the customer is optimized on the company’s own four-wheel dynometer.
Our KW Performance Partner does not only offer suspensions for classic vehicles, but also performance upgrades upon request.
Although the Audi R8 tuned by Klasen Motors impressively goes full speed, it always remains pleasant without making too much inappropriate noise. The Klasen R8 accelerates to 300 km/h in 14.2 seconds. If you spontaneously overtake at 100 km/h on the highway, you can reach 200 in just 3.62 seconds – enough power for all situations …