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Essen Auto Show
By Colum Wood, Photography by Joost Demuynck, Dec. 16, 2008
Over the past few years Essen has moved away from being an auto show with an equal sharing of OEM and aftermarket offerings to having a much stronger focus on later. In many ways it’s like a smaller-scale German SEMA, but without most of the automotive atrocities.

PPI Design Audi R8 GTR RAZOR

Arguably the most noteworthy vehicle on display was the R8 GTR Razor by PPI Design, a more extreme version of the Razor the company first displayed at the show in 2007. With a new widebody design, and almost every body panel replaced with a carbon fiber variant, PPI’s R8 weights 551 lbs les than the factory R8. It also makes significantly more power thanks to a supercharger, exhaust system and ram air intakes. Output is sighted as 580hp at 7800 rpm and 442 ft-lbs of torque at 6200 rpm. PPI claims the reduction in weight and addition of so much power make for a 0-60 mph run of just 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 206 mph!

PPI didn’t neglect any aspect when they design the GTR Razor and made sure to include ultra lightweight DyMag wheels and a KW suspension. The company also boasts that the entire aero kit has been wind tunnel tested for maximum downforce.

9ff GT-T900

Competing with PPI for the most drooled-over vehicle on display at Essen was 9ff and its GT-T900. Sporting twin-turbochargers this modified Porsche Carrera GT now pumps out 900 hp! 9ff estimates the GT-T900 will hit 62 mph in 3.2 seconds and 124 mph in 8.5 seconds with a top speed of 242 mph!

Other than the obviously new paint scheme, 9ff also added a massive carbon rear spoiler, which we can only presume they purposely designed to keep the car planted at the new speeds it is capable of. Finally, it’s hard to miss the massive dinner plate wheels – a 9ff original design and one of the lightest available on the market.

Along with this impressive model the 9ff booth also housed two modified Cayennes as well as a 750hp GT2 that has been completely stripped down to its lightest possible weight. 9ff refers to this GT2 as the NR (Nürburgring) Edition


Brabus Tesla Roadster

We were more than just a little surprised to see that Mercedes tuner Brabus had on display a modified Tesla Roadster. Known for its wild performance modifications, Brabus left the electric engine of the Tesla alone in favor of some aesthetic, aerodynamics and light weight modifications. Stunning matte-white paint coats the body of the Tesla with exposed carbon fiber for the front splitter, rear spoiler and diffuser. To further reduce the weight of the vehicle, Brabus equipped it with the company’s Monoblock S light-alloy wheels in an 18- and 19-inch front and rear fitment.

In another uncharacteristic move by Brabus, they also equipped the silent Tesla with a noise maker, or what the German tuner calls a “space sound generator.” Aimed at giving the Tesla a sound all its own, the “space sound generator” has several different options, including a beefy V8 sound, as well as several outer-space soundtracks, two of which are called “beam” and “warp.”

AUDI R8 GT3

The Audi/VW group was one of the few OEMs to have a significant display at Essen and Audi had a good reason to be there – the unveiling of its R8 GT3 racecar. Audi used the opportunity to confirm that the car will get roughly 500hp from a 5.2L V10 engine – the same one found the new R8 and LP560.


Two other interesting features are the use of a six-speed sequential transmission and the RWD layout (as AWD platforms are prohibited in most Le Mans- and GT3-style series).


MTM SCIROCCO R

There were almost too many modified Sciroccos at Essen to count, but one of the most note-worthy was the MTM Scirocco R. German VW/Audi tuner MTM has already developed a complete package of parts for the new Scirocco including several performance packages for the 200hp turbo four. Power increases come in three stages: 245, 250 and 272hp.

As mentioned, MTM has equipped the Scirocco with more than just an engine package. The Scirocco R also features an 8-piston front brake system with 15-inch rotors. To fit this ridiculous brake setup, however, the Scirocco will require 19-inch MTM Bimoto rims.

A “clubsport” suspension setup is also offered which includes a coilover system that can lower the front suspension by 20-40 mm and the rear by 10-35 mm.

ABT GOLF VI

With a subtle new aero kit, which includes a new rear bumper with an integrated four-pipe exhaust, ABT Sportsline, the world’s largest VW Group-tuner, unveiled its version of the new mark VI Golf in Essen.

ABT has also designed a full range of performance packages for both engine options including some impressive packages for the little turbocharged 1.4L four. The stage one kit bumps power from 122hp to 160 and a stage two will bring the fun all the way up to 200hp – almost as much as the factory 2.0T makes in the GTI but with less fuel

Of course, ABT also has a performance pack for the GTI, boasting 240hp.


TechArt GT Street R

After releasing its GT Street version of the Porsche Turbo with 600hp, we thought TechArt had delivered all the goods for that model… apparently not. After designing a performance package for the GT2, TechArt engineers then set about adapting the larger GT2 turbos to the 997 Turbo – with impressive results. The new output is 660hp and 634 ft-lbs of torque at 4600 rpm.

TechArt claims this GT Street R “stage three” kit is good for an acceleration run to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds with a top speed of 214 mph.

LORINSER SL

Honorable mentioned goes to Lorinser and its new aero kit for the Mercedes SL-Class. Lorinser has built a reputation for itself with rather garish designs for all of MB’s vehicles, but the new Lorinser SL is certainly a looker.