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S5 modifications - APS, UK, 15th Feb

22905 Views 168 Replies 33 Participants Last post by  Wolfman
All, a number of S5 owners met at the premises of APS in Brackley, Northants on Friday to undertake some of the more popular modifications bing talked about on this forum. Here's a few initial details - I'll post a pictorial diary of the day and fellow owner Ian, sound recordist extraordinaire, has some 'before and after' sound files which clearly show the (marked) difference between stock and Milltek resonated exhaust. To answer the burning question - 'is it worth it and should I wait for a non-res version' - 'YES' and 'NO'. More details later.

Background to the day

As many of you will know, Ian and I had separately approached APS for details and pricing on a series of mods (primarily exhaust and suspension/track). Ian pulled it together via another thread and APS arranged a day for a number of owners to meet and either have the mods performed, or simply view the work in progress and its results. Hence, we met at APS's premises in Brackley, Northants this last Friday 15th.


Have to spend a few lines commending this outfit. Their premises are immaculate (as you'll see from the pics), their customer service and communication (through partner, Ed Jackson) is beyond reproach and their engineers are not only damn good blokes but at the top of their game. They work in pairs on each car, methodically assisting each other and checking each stage of the work. Gained huge comfort in watching the way they handled my prized possesion. They have a wealth of experience with a variety of VAG models and this is apparent in conversation with them. You'll also find it hard to beet their keen pricing!

The cars

On the day, three cars were to be modified, these being:
  • Mine (Meteor Grey), in for exhaust, spacers, springs and Sportec pedals
  • Ian's (Phantom Black) in for the same less pedals, although having seen them, quickly added to his list :)
  • Colli's (Ibis White), intended to have re-map, spacers springs and pedals done, with exhaust next week. As it turned out, springs hadn't arrived so he'll be back for those with the exhaust.
We were also joined by Graham and his meteor S5 who was interested in seeing the results, and Neil from Honda's F1 operation round the corner who's had a loaded black S5 for a few months and joined us to see the work taking place.

So, at one point, close to £250K's worth of S5 all parked up - quite a sight (and sound!).....

The mods - subjective impressions

In summary, the mods make a huge difference to the car and make it, in my opinion, the type of car we hoped Audi would make. Aesthetically, the pictures speak for themselves with the car now possessing a totally aggressive stance - the word that springs to mind is 'menacing'. The Milltek slash-cut exhaust looks tremendous, well-suited to the car and avoiding the Max Power look by virtue of its careful integration with the lines of the rear valance. It could be said that for this benefit alone, the mods are worth the money but what of the drive?

When my car was initially lowered from the ramp and the engine fired-up, I have to say my heart sank and Ian's face fell. At idle, the exhaust note was noticeably more subdued - we both started to wonder if we had done/were about to do the right thing. Then I sat in the car and revved it up. OMG. The sound of the car, most particularly from inside had changed beyond recognition. From the standard burble, the note had changed to a deep but hard-edged growl (check out Ian's comparative sound files for confirmation of this). The car was taken out by Ed for a quick shakedown and upon return, I went out for a quick blast up and down the A43. I didn't stop smiling. Under load, the exhaust just bellow - unmistakably a V8 sound but more akin to a race car. No need to put the back seats down now to get the benefit! ;) With the window down, it was apparent that the sound that passers-by are subjected too is no less arresting - the car just howls its intent :eek:

The ride quality is, as you'd expect, notably firmer and certainly in the UK, it's fair to say that 90% of the time, you'll be completely aware that the car is riding on stiffer springs. That said, it's part of the miraculous metamorphosis of the car from GT to hard-edged sports saloon and totally in keeping. Any trade-off in terms of ride comfort (and there is some) is more than balanced by the car's poise on the road and enhanced cornering ability - roundabouts on the A43 were despatched in one seamless movement, body-roll all but banished and the car still largely unaffected by mid-corner road surface imperfections although on one or two occasions, I have sensed it skip slightly as it encounters bumps and holes, where the previous set-up would have been more tolerant.

Regarding the spacers - can't honestly say I notice any negative impact on steering feel - although there's a sense of additional weight at low speeds. Steering accuracy is unaffected as speeds increase. Both Ian and I (and I think Colli?) decided on aesthetic grounds to go with front spacers as well as rears and whilst we each harboured some concerns about the possible effects on steering geometry, this seem to have been misplaced. We'll keep an eye on the front tyres for any signs of uneven wear, but first impressions are comforting.

That's it for now - in the office today and have to do some proper work - will post some more pics in follow-on posts and more later from I and others.....


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Excellent reviews guys,if you dont mind me asking how much in total was your mods + labour + vat

Thanks for posting vid on youtube Ian,what a difference from stock and did i read somewhere that the sound gets better after a couple of days or so,omg :eek:
Thanks for the price update Ess5ive,no that doesnt seem bad at all :)
My Audi S5 is my first car that isnt shared by the mrs,kids and dog,i bought her a citreon picasso to keep untidy,with my S5 being a weekend car for myself,it is my opsession to keep it looking good just like your S5's by the look of the photos.I have never had a car modded before but I am very interested in getting my S5 done,i have been well impressed with the photos of before and after what a difference,like Colli said in post earlier kind of feel that my S5 kind of looks boring when comparing against yours.I have my S5 into Audi tomorrow to get a new S5 badge as old one is peeling off on the red part of the badge,think i will ask my salesman if getting mods done like yours would effect me in any way as my S5 is leased on a four year deal,i personally cant see any probs but might ask all the same.Will post reply as someone else mentioned same query.
What is the wait time of parts,do you have to ring and order them or are they generally in stock,i live in the north east so suppose i would ring to book my car in and make sure parts are there on day,just curious is it a all day job :confused:

Thanks Dave.

Keep us posted on when that Audi mag is out Ian :cool:
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Sorry havnt replyed back ealier just very busy at work atm.
Thanks colli for the info on pricing,that doesnt seem bad at all for the work done.Trying not to sound stupid as you guys seem very clued up on performance upgrades but what do you mean when you said was £400-500,what is remap :confused:
I said i would report back on warranty issues,when i was at my dealer this week getting my new S5 badge i showed him the site and this thread on your upgrades and he was very impressed,he went to see his boss when i mentioned about the warranty issue and the reply was as i expected if anything went wrong with exhaust or suspension obviously they would not cover it and any money spent would not add value to the car when or if i decided to hand it back in either in three or four years after lease deal expires his advice even though he liked mods was to leave car as it is but again said they cant stop a customer adding mods to the car as there is nothing in the lease contract that says you cant,well within reason anyway and your upgrades were acceptable as far as my dealer/salesman was concerned.
I am still very interested in getting my S5 done like yourselfs in the next few months or summer,think i will wait until Audi mag is out to have a good read up and check pics out,its a pity none of you guys dont live near me so i could check them out before i go down as i think its quite a drive from the north east.
How has everything been with the upgrades,any problems to report back,increase tyre wear was one point that did interest me with suspension been lower,does the added drop effect tyre wear? also realistically what is the chances of anything drastic happening to car after upgrades you guys have done,judging by the pics the company was very professional so all parts fitted was at the highest workmanship,just curious thats all.

Thanks Dave.
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Well after reading proffesor Ian's report on Remap i am fully clued up now,thanks for that Ian :D
I will take you up on that sunday meet colli,would be good to see your S5 before making decision to book my car in,will give you a shout nearer the time to sort something out ;)

Might be interested Blade i am currently saving up my pennys for my mods to my S5 at APS especially after looking at the reveiws and pics in this months Audi Driver,was very impressed and has made my mind up without actually seeing a S5 in the flesh with mods done.I might be a little late though Blade for your meet there as i could be looking four to eight weeks to book my S5 in unless job i have priced for at work comes off,if that happens i will book car in the next few weeks.
Look forward to pics when you get time Sherv ;)
You might be able to remember me Ed,Dave here from Durham (north east) i spoke to you last month about getting exhaust,springs and spacers done like the guys (Ian,Colli,Ess5ive) well i am saving my pennys and hope to come down in near future to get work done and your idea about giving us all of your time on a day sounds great i would certainly be up for that as i am pretty new to mods etc and to see the experts at work on the cars would be great.
I am very busy at work atm and possibly be end of next month or june before i book my car in,not sure what time scale you guys are on for getting work done ?

I will check my work guys to see if available that day and will let you know as soon as possible.

Miltek YES!!! want to have a look at the sportec pedals to,if like them on Ians,Ess5ive will have them fitted also.
Still considering spacers and springs,if anyone has a pic of a S5 view from the back fitted with milktek exhaust without the springs and spacers could you pm or post in forum for me please,just curious to see if exhaust will look as good from the back as Ian's,Ess5ive and Colli.

Ian i know that feeling very well when the mrs spends,spends and spends your not alone m8 :mad: :D

Cheers guys ;)

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