Audi A5 Forum & Audi S5 Forum banner

S5 modifications - APS, UK, 15th Feb

22853 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.....


See less See more
21 - 40 of 169 Posts
Sound Comparison...

Here's the sound comparison on youtube... after learning how to use Windows Movie Maker!

The sound was recorded at high quality with a reference microphone using exactly the same set-up and settings, so thay are as close as you will get to a fair comparison. The measurement shows the Milltek to be 20% louder under these conditions... another point to make is that this is immediately after fitting... these exhaust get slightly louder and even more musical after a few weeks

The sound comparison free-revving is only half the story... under load and at higher revs, these things really bark! I will try to get some in-car sounds done this week using the same equipment.

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:
no offence to essfives camera work,he did well to say he was using a disposable camera...
Thanks Colli, you b*stard! Although, looking at the grainyness/blurriness of half my pics, I think you may be right and I should junk it for a good ole pin-hole camera - couldn't be any worse.....
Excellent reviews guys,if you dont mind me asking how much in total was your mods + labour + vat
Hi Dave, I paid £1385 all-in (exhaust, springs, f/r spacers, pedals), inclusive of VAT & fitting.

Think you'll be lucky to beat that anywehere else!
Whats the difference between the slash cut and the rolled finish exhausts? Anyone any pics to show the difference?
Here's a picture of the rolled/Jet - and of course, you can see Special in our photos.......

Check out the Milltek website ( for pictures of the Jet fitted. IMO, it looks rather too standard, whereas the Special has a much more.......special look to it.


See less See more
OK Guys, sorry I haven't done the sound stuff yet... been too busy polishing 'the beast' Here's my favourite angle of the finished car... it looks awsome. :D
Hmmm - not sure it looks as low as I might have expected. Difficult to see 'cos that black thing's in the way - should have moved it first........:)
Press Photo from the day...

Guys, Audi Driver Magazine will be running a feature about our S5 day at APS... here's a sample press photo of my car from the day that they have sent me.

Please respect the image rights of the photographer and magazine by not copying or distributing this picture. Thanks!



See less See more
sorry to be a pest any thoughts on?

whats audi view on this ie against warranty
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:
See less See more
Well done gents... a wealth of information to help us all out.

Congrats on the Audi Driver magazine piece too. I look forward to seeing that.

FYI.... for folks not in the UK, the February issue has their test and review of the S5. They give it a very positive review, but ding it some on the clutch feel, suspension dampening, instrument lighting and rear legroom.

For USA folks, I used to be able to find it at Barnes and Nobel most months, but ended up ordering a subscription.
curious - have the spacers caused any additional tire wear?
Guys, Audi Driver Magazine will be running a feature about our S5 day at APS... here's a sample press photo of my car from the day that they have sent me.

Please respect the image rights of the photographer and magazine by not copying or distributing this picture. Thanks!

That's awesome Ian! I didn't even see you mention (or maybe you didn't) that they were there. If this is a UK mag, keep us (or rather U.S.) in the loop as to when it comes out.
hi dave,

i spoke to aps on monday my h&r springs are in,they took a week to arrive,but aps have informed me the milltek exhaust is not even in at the wholesalers as the usa are mad for them and they have all been shipped there , mid next week before exhaust is in,so that will be about one and half weeks ish..the rest like pedals ,spacers seem to be got quickly..
i think aps do the exhaust, spacers and springs for £1100.00 a package. my was £400-500,also i had pedals so my bill was £1750.00.
aps are soon to produce some figures and graphs on the re-map and assure me i will get them as they do, i will then post onto here..however although not jawdropingly faster it pulls better in 4th 5th 6th gears and has an instant feel of accelleration at the beggining of each gear when going up thru the box.its definately noticable ,a few times on the way home i thought i was pulling away in 3rd to look down and see i was in 4th....ian might like to view on this as he had a go when it was done although it was a quick go and perhaps not long enough to fully assess it? meanwhile happy modding..
See less See more
whats audi view on this ie against warranty
Warranty's a bit of a grey area and one that you absolutely need to thinkcarefully about when performing any modifications. Essentially, there's no 'blanket' warranty on a new car, i.e., failures of components covered by that warranty will be treated in isolation. For example, had you chipped or re-mapped you car and a wheel-bearing failed, you'd still be covered. Similarly, if you've replaced your springs and the engine blows up, still no problem as long as there's not a link that can be made between the engine failure and suspension (and I can imagine a manufacturer trying if they were to avoid a £10K warranty claim....!)

However, had you lowered your car and/or fitted spacers and said wheel-bearing failed, the cost of fixing that issue, even if the cause were completely unrelated to the modifications done, would be laid at your feet.

The only safe way of guaranteeing that your entitlement to warranty cover is intact is to simply leave the car as the manufacturer intended.

But you don't want to do that, do you?
See less See more
If this is a UK mag, keep us (or rather U.S.) in the loop as to when it comes out.
It is a UK publication ( - the article's about 2-3 weeks away from completion and then it will appear when editorial schedules allow - I guess sometime in the next 2-3 months?

Attached is my pic - taken by the photographer perched precariously on the window ledge of Ian's car, in a freezing cold 60mph slipstream.

Brave man - but excellent photographer!

(Shame about the fat bloke pretending not to look at the camera as he drives - would be an excellent snap otherwise.....;) )


See less See more
now i wasn't going to say anything about the guy's size, but that fender badge is something else.. ;)
Oh dear, not you too. Shall I take it off, Bri? :rolleyes:

Ian, you were right......
it's recorded forever and ever - might as well leave it on now! :)
Guess you're right! Oh well - it's a talking point (or is that sniggering point?) at least......
21 - 40 of 169 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.