(Pictures are below...)
I received my APR exhaust on 7/21/00 and had it installed on 7/27/00.
Take 1 high quality exhaust, add a tuning shop
with top-notch customer service (APR), and an Audi-loving
installer and only good things can happen.
From the beginning:
I visited this shop before to feel them out for future endeavors. The shop is Autofirme in Amenia, NY (just over the border from Kent, CT) and Greg is the owner / head installer. You won't meet a nicer guy. Grew up in Switzerland gaining his apprentceship there working on all sorts of European cars. He now competes in rallys and similar events with his Audis....
After removing the stock exhaust, we began test-fitting the APR one. It fit in okay, but there were two areas where it had minimal clearance that could possibly hit. We made some adjustments and the result was much better. YOu could tell that it would take a lot of effort to get it to hit anywhere now.
So, with that confidence, I started it up to hear what it sounded like. NICE. A deep tone that was louder than stock, but by no means annoying. Just a really pleasant deep note. I reved it a few times. It gets louder with revs, but still very acceptable. No harsh hich pitched noises, pops, or backfires. It put a big smile on my face.
Although, I was still reserving some of my excitement for the test drive. We took it out for a drive of varing conditions. At a stop, it has that comfortable deep tone, upon acceleration, it gets throatier (word?) and louder. Still very pleasant, without any harsh sounds. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd just want you to accelerate more. At 4th and 5th gears, it calms down and is just slightly louder than stock. There are no speed/gear configs that we found (and we tried a whole spectrum) where you got any annoying drones inside the car - NONE! The time when the exhaust is the loudest is upon a sharp downshift to 2nd, but even in stock form you'd hear the engine asking you why you did that.
It was on and off raining, so I drove with windows both open and closed. I liked the note of the exhaust, so I kept the windows open when possible. With them closed, no drones, like I said before. I'm without a stereo right now, so I notice every little noise - and the sounds of the exhaust were purely pleasant.
When in 4th-5th gears, the wind noise or my tire's road noise was more overbearing than the exhaust.
So, it has a nice tone at idle, increased throatiness through 1-3 gears and is stealthy while cruising on the highway - Exactly how I wanted it to be.
The tips look great (centered, and showing just enough), as does the entire system
When I got to work, I sat at idle while gathering my things. I then got out and listened while standing behind my car. It is definately louder (still sounds good and quiet on a relative scale) outside, which is perfect as you don't want the cabin filled with that note all the time. I really have to have someone drive my car as I follow to see what it sounds like to others. Also as I just stand there and the car accelerates by.
There *is* a noticeable power increase as well. This really was just a bonus as it wasn't my main reason for getting the exhaust. While it's not chip-mind-blowing, it is definately present. It also seems to smooth out some of the quick boosts provided by the turbo.
I've only had an hour of seat time, so if anything changes, I'll let you know.
Nothing ever rattled, rubed, etc so the first test drive was the last.
Thanks again to the guys at APR as well as Greg at Autofirme.
Here's pics of Autofirme