Johnny Tran’s A3
“I knew a VR6 with Quattro was the way to go, especially with a hatch for transporting”
We first met Johnny at H2oi 12’ when we asked about the car at the show. The wheels got our attention, and from there it became clear what a monster the car really was. For those of you that have not had the pleasure of meeting the man behind the machine, Johnny is about the details. He traded in his Jetta VR6 when he saw the A3, saying “I knew a VR6 with Quattro was the way to go, especially with a hatch for transporting.” Johnny had previously modified small things on the Jetta, but it wasn’t until the A3, that the mod bug bit. He started small, but soon he needed more. That’s when the idea of the 3.2t was born. Johnny approached RAI for the work that needed to be done. Ray gave him the run down and as Johnny puts it, “I was sold”
To make things clear, Johnny’s A3 is a monster. The list of parts and modifications that have gone into his build is extensive. The engine is the transverse 3.2 with a twist, a GT35R Turbo with .82 AR housing. The set up was produced in house with RAI, and paired with a 38mm Tail waste gate, 650cc Injectors, and a United Motorsport Big Turbo tune. As for the piping, the stock intake manifold was retained, and RAI built a custom tubular turbo exhaust manifold. Johnny also kept the stock head but upgraded the internals. He went with Integrated Engineering connecting rods that he paired with Wossner low compression piston heads. As for the BOV, Johnny picked a Synapse Engineering unit. RAI supplied the custom front mounted intercooler set up. The piping for the FMIC is 2.5” with the throttle body piping coming in at 3”. He went with VF for the dogbone mount and pendulum mount. The kicker? A Snow Performance water/meth kit. In order to vent the beast, RAI built a custom 3” stainless steel V- Banded turbo back exhaust. The drive train was the next part of the equation, Johnny turned to UM again for the custom DSG software, combined with a Haldex Gen II high performance controller. As for the brakes, Johnny chose to go with Stasis, picking their 355x28mm Mono4 BBK. The rear brakes are SPP Black Zinc Slotted/Dimpled Rotors with Carbotech Bobcat pads. Now that the car had the numbers, Johnny turned his attention to the exterior.
The A3 sits on air, which gives it a whole series of options for performance and show. Johnny went with the best, choosing Airlifts’ Performance Front Struts with camber plates and dampening and their double bellow rear bags with Koni yellow struts. The system also has stage 2 management with E-level paired to Viair dual 444c compressors. For wheels, Johnny picked a set of VMR 721’s at 19×8.5 finished in gun metal. He wrapped them in Continental DWS at 225/35/19. For the bodywork Johnny went with a full S3 full body kit conversion. He then installed a EuroGearUSA carbon fiber hood with AeroCatch hood latches. Next Johnny installed a DEVAL carbon fiber lip and mirror caps. The B pillars as well as the interior were changed to carbon fiber through G3 Composites. Other details include a 35% tint, Euro blind view mirrors, HID fog lights and a city light rewire with Deautokey LED bulbs. The trunk lights are also LED bulbs. For the interior, Johnny sourced a TT Flat bottom steering wheel which complements the CF trim and gray alcantara seat centers. He also has a Podi VEI dual display gauge and Symphony II Head Unit Converted to RNS-E with Dension iPod adapter wired in. He also picked up an S-tronic shifter and aluminum pedals. To add the final bits of detail to the stunning interior of this car, Johnny added perforated leather shift-boot and e-brake handle. Finally he deleted the ash tray. Without a doubt Johnny’s A3 is a monster, from the engine to the exterior the attention to detail is unreal. It’s worth noting that Johnny’s car has taken first place two years in a row at H2oi for Wild Audi, and come in second at Waterfest 18 for super modified Audis. Whether you have seen the car in photos or heard the meth back fire on the streets, everyone can agree that Johnny has out done himself with his A3.
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