In daily herald West Chicago company boosts performance

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By Matt Avery
Special to the Daily Herald

The Audi R8 is no slouch when it comes to performance. After being introduced with a 420-horsepower V-8, the brand later offered 525- and 560-horsepower V-10s.

But for buyers who seek to maximize the most from their ride's capabilities, a stop at AMS Performance is a must.

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West Chicago company boosts performance

This West Chicago tuning house offers a twin-turbo kit for V-10 coupes that delivers a staggering 925 horsepower -- on pump gas. Switch to race fuel and that figure jumps to about 1,050.

The package, dubbed the Alpha 10, was designed in-house using the latest in computer technology. At its core are twin turbochargers, supported by carbon fiber air ducts, intercoolers and a new exhaust system.

Install time is about a week and doesn't require any cutting, splicing or modifying of existing parts. Everything can be removed and the car returned to stock.

Inside the cabin, the only addition is a boost controller, mounted discretely in the glovebox. Add it all up and the final product is remarkable. I took an Alpha 10 out on the road and found it still retains the R8's sexy and sophisticated road manners.

Headed to the mall? No problem. Taking your spouse out to dinner? Piece of cake. Around town at lower speeds, the car is bizarrely docile. The engine idles smoothly, devoid of any stutter or stumble.

The exhaust is tuned but not overbearing or obnoxious. For the most part, it's as if the Alpha 10 isn't there. But stomp on it and it'll wake right to up.

Right before blast off there's an intoxicating whistle of spooling turbos and then nothing but whooshing acceleration. The Audi's advanced all-wheel drive setup doesn't skip a beat and has no trouble keeping up. I juiced it several times and never once did the supercar's tires squeal in protest or fishtail for control. I simply pointed it in a direction and held on.

Back off and everything returns to normal. It's a very driver-friendly setup. AMS said one customer recently drove his Alpha 10 R8 cross-country from New York to California and back again.

The factory V-10 R8 thrills most drivers. But for those craving ridiculous acceleration, there is an option that's surprisingly livable -- the Alpha 10. For more information, visit amsperformance.com.
 

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