Here I am dealing with yet another project I swore wouldn't happen. The'02 Audi TT 225 quattro ALMS bit me. And it bit me hard. I've got the bug and got it bad. After all, it's more fun than my previous '88 GTi 16v - well, only a li'l bit, but I have big plans for the coupe. My first target was the suspension. Without hesitation, I knew it had to be addressed. The car didn't handle the way I like it, so the stock parts had to go.
Of course, I was tempted to leave it alone at first. After all, the stock suspension felt great, but only to a point. It was when I started to push the car into corners that I realized things weren't quite right. I began to worry, and then an incident on a local, sweeping on-ramp outside LA convinced me that coilovers would be the best solution to my ride and performance requirements.
When it came to upgrading a fine German sports machine like the TT225, only H&R performance suspension components would do. They're the grandaddy of aftermarket suspension, and for smooth daily driving I opted for the standard coilover units rather than the race-spec parts. However, they're still more than capable when it comes to spirited canyon or autocross handling. We now feel it has the kind of lightning response we imagine the Audi engineers intended for the TT.
We opted for coilovers because they're focused and single-minded. However, they're also expensive, so H&R also offers Cup Kits that are built to a similarly high caliber but at a lower price.
If you choose coilovers we'd encourage you to set up the suspension properly. After all, the height of your vehicle may actually harm the handling. We all know that if a car sits too high it may roll around excessively. But by the same token, if you run coilovers too low you'll look cool but your neck and back may require treatment. And the handling will be comprised as the car slams onto its bump stops in every corner.
Suspension is always a compromise, but coilovers allow you to achieve the sort of compromise that suits your driving habits. So experiment with ride height until you get it set just right.
We also took the time to install H&R's 21mm diameter adjustable rear sway bar. The company offers a front bar as well but we went for the rear only because it makes the rear end turn more quickly. Not everybody likes that style of driving but we prefer the way it turns in canyons and when we autocross the car. The downside is that the rear end can get quite lively, but with the quattro transmission you only need plant your right foot and it simply pulls itself straight.
H&R coilover kit (#50312-2) $1480
H&R 21mm adjustable rear sway bar (#71312) $179.95
Installation by Euro Sport Accessorieswww.eurosportacc.com