Audi R8, Blown in Bronze and Bad to the Bone
To most, purchasing a 420hp Audi R8 supercar from the factory is more than enough of a hot rod. But not to serious car guys like us. We want more. We want to tune, tweak, mod and hammer our cars, regardless of the fact that the factory just spent millions engineering and building the car for ultimate performance. With us, it’s just like that.
Cars are our social statement reflecting our attitude and personal tastes not to mention the flexing of our right foot muscle and how we feel a car should pull and sound. For Larry Chachko, owner of Auto Art in suburban Chicago, this particular car was to be a bold statement – a complete custom exotic with redesigned aesthetics, improved suspension, handling and way more power. Calling it the “car for the year” for Auto Art, it made its debut two years ago at SEMA and still burns as hot as when we first spotted it at the show.
“When I got the staff together and told them we were going to do this car in bronze, they gave me a blank stare. Nobody had my back on this one” Chachko said. But that is the genius of a good stylist – taking chances that most wouldn’t touch. Starting with a bone stock, naturally aspirated, silver 2008 R8, the all-wheel drive supercar got a major makeover with the most noticeable attribute being that custom mixed Spies Hecker “SKID MARQ” bronze, hence the license plate. Given that Auto Art does all body & paint work, mods, engineering and tuning in house, getting the body and paint work done right was business as usual.
Going even further, Chachko selected delicious 20″ ADV.1 5.2 MV2 CS wheels finished in brushed Rose Gold shod with Toyo tires. They set off the bronze body like dynamite. The purple calipers are an even bolder statement, but they look good. They remind us of Crown Royal – bronze and purple and packs a punch!
Now, back in 2008, Audi R8’s had a righteous stance from the factory but now it’s downright ludicrous as the trick carbon fiber rockers are an inch off the ground thanks to KW coilovers at the corners. Those rockers are joined in carbon by those radical front canard wings, front lip and diffuser panels. But the carbon doesn’t stop there. The roof skin is carbon as are the door caps, side view mirrors, rear diffuser as well as those patented R8 sides skirts.
Yet more carbon is found inside the mid-engine bay which houses the angry V8 made angrier by that twin-scroll VF Engineering supercharger and custom VF tune. The blower gives this sleek German missile pavement-eating torque while suppressing the driver firmly back in the seat to the tune of 520hp. The sound this car makes is downright sinister. So sinister that the built-in K40 radar detector (with its display built in to rear view mirror) keeps ol’ smokey bear at bay.
The “SKID MARQ” Audi R8 gives us a glimpse of the styling and tuning prowess of Auto Art. It’s a rolling testament to the shop’s wide-ranging capabilities and as Chachko points out “we are the only luxury body/performance/tuning shop in the Midwest that has the capability to do our cars from start to finish under one roof.”
It’s also worth noting that Chachko picked the right Audi R8 combination to mod. While Audi began offering the R8 with a V-10 in 2010, there is no beating the thunder from a blown V8. Bravo Larry.
Photography by Jeremy Cliff