It’s easy for some to group all new-wave modified cars under the same ‘air and wheels’ banner. Erik vd Meer’s stunning modified TT-RS is here to try and break that habit…

Now, don’t get me wrong, when I started my modifying journey some 30 years ago (yep, I’m really that old), there was no ‘bank of mum and dad’ tuning or buy-now-pay-later options. You messed with what you could afford and what you could afford wasn’t usually a fat lot.

So, I understand why some of the old-skool people get frustrated these days with the ‘younger’ generation for their chequebook builds and credit card tuning. Still, that doesn’t give them the excuse to tarnish every new-wave build with the same ‘air and wheels’ brush. Take Dutchman, Erik vd Meer’s stunning modified Audi TT-RS 8S for example.

Firstly, there’s not an air bag or compressor in sight so the ‘air’ part is out of the equation. Secondly, at 34-years-old, the technical mechanic from Groningen in the North of Holland isn’t exactly what you’d class as a youngster or newbie either!

aerial shot of Modified Audi TT-RS

Erik’s car history

“I’ve always been into cars and having a Mk5 Golf as my first mode of transport sort of set me on a VW/Audi path,” Erik told us. It’s no wonder he got the VW bug, mind, as this wasn’t just any old Mk5 Golf but rather a GTI Edition 240 model! As quick and fun as the car was, it didn’t take Erik long to tire of the performance and begin dreaming up his first batch of mods. Long story short, he ended up swapping in a Mk6 Golf R motor, fitting a set of Ultralow coilovers, plus ceramic brakes: “I also developed an adapter system to allow me to fit centre-locking Porsche wheels on the car, too,” he said proudly.

German Car Festival

I think that’s the thing with new-wave cars, firstly they’re far better built and spec’d from the factory. So, it’s not all about having a spec list as long as your arm, often it’s far more about the quality and custom aspect of the handful of mods that have been fitted. Quality over quantity and then some…

After his Mk5 build Erik hopped across to the Audi camp and bought a Nardo Grey RS3: “Admittedly, I only did coilovers and wheels on this car, but that’s largely because I soon started looking at Audi TT-RSs,” he told us. “I actually bought this car back in 2021 and imported it myself from Germany. It was totally stock and in mint condition.” The car itself is a 2019 TT-RS and came with just 15kms on the clock when Erik took delivery. Sounds like the perfect base for a project, if you ask us!

five cylinder engine in Modified Audi TT-RS

Five-cylinder thrills

So, why was Erik so obsessed with this particular car: “Well, it was the last five-cylinder from Audi to roll out from the factory in this model, plus I have a thing about red cars,” he continued; “My Nardo Grey RS3 was nice, but I’ve always loved red after my first car.”

Erik ended up having to look to Germany for cars when he began his search back in 2021, as there’s far more choice than in Holland. “I contacted a bunch of dealers in Germany and even had a coupe of trips out there to view cars. There were actually two shades of red I could have gone for, but I chose Tango over the Catalunya options as it was much more vibrant.”

wing on tt rs

Modified TT-RS plans

It might sound like a silly question, but we decided to ask it anyway. Did he plan to modify the car from the outset? “Yes, I did, but I thought I was going to keep it quite simple to start with – like I did with the RS3.” Then Erik got the carbon fibre bug, and the rest is history. We’ve seen it so many times before. There’s just something addictive about the carbon weave that people find hard to resist. Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves, though.

First things first, Erik had loved the carbon ceramic brakes on this old Golf so much that he decided he wanted to go down the ceramic route again: “I found a set of brakes from an Audi RSQ8 on eBay that looked perfect, so I bought those and then set about sorting adapters to fit them. My dad helped me with this part,” he confessed. The vital stats for these new stoppers were nothing short of madness, either. How does 420mm discs up front with whopping 10-pot callipers and 370mm out back with four-pots grab yer? Pretty tightly, we’d expect.

Modified Audi TT-RS side profile shot

Choosing the wheels for the modified Audi TT-RS

While the factory wheels were off the car, Erik decided now would be a good time to upgrade these, too. So, what did he opt for? You guessed it, centre-locking OZ Ultraleggera items from a Porsche GT3 RS: “I needed four 9×20” GT3 front wheels, which would give plenty of clearance for the new brakes, while also fitting the rear wheel arches.” When it came to the front arches, Erik couldn’t resist the urge to fit a set of Mücke wide wings to accommodate the larger wheels and still allow him to roll low. The wings are actually 2.5cm wider each side and are made from carbon fibre, although Erik decided to painted them body colour to match the rest of the car.

Modified Audi TT-RS front on shot

Suspension modifications

It would have been silly not to address the suspension while the car was sitting up on jack stands and as Erik had decided this car was going to be sticking around for a while, he thought it made sense to go all out with the dampers. “I went with a set of Gepfeffert’s ‘deep’ KW V3 with the HLS hydraulic lift system integrated.” These offer 3cm of lift at the push of a button and are the ultimate solution for those wanting to ‘roll deep’ but not destroy their cars on speed humps.

Once the foundations (chassis mods) were in place it was time for Erik to add a few of his own enhancements to the bodywork and interior. Outside, he fitted a bunch of factory Performance Pack upgrades including front splitters, side skirts, a rear wing and diffuser. These were all painted in high gloss black (to tie in with the wheels and door mirrors) by Eric Westerhof and fitted by Erik and his dad. “I actually did most of the work on the car myself, with the help of my dad,” Erik admitted. He reckons developing and manufacturing the brake adapters was probably the hardest job. “Making them is one thing, but it’s getting the perfect fit that really takes time.”

Modified Audi TT-RS interior anti-roll bar

Interior modifications on the Audi TT-RS

You might be interested to know that our original photos of this car were taken last December, but Erik had to revisit our studio in April in order for Lennart to take updated photos of the interior. You see, our Dutch friend went a bit overboard here when the carbon bug bit: “I think that the latest carbon additions to the interior is my favourite bit.” And when we say overboard, we mean it. Parts coated in genuine carbon by Dietrich Concept include the dash display surround, the four round vent rings, steering column cover, steering wheel trims, centre console trims, gear knob, dash badge and centre switch panel lower trim. Basically, if you could remove the trim part, then it got a coating of carbon or a splash of gloss black.

I guess we couldn’t talk about the interior without mentioning the seats. “I drove 1100kms to Austria to collect them. They’re full carbon and came in the Lamborghini Gallardo LP-570 Superleggera.” Tipping the scale at just 3.7kg per seat, they’re a serious weight saving and they look simply wild. The chunky rear carbon strut brace was from Automotive Passion.

So what’s the car like to drive then? “Well, even with a stock engine it’s really fast and sounds amazing, but it’s the stopping power that really shocks you.” Erik says nobody believes the car is static, either, which is totally understandable when you consider how low it sits and rides.

carbon fibre seats

What’s next for the modified TT-RS?

As for the future, well, Erik is rounding up a bunch of parts to take the engine to Stage 3 during the winter months – he’s just finalising the spec. He said the dream is to own a Porsche GT3 RS one day, but we reckon once the engine has been tuned he won’t be far off of GT3 RS performance in the TT. And we know which one we’d rather own…

Love German cars? Want to see modified builds like this in person? Be sure to check out our premier German Car Festival event taking place this October 5th at Goodwood Motor Circuit.

Modified Audi TT-RS rear 3/4 shot

Photos: Lennart Dijkstra.