Things often get out of hand with Mark Lampard’s legendary car builds. And his latest beast, this all-bases-covered modified Audi TTS, is by no means any exception…
If you were anybody back in the modified car explosion of the early Noughties, you’ll no doubt have crossed paths with one of Mark Lampard’s insane modified cars at some point. From the TV-filled MR2 through to the savage race-inspired S2000, Mark will be the first to admit he can get a little carried away when it comes to his projects, but in turn create some of the most unique and well-loved cars as a result (with many gracing the fine pages of FC along the way, too…).
But times move on, styles change, people get older. In an age of sensibility and subtlety, how was our man Mark here planning on pushing the boundaries of his latest four-wheeled plaything, while fitting in with the often judgmental, Insta-whatsit-obsessed car scene of today?
The first thing to change was the switch from Jap to German metal. “The build quality won me over,” he explains, talking about the time his mate took him out in the very same car as the one he now owns: a fiery, turbocharged Audi TTS. This car choice in itself was sure to bring out a slightly different tuning side in Mark, as he confirms… “I wanted to keep it simple at the start…” he reveals.
A great way to enter the VAG world is with a decent air suspension setup and some killer rims, which is exactly what Mark decided on: Air Lift supplied the suspension, while Rotiform offered up his first set of hoops to prop up this highly respected sports coupé.
Scene-winning looks on a rather tasty car – enough to win awards as it was then, right? “It went a little mad from there, actually!” Mark laughs, pinpointing this make-or-break moment as the stage where things started to get a little more serious.
What came next was a gigantic list of fully custom parts to fit Mark’s exact requirements, many involving the nerve-wracking cutting up of this near-enough brand new motor in order to work properly.
First, the carbon fibre goodies adorning the outside. An OSIR Design grille in the lightweight metal was the first thing to arrive, with Mark chopping it up a little to knock the iconic four-hoop Audi badge over to one side, just to make it a little different from everyone else’s. Next came the rear valance, boot spoiler, and wing mirrors from none other than an R8, all in the same magic material as the grille.
“I found out the hard way how to get the old wing mirrors off!” Mark laughs, highlighting this as one of the most nail-biting parts of the build. Chopping up a brand new car is never easy, mate – we feel your pain! Luckily, the results speak for themselves.
Next to receive the painful side of Mark’s tools was the engine. With 270bhp as standard, the 2.0-litre four-banger isn’t exactly underworked. But Mark knew from experience that there’s more to life than a standard engine. Thinking of eventually getting a hefty re-map, he went about looking for performance bits that would free up the most horses. “I was looking for an induction kit,” he remembers, “but couldn’t find one anywhere.” Not one to be deterred, Mark made it his mission to sniff out the part he wanted. “I actually ended up going down to Ramair and helping them develop a custom cold-air intake,” he reveals. You can probably see the signature signs of Mark’s impressive dedication to the cause coming through nicely, now…
The air intake was complemented with several other custom parts, along with R8 coil packs and a titanium exhaust system, to ensure that over 330 horses are now frantically trying to escape whenever he hits the right pedal hard. That’s an impressive improvement!
Okay, so it’s much more unique, and a hell of a lot faster than most TTSs out there, time to call it a day? ….No. “Next came the crazy pink wheels!” Mark chuckles. Not happy with silver rims like everyone else, Mark got some custom, seriously bling D2 forged puppies made up, complete in that luminous pink colour, which was a last-minute stroke of genius. “They’re the biggest talking point, with some people initially not convinced, but then quickly saying how they’ve grown on them…” We can see why – they’re now arguably the defining point of the car, making it fully show-winning if it wasn’t before.
How about the nice leather interior? Surely things couldn’t get better than standard in there? “Lavish Automotive did such a great job on transforming the inside,” Mark promptly tells us before opening a door. Obviously they can, then… What greets you is a duo of stonking wing-backed R8 thrones, re-trimmed all over in Alcantara and looking absolutely gorgeous for it.
The final piece of the puzzle was the completely insane ICE system that is tucked away somewhere in that clean boot install, alongside the perfectly trimmed air tank. Very nice.
Partial to a good choon, Mark has managed to produce a sound system that’s about as devastatingly powerful as his car’s engine, thanks to a 12” sub and two beasty BlackAir amps.
With most of the hacking, fabricating and general hard graft being performed by himself alongside his mate Darren, we’re seriously impressed with Mark’s handiwork with another show-stormer of a project car. Although it does pretty much everything a car can do approximately 200 times better than your average runaround, it somehow manages to remain the scene-friendly side of subtle and drop-dead gorgeous, meaning that it’s hard not to love it.
How does he do it? One thing’s for sure, we reckon Mark should be applying for jobs as Audi’s chief stylist…
OWNER: MARK LAMPARD
TECH SPEC: AUDI TTS
2.0-litre 16V Audi TFSI turbocharged engine; custom Ramair air intake system; titanium-tipped performance exhaust system; performance diverter valve; Turbosmart blow-off valve; Audi R8 red-top coil packs; uprated spark plugs; AMD stage 2 remap; polished Porsche water and oil caps; custom fabricated fusebox cover; engine cover painted Audi white.
Six-speed close-ratio manual gearbox.
Custom 20” D2 TS23 two-piece forced wheels; 235/25/20 tyres; Air Lift Performance V2 air suspension system with AccuAir powdercoated white air tank; EBC USR brake discs all-round; EBC Yellow Stuff pads; Goodridge braided lines.
OSIR Design carbon fibre grille with relocated Audi badge, carbon fibre rear valance and rear boot spoiler; custom relocated front number plate; carbon fibre Audi R8 wing mirrors; tinted windows; polished Audi fuel cap.
Audi RS4 Black Edition Recaro bucket seats with seat backs, sides and inserts painted Audi white; Alcantara and black leather door cards, rear seats and rear shelf; retrimmed top cowling and storage cover; carbon fibre steering wheel cover; AccuAir air tank trimmed in white cross-stitch leather.
Sony double DIN head unit; custom boot build with 12” BlackAir sub woofer, 2 x BlackAir 1200-watt amps and BlackAir 3000-watt bass amp with 1.5 digital power cap.
Dan Moody at Lavish Automotive, the guys at Ramair, EBC Brakes, Goodridge and Mark Fisher at Air Lift.
Words Tom Watson Photos Dan Pullen