As a company demonstrator for a firm like TAG Motorsports, it’s no surprise that things began developing quickly for our new Project RS 7. From the time the matte grey Sportback was first parked back at TAG headquarters in San Diego, modifications and upgrades began immediately.
Working with TAG Motorsports for the first time, we’re realizing they move a bit too fast for us to cluster modifications into neat bento box like groupings. In the week since our project series launch, the TAG team had already installed the first of many wheel and tire packages, suspension, exhaust and some painted side markers. In as much, we’ve thrown out the groupings in favor of just keeping pace with the progress of the car’s build.Painted Side Markers
No surprise, equipment and trim from the other side of the pond is always cooler. As a result, TAG does a brisk business in eCode headlights and removal of those amber and red side markers required for cars to sell in the USA.
In the case of the RS 7 (also A7 and S7), those markers aren’t housed in the headlight or taillright. Instead, American cars get U.S. spec bumpers fitted with amber reflectors at the front and red reflectors at the rear. In this sort of situation, TAG offers painted reflector sets.
A quartet of Daytona Grey Matte reflectors were fitted, matching the car’s trick paint code. Anyone doing this to their own car will also have to deactivate the lights with a VAG COM, though the guys at TAG were familiar with the process having done it countless times before. Settings, in this case, from the earlier pre-facelift cars are practically identical to the newer cars like Project S7.Suspension
This particular RS 7 was ordered with the standard air suspension rather than the much more aggressively stiff dynamic suspension option. Going that direction had two benefits. First, it is adjustable by the user within the MMI system. Second, this configuration makes it possible to drop the car’s ride height via an electronic module.
Given both TAG Motorsports and Fourtitude had good experience with the H&R lowering module on previous S7 builds, going the same direction with the German suspension manufacturer was a no brainer.
When it comes to parts, the module is the only piece of equipment. There’s no need to swap suspension hardware like shocks or springs. Simply plug in the module and this drops the car about 30mm lower than factory, but retains all of the factory controls via the MMI system for a very OEMplus application.HRE RS1 Monoblock Wheels
On its own, the RS 7 comes with some impressive 21-inch wheel options that look great, but in car savvy southern California, a car like this needs something to set it apart. Given this is TAG’s demonstrator car, they actually have any number of things in store from companies like BBS, ADV.1, Vossen and more. First though, they decided to turn to their San Diego neighbors HRE and specifically HRE’s new RS 1 monoblock lineup. For this first fitment they went with the RS100M, replacement for the very popular P40SC, built in a 21×10.5 configuration and finished in a satin bronze. The new alloys are shod in Dunlop 275 30 21 rubber.Akrapovic Titanium Exhaust
With many appearance upgrades now deployed, Alex Andonian and the team from TAG also decided to begin the car’s performance enhancements. When it comes to the RS 7, there are any number of sport exhaust options, but one of the most interesting and exotic is Akrapovic and their Evolution Line Titanium Exhaust.
There are any number of reasons to appreciate Akrapovic. Their lightweight titanium exhaust systems with handsome carbon fiber tips along with design and fabrication all make for a product that you almost hate to hide underneath a car. That the firm is also the super lightweight exhaust supplier for racing cars like the Le Mans winning Audi R18 e-tron quattro and the Audi RS 5 DTM only adds to their street cred and allure.
When it comes to engine note, the system designed for the RS 7 is very impressive. It takes an already seductive V8 rumble and augments it to a more guttural and visceral harmony. TAG reports there is zero drone inside the cabin, plus the active sport valve functionality controlled by the MMI are all retained.
Finally, there are the aforementioned carbon fiber tips. These add one trailing bit of appearance upgrade to the car, matching both the factory carbon fiber appearance package and also fitting the RS 7’s factory rear valance perfectly.Summary
With this first week of modifications down, our Project RS 7 is rapidly under way. TAG Motorsports has also begun to affectionately refer to the matte grey car fittingly as #ProjectShark. If you want to follow it more closely on social media platforms, make sure to take note of that hashtag.
- TAG Motorsports Painted Reflector Set
- H&R Lowering Module
- HRE Monoblock RS100M
- Akrapovic Evolution Line Titanium Exhaust System
Next Up: Expect a new set of wheels at the very least. Plus, TAG will continue to add a few of their favorite upgrades as this car continues to gain momentum.