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Heavy Metal Affliction Hot Hatches

John Schommer
Friday, May 11, 2012


Welcome to Heavy Metal Affliction,’s presentation of radical rides, builds in progress, dream projects, and barn finds. Wanna share yours? Tell us about it here.


Heavy Metal Affliction can be defined as: the enduring need and passion to seek out, purchase, and fix-up cars that speak to us, without regard for investment value or resale.


This week we are focusing on hot hatchbacks. While a hatchback is defined as, “an automobile with a hinged rear door that opens upward.” The owners of these two rides would more than likely define it as “a compact car with the potential to go extremely fast once I’m done with it.”


Seps1974’s Audi A3 1.9 TDI 

Diesels are prevalent in Europe, and almost any type of car or truck comes standard with the efficiency of using highly compressed air to ignite fuel. These engines deliver great fuel mileage but are traditionally less exciting than gas-burning engines. This Audi A3 is an exception.


Owned by Forza 4 community member Pedro Rodrigues (Gamertag Seps1974) from Portugal, this 2001 Audi A3, has seen some serious upgrades since he bought it in 2006. It came with the leather Recaro seats from the S3--a rare feature--and bone stock, it made due with a torquey 130hp. 


After trying out three different sets of wheels, Pedro settled on a set of Oettinger’s. He also removed the wood trim and replaced it with piano-black S3 trim throughout the interior. Having achieved the cosmetic appeal he was striving for, he moved on to improving the handling by installing a coil-over suspension.


Now for the really fun part: making his hatchback go faster with engine upgrades. Although the car’s 130 stock horsepower is respectable for a small hatchback, Pedro dug in and replaced the stock GT1749VA Garret Turbo with a GT1749VB, giving it more boost. Then he installed a much larger FMIC (front-mounted intercooler), and upgraded the exhaust. Finally, he had a friend professionally remap the ECU. The result was 210 horsepower. Once on the road, with its newfound juice, he found the stock clutch could not handle the increase in power so it was replaced with a reinforced clutch.


With these improvements, “the little diesel that could” now reaches speeds of 150 mph (240km/h) with ease.


Watch this video shot by Pedro’s buddy RT79pt to see it reach speeds we won’t tell his wife about. 


JDMHatch1993’s 1991 EG Honda Civic  


The Honda Civic may be the most popular compact car to tune up. With tons of these cars readily available, a lightweight chassis, and a plethora of aftermarket parts combine, the Civic is a perfect conversion candidate all over the world.


This 1991 EG Honda Civic is owned by eighteen year old Aussie Tim McGrath (Gamertag JDMHatch1993) of Queensland, Australia. He picked up the car just after getting his driver’s license. It was a rolling shell that came with a few rare parts and a JDM B16 engine. He had it towed to a mate’s farm out in the bush where the work began.




Tim is obviously pretty handy with a spanner, as he got the engine installed and running a week later. Then he spent the better part of a month getting the rest of it back together and back on the road. From there, it became his daily driver. Since then he has installed more upgrades including a Magnaflow exhaust, Recaro racing seats (and cool blue door panels to match), and numerous suspension and stabilizing components.  He drives it to work every day, to the beach, and to car club meets, where he has met lots of interesting people in the car scene that have since become good friends.




Through his newfound friends, he heard about a track day that was open for practice runs. Tim gave the car a few runs and fell in love with motorsports.  Now the car is off the road and being prepped for its future in racing. He has since bought another car for commuting and continues to build up the Civic for a career on the track.


Click here to check out almost 200 photos of Tim’s build and see the car in action.


Thanks to Pedro and Tim for sharing their cool rides. Do you have or know of an awesome ride you want to share? Tell us about it
Like this story? Got comments to share? Talk about it in our Heavy Metal Affliction thread.