Monday, 30 April 2012

SSBB plug: AmD & Milltek

This weekend I took the SuckSqueezeBangBlow-mobile - the 2002 SEAT León Cupra 20V T - down to AmD Essex for a little treat. I needed the exhaust replacing anyway, so I thought I might as well do the job properly and get something that'll last, as well as having a few performance benefits. So, what are these benefits? Well, unlike cheaper systems that are often designed solely for noise or fashionable aesthetics, Milltek systems are designed to complement and enhance the engine application in question, so this exhaust isn't just built to fit the car, but to help it. Indeed, despite being a non-resonated system (i.e. one that deletes the front silencer and replaces it with a straight pipe), it's no louder in day-to-day use than the standard exhaust. However, under enthusiastic acceleration it has a creamy, throaty burble and, if you're feeling particularly playful, pop-pops cheerfully on the over-run too. The best of both worlds, then; the fact that the tailpipes are beautifully finished is merely a fringe benefit. And, of course, being stainless steel, the exhaust will probably outlive the car. (Below you can see the before and after shots - the standard-fit SEAT exhaust, then the Milltek system as fitted.)

As for AmD, I can't recommend them highly enough. Friendly, informative chaps who take the time to talk you through the tuning possibilities of your car, and also very accommodating: when I arrived at 9am, they said that the car would be ready to collect early- to mid-afternoon. I put on my panic face and said 'Ah, I promised my wife I'd be back in London by two...'. 'No problem,' they said, 'we'll crack onto it now.' It was ready shortly after 11! AmD are also running a tremendously good value offer at the moment whereby you can get a half-price remap if you're buying a Milltek exhaust. I didn't take them up on this (although I probably should have - I just don't have the funds at present), but £150 for a pro remap is a pretty damn good deal, given that it includes a road test, before and after rolling-road runs with printouts and, for the Cupra, around 30bhp & 67lb.ft extra as well as better fuel economy. I'll certainly be paying them a visit for that in the future...
I did take them up on the Pipercross panel filter, though. At £35 with free fitting, it'd be foolish not to - it'd nearly cost that to have the standard filter replaced anyway, and the Pipercross offers the advantages that it'll last far longer, add 3-5bhp and, combined with the freer-flowing Milltek system, it just gives me the feeling that the car's breathing properly now.

Incidentally, AmD haven't given me anything to plug them in this way. I'm just very keen on the idea of honest peer-to-peer reviews! If you drive something from the VAG stable (or a BMW 3-series, or a Ford Focus, or a Nissan GT-R - they cater for all sorts) and you're after a little more bang for your buck, I suggest you give AmD a try. If nothing else, you'll be hugely entertained by the savage-looking content of the car park...

Click here for more info.

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