KBR Motorsport SEK Carhifi Volkswagen Beetle
This visually and aurally impressive VW Beetle project car is the result of co-operation between styling specialists KBR Motorsport and in-car entertainment experts Sound Engineering Köln, better known as SEK Carhifi.
While KBR Motorsport owner Christian Kreher and his crew applied classic tuning to the Beetle, the SEK Carhifi team installed a custom high-end sound system using Ground Zero and Pioneer components.
As a first step, the Beetle’s big round wheel arches required big wheels to fill them out. KBR Motorsport chose 9.5J x 20-inch Oxigin 14 Oxrock multi-spoke alloy wheels in black finish with white foil, shod with 235/30ZR20 Hankook Ventus S1 Evo tyres.
The uprated front brakes feature red painted, four-pot alloy brake calipers that clamp vented discs with surface grooves. For lower unsprung weight and optimal heat insulation these discs are mounted on ultra-light floating hubs. The rear brakes are standard, with their calipers painted red to visually match the fronts.
KBR Motorsport created the ‘slammed’ look using an in-house modified version of an H&R coil-over suspension kit further trimmed from its lowest setting.
VW’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is a ripe candidate for tuning, and KBR Motorsport fitted a turbo-back three-inch diameter stainless steel sports exhaust to reduce back-pressure, before remapping the ECU. With the engine dyno showing a robust 265 hp and 415 Nm of torque, the rapid 6-speed DSG helps the car rocket from rest to over 250 km/h.
With the mechanic upgrade taken care of, SEK Carhifi embarked on a custom audio installation that ended up consuming 80 man-hours of painstaking work. Their motto, “No Compromise Mega Sound” means they always aim for the best possible music system in a given class.
The heart of this 1,700 W sound system is Pioneer’s dashboard mounted flagship AVIC-F77DAB Navigation/AV head-unit, which feeds its audio signals to the three power amplifiers via a Ground Zero GZCS 6-8DSP eight-channel DSP unit housed in the passenger footwell.
A good example of SEK Carhifi’s no-holds-barred approach is shown by the way they modified the dashboard top roll to accommodate the custom enclosure for the 3.15-inch mid-range and 1.1-inch tweeter units of the Ground Zero GZPC 16.3SQ ACT 3-way front speaker component system.
While the sound field of the system is fine tuned with DSP, it helps to start with good speaker placement. Thus, computerised measuring equipment was used to optimise the position and shape of these custom enclosures for correct time alignment.
The 6.5-inch mid-bass units replace the OE speakers in the door panels, which were treated with Alubutyl dampening material to eliminate any spurious resonances.
KBR Motorsport replaced the factory front seats with figure-hugging Recaro Sportster CS sports seats whose backs are colour-coded white to match the car’s bodywork and interior trim panels.
While the Beetle retains its rear seats, SEK Carhifi have effectively turned it into a two-seater, commandeering the squabs of the rear seats for the two Ground Zero Amplifiers (1x GZHA 4200XII with 4 x 140 W, 1x GZHA 2400XII with 2 x 270 W) that drive the front speakers.
Opening the rear hatch reveals that the luggage compartment is now home to a rearward facing, 10-inch diameter Ground Zero GZPW 10SPL subwoofer, housed in a custom hand-built 70-liter ported enclosure with a curved front wall designed to smooth out acoustic wavefronts. Power comes from a single 600 W GNZA 1.2250XII monoblock amplifier mounted under the boot floor.
To ensure as good a signal path as possible, the system is wired with about 200 meters of pure copper cable, while three Lithium-ion batteries provide a clean and stable power supply. This is mobile audio at its best!