Welcome to this week’s FC Throwback, where we take a look back at some of our favourite previous features. This week it’s The FelgenOutlet’s A7 Sportback from back in 2013. A decent set of rims can make any car look good, but only the absolute best will give your motor legendary status!
Feature taken from Fast Car. Words & photos Mark Riccioni
Wheels… they may only be one part of a modified car but, in the past few years, they’ve become THE most important element. A good set of wheels can make or break a car. Period. It doesn’t matter how much custom bodywork, carbon fibre or audio you’re running – without the right set of wheels your motor will never get the attention it properly deserves.
Don’t believe us? Flick through any other car mag or blog and you’ll see every feature car rocking some amazing wheels. Go back ten years ago and you’d struggle to buy rims wider than 8in – nowadays it takes a minimum of 9in to even get noticed! The problem is, as more people focus solely on their wheels, some will start pushing the boundaries to the extreme. Deeper, wider, concave – just like big bodykits and headlight conversions of the past, things start going past the point of tasteful. And nobody wants to see that again, right?
The FelgenOutlet Audi A7 Sportback looks insane. It doesn’t matter what angle you view it from, it’s just mental! Part of that is thanks to the satin red vinyl wrap. Part is courtesy of the Accuair suspension. But the real talking point are those wheels – without ‘em it’s just a cool Audi A7, but with them it’s unlike any other car we’ve ever laid eyes on.
Designed and manufactured by Messer Wheels in Germany, the ME03-3 Turbo-Fan has caused a massive stir in the VAG scene. And that’s no easy task. They combine killer elements from classic wheels, including a concave construction, Porsche turbo-fan vents and even a hint of zero-lip, thanks to the way each centre protrudes past the arches. They’re unique and completely transform the way you look at the A7 Sportback. But have they gone a step too far in the process?
We posted a photo up on Facebook during the test-fitting and it’s safe to say the ME03-3 generates two reactions – complete admiration or utter disgust! The design causes keyboard warriors to argue with one another but, despite this, nearly everyone (regardless of opinion) fully respected Messer Wheels for having the balls to push the boundaries in a scene, which is often hated, for its originality (or lack of).
But, fitting a set of wheels like the ME03-3 to a VW Golf or something ‘generic’ wasn’t going to generate the sort of attention FelgenOutlet and Messer wanted. It had to be something special, without delving into the world of unobtainable supercars.
Step forward one of the coolest cars Audi has ever built, the A7 Sportback. This is a car which can cost up to £60K from the factory and is primarily designed for city big-wigs to cruise around in comfort, and boasts more toys than a trip to Ann Summers. It’s hardly the perfect base for a modified car – which also makes it – the perfect base for a modified car!
For our non-German readers, FelgenOutlet translates to ‘Wheel Supplier’ which is exactly what the Meissen-based company do. But as well as supplying Germany with amazing rims, FelgenOutlet also produce quality videos from events including Worthersee and MIVW. So when you’re racking up hundreds of miles across Europe filming, an executive saloon like the A7 Sportback is in fact the perfect daily. Plus it looks hella cool, even when in standard trim!
As with all good wheel suppliers, FelgenOutlet wanted a cool demo car to showcase the sort of products they can offer, so the A7 Sportback was originally built for Worthersee 2012 in just four weeks. Despite this short period of time, the Germans proved their ruthless efficiency with help from Showtime Design (who wrapped the car) and CarArt Dresden who developed and fitted a full custom air suspension setup using Accuair components – the first A7 Audi to run such a system.
For the 2013 refresh, a little more time was needed to develop the ME03-3 Turbo-Fan wheels which take between 6-12 wheels to manufacture, thanks to their forged centres and 3-piece construction. In addition to the 10x20in wheels, a full S7 front-end conversion was fitted, to beef up the styling ahead of its Worthersee unveiling once again.
The end result is a very simple, but super-effective demo car for both FelgenOutlet and Messer, which had just about everyone talking at Worthersee for the second year running! “It’s an old classic wheel design put in a new suit!’ explains Andrea Großöhme from FelgenOutlet. “The attention it’s received has been crazy. There are two opinions to the wheels, love or hate. Obviously we love them!”
TECH SPEC AUDI A7 SPORTBACK
3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel
Bilstein dampers with Accuair air suspension built by CarArt Dresden (controlled via Accuair) VU-4 manifold, OEM Audi A7 brakes, 10x20in ET30 Messer ME03-3 Turbo-Fan deep concave wheels with machined, brushed finish, Falken 245/30×20 FK453 tyres all round
‘False’ boot floor (raised by 2in) allowing air compressor & tank to be hidden within spare wheel well, Accuair E-level digital controller mounted in dash
Matte Garnet Red Metallic vinyl wrap, Full Audi S7 front-end conversion
Messer Wheels (messer-felgen.de), CarArt Dresden, Avery Dennison for the wrap, ShowTime Design (for fitting the wrap), everyone at FelgenOutle