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ChipsWorx Tuning - What Moves You?


Big thanks to @titleguy1 for the logo!

ChipsWorx Tuning - What Moves You?

Founded in 1987 in Koblenz, Germany, ChipsWorx Tuning started out as a side project for a small group of passionate engineers and technicians working at CMW, who got together on evenings and weekends to build the cars of their dreams. Before too long, the group had attracted enough attention from the general public that they decided to go into business for themselves, re-engineering and re-imagining classic cars with very latest in modern technology while keeping to the spirit of the old car.

Today, ChipsWorx employs nearly 50 people, continuing their mantra of carefully distilling the essence of old classics from all over the world to create some of the finest and most expressive driving machines in the world. Additionally, ChipsWorx Tuning builds and runs a number of small racing programs on behalf of the CMW Group, such as the CMW’s Formula D team and FABEL’s upcoming ARX rallycross team. ChipsWorx Tuning is managed on behalf of the ownership group by Marco Eberhart, the great-grandson of Wilhelm Eberhart, one of the three founders of the CMW Group.


ChipsWorx Tuning accepts all makes and models for reimagination, with preference given to those built prior to 1990.


sees foundation date

Sees real life Peugeot 205 GTI Ruggeri

Sees own Mesaia GTI


Getting back to you later this evening


Caliban Thunder, By ChipsWorx.

Some time ago, Marco and the folks over at Caliban Kit Cars worked out a deal for the shop to purchase one of the last-remaining Mk6 Thunder kits. During a bit of a lull in the action around here at ChipsWorx, we finally decided to uncrate the thing, and what a sight it was…it was all in there, with the parts still wrapped in paper and coated in cosmoline. They could have buried the crate in a peat bog for a thousand years and it would have come out just as good as new!

After a thorough cleaning and inspection, we were all thinking what we’d like to do with the kit; it’s not every day that we get a chance to build a car from the ground up, so it presented us with an opportunity to do something really unique! Mind you, there were those who were of the thought that we should just build it as is, while others felt we should give the Thunder a full-on ChipsWorx re-imagination…it was a source of a lot of controversy for almost a month after the kit arrived. In the end, we decided, after some discussion with Caliban themselves, to re-imagine the Thunder, but not so drastically that the end product would be unrecognisable. This would be a build where the spirit of the car lives on intact, just with a few key enhancements.

Body and Interior

The Thunder is very 1980s, inside and out! We decided to keep the basic shape and profile of the car as much as possible, but with some unique ChipsWorx touches. The first thing you notice is that the car has a much more aggressive aero package that drew inspiration from early Group A rally cars, thanks to the larger, adjustable front splitter, roof spoiler and a large, period-correct wing fitted in place of the original Gurney flap on the rear hatch. Also, ChipsWorx’ distinctive “mouse ears” mirrors were fitted in place of the originals, adding to the period race car appearance, and a set of strakes on the C-pillar rounded out the aerodynamic changes to the car.

The front and rear fenders had a considerable amount of metalwork done to them to flare them, but still maintain the car’s pugnacious character. Inside, we kept the interior of the Thunder close to stock, reusing the seating, dash and controls, but with a more modern entertainment system fitted - this is 2018 after all!

After a trip to the paint booth for a handsome two-tone paint job in CMW’s Italenrot and Scagliati’s Nero Spazio, we had our team 3D scan the lower body of the Thunder, and custom-made an 80s-inspired full body kit, further enhancing the rally car vibe with its dark colour and fender flares. For the final touches, we were able to source a full set of retrofit lighting for the Thunder from our suppliers, and we applied a wild set of colour-matching stripes on the doors - very 80s chic!


We did very little to the supension and drivetrain of the Thunder; for what it was, the car was very advanced and really didn’t need much! We fitted more modern brakes to the Thunder, going to vented discs front and rear, which necessitated a change to 15-inch wheels over the stock 13-inch wheels, but that also had the knock-on effect of allowing us to use much more modern 195/50-15 tires as well, which proved to be a boon for performance. Other than that, we made some minor adjustments to the suspension tuning, giving the car a 5-millimetre drop in static ride height, bumping the camber a little and making a couple tweaks to the dampers. We tried more radical suspension tunes, but found they really took away from the character of the car, so we just kept it simple!


This is where we made most of the changes to the Thunder. While the little Screamer inline-4 was a decent engine in its own right, we found in our research that it was fairly common for Thunder owners to switch to CMW engines. In fact, we happened to have an old CMW 1.8-litre B13 inline-4 just sitting in our warehouse, unused after we finished a V8 install into a 1984 CMW CS130. We decided that we would take that engine and build it to be as close to the vaunted CS-RR touring car’s engine, the P13B25. While original P13 components can be made to fit the B13 engine, they are almost impossible to come by for those who aren’t fortunate enough to own a CS-RR, and our partners at CMW feverishly hoard their remaining stocks to keep existing cars on the road and on track; trust me, if we say you can’t find them, you really can’t!

With that obstacle, we decided to undertake the prospect of reproducing a P13 crankshaft ourselves, using our CNC machines to mill a faithful reproduction out of billet steel. Combined with a set of high-compression pistons, titanium connecting rods and a MoeTEC fuel injection and engine management system later and we were in business, with the now 2.1-litre engine producing 234 horsepower at 8300 RPM and 217 newton-metres of torque at 7000 RPM, and revving out to a ear-bleeding 9000 RPM redline. The new engine put out more than double the original engine’s 116 horsepower, and even more still than the Screamer’s 100 horsepower! Coupled to a close-ratio, 5-speed transmission and helical limited-slip differential, this allowed the ChipsWorx Thunder to zip up to 100 kilometres per hour in just 6.1 seconds, almost two seconds faster than the stock Thunder, and on to a tested top speed of 218 kilometres per hour, fully thirty more than the original car!

All of these changes, admittedly, added weight to the ChipsWorx Thunder, but not so much that it really affected the car in any serious way; weighing the Thunder beforehand, it came in at 822 kilograms, while the ChipsWorx car tipped the scales at 901 kilograms. Most of that comes from the engine and transmission swap, with the brakes, tires and aero package adding a few kilos here and there.

2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Holly SH**
That’s an amazing tuning, the original car was already cool, but what you did to it is what it deserved!


Increible job, just perfect. Just what a Thunder on steroids should be :muscle: but the best part has to be that appearance kit, just gives it that retro goodness look :weary: :ok_hand:


Znopresk Zap by ChipsWorx.

One of our favourite cars to work with at ChipsWorx Tuning is the Znopresk Zap; we have a soft spot in particular for the BR01C generation. Right from the factory, they were a cheap, reliable and very tunable platform. So, when we heard of a local selling three Zap 1400s, we jumped at the opportunity to take one of our favourite cars and do something special with it.

Zap 1600 ChipsWorx

Once we got a hold of the three Zaps, we dragged them back to the ChipsWorx shop and had a good look at them; they were all pretty rough around the edges, but the red '84 Zap 1400 was by far the best of the three, so we set about stripping the car down to bare metal for a full restoration and ChipsWorx reimagination. The further we got along with the teardown, the more we realised what we had to do with this car; we needed to stay true to the Znopresk mantra of building solid, cheap and fun cars. As such, we made a conscious effort to keep the ChipsWorx Zap reasonable and attainable, but at the same time moving the bar for performance and engagement.

First and foremost, we gave the ChipsWorx Zap a special paintjob, using Scagliati Nero Spazio for the base and Rosso Veneto for the accent colour. A special “Z” stripe to give the car some pizzazz after we shaved and filled in the body trim strip, as well as our special homage to our friends at Znopresk. Aftermarket coilover suspension was fitted, which dropped the ride height by approximately 30 millimetres, and 15-inch wheels were fitted to give the car a more aggressive stance, as well as opening up a range of modern performance tires.

Under the hood, we bored and stroked the 1400cc engine out to 1600cc, fitting it with forged pistons and rods, though using a stock 1600 crankshaft from another Znopresk model, bumping the compression ratio up to 11.0:1. More aggressive cams were fitted, and an aftermarket tubular header was fitted, along with a GigaSquirt port fuel injection system, all breathing through a set of individual throttle bodies we adapted from a Bluzuki motorcycle engine. Even with an aftermarket catalytic converter fitted - we worship at the temple of speed here at ChipsWorx, but we too feel a desire to protect the environment - the net result blew everyone away; the Zap 1600 ChipsWorx engine produced 160 horsepower on the dyno, and revved out comfortably to 8500 RPM…a far cry from the 92 horsepower the Zap 1400 came with in 1984!

Inside, we fitted the Zap 1400 with a set of body-hugging sports seats front and rear, while retaining the rest of the interior for that vintage budget racer feel. A geared differential was our final addition to the ChipsWorx Zap, to try and tame the power of the ferocious little engine in a very light (820 kilograms) car.

ChipsWorx Zap 2000 DragStar

The second Zap we purchased was a little rougher still, with a significant amount of rust in the rear unibody, and signs of accident damage earlier on. We decided that if we were going to rebuild this car, we might as well make something a little more extreme out of it. After many cups of coffee and arguments later, we finally arrived on the idea of making a drag racer out of the second Zap, with the best performance per dollar ratio we could muster.

Starting with the basic aerodynamic and aesthetic modifications we made to the base ChipsWorx Zap, we pushed the design even further, with widened fender flares, more aggressive rear aero and a fatter front spoiler. 14-inch drag slicks were fitted to the front wheels, and a set of runner wheels were fitted to the rear. We also decided that a reversed paint scheme, with a red base and a black accent, would be appropriate for the DragStar, as we started to call the little rocketship, to accentuate its difference to the standard ChipsWorx Zap.

Under the hood, we bored and stroked the Zap’s engine as far as we dared, taking it out to 1980cc, and fitting the engine with the finest motorsports-grade internals we could get our hands on. A custom-made intake and exhaust system was fitted, with the turbo intake necessitating a huge forward-facing inlet in the front grille, and the exhaust dumping straight out of the hood. Tuned to run on racing gas, the little engine produces 505 horsepower, and can propel the Zap DragStar down the quarter-mile strip in the low 11-second to high 10-second range.

For the amount of work and the amount of money we spent on the DragStar, we are extremely pleased with its performance, and we are considering adding the DragStar package to our list of customer build options, starting in early 2019, to accompany the standard ChipsWorx Zap.

ChipsWorx Zap Attack!

Our final build is perhaps the most extreme of all, a time-attack version of the ChipsWorx Zap. Starting with the final Zap, we decided to build an unrestrained, money is no object time attack car out of the Zap. Using the DragStar as a template, we fitted an all-new aero package to the car, with an aggressive front splitter and vanes to generate as much downforce as we possibly could. Paint came out of the CMW catalogue as well as the Scagliati catalogue again, with the body base being CMW Kohlenschwarz, and the accent being Scagliati Giallo D’oro to produce a striking appearance overall.

Using the same engine as the DragStar Zap, we fitted proper suspension front and rear, along with square 245-section tires front and rear, aggressively set up to produce maximum cornering grip. The gear ratios and differential were adjusted, giving the Zap Attack! a top speed of nearly 300 kilometres per hour. This give the Zap Attack! the ability to pile on speed in nearly any gear like no car any of us have ever driven, thanks to its curb weight of 803 kilograms - a remarkable achievement in and of itself, and a testament to our craftsmen and women in the ChipsWorx shops.

A huge thanks to @NormanVauxhall for generously providing me with a Zap to tune for this show!