It’s our birthday, but you’re getting the present. AWE Tuning is proud to be one of the oldest Performance engineering institutions in the US. So over the next 20 days, AWE Tuning will take you through our two decades of Performance engineering history – a drive down memory’s fast lane. And over those 20 days, you’ll be receiving special pricing on the AWE Tuning catalog.
It’s 1991. Philosophy graduate and German Car Enthusiast Todd Sager hangs a shingle over a single bay garage in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. Armed with a telephone and tools, “Air and Water Enterprises” opens its doors (well, door) to early GTIs, and pretty much anything German that would pay the bills. Well, almost anything German.
The company is focused on wrenching on German autos, restorations, and retailing vetted Performance upgrades.
Stay tuned for more of our “20 years in 20 days,” and enjoy the special pricing on the AWE Tuning catalog. 1.888.565.2257, 215.658.1670 or performance@AWE-Tuning.com.
Our first employee. Air and Water Enterprise’s’ first employee, Eric Savage (who went on to start Helix Motorsports), is hired and the company’s origins in restoration start to shift gears into Performance retailing and installations. Crazy camshafts and, porting and polishing cylinder heads start to make a local name for the company, as a mid-Atlantic Performance boutique for German Performance services.
Time to hit the track. As demand for Performance products increase, track testing becomes essential to the Air and Water Enterprises product development process. The company continues to sure up its footing in upgrading, changing, and perfecting Performance parts; priding itself in filling the gap in the market, where OEM and other manufacturers stop.
1996 - The birth of Air and Water Enterprises products. European car service continues, but this year would turn out to be a pivotal point in the company’s history: Air and Water Enterprises makes its own short shifter for the GTI VR6, Jetta VR6, Corrado VR6 and Corrado G60. This short shifter would lay the ground work for the next 15 years of business, creating handmade, in-house Performance Products.
Enter G.I.A.C. Thanks to venues like GTI-VR6, the Corrado-Club of America, and several VW newsgroups, the Air and Water Enterprises name begins to traverse the country. Air and Water Enterprises President, Todd Sager, comes across a company called Garrett Integrated Automotive Corporation, founded a few years earlier, owned by Garrett Lim. Lim and Sager team up, and Air and Water Enterprises is a test facility for this new breed of tuning. Early successes and partnerships between the firms are publicized nationally, and a new industry is helped along into existence.
1998: The A4 1.8T. Air and Water Enterprises strategically points itself toward The Business of Performance, and eliminates all repair work from the offering. The company moves to a 2,500 square foot facility, expanding to include a customer service department for burgeoning global demand. Factors of growth in 1998 include the Audi A4 1.8T’s tunability. Air and Water Enterprises becomes one of H&R’s first warehouse distributors, moving the company toward its destiny as a one-stop Performance engineering solution.
1999-2001: Fast cars, faster growth. Finally we come to our senses and shorten that long name to become simply AWE Tuning. That same year, some of the very first Audi fuel injection chips in the world are developed by G.I.A.C. on AWE Tuning’s Mustang Dyno (seen here being delivered).
Borla and Bilstein observe AWE Tuning's success, and dub AWE Tuning one of their warehouse distributors. AWE Tuning becomes the first importer of Bailey Motorsports, and is the sole US tuner to offer an alloy diverter valve for VW, Porsche, and Audi. In addition, the AWE Tuning website 1.0 is launched. Rare work on a 325 is pictured here.
By 2000, AWE Tuning doubles its sales over the previous year. The AWE Tuning name was accelerating. Years of track-life lead AWE Tuning to build products for the daily driver that had a Performance quality like no other. The public was taking notice.
Jamming the AWE Tuning Performance team into 2,500 square feet is getting old. AWE Tuning moves to its current location, a 12,500 square foot facility, just outside the 5th largest metro area in the country (that’s Philadelphia, people). Several new AWE Tuning in-house products enter the market, including the AWE Tuning Exhaust System for the popular 2.7T Audi S4. AWE Tuning receives its first article in European Car Magazine for its breakthrough S4 work (cover story). Business is growing rapidly, and the AWE Tuning Porsche brand would soon hit its stride as well.
More “20 years in 20 days,” including pricing that’ll make you feel like its 2002, right here.
Notoriety in the VW and Audi space is leveraged to start building upon early Porsche successes. European Car calls AWE Tuning’s Sager “the Godfather of S4 Tuning.” Porsche growth comes quickly, and AWE Tuning Exhausts start to become the gold standard. AWE Tuning’s first in-house Porsche is purchased for development: a black 2003 996 Turbo. The AWD 996 Turbo and the prevalence of Quattro necessitates the Mustang MD-500 AWD Dynamometer. In-house, hand-crafted manufacturing continues to further define the AWE Tuning brand – and as such, AWE Tuning brings machined parts in-house to control quality. The B6 GT28R kit is released to much fanfare, for its power and for its reliability – two words that would go on to define the AWE Tuning brand.
We’re 20. But You get the present. H&R, Bilstein, Brembo and AWE Tuning… all on special pricing to celebrate.
It’s 2006: Forza and Fast. Microsoft's licensing seeks Performance Engineering leaders in the Porsche, Audi and Volkswagen market, and taps AWE Tuning as the official Performance parts supplier for all VW, Audi, and Porsche vehicles in Forza Motorsport 2 for Xbox 360. Not only could you drive these fine German machines in the most realistic environment ever, but gamers could increase Performance with AWE Tuning products - and then see real results as the lap times decrease. The ultimate prize? Unlocking a piece of AWE Tuning history, the "Silver Bullet" Audi S4. On a related note, the AWE Tuning “Fast” is released by Volkswagen’s marketing department, replete with AWE Tuning dual outlet Exhaust.
Back in the real world, more 20 years in 20 days special pricing is right here.
It’s 2007 and AWE Tuning starts rumbling internationally. The "Silver Bullet" pierces Japan through Microsoft’s Forza Motorsports 2 game while AWE Tuning’s 997TT project 700S makes for a cover hit in Tokyo’s af imp magazine and a feature in European Car ("AWE STRUCK"). AWE Tuning wins EuroTuner’s Tuner Grand Prix, beating out 11 other tuners, and R32 work further builds out the VW product line. ‘twas a good year.
The 996TT Turbo Kit and famous B8 S4 Exhaust family are released. AWE Tuning sponsored race team dominates the NASA GTS3 National Championship, and the AWE Tuning K04 Turbocharger Kit climbs the quarter mile charts, demonstrating what a TSI can do when AWE Tuning unlocks power; in a daily driver with street tires no less. To handle international and line growth, AWE Tuning builds a team to incorporate senior executives out of Armstrong World Industries and Columbia Hubbell, and founder Todd Sager brings on a marketing business partner out of Finch Brands. 20 years = Special Pricing, for 2 more days, right here.
After 20 years, our building has changed, the cars have changed, and the industry sure has changed - but the philosophy has always remained the same. Our goal is to Unlock Performance, plain and simple. And nowhere is that better emphasized than in 2011. This year, AWE Tuning set a world-record in a daily-driven GTI, won New Jersey Motorsports Park “Corporate Partner of the Year,” launched the lauded A5 and S5 Touring Exhaust systems, hit the Q5 market hard, launched the R8 V10 SwitchPath™ line of Exhausts down-under, stepped it up with the Porsche Panamera Exhaust family and kept it clean with an entrance into the TDI market. It’s been a good run, and we’re just warming up – thanks to everyone for making it possible, and thanks for reading!
Enjoy our last day of the “20 years in 20 days” history and promotion right here. We couldn’t have done it without you!