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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

20 YEARS OF KICK-ASS RGMOTORSPORT




Do something for 20 years and you become pretty good at it and RGMotorsport can look back on two decades of success when it comes to modifying and tuning performance cars. In fact, their history is peppered with a series of benchmark cars which have underlined their key competency.
 

Says founder Rob Green: “We set out to make cars fast and that is essentially still what we are all about. But we’ve moved with the times and combining fast and efficient has become our credo and we strive to maintain the best levels of refinement. Our customers aren’t Boy Racers: they aren’t prepared to accept compromises when it comes to driveability, road manners and of course reliability – they want it all!”

The automotive world has changed significantly in 20 years, both in terms of vehicle technology but also the broader motoring landscape. Each change has brought a challenge, whether it be the introduction of unleaded fuel, manufacturer contracts and even legislature like the Consumer Protection Act, and RGMotorsport has weathered the storm and shown its ability to move with the times.

Green qualified as an automotive technician with BMW in 1987 and started his own business in late 1992, younger brother Steve joining in 1997 and bringing his expertise in electronics to the party. Since then we’ve never looked back. Today the company is highly skilled in many fields and, for example, have signed off more supercharged conversions than anyone else in the country.

“The aftermarket is probably a trickier place to work in than ever before,” explains Rob. “Long warranties as well as service and maintenance plans can tie a buyer to a brand for years, making it stressful for some customers to have modifications carried out – even relatively minor ones. Two things have made it possible for us to work within these constraints: our reputation for quality workmanship that doesn’t compromise the original engineering, and a commitment to offering our own ‘aftermarket’ warranties.”

Partnerships with internationally renowned suppliers such as Vortech (superchargers) and Vorsteiner (body styling and forged aluminium wheels), Torco (an advanced race fuel concentrate)  has ensured quick and easy access to the best and latest technology, while locally, RGMotorsport had worked closely with the likes of Pieter de Weerdt, the inventor of the Unichip Q, a computer interface which intercepts signals from electronic control units and enables expert tuners to modify fuel and ignition supplies on both petrol and diesel engines.

This can be done at two levels; electronic blueprinting (whereby these qualities are perfected for an individual engine to make it as good as it can be in an otherwise standard form), and often used in conjunction with external changes such as a more efficient exhaust system. Much more radical changes can also be made though and this is what is done when supercharging a vehicle, a process which can increase power and torque output by more than 50%.

Green says highlights include building some of the fastest cars around for street and strip, such as the famous yellow E36 M3, nicknamed Tsunami, the first roadgoing street-legal Beemer to break into the 10-second bracket for a quarter mile. Then there’s the likes of off-road racer Cliff Barker’s M3-powered Land Rover and the ‘Orange Thing’ - the supercharged, wide-bodied E92 M3 which has become world famous.  In fact, it has become a huge hit on Vorsteiner’s Facebook page, with more ‘Likes’ than sundry Ferraris, Porsches, Bentleys and Lambos.

More recently, the black and orange 330 kW FJ Cruiser Supercharged has flown the RGMotorsport flag, wowing performance fans with its radically lowered stance and outrageous colours.

But it hasn’t all been fun and games and RGM is a serious business: it is AA Quality Assured and a member of the Retail Motor Industry, and a company which suppliers are proud to be associated with, thanks to a holistic and carefully-planned approach to conversions.  We’re able to conceptualise, design, manufacture to the highest standards and validate a wide range of components and then sell them here and abroad. We can perfect our conversions in our own high-tech 4x4 dyna facility, test them on the road and at Gerotek, and show them off on streets, strips, shows and circuits.

A comprehensive service department ‘maintains the converted’ and of course owners of standard road cars who want an experience which is way better than average. We provide specialised servicing for most German and Japanese brands, along with the modern diagnostic equipment this requires. Awards picked up along the way include AA Business of the year in 2007, General Repairer, national and Gauteng, and an award in outstanding performance tuning for 2009 from the South African Motorsport Industry Association (SAMIA).

“Steven and I have always loved fast cars and truth be told, wheeled beasts were a major part of our misspent youth! But that’s another story, and we’re both grateful that we’re able to indulge our passion for cars and make a living out of it at the same time!”


STORY COURTESY OF AFRICAN OUTDOOR GROUP

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//PART 2