Audi has finally figured out what enthusiasts have known for years – chrome badges are lame, and black badges tend to look better. I’ve been a fan of either debadging entirely, or blacking them out, on my A4, S4, and now my TTRS…it’s a move that gets it’s fair share of criticism, with people saying that debadging an A4 makes you a poser trying to pretend you have an S4, while debadging a TTRS makes you stupid for hiding the fact you have a special edition car – I guess you can’t win on the internet, so you have to do what you like best! For me, I wasn’t sure what I wanted for the TTRS, so I started by removing the emblems entirely to see how that looked, but I ordered black rings and black TTRS emblems just in case I didn’t like it. There is plenty of debadging DIYs on the internet so I’ll save you from repeating it here, but fishing line, goo gone, and a decent amount of elbow grease will usually do the trick. I used my new Dremel Versa and some Mothers polish to help with the final stages of removing the adhesive and then polishing the area to remove any scratches that had accumulated over the years, leaving a really nice and perfectly clean look to build from.
But after a couple of weeks, I felt like the totally shaven, no-emblems look was a bit too dramatic – it needed something there. Given my car was equipped with the titanium package (black grille, black trim) and had black wheels, I figured black TTRS emblems would be the right call. I searched the various offerings for the 8J TTRS (2010-2013) and found they were really expensive; TAG Motorsports charges $125 for the rear emblem as part of their blackout package offering, and another company called Blacklabelz in Germany charging €75.00 (~$90 USD) for something similar. That seemed crazy, so I went to eBay and found some a knock-off emblem for the 8J TTRS that was super cheap (<$20) that shipped from China…I went to install it, but the quality was awful – the surface was uneven, the red square bled into the lettering, the adhesive was poor, and it was a bit of an eyesore up close. Still, I installed it just to get a feel for the look – and it looked good from a distance (when you couldn’t see the obvious defects in quality) so I know this was the right look for me, but I needed to source a higher quality alternative. My decision was expedited when one of the letters fell off after about a week, lol – sometimes you get what you pay for. Below is a picture of the cheapo badges from China that were meant for the 8J:
Back to the drawing board I went, but I remembered a trick from my B7 A4 days where people would install rings from the A8 that were slightly larger and had a cool look that filled out the trunk space better…a ha! From there, I looked into badging for the newer TTRS models (8S platform, 2017-current) and low and behold, I found these badges on eBay for under $20, finally accomplishing my goal of a high-quality black badge that isn’t absurdly overpriced, and got a bonus in a slightly better design as an added bonus.
You can find the badge on eBay here:
|View all items...||(Powered by: WP eBay Ads)|
After measuring a few times to make sure I got the placement right (even if I had kept better track of where the previous badges were mounted, this badge is bigger and wouldn’t have lined up), I went ahead and removed the backing to expose the adhesive and applied firm pressure for 30-60 seconds to get it to bond. The quality is fantastic and far superior to the last emblem I tried, and the slightly bigger size fills out the trunk nicely especially with the middle rings removed. I’m so stoked!
All in all, this is a pretty easy and cheap mod, especially if you do it right the first time. For about $20-30 in cost (depending on if you have fishing line & goo-gone on hand) you can update the look of your rear end pretty dramatically, and give it a nice personal touch. For me, it really completed the theme of my car and tied together the rear end nicely – my only other change is to eventually install the OSIR rear wing in carbon fiber that I’ve had sitting in my garage for a while now, but some stripped screws on the wing are getting in my way of that final finishing touch while I hunt down a new base (more on that in a later post).
For now, a few more pics of the final outcome.
Questions or feedback? Leave a note in the comments section!