The saying goes “if it isn’t broken leave it the hell alone”. This ‘layman’s’ derivative of a famous cliché is rightly applicable for VW’s iconic GTi. It is a given fact VW had successfully kept its Golf GTi models evolving seemingly on its own, continually growing from strength to strength, not the least in reputation. Of course having witnessed the perpetual success of successive GTi generations thundering out of Wolfsburg, its adversaries (be it acknowledged or unacknowledged) have hitherto brought out their own GTi proponents to the fore, a breed of honest to goodness GTi alternatives. Alas, for some undefined reasons as it were, such proponents as commendable as they were had not managed to wrestle the ‘GTi’ title from VW. File that under “How can that be?”
And concerning the Mk5 Golf GTi right here, the incessant buzz pertaining to the acronym hadn’t brought much in terms of worthy rides of substance from other makes right up until the fifth Golf GTi came to the fore. And yet VW had gone on to show off a few special editions just to rub it in, like the sensational 650ps GTI W12-650 paraded at the GTI Festival in Wörthersee, Austria, in May 2007. Every aspect of this ‘over the top’ VW is way over the top. It was designed as a concept car, and only one is known to exist. Unlike most concept cars, it is mechanically functional to the extent that it can be driven. Due to the rushed build time of the car (8 weeks), however, not all of its features function fully. The steering-wheel mounted paddle-shifters are not linked to the transmission, the hazard lights do not function, the stereo system doesn’t work, and the heating and air-conditioning system of the car does not function due to the dashboard controls never being linked to the unit.
The car features a 6.0L W12 bi-turbo engine from the Bentley Continental GT delivering 650 PS and 720 Nm of torque, which propelled the ultra wide bodied Golf to a 0-100 km/h of 3.7 seconds, and a top speed of 325 km/h. The W12 differs from the standard GTI in several ways. It features 19-inch wheels that resembled the GTI’s. It is 70 mm (2.76 in) lower and 160 mm (6.30 in) wider, the rear seats have been removed to accommodate the mid-engine design, and the roof is made from carbon-fibre composite, front brakes are from the Audi RS4, and rear brakes and axle are from a Lamborghini Gallardo. In any case it was an exercise in pure excess, a testament to what superlative peaks of performance a bonafide Golf GTi re-engineered to the utmost can really do.
So let us now just for the sake of revision refresh our memory as per the Mk5 Golf GTi specification, its dossier as it were. The Golf GTI features a 2 liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder with Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI) direct-injection technology, rated at 200PS (147 kW/197 bhp). Transmission choices were between a 6 speed manual or DSG the latter reduces shift time to only 8ms.
For the most part the mk5 GTI was a significant step forward for many reasons. Not least amongst these was the car it was based on. By the time the fifth-generation Golf was launched in 2003, other manufacturers had begun endowing everyday cars with the kind of handling that had been reserved purely for performance models only a handful of years previously. Volkswagen upped its game accordingly and, as a result, the mk5 Golf was effectively a brand new car rather than simply a facelift or mild update.
And so with such extra endowment on the part of the stock GTI the mods this rather unique example carries ought to make it even better.
Performance perks involved among others Stage 2 mapping by ETuners, some handy upgrades to the induction system as well as full aftermarket exhaust system upgrade. All in the horsepower hike came to 240 hp on wheel. Handling was sensibly kept standard save for Eibach Pro-Kit springs while stopping power was upgraded by means of Audi TTS brakes with Ferodo pads.
Visual mods covered the merest but most impactful bits: those neo-glow sticker accents, and little else externally while inside had only black aluminum paddle shift extension.
A hearty build executed by Momentom Auto Garage.
Car: Golf gti mk5
Engine Modifications: Stage 2 ETuners GFB DV+, Intake -Gruppe M CAI, Forge Twintake, Full system by UnderSix – 3″ downpipe & Resonator delete
Transmission: DSG 6 Speed
Electronic: Stage 2 Mapping -ETuners by Clovertech Garage -240 horsepower on wheel -Dyno by GT Auto
Suspension & Handling: Eibach Pro-Kit Springs
Brakes: Audi TTS brake kit with Ferodo DS2500 brake pads
Wheels & Tires: Rims -O.Z. Alleggerita HLT 18″ Acid Green, Tyres -Bridgestone Potenza S001
Interior: Black Aluminum Paddle Shift Extensions -Vw Jetta Head Unit
Exterior: Sticker Accents by WrapHauz -R32 rear bumper from VoxMotorsport -Debadged grille
Workshop & Tuner: Momentom Auto Garage for performance parts, Under6ix Exhaust, Clovertech Garage for mapping