|June 20, 2002
As co-owner of New German Performance (NGP) in Northern Maryland, Dave Graf has owned his share of Volkswagen and Audi products. So when it came time to choose his own personal car, one that would stand as a showcase for products offered by NGP, a Mark IV GTI fitted with the venerable 1.8T motor was a natural choice. With essentially the same 1.8T motor he fell in love with in his former Audi A4, Dave decided that his new modified Golf would provide him with the best of both worlds.
NGP wanted a car that would get this Aberdeen, MD based relative newcomer to the tuning scene noticed. They like to do things differently and those out there in the tuning business are beginning to take notice. Just recently, NGP signed as the local Washington, DC area distributor for APR, which has only added to their product offering, while at the same time has had a definitive effect on the outcome of Dave's GTI.
NGP acquired this car recently as a tuning test bed. This 2000 GTI 1.8T represented the best platform on which to base a new project. Of all Volkswagens sold in North America today, the GTI is more than likely the choice of those wanting to build a hardcore compact. And, the 1.8T motor is argueably the most tuneable. NGP considered a VR6, and though the torque is impressive and the sound to die for, the 1.8T made for a preferable choice. With less of the luxury accoutrements that add weight to the car, and the highly desirable APR Stage III kit, this GTI seemed the way to go.
With the car now in Dave's possession, NGP began to upgrade the 150hp 1.8T. NGP ordered one of the brand new APR Stage III upgrades for the car. The APR Stage III Kit makes use of a custom designed exhaust manifold, a cast aluminum crossover pipe and turbo inlet, a cast exhaust downturn, a new MAF housing, a spun aluminum air horn, an upgraded Honeywell/Garrett ballistic series turbocharger, a new heat shield designed for the changed system and a flow straightener. APR claims the kit, as a straight bolt-on, bestows a 1.8T with 290hp and 296 lb. ft. of torque on pump 93 octane gas.
However, engine modifications didn't just end there. Better airflow comes via a Eurosport ITG intake system with cold air induction. A Shrick 252/260 cam set was added to help the power production and a straight Milltek exhaust allows gases to exit the system with a higher degree of ease, and the deep throaty exhaust tone bestows the car with a sexier exhaust tone. Fuel delivery has also been improved through the use of upgraded injectors.
In an effort to keep things cool, NGP fitted its own custom front mounted intercooler system. Matched with this, they added a polished intake manifold from a 225hp Audi TT so that they could relocate the throttle body on the left side so that the car would have a shorter intake track.
At the time of writing, NGP has several other plans in order for the motor. They intend to perform additional internal head work on the motor to further beef it up. A Quaife differential will be added, and they will be showcasing NGP's own street/competition clutch kit along with a balanced and lightened flywheel.
The GTI has been lowered through the use of an adjustable FK coilover kit. Though it looks slammed, the ride is somewhat compromising and NGP has been quite pleased with the result.
To match the car's ability to stop with it's newfound ability to go, NGP sourced one of Autotech Sport Tuning's 312mm brake upgrade kits. Based upon use of TT parts, this kit comes with TT carriers, mintex pads and drilled rotors. To that, NGP has added braided stainless steel brake lines and racing blue brake fluid.
That In Your Face Look
For NGP, the rather conservative stock GTI with its 15-inch Avus alloys just wasn't going to cut it. They could have gone with a more popular body kit, or perhaps for the simple Euro look. Not that there's anything wrong with those, but NGP decided that in order to garner some attention, they needed to come up with something completely different.
At the front was added a Dietrich GT front bumper cover. This bumper mimics the Audi S4 in design, bestowing the car with a subtle, though much more aggressive front fascia. In addition to this, NGP added Hella blacked out headlight assemblies, and a Kamei grill.
From R&A Designs, another company NGP distributes, they sourced a set of Power Cup rearview mirrors and an alloy roof antenna mast. They also sourced a set of sideskirts from the 25th Anniversary GTI through a European parts source of theirs for a more aggressive side appearance with a factory clean look.
Those with a carefully trained eye will also notice the flattened hood. The Kamei grill comes without the larger Volkswagen emblem that protrudes up into the hood, where Volkswagen designers left a small round cutout to clear the emblem. Rather than leave a gap in the hood, NGP had Annapolis Collision in Annapolis, MD fill the gap when the car went into the shop to have all of the body pieces painted to match the car. While in the paint shop, NGP also chose to add a custom intake scoop to add increased fresh airflow to the motor.
At the rear, lighting was changed to In.Pro smoked taillights. For a more aggressive look and better downforce at high speeds, a Deitrich rear wing was colormatched and added.
Where the car meets the ground, the car completes its Audi/RS4 theme by using some 18-inch RS4 wheels fitted with Michelin Pilot Sports. Finding the wheels for the car wasn't easy. RS4s aren't the same bolt pattern as the A-chassis Golf, though the new TT ALMS Commemorative Edition comes from the factory with this setup, making it just a matter of raiding the Audi partsbin.
Inside the Beast
With a showcase of what they can do in mind. NGP wasn't about to let the interior go with the token shift knob and maybe a set of pedals. It had to go much further than that and further it went.
The interior centers around a set of gray Sparco Torino race seats. These light gray cloth seats with black cloth and black perforated leather accents make for a much more aggressive look and feel. NGP had the rear seat taken out and the rear headrests removed. It was reskinned in matching Sparco gray and black cloth. Topping it off, the lid to the center console was also reupholstered with the same black perforated leather found on the Sparcos' bolsters.
Sparco pedal covers replace the black rubber pedals of the Golf and a dead pedal from the Audi TT rounds off the look. Custom NGP floor mats with riveted stainless steel segments match the pedal treatment and finish off the look down below.
Non-leather GTIs come with a 4-spoke non-leather wrapped steering wheel, which was quickly replaced with a Momo Commando steering wheel. A Momo King shift knob makes for a more aggressive looking gearshift.
Another downside to the 4-cylinder GTI is that it comes with no interior accents. Whereas the GLX comes with more luxury inspired wood inserts, NGP decided upon a brushed aluminum kit from Perfect Image Creations.
Above the radio, NGP fitted a custom three-gauge pod equipped with gauges to monitor turbo boost, oil pressure and coolant temperature. They this was needed in order to monitor the more aggressively tuned 1.8-liter. One trick aspect of this installation was their choice to provide red lighting to the new gauges. Matching Volkswagen's own blue/red dashboard color scheme, the cluster shows to be a very clean install and makes good use of the relatively useless bin area above the car's stereo.
Most will agree that the car is stunning to look at. While pretty wildly built, it's tastefully done. Better than that, it's stretch-your-cheeks-back-to-your-ears fast and, besides being quite low, is very easily driven in around town traffic. The end result is a stunning example of the kind of work NGP is building their reputation on and we see good things in that. The attention to detail is very good and the performance is incredible.
There's only one thing we yearn for and that's dyno numbers. From the seat of the pants, this car is obviously quite fast, but figures are a dubber's best friend. NGP is now prepping to mount their newly delivered dyno into a bay at the back of their refurbished facility in Aberden, MD. As soon as figures are available, we'll post an update and let you know what this car can do.