Welcome to Eurofed In/Depth, on this series we go into detail on some of our favorite builds that we have been a part of. In this addition we are featuring our long time customer Derik and his Mk7 GTI that was purpose-built for Georgia’s fast and twisty mountain roads.
While the MK7 GTI platform is very versatile in that there are many avenues modification wise to take it, Derik’s car lies in that perfect sweet spot. Having the perfect balance of blistering performance and everyday drivability. And that is where we find the pure ethos of Deriks build, balance.
Given that this is his daily driver, performance was only one the requirements. The car had to be comfortable and easy to drive while not completely sacrificing engaging performance when the roads got twisty. With that challenge in mind Derik and ourselves believe these modifications allowed us to find that perfect balance. and plus, it is in a package that can be replicated for anyone whom has that same goal in mind for their Mk7 GTI.
Derik’s goal with the exterior was to keep it as OEM+ as possible and build off the clean and classic design of the MK7 to make it full cohesive look without straying from the original. Being the classic tornado red 2-dar combination, Derik wanted to keep it subtle and modern yet pay homage to the original Mk1's he grew up with.
The first change noticed is the Mk7.5 headlights and taillights from the facelift Mk7.5 generation GTI. Combined with the pre-facelift bumpers the headlights they offer a updated modern look while also improving visibility when need be.
Other exterior touches include a Maxton design rear spoiler extension and racing line decals. This GTI is loaded with a host of Racing Line products as you will see. Having its roots in OEM performance, Derik trusted Racing line for a variety of performance products.
To increase total carrying capacity and make room for Derik’s camping gear for when he travels the plethora of mountain roads we have in the southeast, a Thule Roof Box was added. From Derik’s experience he says it doesn’t change how the car feels or drives when going through a twisty back road. However it does make a difference on overall fuel economy.
Wheels/ Suspension/ Brakes
With performance and daily drivability in mind, finding the right suspension set up is pivotal! The suspension has to be more than just be able to improve handling dynamics and drive faster on a race track. Derik’s GTI was built with today’s imperfect roads in mind, because this is his daily driver as well. The suspension needed to have a proper amount of suspension travel to soak up bumps on his daily commute and then be an animal on a back road. This led us to utilizing the H&R street performance coil overs along with H&R front & rear sway bars. For us they offer that perfect balance of comfort and performance.
"It rides just like it should from factory " is how Derik described his experience with the suspension package.
For stopping power Derik went with the Stage 2 Racing Line upgraded brakes (330mm front). How effective your build is at stopping is just as, if not more, important as how fast it accelerates. And given the power this IS38 swapped GTI produces, it is important to be able to keep it all under control.
Lastly, the wheels of choice were a beautiful set of bronze 19x8.5 O.Z Superleggera HLT wrapped in Firestone Indy 500’s. This gives the GTI a very classic color combo with the tornado red and gold. Furthermore, Derik swears by the shocking amount of performance you are able to get for the money with the Indy 500’s.
For the interior, Derik kept it relatively simple given the functionality and spec of the GTI. The most notable additions are a Black Forest Industries weighted shift knob and a Racing line rear chassis brace.
The Racing line rear chassis brace not only adds a cool look to the rear trunk but immensely strengthens the chassis and eliminates a substantial amount of chassis flex when cornering. With the addition of the chassis brace, this hot hatch is much more direct and predictable when dancing through a twisty back road.
Engine Performance Modifications
The crown jewel of the build is the engine and its performance modifications that make the upgrades stated above that much more necessary. However this is not a one-off kit but a variety of off the shelf bolt-on modifications that vastly increase the 2.0t ea888's power output but still keep it at the OEM levels of ease-of-use.
The major change was the addition of an IS38 turbocharger, also known as the factoor Golf R turbocharger. This is a great option for anyone wanting to upgrade their MK7 GTI's turbo but not go beyond the utilization of OEM parts. And given that it is designed to fit onto any 2.0T ea888 there are no modifications needed to install it.
To manage the increased boost and airflow from the upgraded IS38 turbocharger, the Racing line R600 intake, Turbo inlet, Turbo muffler delete and an APR upgraded stock-placement intercooler were added on the induction side. To increase the flow of the exhaust side and add more of an engine note, a CTS Turbo downpipe and Milltek exhaust was added.
To manage all of the increased performance and boost, Derik went with the Unitronic Stage 2+ IS38 ECU tune software. With the tune, this setup is able to produce an average power output of 381HP & 377LB-FT to the wheels, as advertised by Unitronic.
Transmission Performance Upgrades
In order for the manual transmission to handle the increased power from the IS38 and its supporting mods, a Southbend stage 2 daily clutch was added. The beauty of the daily clutch set up is that it can handle the increase in power without having to be incredibly stiff and make it hard to drive every day.
Finally to increase the overall shifter feel and driver experience, a racing line short shifter kit was added. The Raceline Quickshift reduces the distance the gear lever needs to move to engage the next gear, so reducing the amount of time for each gearshift, cutting wasted time during those shifts.
Where Can I Have Performance Modifications Installed On My Volkswagen At An Automotive Shop Near Me?
At Eurofed Automotive we offer performance solutions for Volkswagen with a variety of options from the top performance vendors in the industry from our multiple locations across the American Southeast. With the best dealer-certified technicians on staff we make sure every service is performed the right way 1st!
Contact your local Eurofed to learn more about our industry leading performance solutions.
- Mk7.5 headlights & Taillights
- OEM VW IS38 turbocharger (Golf R turbo)