Where to start this ramble. In May, 2013 I bought a new car. It was built in June, 2012 – Autobahn Candy White DSG 2013 GTI. As with any car that isn’t just a washing machine I chose to press beyond “maintain properly” into “go faster”. In the butt dyno, the best is a Grand Turismo triangle – luxury, convenience, and power in equal amounts. Start with power.

All of my big performance installs were done at a proper professional tuner shop, since having things reliable and properly installed means a lot more to me than penny pinching and having to pay more later to fix my shoddy duct-tape/wd40/squareholdroundpeg mishaps.

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This picture was in the White Mountain/Adirondack region around the fall of 2014. Did a solid 2000 mi road trip in those twisty mountain roads.

I’m not a mechanic and I never want to be on the side of the road waiting. Swap a sway bar or a catback – sure. Start messing with fueling systems or the turbocharger and I’d prefer to leave my hands off it. For those jobs where you want to be able to stress the car, you want someone who understands that installing a part isn’t good enough. You are also making sure that the entire car responds exactly. I highly recommend (shameless plug) HS Tuning, purveyors of VW, Audi, and Porsche OEM and aftermarket parts. Meticulous, bluntly honest, and very fair.

I’d owned the car less than 5,000 miles when I started with anti-sway bars front and rear, lowered the car about 1.5 inches on VW Driver’s Gear springs, and got an APR Stage 1 ECU reflash. A week later I swapped out the stock airbox for an APR Carbonio cold air intake. The phrase “night and day” gets applied frequently – but there’s a reason why. I can’t even remember the car at stock levels . On paper, Stage 1 bumps the Mk6 VW GTI to 269 HP/295 TQ. On the road, Stage 1 bumps the car to lead foot and sirens.

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The most stock the car has looked in a while. Autobahn Serron wheels, slightly lowered on DG springs, just after getting 55% tint all around.

This next image is with TT-RS Brembo brakes custom powder coated Blood Red, rebuilt myself (first time!), bled about 5 times to get it right after install... along with custom powdered BBS CF wheels wrapped in Continental DWs. The bronze powder coating is actually very hard to capture as it has brilliant metallic flake in it that I can never capture in a cell phone camera.

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Over the last years, I’ve learned quite a lot about my car. I’ve drag raced it. I’ve road raced it. I autoXed a few times on 19s in 235/35/19. Not ideal? Certainly. But extremely fun. Love those Hankook R-S3s.

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This was the first time I put my new VMR v705s on. It snowed in April. I couldn’t get up my driveway without shoveling because my summer tires had zero traction whatsoever in the slushy new-fallen snow.

The car has been tinkered with inside and out, include an APR K04 turbo swap, Bilstein PSS coilover suspension, v3.1 APR ECU engine tune, APR stage 3 DSG tune, APR intake Stage one and two, APR intercooler, SuperPro and 034 suspension, Unibrace chassis bracing, APR turboback exhaust, multiple sets of wheels, Audi TTRS brakes, European-spec interior pieces and a ton of other bits and pieces. I’ve also changed the oil about a dozen times this year, along with brake fluid flushes and multiple transmission services. Better safe than sorry?

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At this year’s 2015 h20i show:

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With winter approaching I found a 2008 VW R32 as a second car. ~118,000 mi, most major maintenance done, came with a stack of receipts from mile 21 from the previous owner.

Oops. Another set of Audi TTRS front brakes. United Motorsport ECU and DSG tuning. Just got a Milltek resonated catback. Along with a ton of miscellaneous bits like radar detector add-ons (hardwire kit, mute button, remote display), interior trim pieces, Weathertech liners, winter wheels and tires...

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Just reached ~121,000 miles after a month of ownership.

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The GTI is a blast to drive. The R32 is slow, but planted and a great daily driver. It also sounds great. I also have a Honda VFR800 - a failed attempt at solving my motor-addiction with some cheapish speed. Did not work. Now I have 3 helmets, moto gear plus car gear, and vehicle parts and tools everywhere. My spare wheels are decoration in my living room.

GTI Parts list, probably not entirely updated.

Engine

  • APR Stage ED30 K04 V3.1 Tune (Stock/91/93/100)
  • APR v1.4 DQ250 DSG Tune
  • APR Carbonio Stage 1 CAI
  • APR Carbonio Stage 2 CAI
  • APR 3” Downpipe
  • APR 3” RSC Catback Exhaust
  • APR Traverse 2.0T Intercooler
  • APR K04 Conversion
  • Audi R8 Ignition Coilpacks
  • NGK PFRS7EG Double Platinum Spark Plugs
  • HPA Lower Motor Mount HVW-904-75
  • 034 Motorsport Engine Mount - Billet Aluminum (SKU# 034-509-5016)
  • 034 Motorsport Transmission Mount - Billet Aluminum (SKU# 034-509-5016)
  • HS Tuning Subframe Shim and Bolt Kit
  • GoFastBits DV+ (w/ bolt b/c APR k04: McMaster #92290A338)


Suspension/Chassis/Wheels

  • UNIbrace RB (Black)
  • UNIbrace UB (Black)
  • UNIbrace XB (Black)
  • Audi TT-RS front 4 piston calipers (Blood Red custom powder)
  • Audi TT-RS 370x28mm 2-piece cross-drilled rotors (Front)
  • Audi TT-RS 23.81 mm master brake cylinder
  • Audi TT-RS brake line brackets (Front)
  • Hawk HPS brake pads (Front)
  • Bilstein B14/PSS Coilover System
  • 034 TT-RS Stainless Braided Brake Lines (Front)
  • StopTech GTI Stainless Braided Brake Lines (Rear)
  • 034 Track density Strut Mounts & Bushings
  • Stoptech Sport Rotors - cross drilled, e-coated (Rear)
  • Hawk HPS brake pads (Rear)
  • ARP extended wheel lugs (20x)
  • H&R 5mm hub-centric spacers (Front)
  • H&R 28mm front anti-sway bar
  • H&R 24mm rear anti-sway bar
  • Motul RBF660 brake fluid
  • SuperPro Roll Centre Adjusting Ball Joint (#TRC0003)
  • SuperPro Roll Control Aluminum Lower Control Arm (#ALOY0001K)
  • SuperPro Roll Control Anti-Lift Kit (#ALOY3273-80K)
  • VW R32 Engine Undertray (#1K0 825 237 P)
  • VMR V705 19x8.5 ET45
  • Hanook Ventus R-S3 235/35/R19
  • BBS CF custom powder-coated 19x8.5 ET35
  • Continental extremeContact DW 235/35/19
  • VW Serron 18x7.5 ET51
  • Yokohama iceGuard52c 225/40/R18
  • ARP extended wheel lugs (20x)
  • 42 Draft Designs 12mm spacers (Front)
  • 42 Draft Designs 15mm spacers (Rear)


Cosmetic/Exterior

  • XPEL Ultimate Paint Protection Film
  • Klii Motorwerks Candy White Hatch Insert
  • Ed’s Vacar R20-Style LED Tail Lights
  • VAGCOM Tweaks
  • Rolled front fenders
  • 3M 55% FX Premium Tint
  • DeAutoKey LED Reverse Light Bulbs
  • VW European Blind-spot Mirrors
  • VW European Front Lip Spoiler
  • VW side markers (extra set) painted Candy White
  • Audi black lugbolt caps
  • BBS color matched stems and carbon fiber caps
  • 3M black vinyl wrapped B pillars
  • Scotch® Vinyl Mastic Roll 2210 rain tray swap
  • DEI Reflect-A-Gold underhood/intake/intercooler/etc.


Interior

  • Autobahn Trim Package
  • VW Mojo Mats
  • VW Monster Mats
  • VW CarGo Heavy Duty Trunk Liner and Blocks
  • WeatherTech Digifit All Weather Mats (4 door)
  • Ebay Stainless Steel GTI Seat Lever Inserts
  • P3Cars VIDI Boost Gauge (Red & White)
  • APR Mobile Dongle
  • Double Apex USB Charger
  • Double Apex Valentine1 Mute Button
  • Podi Steering Column Pod
  • VEI V1 Series Valentine1 Remote Radar Display
  • VW European aluminum glove box handle
  • VW European headlight switch + trigger wire
  • Uberstealth Underfloor Sub Enclosure
  • AudioControl LC2i 2-Channel Line Out Converter & Sub Control
  • AudioControl Remote volume control know in custom enclosure
  • Pioneer TS-SW2501-S2 10-Inch Shallow Subwoofer
  • Rockford Fosgate PBR500X1 Punch 500W Mono Rail Amp

I miss my old Infiniti FX35.

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