Five days ago, I got out of bed, showered and dressed, and then went out to meet my friend who was waiting. I hopped in his 2014 Camaro, and we set off to a local shop. “So, how fast do you think it’s gonna be?” he asked. I looked at him “faster than this thing?” he teased. That’s when I smiled “yeah actually, it will be.”
We soon arrived at our destination, a tuning shop in Redmond, WA that specializes in making VW’s and Audis a lot faster than they have any right to be. Their name? Achtuning. Inside the shop, sat a little red GLI, just waiting to be taken out for a spin.
“Alright, the new clutch and diff gotta be broken in, so take it easy the first 750 miles. Don’t want you breaking anything” I vaguely remember them telling me this as I keyed the ignition on the car. The car cranked over once, fired and proceeded to run through it’s cold start cycle, burbling away through it’s newly mounted 3" downpipe, high flow cat, and AWE touring catback. In front of that downpipe sat the crown jewel and the most beloved turbo of the VW mk6 community; the Borg Warner K04.
On the Mk6 platform, this turbine could easily be fitted to most cars, allowing for huge power gains. it turned the relatively docile GTI and GLI in to total monsters in a straight line, but that wasn’t all. My particular car got a Wavetrac LSD as well. this meant that the car could now be taken in to any turn, and be taken through the turn at Wide. Open. Throttle. no ‘if’s’ or ‘but’s’.
since then, I’ve put about 550 miles on the car, and gotten to see what it can truly do, and my god the things it will do.
Picture this: A jetta.
Now, picture yourself driving a fine German sports sedan, like an E90 335i, or maybe even a 2010 C63 AMG. now, imagine this little red Jetta being able to not only keep up with you in a straight line, but outpace you, and then manage to accelerate up the on-ramp at speeds at which your powerful RWD German sport sedan would only scoff at, as it initiates a huge speed-shedding powerslide.
THAT is the exact experience this car has delivered, and I’ve yet to truly wind it out.
AS it sits now, the GLI makes (give or take) 300 front wheel hp, and 325 front wheel torque. it will gladly spin it’s pilot supersports all the way to 60 MPH, and it will not hesitate in vigorous acceleration at speeds that would be considered illegal and dangerous by most governments of the world.
the car is pushing 31psi (or about 2.31 bar) of boost with no issues, and there is room for more still.
Driving it is hilariously fun. the grip around on-ramps verges on the border between stupid and unreal. the acceleration makes the car punch way above it’s weight class, and it definitely drops jaws of the drivers of much more expensive cars when it keeps up.
So, next time you spot a GTI or GLI somewhere, just consider the fact it may be K04 (or even GTX) equipped, and then that GTI or GLI will turn in to a GTbye or Lbye.