Golfs have been the benchmark for Hot hatches since day one. The reason is simple, is a platform that does everything well from daily driving to mountain runs to being a platform for a track car. You can’t go wrong with a golf.
Fit for purpose
For Michael though it was love at first sight, whilst studying abroad Michael spotted this lightly modified golf for sale and without hesitation jumped on a flight came back to Cyprus and sealed the deal. Despite being lightly modified at the time – mostly exterior work, Michael wasted no time before jumping into the modifying game, especially after learning the potential of the 1.8 20v engine.
After cruising and having fun for a while in a stock configuration, Michael’s appetite for more power grew as he learned more and more about tuning and cars. With the aim of having a responsive setup yet a lot more power the modding began. As with most turbo cars the first mod was a re-map, but soon after the list grew 3-inch downpipe with cat delete, intercooler, full exhaust, bigger turbo still from the 20vt platform, injectors, wastegate, intake, exhaust manifold and meth.
After a couple of years of enjoying the added power, the car went under the knife once again this time with the aim to build the fastest 1.8 20v on the island on a stock (k04-064) turbo.
In addition to the past mods, the engine was fitted with Maxpeeding rods, ARP headstuds, Ferra exhaust valves a gates timing belt, doweled pin crank for safety and manual tensioner removing the factory hydraulic one as these engines have issues with high revving past 7200 rpm. The engine is run and tuned using a ME7.5 wideband ECU.
All the beautiful welding regarding exhaust, intercooler pipes, titanium intake and other bits were fabricated by PANISMO exhausts.
Power is transferred though an ACT 6 pack clutch disc on a solid flywheel into a 6 speed O2M gearbox that was swapped from the original 5 speed.
The current setup was dyno-ed at 320whp and 380hp at the crank a 200 hp increase over the stock figures! With the stock turbo retained the setup is super responsive and it hits full boost from 3000 rpm all the way to 7300 rpm. Making it very driveable and with plenty of power throughout the rev range.
The front end on this golf is as controversial as Max Verstappen’s championship win last year. It certainly looks like an Audi TT had a fun night with an R32, but the reality is that this is an off the shelf item made from FK-automotive. It certainly isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but you got to give it some points for originality.
The side view is decorated with R32 side skirts and the sought after R32 side mirrors whereas on the back is fitted with an R32-styled diffuser and an aftermarket spoiler.
As previously mentioned, some of the exterior was made by the previous owner, but Michael has some future stored for it that may include a colour swap and a different kit.
Planted to the road.
With the aim of having a fast road track that could handle a track day if needed, the suspension department also took an overhaul. Bilstein b16 pss9 coil overs kits handle the task nicely and provide a much-needed firmness to the 24-year-old chassis.
Putting the power to the ground are ykw Monoblock wheels finished in a smooth bronze colour, that are wrapped around in Kumho HS51 225/45/17. As the owner mentioned these wheels are not the typical euro choice and are more suited to a Jap-car but their fitment works marvellous for the golf as they allow plenty of travel without scraping. The design is not my cup of tea, but a welcome change from golf’s on bbs reps.
Plus, they also make a tremendous job of clearing the MK1 Audi TT brakes with 312mm rotors up front and 232mm vented rotors on the rear.
As any respectable German car, there are factory Recaro seats installed which is always a good thing when you are trying to find the slip limit of the tyres. A tablet that is hooked on the obd2 port is used to read the engine data. The only pod gauges that can be seen is a boost gauge and a EGT gauge to keep an eye on the exhaust temps.
GTI floor mats and pedals are a simple addition that help make the interior feel a tad more special.
After talking with the owner for this build, it was refreshing to see someone this young, experiment with his project to the level of tuning it by himself, doing all sorts of engine work mods and maintenance in his home-garage. Despite having no previous background in the automotive industry, Michael didn’t hesitate to try his luck with the spanners and that is something rare nowadays.
Despite enjoying the living hell out of the loud pedal at the moment, Michael has a lot stored for this build that obviously include more power and some other interesting mods. Whatever it is we can’t wait to see what’s next for this Golf.