Looks can be deceiving as what may seem like a fairly standard current-generation Volkswagen Golf R in pre-facelift guise, this is actually a little all-wheel-drive monster with a lot more power than the stock output. Having owned a BMW M135i, our hero, Arthur, decided to try something else and bought Wolfsburg’s 300-horsepower hot hatch, which some would say was a downgrade considering it has two fewer cylinders than the Bimmer.
But this is far from being an ordinary Golf R as the four-cylinder 2.0-litre engine now produces close to 600 brake horsepower after being initially dialled to roughly 450bhp. Doubling the amount of power was possible by (barely) cramming into the engine bay a massive turbocharger from Turbonetics. It’s actually a newly developed type of turbo and it is still at the prototype stage, with the amped-up VW featuring the second turbo of this size the tuner has ever manufactured.
Is the turbo any good? Well, let’s just say that “it does the business,” according to Arthur. The 2.0 TSI fitted with the new turbocharger can actually produce even more power, but they’ve decided to keep it at nearly 600bhp to maintain the four-pot’s reliability in the long run. Other tweaks included a RacingLine airbox, an upgraded intercooler, a custom fuel pump, and a Milltek exhaust to make the TSI sing its tune a bit better. Overall, the changes the Golf R had to go through to basically double its power weren’t that significant, other than the massive turbo, of course.
The Golf now has more power than the aforementioned M135i, which was also modified and actually required a bigger investment compared to the money spent to trick out the R. It’s worth mentioning the DSG transmission had to be remapped to cope with all the extra power and it’s performing brilliantly, with the owner saying it changes gears in the blink of an eye.
All things considered, this VW Golf R VII is the pure definition of a sleeper: nearly stock on the outside, but packing a lot more punch underneath the bonnet.