Car Feature>> Frankenstein’s Monster: The 650hp Awd Golf

Yawn. Not another Golf right? Indeed, looking at the car above I’d understand if you felt it lacked the shock value to be on Speedhunters. So I’ll let the facts do the talking. 650HP. 3.6 litre conversion. All-wheel drive. 0-100 in 3.4 seconds. An 11.3 quarter mile.

Do I have your attention now?

If you saw this VW on the streets, chances are you wouldn’t even take a second glance. And that’s exactly what the owner wanted. In plain white, with no exuberant body additions, it has the perfect urban camouflage to blend in with its surroundings.

The Frankenstein behind this monster goes by the nickname of AP. That’s the same AP who thought a Lotus could do with a carbon body and a turbocharged motor (read the feature here).

And just like his Lotus, AP wasn’t afraid to push the boundaries when it came to building the ultimate Golf sleeper. The only giveaway is this badge…

…Which hints at what lies beneath the hood: a Passat R36’s 3.6 litre motor.

An ordinary R36 motor, however, wasn’t enough for AP. Instead he has called upon HPA Motorsports to build him a twin turbo FT640 motor, which was shipped some 7800 miles from Surrey in Canada.

Force feeding the new 3.6l its dose of oxygen are two GT28RS turbochargers, which give AP the instant response he wants for the street.

The twin HPA competition intercoolers are nicely hidden away behind the factory bumper.

There’s no look-at-me tips at the other end either. Instead, the custom stainless CPC exhaust pokes out of the factory location.

If you were to replace the blue silicone with black hoses, you – and more importantly the Authorities – could easily mistaken everything for stock. If you want the automotive definition of cloak and dagger, this is it.

City Performance Centre were the ones game enough to take on the conversion. The R32 transmission was retained, although it has been significantly strengthened with a billet gear set covering 4th, 5th and 6th. An LSD and HPA race carbon clutches have also been fitted to cope with HPA’s Stage 4 Race DSG file. The Stage 4 programming is a complete departure from the original DSG software, and is customised specifically for the car.

The gear interchanges have been recalibrated along with the clutch engagement curves. A competition Haldex control unit now manages the AWD system, and is able to predict the onset of torque. The Haldex controller also transfers torque more aggressively, resulting in oversteer-biased behaviour.

Like his Lotus, AP hasn’t taken any shortcuts with his R36-powered R32 and has concentrated on improving its handling setup. Polyurethane Whiteline bushes replace the chewing gum OEM rubber while a pair of H&R swaybars increase roll stiffness. The front control arms are from an Audi TT RS, while the uprights are from an Audi S3. Finally, KW Clubsport coilovers offer independent bump and rebound adjustment.

The gloss black 19×8.5-inch forged ADV 5.0 rims are mounted to 235/35 Michelin PS2 tyres. Behind them are bright green Audi 8-piston calipers mated to 365mm rotors.

At the rear you’ll find Audi 4 piston calipers clamping onto 335mm discs.

Though the R32’s exterior may appear factory, there have been a host of modifications. The front has been widened with Kerscher fenders from Germany, while the rears have been massaged by hand to provide 30mm more width on each side. The HID washer jets, door mouldings and the rear bar’s reflectors have all been shaved for a cleaner appearance.

The added vents have also been grafted to the hood so the lines of the car aren’t disturbed.

On the underside of the vents are catches to prevent rain from dripping onto the motor.

Beneath the R32’s chin you’ll spot a subtle carbon lip…

…While the front grille has been given a coat of gloss black.

In spite of its startling performance, AP hasn’t stripped out the Golf’s mod cons. Instead, he’s raided the Golf R parts bin for a new steering wheel, leather handbrake lever, leather centre console lid and shifter.

Both driver and shotgun passenger get leather Recaro Pole position seats too.

What AP has created is a clandestine supercar killer. Although it’s wrapped in an unassuming shell, his 3.6-litre twin turbo Golf smashes out an amazing 650hp. But more importantly, this VW is able to put all that power to good use. Having fettled with its all-wheel drive and DSG transmission, this little pocket rocket can go from standstill to 100km/h in just 3.4 seconds. That’s Lamborghini and Ferrari territory. It also covers the quarter mile in 11.3 seconds @ 126mph. Sleeper? You bet.

One question remains however: what exactly did AP do with the old R32 motor? We’ll show you shortly…

– Charles Kha

Photos by Dino Dalle Carbonare and Matt Malcolm

AP’s turbo carbon Lotus Elise

Inside City Performance Centre

City Performance Centre website



Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

Should I spoil the fun and tell of AP's new project?

Nice write up Turk!


So nice, we have a Mk6 Golf but I can still appreciate a well done Mk5.




I love how he has a custom "R36" badge instead of the stock "R32"

The little things are always my favourite part of sleeper builds (Y)


It is not a Passat R36 swap. It's a 3.6 block with a 3.2 head. If it was a true R36 swap it would be running FSI direct injection. It's not.


I feel like if it ran 0-100 in 3.4 it would do way faster than 11.4 quarter mile... was that a typo that should have said 0-60 in 3.4?


Eu acho que o carro devia ser roxo


love this car, but like Kyle i was expecting a better qrtr mile time as well. with so much HP going to all wheels something is missing, midrange seems weak to me if so be the case.


So why put the vents there in the first place?


^ do iiiiiit


Well even if the R32 isn't just an ordinary golf this one is pure beast.


Holy shittles thats a heaping helping of goodness. I never would have guessed, nice work on the complete package.


what the hell does this guy do for a living to afford these projects? so jealous!


This is my favorite car yet on Speedhunters...


and thats what 35grand for the bi-turbo kit alone from Hpa will get you....amazing car


That is amazing. Probably the nicest modern Golf I have seen. (I'm more of an early Golf fan ;-))


this thing is absolutely manic!


Dammmmmm its automatics :((


I thought those DSHG Trannies from VW/Audi could not take that much power, I thought they had a limit of 250hp/lbf, hence why it was not available on the hotter cars from the factory.


Kyle,in Australia we use the metric system for 0-100km/h and 0-160km/h times.

Very nice car. I guess I would die if I saw the cost of this conversion.


I feel sorry for that DSG Gearbox. It will die. Well, at least quicker than normal.


I agree with kyle, something isn't right here how can the car go 0-100 in 3.4 seconds and only do a quarter mile in 11.4 seconds?


0-100 is in km/h. Love the car though.


Redline Magazine featured a VW Bora with a 3.2 V6 lump, 4wd, and a S400SX turbo pushing out 850bhp, and it looked totally stock. Now THAT was a proper sleeper VW


@Kyle and blue

that's 0-100 kph not mph


Green brakes and vented bonnet are slight giveaways.





is it just me or does an 11.3 1/4 mile seem exceptionally slow for a 650hp hatch? not knocking the build 11.3 is quick by any standard but not so much for a 65hp awd car...


kyle its an aussie car , so the 0-100 would be 0-100 kilometers not miles, just hurry up and convert to metric already


0-100 in 3.4 haha does he get whiplash every time he drives it?


its an australian car so it would be zero to 100 kmph in 3.4 not 0-100 mph in 3.4... DUH!!


hey kyle it goes 0-100 km/h in 3.4 which is equal to 0-60mph


Awesome! A Volkswagen that goes fast, doesn't have silly "wheel fitment" and there no sticker bombs!!


i think he meant to say 0-100km/h even though he used quarter mile. 0-100kmh is almost the same as 0-60mph


Damn I want one of these!!!


Surely the driver cant have pushed it down the strip because 11.3 for 650 hp is pretty lazy. very lazy in fact. ive seen cars which weigh more and have less power go quicker.


I actually teared up a bit looking at this filthy ,filthy machine.

"Dear God,

I take back all the things I said about giving obscene amounts to charity for a 20 million lottery win.

All i want is 1 million so I can build a garage to hold this cars clone. Please."



Very impressive to say the least.

The car has a clean subtle, purpose driven look, the conversion looks right at home in the car as well.


I agree!


Those vents still function as there is still a vacuum created as the car moves which in turn will still vent out hot air. It is a smart move to put those rain catches there.


0-100 would be in km/h not mph


talking of sleepers, how about this london black cab that has all the under pinnings of a mitsabishi evo fq360


That's a lot of doors... nice though.


i'd love to see what all the annoying people who feel they have to correct the universe have in their garages...just appreciate the car for what it is morons! Do you people go onto adult websites and say 'her boobs aren't big enough or that mole shouldn't be there?


hurry up and do a spotlight on that ej ute you think we cant see.


Great feature, and props to AP, HPA and City Performance for a beautiful ride.


i'd love to see what all the annoying people who feel they have to correct the universe have in their garages...just appreciate the car for what it is morons! Do you people go onto adult websites and say 'her boobs aren't big enough or that mole shouldn't be there?


i spoke to the owner after it was finished, the Golf was also featured in a local car mag here in Australia, the "low" quarter mile time was due to the car being brand new at the time and the owner not wanting to leave half the driveline up the drag strip, it was a very careful take off...


the reason for the slow 1/4 mile time is the tiny turbos combined with the poor gearing.

p.s. there is a much more badass R36 turbo AWD mk2 pushing over 1000AWhp, and running deep in the 9s, and soon to be 8s. ;)


I love the Hood Vents!! Are they from 3D Design?


HPA is the best VW tuner bar none.


The European car scene has been evolving quickly in Australia. In particular, VW enthusiasts have been