550hp & A Wide-Body That Works
Wide Done Right

When Pandem announced its overfender kit for the Mk7 Golf chassis way back when, I was excited to see how – or even if – the Volkswagen scene would embrace it. In the time since, I can only recall two or three examples of the kit being fitted, and with mixed results.

For me, the problem is that the kit was used as a purely aesthetic addition for shows cars. This is fine, but I was always curious to see how it would work in a motorsport/performance application. I know that’s a rarity with the current wave of overfender-equipped cars, which is probably why my curiosity sustained.

2017 SEMA Greddy Volkswagen GTI Pandem Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-7

I wouldn’t say I had gotten lost at SEMA, but I was definitely treading new ground through a sea of lifted trucks and off-roaders when I found the GReddy Mk7 GTI on the upper floor of the South Hall. I’ve often thought about what I’ll eventually replace Project GTI with, and a three-door Mk7 or Mk7.5 is high on the list. Naturally, this car had my full attention from the get go.

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2017 SEMA Greddy Volkswagen GTI Pandem Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-5

The proportions of the hatchback are perfect with the Pandem kit; the considerably wider fenders lend a muscular and purposeful stance to the car. The wide RAYS Volk Racing TE37s wrapped with wide track rubber are a perfect fit too, and give the car a purposeful look.

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As it turns out, this is a considerable motorsport build with full chassis preparation. The car was pieced together by GReddy in association with MotoIQ and others, with the aim to be raced at Super Lap Battle in the coming weeks. So the stress in advance of SEMA was considerably increased as it needed to be a finished car in order to test as soon as the Vegas show wraps up. No pressure then.

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What’s curious is the factory wheel and radio remain in place, despite the dash being cut below it. I imagine it’s to satisfy the car’s CAN bus system, but vital information is displayed on an AiM digital dash sat in front of the original gauges, which are still present.

2017 SEMA Greddy Volkswagen GTI Pandem Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-24

The Gen III 2.0-litre TSI engine is a complete APR-built motor with what I believe is an externally wastegated BorgWarner EFR 7163 turbocharger, and an estimated peak power output of around 550hp. A Forge Motorsport radiator is currently on the way for the car to keep coolant temperatures down, while an APR intake is the only immediate and obvious visual clue that the engine has been breathed on.

2017 SEMA Volkswagen GTI Pandem Extra-4

Currently, the car is on KW Clubsports (honestly, I’m not seeking out KW-equipped cars, they just seem to be on every car I shoot, which says something) but I believe the plan is to run a custom KW setup in the future.

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As it’s a GTI, the car remains front-wheel drive. The 6-speed manual gearbox has been fitted with a Wavetrac limited slip differential, something that I fitted to Project GTI nearly a year ago, although I’m unsure as to what other transmission upgrades have been made. Typically, most people who desire more performance from this platform tend to opt for a DSG as they can cope better with significant power upgrades without any modification.

2017 SEMA Greddy Volkswagen GTI Pandem Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-4

GReddy has put the car on a diet, too. The driver’s Sparco bucket is the last seat in the house, and the hood, doors and trunk are all carbon fibre pieces.

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There are still some setup changes to be made to the car before it takes to the track, including fitting a wider wheel and rubber combination on the front, with a narrower rear setup. The Brembo brakes should be more than adequate when Scott Speed takes to the wheel at Button Willow Raceway.

2017 SEMA Greddy Volkswagen GTI Pandem Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-2

No doubt, there’s a lot of potential in the car, and I’ll be following its progress from afar when it makes its competitive debut. It is a lot of power for a front-wheel drive car, but the game has moved on so much that it shouldn’t be a huge issue any more. Time will tell.

Now, I’m off to check residuals on used 7Rs…

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos
paddy@speedhunters.com

Cutting Room Floor
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2017 SEMA Volkswagen GTI Pandem Extra-1
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20 comments

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1

Functional rocket bunny'd car, this is somehow rare!

2

How did you not title this article Rocket Bunny???? Missed opportunity!
I think it looks great. Reminds me of the bonkers kits that came out for the mk2. This style of overfender works waaaaay better than the typical VW way of flaring the stock fenders. As far as for sport; I don't see how it could hurt as it provides for wider track, right?

3

Bolt on spacers at the Sema Car show .. get your offset math right cmon!

Author4

The issue is that the Pandem kit is wider in the rear than the front, but on a FWD car, you need it to be the other way around. For SEMA, they're actually running the wheels reversed with the fronts on the rear and vice versa but will change it back for Super Lap.

5

It's too bad they had to change it around just so people wouldn't see the deeper offset on the front and go 'wuuuut?'. Honestly could have been a nice teachable moment to keep the car setup as it would on the track to generate questions.

6

why you want a 3 door project car over your current 5 door? more practicality, brah.

Author7

Er, mine is three door already

8

Uh oops, my bad, all this time I thought it was a 5 door, just never paid attention to whether it was a 3 or 5 door they all look kinda similar.

9

I would assume the pandem kit wouldnt fit on the 5 door also

Author10

Hahaha, not to worry. At least I hope someone hasn't cut mine up while I've been away.

11

Scott Speed lends some serious credibility to this project (-8

12

Wow. Blue te37's. Hell yeah. This is a really beautiful car, and the kit really works in this application. 550 is a really usable number and i bet it'll pull this car around the track nicely. Fantastic spotlight, but consider keeping us updated as the car progresses.

13

550hp and front wheel drive? How does that work?

Author14

Because Wavetrac.

15

I get it, RAYS, KW and all these guys are SpeedHunters sponsors, but aren't there any other cool cars without parts from those suppliers? You've got quite a few SEMA features of other cars running sponsors' parts, but I'm just afraid / worried there might be other, just as cool cars around SEMA that might not be getting as much attention from you guys because they are not featuring one of your main website sponsors... Cool feature, just wanted to get that message across (or, at least, express what I think might be happening)...

Author16

I actually included a note in the copy about this, and I actually debated about posting it in case of responses like this. The problem is that so many cars at SEMA were either on KWs, Air Lift Performance, Rays or Rotiform with Takata or Schroth harnesses, so finding a car without any of these is challenging enough. They're good, respected brands, so it's no surprise that they're popular.

I can tell you with 100% honesty that we didn't seek out these cars on purpose, and that we haven't omitted other cars because they're not equipped with our supplier's parts. It's a tough balancing act but I stand by the fact that this is a cool and interesting car which I hope others feel the same about.

17

Coulda sold you a used R a week ago Paddy, had to go for first-time mortgage reasons! Absolute beast though, can fairly gather its skirts up n go... APR can make them become something else entirely. Check out the VWROC for some beautiful builds with 500, 600 bhp plus.

Can't recommend them enough, and very very easy to run.

As for me, nabbed a mint R32 as a compromise so can't complain. Getting to know my Golfs...

18

what exactly is greddy in this car?

Author19

Well, it's their car for starters. Also, the doors and trunk are their own carbon parts as far as I remember.

20

In the article you mention that you believe it to be an "externally wastegated BorgWarner EFR 7163 turbocharger" but in one of the Cutting Room Floor pictures you can clearly see the wastegate actuator on the turbo. Hate to be "That guy" but just pointing it out.

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