What Makes My Kind Of Volkswagen
Passion & Patience Equals Excellence

It’s well known that we’re supporters of all aspects of car culture on Speedhunters.

This comes across as tiresome to a lot of you, particularly when it comes to areas of car culture that some consider irredeemable (hello there, onikyan). While we always try to see the best in things, the truth is that each Speedhunter has his or her own opinions on pretty much every thing car related.

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There are a lot of things we agree on, but likewise, there’s probably an equal amount on which we don’t. Amongst us, the Volkswagen scene is a pretty consistent divider of opinions. Some have tried, but fail to see the attraction. Others don’t even want to give it a chance.

I’ve probably come to the defence of the scene more than most, but I’d like to think that I’ve aimed my fair share of criticisms at it, too. Nothing within our community should be beyond reproach and we should all be free to change our opinions at any time when presented with valid arguments.

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What I’m trying to dance around here is that I personally don’t like every facet of the VW scene. Hell, I wasn’t even a German car guy growing up. My formative years involved Ford rally cars and my late teenage years were all about that JDM life. It was only a chance encounter with some English gentleman and his black MKV GTI that converted me some years ago.

It was that particular car, in that exact stage of its evolution, that helped me to define exactly what made my kind of Volkswagen. It should be clean, subtle and it should be quick.

Basically, everything Lasse Jensen’s MKV R32 Turbo is.

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There was a little bit of luck and social media reach required in securing this feature. You can probably guess by the rolling backdrop that these photos were taken in Austria, and you would be correct.

It was a day or two beforehand that I spotted Lasse’s MKV at Turbo Kurve during a combined photo and Instagram Live session.

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There are a lot of clean cars at Wörthersee, so when this stood out from within a crowd of its peers, it immediately had my attention. To be frank, the first thing that really caught my eye was the quality of the paintwork.

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I once owned a Black Sapphire Metallic BMW 3-Series, which taught me that I did not have the patience required to maintain black paint. Undoubtedly, it was a stunning finish when it was freshly washed, polished and waxed but that would usually last about a day before it was inevitably covered in a fine layer of grime which just took the sheen (literally) off it.

Also, I’ve never had a car that was shit on so much by my local feathered friends. Again, literally.

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It was a hard colour to maintain because it would also highlight any imperfections instantly. I spent more time chasing swirl marks, holograms and wipe marks than I did driving it (not literally).

When I started looking around Lasse’s car, I couldn’t find a single imperfection. Not one. The flake in the metallic was glistening in the absurdly harsh sunlight but the sun’s reflection highlighted not a single flaw.

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A conversation with Lasse would reveal that the car was re-painted in its original black in 2017, but that was still two years ago and the car was driven to Wörthersee from Denmark. That’s not a casual spin down the road.

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The next thing I started to appreciate was the car’s stance in its aired-out state. ‘Tucking’ is big in Europe, as it gets around most of the incredibly strict rules with regards to wheel fitment, so this wasn’t a surprise.

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It also allows most to run a full size tire if they wish, avoiding the issue of stretching the tyre just to make a wheel fit. While it might appear that it has negative-six-million-degrees of camber, that all comes back into spec as the car raises up to its driving height.

I did notice the wider front fenders (again, a normal sight at Wörthersee) but I didn’t initially spot the carefully feathered line in the paint.

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The fenders were full carbon but with only an inch or two of their weave exposed. Subtle, but a nice reward for anyone looking closely enough around the car.

The wheels themselves are proper centre-lock OZ Ultraleggera HLTs in 19×8.5-inch ET53 mounted on Hoffman Racing centre-lock adapters on the original 5×112 hubs.

The brakes, while Porsche branded, are actually Audi sourced. The fronts, with discs measuring 390x36mm are paired with RS6 six-piston calipers. The rears are four-piston calipers from an Audi R8 with a separate functioning handbrake caliper and 356x32mm discs.

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While ride-height and wheel fitment are incredibly subjective matters, I do like the result. It’s simple and clean with a nice OEM+ vibe, particularly at driving height.

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What interested me most was the fact that it was clearly on air, but had ‘Bilstein‘ written on the side. As it turns out, he has used Bilstein struts with adjustable top mounts in conjunction with Air Lift Performance 3P management for ride control.

There’s also Powerflex bushings all around to help keep everything tight.

There’s been no revolution inside the car, because there really doesn’t need to be one. An upgraded MFSW from a Golf MK6 R, along with an updated navigation head-unit from the same model are the major interior improvements.

The much sought after Recaro wingbacks were fitted to the car at the factory, although the Pleie-Sport half-cage was added sometime later. The requisite Air Lift Performance controller has been neatly mounted in place of the factory ash tray.

All the trim parts have been painted a particular shade of grey from Audi.

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The exact moment when all of this evolved from ‘this is nice’ to ‘MUST SHOOT IMMEDIATELY’ was the discovery of a rather large turbocharger mounted to the 3.2-litre R32 motor.

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While it’s still a work in progress, the Garrett GTX3582R Generation II boost-maker currently helps the AWD MKV to over 350hp, an increase of 100hp over stock [EDIT: it now makes 425hp and 530Nm). I’m sure there’s even more to come, but it’s easy to forget that 350hp is a decent amount of power in a street car.

Most of everything in here was custom made, including the (mostly) hidden from view intercooler and exhaust manifold, although the latter does connect to a Milltek exhaust system. The intake manifold is by HGP.

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It’s not the sort of car that will change the world, but then again, it’s a pretty good reminder that not every build has to. It has just enough in every area to make it stand out, whilst remaining subtle enough that the ordinary commuter will have no idea what might lie beneath. Even the average enthusiast might not appreciate what’s in front of them until things are pointed out.

There’s a lot of thought and careful consideration in here, improving the things which might need improving whilst leaving things that work alone. It’s a lesson in restraint and flawless execution.

Who knows, maybe this might show some more people that not all Volkswagens are just wheels & low? One can hope.

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

Owner: Lasse Jensen (@lasse_r32t)

Cutting Room Floor
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35 comments

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1

Great car, great photos - you could almost go swimming in that paint, it's that deep

2

Now that is a Street Car that everyone should have ^_^

3

"Who knows, maybe this might..." replace ´maybe this might´ with should

VAG is often not (only) about the looks on first sight, but about appreciation to dig deeper

LEGO for adults, sometimes there are not only Star Wars Bricks used to pimp the Speedchampion but beneath there could be some awesome TECHNICS parts

4
DahRidlah's Mother

How high were you when you wrote this? Asking for a friend. :)

5

Gotta agree on (some) VW's running deeper than they appear to. Weirdly, at 18 I had a Mk1 Clio 16v and moved onto an S13 at 19, while mates had Golfs which I never had any interest in, always figured they were just "a set of BBS and too low to drive properly". While a lot are sh*t, there are some proper gems in the mix. I've spent the last decade going through a string of 12 x Mk2 Golfs myself and nothing 'feels like home' like a Mk2 now.

6

Great car!
The only thing I kind of dont´t like is the newer style gear knob. Every other Passat and Golf has the same one.
The mk5 R32 DSG had a golf-ball style knob exclusive to it that
makes the car that much more special to drive :)

7

How does a knob on an automatic car make it more special to drive? Just curious.

8

Disregard my comment. After a bit of googling, I found out that someone prior to my ownership had installed a GTI edition 35 gear knob on my car.

Author9

I've now started looking for an ED35 DSG shifter for mine now XD

10

I see You've also still got the one-piece washer bottle cap, albeit black. May I suggest the 4M Q7 two-piece cap. It's very luxurious :) Although not available in black...

11

part# 4m0955267

12

I get what you are saying, but you can manually shift the DSG box using stick not just the paddles on the steering wheel.

13
Keaton Belliston

This thing is fantastic but desperately in need of some track-ready suspension. All those performance goodies but no ability to actually use it? That's a paradox to me and probably the only trend I can't understand.

Author14

Why does a street car need track ready suspension? Perhaps the owner knows what he needs from the car better than anyone else? (Not trying to pick on you or being a smart ass BTW)

15
Keaton Belliston

No, I absolutely respect that an owner is going to upgrade their car as they see fit, but I genuinely want to understand why a vehicle with hundreds of performance-oriented upgrades (roll cage, full buckets, harnesses, center lock OZ wheels, giant turbo, etc) is ultimately undone by a modification fit for a luxury/stance-centric build.

It's like buying a 911 GT3 RS Clubsport, only to bag it and park it. Untapped potential.

16

The reality is that the mostly defining factor of a suspension setup is the quality of the dampers, which is why Set A of coilovers that cost $200 on ebay with x spring rate will be total shit on the track, whereas Set B of $2000 name brand coilovers with the same spring rate will be fantastic on track. Don't mis-quote me as saying that springs do nothing, because that's not true, but the other thing is that with bags the spring rate is technically variable depending on how much pressure is in the bags.
So ol matey with Bilstein dampers will almost certainly be more track spec than any budget coilover.

Author17

I think you'd be surprised by what a competently set up air suspension system is capable of, but the issue is that most examples you will see are set up for shows where their stance when aired out takes priority over outright performance (which is fine BTW, whatever you prefer).

I don't personally know what Lasse's drives like (I didn't drive it) but even absolute worst case scenario it would only take a few hours to adjust it towards a really nice drivable setup (if it isn't that way already).

Also, no harnesses and not full buckets :)

18

Alain Saniforth, Competition Car Suspension--Page 28. Quite literally the beginners chapter to understanding performance suspension:

"Since it is all around us and free of charge, air appears to have quite a bit going for it, but there are two major short comings of air springs: the heat generated under continual compression and the need to keep the unit containing the air topped up to the correct pressures if they are not to have variability. Air compressors--even small ones--are dead weight and power stealers.

Seals, piping, pistons and their operating rods, and special valves all complicate the issue and add still more weight. These pose serious locational difficulties in a racing car. The designer is faced with the need for a separate, yet similar unit using oil or a combined air / oil damper-cum-spring that has even more complexity.

All in all air seems more trouble than it is actually worth."

This book is like $25 dollars on Amazon. Go read it before you write about suspension again / offer your opinion as a fact. A lot of poor information being spread here.

Author19

I respect what you're saying, Marco, but your point isn't relevant. This isn't a competition car and it isn't an open-wheeler either, which Saniforth's book is primarily focused on.

It would be like me complaining that a Formula car doesn't have room for groceries. They're very different vehicles doing very different things.

20

While that is true, it is more important to understand what suspension in a car is trying to do so you can understand all suspension systems on a fundamental level.

This helps people learn a lot more.

21

Paddy, everything you said is "spot on". I'm a hard core VW guy. I love my MKIII Jetta to death! Bought it brand new in 1995. Drove it 253,000 miles on same clutch. Got hit by a drunk motorcyclist in 2004 and he died. Bit car fixed and in 2015 sent it to NGP in Maryland and had it done up. Spent $20000 restoring g it. Some people do not get VW and we VW guys don't care. I personally am SICK of JDM and Hondas. But if they like it fine. German cars to me are the BEST! But Japan makes some cool cars too and I like 'em. Neighbor has a GTR that is nasty. Let's act like grown ups and stop hating on different scenes. Waste of time. Cars are cars and there is something for everybody. Please do a feature on this black Golf I saw with red center lock wheels and ghosted graphics that I saw in another post. That car is amazing! Awesome photos as usual!

22

That carbon paint feathering on the fenders is amazing looking I've never seen something like that! I love the VW scene's commitment to having everything done SO clean. This car is an amazing example. I am kinda suprised about all that power and then having the wheel stance it does though, I think the JDM kid in me would much prefer the stance of the MK6 you linked earlier in the article, but eh, not my car.

Author23

I wouldn't judge a car's camber when airred out. Even mine throws on a ton of negative rear camber when on the floor, but is only -1 degree at driving height (which is within factory settings).

24

425hp sounds like a perfect number, not too much, not too little... And 530Nm of torque is huge! That's plenty of pull.

25

What an incredible location for a photoshoot, Paddy! I keep finding myself scrolling back up, to look at those centerlock OZ's..those wheels are beautiful in my opinion and look even better with a nice brake set up to complement them.

26

Would've liked to see it at drive height. I dig it, otherwise.

Author27

First photo in the bonus images.

28

I must be getting old to have mistaken that for being aired down, haha.

29

Not one single photo of it aired up? Come on

Author30

Look harder.

31

"While ride-height and wheel fitment are incredibly subjective matters"

No--they are not subjective. You should know this as someone who grew up watching rally. This is a dangerous message as a journalist to be putting out to the general public who might not know, but everyone should understand that ride height is dependent on the environment you are driving in.

On a bumpy road you need more travel and clearance. So no, ride height is not subjective or we wouldn't see uniformity in different racing classes (i.e. different environments).

Duhh...

32

Speed limits exist for a reason

Author33

For clarification, I was speaking from an aesthetic POV. I don't think anyone was expecting this car to come flying down Ouninpohja in a couple of weeks :)

34

That is really important to clarify IMO for reader safety.

35

In Germany 99% of Volkswagen tuning cars are on air with big wheels, usually with the limiters removed to get lower than it's legal (you have to be able to roll and steer without scraping, even with no air-pressure).
I honestly get a bit bored with them, because most of them are pretty much the same.

Also, I met a guy who said he doesn't like the look of his "aired out" GTI at all, and it drove better beforehand, but "with that car you have to do it", which shows the peer pressure the German scene is dealing with.
You HAVE to put your car super-low with big wheels.

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