A Power Addict’s Mk5 Golf GTI

Over the years, we’ve seen countless modified Volkswagen Golf GTIs, many of which have been built with a style focus. But every now and then, someone builds one up with a big power goal.

Craig Czank is one of those people. As a drag racer he craves power, and the answer to most of his problems is to add more of it.


You might remember the story I did on Craig’s man cave here in South Africa last year, and if you look back at that and the cars in his collection, you’ll see that his power addiction is quite serious. There’s everything from American muscle to loads of bikes and Japanese cars too.

Craig also has a Mk5 Volkswagen Golf GTI that he built for his son, and it’s this car I want to share with you today.

stefan-kotze-speedhunters-mk5-gti 018

On the outside, things have been kept simple. Adding bodykits can actually make these cars looks cheap and nasty really quick, so I’m fully on board with Craig’s thinking here.

That’s not to say it’s completely stock, though. The large VW badge on the grille was removed, which also necessitated smoothing the front edge of the bonnet out, and an aftermarket front lip was added to the bottom of the bumper. You’ll also notice some yellow detailing, including a colour change for the GTI badge.

stefan-kotze-speedhunters-mk5-gti 002

On the sides of the Golf, the most noticeable visual change is the dark grey decal with attached performance parts shopping list, but Craig has also upgraded the mirrors with carbon fiber covers and yellow indicators, while the side skirts were colour-matched to the exterior’s Reflex Silver Metallic paint.

stefan-kotze-speedhunters-mk5-gti 005
stefan-kotze-speedhunters-mk5-gti 015

The GTI sits nice and low thanks to coilover suspension, which also help the 2-piece BBS Speedline wheels fill the arches nicely. They come in at 19×9-inches and are wrapped in 225/35R19 Achilles ATR Sport rubber. Braking performance has been improved through Mk6 Golf R (6R) discs and calipers at all four corners.

stefan-kotze-speedhunters-mk5-gti 004

Completing the visual modifications is an aftermarket hatch wing, Golf R32 tail lights, along with an R32 rear bumper fitted with a carbon fiber diffuser.

stefan-kotze-speedhunters-mk5-gti 027

Under the hood sits the most important part of this car – an EA113 engine from a 6R. This is basically the same unit the MkV GTI came with, but features a reinforced block, redesigned cylinder head, uprated pistons and connecting rods, and high pressure fuel injectors. Craig’s 6R engine benefits from Wossner forged pistons and Carrillo forged rods, and the crankshaft was knife-edged and heat-treated. Up top, the head was ported and fitted out with Ferrea valves and springs before being bolted back down with ARP hardware.

stefan-kotze-speedhunters-mk5-gti 030
stefan-kotze-speedhunters-mk5-gti 035

The engine’s internal upgrade makes perfect sense when you learn that Craig was looking to more than double its output, which also explains the Garrett GTX3076R GEN II turbocharger chosen for the build. All the supporting mods are in the mix too – a large front-mount intercooler, Integrated Engineering intake manifold, an Audi RS4 fuel pump and injectors, plus Audi R8 coils.

Tuned through an EcuTek and running a 50/50 mix of 95RON fuel and ethanol, plus water/methanol injection, the GTI sees anything from 500 to 600hp at the front wheels dependent on boost level. To get that power reliably to the ground, Craig is running a Golf 6R 6-speed manual transmission with shot-peened gears, a triple-plate Tilton clutch, and upgraded driveshafts.

stefan-kotze-speedhunters-mk5-gti 044
stefan-kotze-speedhunters-mk5-gti 046
stefan-kotze-speedhunters-mk5-gti 053

Inside, the first thing that catches your eye is the bright yellow custom bolt-in half-cage that does away with the Golf’s rear seat. For the driver and passenger, there’s 6R Recaros and TAKATA Racing harnesses.

stefan-kotze-speedhunters-mk5-gti 010

The MkV GTI might have been around since 2004, but it’s still a very popular enthusiast model. For a 16-year-old car, I think it’s really aged quite well. Craig’s Golf is not over-complicated; it’s got a few subtle styling additions, a well built motor, and a recipe that’s proven to work.

Stefan Kotzé
Instagram: stefankotzephoto



Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

How fast is this thing going from 0-60mph (or 0-100kph if you prefer). With up to 600hp at the wheels it should be quite fast.


That's assuming it has a way to get all that power to the wheels. It was pretty easy to get the front wheels to break loose on a stock MkV GTI with just 200hp/tq.


Nicely set up - 600hp and yet subtle too. Would the lighter weight of a three door be a better starting point for a strip car, especially as those extra rear doors are now redundant?


3dr vs 4 dr is a minimal weight difference for a street car. You remove spare and get the same affect.


We never got the 3 door in South Africa.



South Africa has some serious car guys! That engine bottom end is set up for some "serious" work/hp. Takata seat belts?!!! Hope they work unlike Takata air bags. Very nice subtle car that won't draw attention until he hits the gas. I like it! Neighbor has a 2008 MKV with an APR Stage 1 tune and it is fast. Not as fast as this one though. Do they have any Honda Civics over there with loud exhausts that he can roll up on? Hope so!

Frikkie du plessis

Let me correct you please. That car was bought....not built.me and my brother inlaw built that car from stock to where it stands.its not nice to brag with with something someone else has to get the aknowledgement for.Leroy Niemann put all of his time and effort into that build for atleast 6 years.and Czanck can make 1 photo shoot and now he built it all.he did not change one bolt on that car sins we sold it to him.come on czanck.please show us what u can build by yourself.the do a shoot and brag about ypur own build.


Well, well....... bought not built, where have we heard that before Stefan? You best check that out and correct this if that's true. :D


Wow shots fired! And if it’s true not cool for someone to pass this off as their own build!
Have you got any proof to back it up, IG or build thread on a forum somewhere?

Frikkie du plessis

Supply email address and we will supply proof


golf/ bbs= winning combo / classic is chic!


Please send me the bolt on kit price to upgrade my Mk5 Gti.


500-600whp seems like a bit of an overestimate on 95 octane and Ethanol mix. Built Supras and GTR's on E85 only make that kind of power going GTX3582. Maybe 600hp at the engine on high boost?

The fastest Mk6R in Australia was only making just over 300wkw (400whp) with a GTX2867 using Meth and all the goodies.