Are you a man or a moose :P That is the question I ask all 2.0 TFSI customers, as some aren't able to handle 300ft/lbs of torque after I have meddled with the software. Seriously though, a well-tuned 2.0 TFSI engine isn't to be taken lightly.
These motors were over-engineered, with the original TFSI 'AXX' engine capable of 420-450hp without internal modification. The power available from software modification 'only' however, will leave plenty of high end Sports and dare I say Super Cars in the distance :O Put a modified MK5 GTi against a BMW E46 3.2 Litre M3, or an Aston Martin 4.3 Litre Vantage and you will be surprised by the outcome. Obviously it must be tuned before the test, but the results are staggering, (cannot give all information as my legal team binned the first draft) lets just say the GTi won - with ease.
The VW Golf MK5 2.0 GTi (TFSI) 197hp has been one of the best cars I have ever bought. I spent two summers at home, crying over the Bosch MED9.1 ECU that controls this car, trying to understand it better. After offering my customers 25hp+ and then 35hp+, I had a friend from Norwich (James Overton) ask me to do a custom tune on his Audi A3 2.0 TFSI, same engine, same power. I took the car out on the A47 for a whole day, put on a Rolling Road and saw an increase of over 60hp! We were both surprised by the results, but he kept the car on good fuel and it was strictly maintained/serviced. Since then I pulled 280hp from my first VW Golf, and this model pulled 282.3hp on a Dastek 4WD Rolling Road last Summer (with 305.9ft/lbs torque).
For handling, they are pretty well set up from the factory. I never bother playing with suspension/geometry on Sports Cars or Sports Hatchbacks. I like to get a feel for the manufacturers objective, and compared to the MK4 Golf GTi this thing is like a miracle. I can drive these cars hard and it never feels like a chore - every corner, bend, twist is a blessing! I loved owning the MK5 Golf GTi with DSG! This model has a manual gearbox and was my reason for selling, because if I'm going to be completely honest and open in these blogs - I CAN'T BE BOTHERED ANYMORE. I can't be bothered. I don't want to change gear with my hands and feet. Ever. Like never. I am done with the Manual Gearbox, it has been a part of my life for too many years (I used to drive very young.. naughty naughty) and I have exhausted of the charade.
To me it seems only ''men'' go on about the Manual Gearbox, and give me a load of nonsense about how it is needed. Okay.. in a Renault Clio 2.0 16v Sport, yes. Its a fun car, you want to be right on point and have 100% control of the car. But.. its a low powered Sports Hatchback. Once you get a taste of cars like this VW Golf MK5 GTi and other cars with around 300hp or more than 280ft/lbs, there isn't much need for a Manual Box. Ferrari don't bother with them, in fact the new (well 2015) Porsche 911 GT3 came with an Automatic 'PDK' Gearbox only. BMW E90/E92 335D too. Why did the manufacturers do this? Because keeping your hands in a FIXED position on the steering wheel is the SAFEST place for your hands to be. All of the time! Every new Sports/Super/Hyper Car has phenomenal power and it would be ridiculous to have so much power with a Manual Box (unless you wanted to drift all the time, and that would cost a pretty penny in tyres if you owned a Ferrari F430 and drove it sideways daily).
Old BMW E36 - Yes. Have a manual. Modern car that is treated with a bit more respect when driven - No. Have an auto/tiptronic/DSG/PDK. That's just my opinion though. Feel free to agree, I don't mind if you agree :P
Perfect chassis from VW. This is one of the best handling FWD cars I have been able to own - so good in fact I bought a second one (the one tested here) just to get another 'buzz' driving this thing around Norfolk. We've got the best roads! Wales is beautiful, and if you can tackle the crazy twists that were beautifully carved by God for Norfolk, you will take to Wales quickly. Its beautiful ground, and you can judge the corners well (probably why people say Wales is the best place to drive) - personally I like being scared at the same part of road every time, and Norfolk does that for me. This Chassis works very well where I live, and I'm sure it would translate just as well in another part of the UK.
This is by no means a Lamborghini Huracan. Although it does share the same Accelerator and Brake Pedal but that was Audi being lazy or something. I can't see this car breaking 200mph at a VMAX event, but a properly set up K03 will do the clock at 180mph. The K04 Turbo is something else, so we wont get into that either. The shape isn't too bad. I prefer the 3 Door Hatchback myself, but the engine is so good I wasn't so fussy when buying this as a runaround. Any Sports Hatchback with a Spoiler gets my approval (waits for somebody to email with a model that I hate, but anyway), I think it is a necessary addition for any 'top' model in its class. I wouldn't want a Spoiler on the VW Golf MK5 1.6 FSI 115hp model, but it is definitely needed on the GTi. These wheels are aftermarket so I have no opinion on them either. NEXT
Yes. Talk to me nuh! This is where my knees knock together with 'glee' as I remember how this car 'blessed' the M54 at full throttle when I first started tuning it. The torque is ballistic and picks up from such a low RPM range, you would think it was a TDI with a mahoosive Turbo bolted on! This thing is RESPONSIVE! The K03 Turbo does exactly what I want after remapping, and at 1.4 Bar spooling through that sexy snail its no wonder I am propelled from zero to illegal before I've had a chance to catch my breath. Basically, the Throttle in this car does justice
There is a Miltek Exhaust with Sports Cat fitted to this car. I am known for 'not' fitting physical mods to my cars, but this was fitted by the previous owner. It isn't loud or offensive - in fact I think the standard exhaust makes more of a racket when hot. There is a definite burble from the car when driving it. The exhaust note in the TFSI sounds a million times better with a DSG Gearbox ;-) so once again, I am right :P
These are good cars. I don't advise people to buy them, because there are Audi A3's in both FWD and Quattro variants, and they Audi has a bit more 'prestige' about it. Not to put you off the MK5 Golf's, but if you read my VW Scirocco 2.0 TDI review you will understand why these aren't my favourite anymore. Sadly they are slipping into the hands of chavvy owners and I don't want to be a part of some eBay Coilover and Dump Valve scene thank you (and thank you for reading).
Nicholas Lawrence //ON CARS
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