13th Sep2010

The high price of being low: VW GTI VR6

by Trent

It’s all about stance. You want a car that looks good where the wheels, tires, and ride height come together as one perfect union. Sometimes there’s a price to pay for lowering your car, usually the first thing to go is a front lip or sideskirts, but what about a motor?

MkIII VW GTI VR6 SlammedAbout 4 years ago, Jason picked up this Mk III GTI after having owned a few other VW’s. Growing up he watched his dad take apart a VW Beetle which helped fuel his passion for all things VW. He previously owned a Subaru WRX at one point, but he loves the clean look of a lowered VW. His MkIII fits that look. It starts with the Koni adjustable coilovers that bring the car about 4 1/2″ lower to the ground and accentuates the BBS RS Replica wheels. To complete the look he wanted, Jason imported some 165/45-16 Nankang tires that stretch to fit the 7″ wide wheel. Later he would like to throw a 9″ wide wheel on there to give it an even wider stance. Right now though he has 25mm spacers in the rear and 12mm spacers in the front to push the wheels out and more flush with the fenders.

VW GTI in CAM Auto Magazine
Rounding out the look of the vehicle, there is a Jetta front end swap, rusted hood, FK M3 taillights, FK Crystal fog lights, and turn signals. When you put this all together it looks good. To back up the looks, there’s just a few things to push this daily driven VR6 into fast lane. First up is a short ram intake to increase airflow. To reduce parasitic losses, the A/C has been deleted, and once the air goes through the motor, it’s met by a Techtonics cat-back exhaust with a deleted resonator. Anyone who has spent some time around a VR6 motor knows the unique sound they make and this one sings a sweet song as it drives away.

MkIII GTI VR6The interior has been through a number of swaps between leather and cloth and now currently rocks a leather interior that accents the Neuspeed pedal set and OEM MkIV head unit and 6-disc changer.The real story with this car is the oil pan though. Rocking something this low requires serious commitment to planning routes and deciding the angle to attack each bump. Something that’s hard to plan for is potholes. Thanks to unforseen obstacles, this slammed GTI has had 4(!) oil pans and one motor meet their fate. Raising the motor mounts and swapping the oil pan out for a lower profile one is high on the priority list.

MkIII GTI VR6 interior

Simple mods have really created a daily driver that sounds, looks, and stances just right.

Words by Trent Bray, Photos by Michael Chandler

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3 Responses to “The high price of being low: VW GTI VR6”

  • Aaron

    I myself would say it is to low and the tire and rim choice is to small.

  • Aydee

    Ain’t no such thing as ‘too low’. And 16 inch rims are not ‘too small’.
    I’ve seen Golf Mk1’s and MkII’s lowered 6″ on 13 inch wheels.
    So if anything, they could even be ‘too big’. But hey, that’s just my opinion…
    Keep ridin’ low, it’s the only flow that i know.

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