June 14, 2021
GLI on Coilovers

VW GLI: Low, not slow

It took time for us to track down this car. I had managed to see it numerous times as I drove to and from work. I knew the general idea of where the owner of the car worked, and then suddenly it disappeared. I later found out Spencer, the owner of this car, quit that job, but a chance appearance at Wuste 2011 led me back to the beauty of this car and its simplicity.
This 2005 VW Jetta GLI is daily driven and the ride height is static. Just getting to the photo shoot location required careful and deliberate maneuvering, but even that wasn’t enough to avoid scraping the front lip a couple times. You’d think with a vehicle this low, it’d be all about showmanship, but that’s where you’re wrong, it’s ready to get up and go if called upon. VW GLI CAM Cover

The first thing you notice is how clean this car is! It’s the nature of the owner who has spent much of his career so far detailing cars. In fact when I first met him, I was amazed at how unblemished the car was, but it wasn’t enough for Spencer. Perfection is key to paint as well as the wheel gap on this car, or the lack thereof. Spencer tells me he originally was rocking an H&R Cup Kit, but didn’t last long. The pursuit of low was then aided by a set of JOM Coilovers with the perches removed. To compliment the height, a set of MAM MT1 wheels sized 18×8.5″ in front and 18×9.5″ in the rear. Match that up to a +25mm offset, and the stance is just right. This is the 3rd set of wheels the car has seen and I have a feeling it won’t be the last.
VW GLI Stance
To clean up the exterior, the grill was swapped for a badge-less one and then the hood was filled. Keeping the vision sharp is a set of OEM HID headlights and all other lights were swapped out for blinding 42 Draft Designs high intesity LEDs. The roof was also wrapped in black vinyl and match the tinted windows. The next major modification will be a custom air setup to get this car even further on the ground.
Slammed VW Mk4 GLI
The turbo motor in this GLI is potent in its own right, but some people can’t leave well enough alone. Adding in a Eurojet Front Mount Intercooler and 3″ Turbo-back exhaust is a good start. Adding to that is a Forge Turbo inlet pipe and adjustable short-throw shifter. Keeping the boost in check is an ECS N75 Race Valve. Managing all this power is GIAC software which gives it the extra power it needs. This is not the end however, as Spencer tell us a GT3071 Turbo is in the future.
GLI Engine Bay
The interior is still a work-in-progress, but it currently is sporting white leather-wrapped pillars and a suede headliner. This adds a feeling of luxury as the car scrapes the pavement below. Also sprucing up the interior is a NewSouth Performance Column Pod housing a boost gauge.
GLI Interior Suede headliner
Not everyone gets a project right on the money the first time, and Spencer has previously been through modifying an Oldsmobile Alero, Mazda 3, Acura Legend, and a Mk4 VR6 Jetta. When he came upon this clean, unmolested, 28K mile example one day 3 years ago, he knew it had to be his. It wasn’t stock for long though, and this creation keeps getting better with each new modification.
Low GLI front lip

VW Jetta GLI Feature CAMAutoMag from CAMAutoMag on Vimeo.

Words and Video by Trent Bray, Photos by Michael Chandler


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One thought on “VW GLI: Low, not slow

  1. I really like what Spencer has done to his Vr6. I have a jetta just like his. After watching this video, i really want to get mine to look something like his. I will like to get a hold of Spencer so he can show me how to go about upgrading mine. Funny enough, mine is the same color as his. Probably the only deference is that mine is 5 speed. Spencer please if you’re reading this comment, Try and respond back. I will like for you to be my mentor by giving me all the right steps needed to get my jetta back in life once again. I am a car detailer as well in Cali in the city LA.

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