What if the engineers behind the Mk7 Golf R had really been allowed to let their hair down? Güray Yildiz might’ve just found the answer with his surprisingly refined modified, 950bhp ‘Golf RS-R’…

In fear of sounding like a bunch of old men, one of the many things we find ourselves reminiscing about in the office on an almost daily basis is those legendary ‘skunkworks’ project cars we were treated to in decades gone by.

It seems hard to fathom in this modern age of ULEZ-compliant fridge-freezers-on-wheels that, just a few years back, companies still had the balls to not only come up with these truly epic concept vehicles in their own time, but to actually get them to a stage where they had number plates slapped onto them and were available to purchase from your local dealership.

It may have been a while since we saw anything directly from a manufacturer that got our pulses racing to quite the same extent (the last example we can think of is probably the cheeky little Audi A1 TFSI Quattro, with those cool turbofan-style wheels), but thankfully, people like Netherlands-based Güray Yildiz here have been taking matters into their own hands…

rear 3/4 shot of modified Mk7 Golf R

Güray’s car history

“I always promised myself a Mk7.5 Golf R, and I always promised myself I would treat it to an RS3 engine swap, too,” Güray smiles, hinting at what’s now lying underneath this rather unassuming but incredibly attractive Vintage Racing Green five-door’s largely factory curves.

Self-proclaimed German car nut Güray has been through a range of modified motors in his time, not least a Mk2 G60, an Audi TT 225 and an E46 BMW M3 – all of which received tasteful upgrades to bring the very best out of them.

He’s recently combined his passion with his career, forming tuning parts distribution company AKA Performance back in 2020 – now a thriving business that was complemented by the launch of MTR Performance last summer, which gives Güray and his co-workers the chance to fettle with some of the finest sports cars in the Netherlands from their state-of-the-art workshop and dyno facility.

Rs3 engine

Engine swapping the modified Mk7 Golf R

Having snapped up a brand-new Mk7.5 Golf R a few years before the birth of AKA Performance, it was around this time that Güray thought he’d finally live out a promise he’d given to himself well before he’d even picked the car up: to carry out a full drivetrain swap from an Audi RS3.

“I’d planned the five-cylinder swap before I ordered the car,” he nonchalantly explains. “The plan was always to make the car unique, but with the start of my automotive companies, I knew it was the right time to finally live out this dream.”

Although it’s undoubtedly an effortlessly capable platform from the word go, the Golf R’s natural progression, if the boys and girls at Wolfsburg had been given free reign, would most likely have involved the ferocious EA855 five-banger from the RS3 and TTRS. And Güray was keen to explore this unbeaten path to see where it led him…

carbon fibre air intake

Modified Mk7 Golf R  goes OEM+

“The plan from the start was to keep the rest of the car restrained… think of it as a ‘Golf RS-R,” Güray continues the tale, justifying his strict OEM+ vibe and helping to explain how you might not expect such a savage drivetrain to now lie under this car’s relatively modest aesthetic.

You see, not only did Güray and the MTR Performance team manage to carry out the engine/gearbox and axle/driveshaft/Haldex conversion from a facelifted RS3 (boasting the fabled 400bhp DAZA EVO lump), but it’s safe to say they got a little carried away with the tuning of this motor, too…

“It’s fully forged, but I won’t go into too much details about this at this stage,” he cryptically tells us. “What I can tell you is that it’s running 852PS and 905NM on pump fuel, and 952PS and 1024NM on E85!”

Over. Nine. Hundred. Horsepower. In a Golf R. How?! Once the built engine and ‘box were in the car with the help of SAR-Turbotechnik in Germany, Güray and the MTR Performance gang began installing a choice selection of hardware upgrades, including a considerable Garrett G35-1050 turbocharger and some substantial fuelling/breathing upgrades (many of which were MTR’s own custom designs).

front on shot of modified Mk7 Golf R

Chasing times

Known for their bespoke mapping services and clinical dyno cell, MTR Performance then got to work on some ECU and TCU maps for the car’s all-new powerplant, unsurprisingly of a switchable nature depending on what variety of fuel you intend to use that day.

“It wasn’t just built with promoting our companies in mind,” Güray says. “It was also designed to do well on the drag strip…”

Exhaust tips and diffuser

A modest statement, when you consider the Golf’s already gone on to nail a sub-10-second quarter-mile time on pump fuel (with the team chasing the fabled eight-second figure this season), as well as dial in a 100-200km/h time of 3.61 seconds on one of its very first outings.

“It recorded a 0-62mph time of 2.7 seconds on pump fuel, too,” Güray adds. “When I took it out for my first real blast on a German Autobahn, I clocked some priceless looks from the likes of 991 Porsche Turbo S, BMW F90 M5 and Mercedes E63 AMG drivers!”

wheels on modified Mk7 Golf R

Balancing performance and usability

Big power is one thing, but combining it with the finesse of a factory road car is another feat in itself. You might expect this hatch to ride on Santa Pod-spec doughnut tyres and have half its panels removed to help achieve these absurd performance figures, for example, but you couldn’t be further from the truth.

At first glance, the unique Vintage Racing Green Inozetek body wrap and white gold OZ Racing rims certainly give off a striking appearance, whilst always remaining the right side of tasteful and reserved. The Porsche-style ‘RS’ badges dotted around are the only true nod to something out of the ordinary happening under this car’s skin – a fantastic and well-thought-out touch.

Delve deeper and other subtle clues include the mammoth RacingLine stoppers and ECS Tuning rear diffuser, complete with RS3-style exhaust outlets – just enough of a hint for those in the know to look twice, but for this machine to fly under the radar everywhere else.

modified Mk7 Golf R interior

Modified VW Golf R Mk7 interior

Inside, it’s a similar story, with Güray being strict about keeping things as VW intended wherever possible. The striking carbon fibre Recaro fixed-backs really are a statement piece, and when combined with the largely stock interior, give off that classy clubsport feel that we go weak at the knees for. Even the steering wheel is a Golf R unit, albeit with an Alcantara re-trim.

side profile shot of modified Mk7 Golf R

Suspension modifications

It won’t surprise you at this stage to hear that killer stance wasn’t the aim of the game for this build. Instead, a subtle drop on some custom KW V3s not only help to cater for the non-factory drivetrain but also keep the car functionally capable on both road and track.


This isn’t the first RS3-swapped modified Mk7 Golf R we’ve set eyes upon. It is, however, without a doubt one of the finest executions of this fantastic conversion, combining manufacturer-levels of finesse with performance figures that threaten to rip your face clean off if you stab the throttle pedal too eagerly.

And you know what? In a world full of emission regulations and crash protection ratings, thank goodness people like Güray are still around to remind us of better times…

Subscribe to Performance VW. Words: Sam Preston (flatoutmedia.org)  Pics: Lennart Dijkstra.