If you think taxes are bad here in Blighty you want to try building a modified car in Thailand…
There is always that ‘one person’ who will always try to be different. Truth be told, I think it’s built in our DNA to be different. To want to stand out among the crowd. To be recognized for taking the path less traveled and being successful at it. That them of being different and resonated with every member within the Liberate car club located in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand.
Of course, traveling the path less traveled will always present interesting obstacles which will test your desire to truly be unique. Your platform isn’t popular among the enthusiasts which means there will be lack of aftermarket parts for your car in terms of modifications. If your platform happens to be a few decades old, you could also run into problems with finding available parts. However, living in Thailand presents another set of challenges beyond manys control which revolves around the government.
Like many developing countries in Southeast Asia, the government has enforce strict rules in regards of imports into the country. To try and stimulate local economic growth, the Thai government has enforced absurd taxes on anything that isn’t manufactured on Thai soil. Around 300% to be exact.
If you really don’t consider yourself a car enthusiasts (which you wouldn’t be reading this article in the first place if you weren’t) you’re really not bothered by these taxes as any sort of horrid ecobox will do.
To enthusiasts like Kitti Saowapakprayoon, or Ben for short, these taxes are a massive obstacle to overcome when it came to wanting to purchase a VW Scirocco. Knowing that it was the car he always wanted, paying an extra 300% in taxes wasn’t even a concern he had in his mind. There is really no way around it..well legally at anyrate..
With his 2012 Scirocco in his stable, Kitti could have called it a day there and been done with it. Having one roaming around Bangkok is rare as it is on its own rights, but like every good enthusiasts, we just can’t be satisfied with leaving things the way they are. We must inprent our personalities into the car to truly make it ours.
That led to the second conflict for Kitti – Which path to take in terms of modification. To go the route of stance or performance orientation. VW owners tend to go the route of stance and there is nothing wrong with that. A good air ride suspension (or static if you’re about that life style) to get frame to touch the ground, the right set of wheels with proper fitment can radically alter the appearance. As tempting as it was, Kitti wanted more. The goal was to have that show car appearance but also be able to run the streets at night with the Libre crew. 2 years later and a lot less money than he started with, the results are what you see here.
Starting with the exterior, Kitti turned to Caractere performance, a company that caters more towards the German market for most of the aero kit. He turned to the ‘R’ version for the rear bumper and Revo for the carbon fiber hood. Within the Libre crew are a few members who have their own shop and specialize in making aero kits. With their help, the carbon fibre lips, canards, side skirts and GT wing could be custom made to fit the Scirocco’s bodylines perfectly.
You can’t consider your project remotely finish without having the right set of wheels to pull all of the exterior changes together. 18-inch STR forged wheels wrapped in Pirelli P Zero tires not only completes the exterior look on Kitti’s modified VW Scirocco, but do an excellent job of showing off the 6-pot AP Racing brakes and 355mm slotted rotors.
The car has been lowered on Sachs ZF suspension kit for the optimal firminess when driving on the battered roads of Bangkok, and the perfect stance for that show car look. The Scirocco R is supposed to be the harden, more aggressive version of the base Scirocco but like the Golf R, Volkswagen missed the mark on that one in terms of aggression and looking like a ‘R’ car should. Kitti’s Scirocco on the other hand, nails all those aspects perfectly and looks like something that should be raced on the tracks.
So how about the power? Does Kitti’s Scirocco have the power to go along with the dramatic changes to the exterior? The short answer – yes. A quick glance under the hood would leave most people wondering if anything had been changed at all. However, the longer you stare and hunt around for it, the more they begin to pop out at you. You do have to dig hard for it though!
The Revo stickers along the intake should give you a big clue on the changes that have been made underneath the hood. Along with the intake, the turbocharger was changed out to Revo’s k04 kit. Forged intercooler hidden behind the license plate cools the incoming air charge whereas the Ignition coils borrowed from an Audi R8 makes sure that the increased airflow from the Revo kit and fuel are ignited fully.
A Revo stage 3 tune means that Kitti’s Scirocco is developing around 400 HP to the front tires. That is almost double the power it came with from the factory and decent bit more above the R version.
The transmission software has been upgraded with Revo DSG allowing Kitti the ability to fully control the transmission as if it was manual box. The shifts will hold out until Kitti pulls the paddles meaning he can enjoy the full terror of having all the power sent to the front tires without having to worry about the computer shifting up prematurely.
Seeing that Kitti almost daily drives his Scirocco, the interior almost remains in stock configuration.Defi gauges relaying vital information are really the only thing that have been changed to the interior.
It’s great to meet owners like Kitti. People who are fully dedicated towards their passion and will stop at nothing to complete it. That is something that I noticed among the Libre group. They all run on passion and will let nothing get in their ways of creating something truly unique. They say that innovation and creativity truly blossom when faced with opposition and living in Thailand seems to be the perfect opposition for people to truly create some wonderful builds.
Kitti wanted to thank the Liberate crew, and the VagThailand team for always supporting him whether it be in moral support or turning wrenches. Cheers to another successful build from Thailand!
TECH SPEC VW SCIROCCO
Revo Stage3 remap, Revo K04 turbo kit, Revo K04 intake, Revo DSG gear tune; CTS discharge pipe, CTS throttle pipe; Audi R8 coil ignition; Forge FMIC; custom 3in exhaust system; APR boost tap; GFB diverter valve;
AP Racing 6-pot 355mm BBK; Arqray 320mm rear brake discs; Eibach anti-roll kit; Sachs ZF coilovers; 18-inch STR Forged Thailand wheels; Pirelli P Zero 235/4×18 tyres.
Caractere aero parts; custom carbon front lip and canards; custom carbon side skirts; Scirocco R rear bumper; custom carbon diffuser; custom grille; custom carbon GT wing; Revo carbon bonnet and custom carbon details; Dectane taillight.
Alpine 8-inch doubleDIN headunit; OSIR.
Words & Phots Ron Celestine