Welcome to this week’s FC Throwback, where we take a look back at some of our favourite previous features. This week it’s Steven Soprano’s tuned VW Mk6 Golf GTI from back in 2014… Don’t be fooled into thinking those Ferrari 458 rims are just for show – this K04-powered Mk6 GTI packs a supercar-slaying punch!
Feature taken from Fast Car. Words Mark Riccioni Photography Kevve.BE
Power is a funny ol’ thing. It makes people do crazy things, and while Belgian-born Steven Soprano isn’t about to invade Iraq for oil, his addiction to the world of horsepower has led him to build the super-sleek tuned VW Mk6 Golf GTI pictured here.
“As soon as I could drive I bought myself a Mk3 Golf VR6,” explains Steven, a plumber by trade who has always owned VAG cars. “Usually your first car is a 1.0-litre, so the VR6 felt like a rocket ship! But you get used to it, and before long you want more and more.”
After the VR6, Steven’s quest for power took a slightly alternative route. Covering more than 15,000-miles a year, Steven had to consider fuel economy, but then he found something to give him the best of both worlds – the magnificent 1.9-litre TDI lump found in the Mk5 Golf. With the right kind of upgrades you can create a proper fuel-efficient monster! Steve’s Mk5 Golf was now producing 210bhp while returning over 50mpg on a long run – perfection, right? Not exactly…
The diesel Mk5 was the perfect daily, but it just wasn’t scratching the ‘itch’ that only a ballistic, turbocharged petrol motor provides. Step forward the 2.0-litre Mk6 Golf GTI delivering 210bhp as standard. “To be honest I actually fell in love with the colour before the car!” laughs Steven, who managed to find a Mk6 GTI in the super-rare Rising Blue colour traditionally found on Golf R models. “It was quite quick as standard, and originally I didn’t want to go too crazy. But power is a funny thing… it’s hard to just stop.”
Initially Steven focused on the exterior, fitting wider front arches, Golf R bodywork and a full front-end respray after battling with stone chips and poor weather. It looked the part, and to add a bit of extra noise Steven fitted a full Milltek 3in exhaust that didn’t just transform the sound, but also the way he drove the Mk6 too.
“It sounded insane, especially with the DSG gearbox that pops during gear changes,” adds Steven. “So I went one step further and fitted a 3in turbo downpipe along with an ECU flash. Power was approaching 280bhp, but the standard turbo was at the limit, so I bit the bullet and upgraded to a K04 turbo instead.”
In addition to the K04, Steven also added uprated injectors, an air intake and intercooler upgrade and a full remap taking power up to 372bhp and 351lb/ft – over 150bhp more than standard! This kind of horsepower transformed the Mk6 into an absolute animal, capable of chasing down super saloons and supercars all around Belgium. Steven finally had a ‘suitable’ level of horsepower. Now it was time to sort the interior and a killer stance…
Stance AND performance? Surely not! But Steven wanted the best of both worlds with his Mk6 GTI, and he’s 100% nailed it. Having used air suspension in the past Steven knew of its handling capabilities, especially combined with a top-quality management system like Accu Air’s E-level. With air struts provided by Koni, the Golf can be raised for driving fast and slammed for that Internet-winning stance. Job done.
With supercar performance and a love for Italian exotics, there was only one wheel choice Steven had in mind – 20in Ferrari 458 Italia rims. Super light, super strong and super expensive – what more could you possibly need? They look entirely at home tucked under the Golf’s arches and make a welcome change from the Audi/Bentley wheels usually found on stanced VWs.
“They’re my favourite part of the car… after the engine,” laughs Steve, who finally has a car that ticks all his boxes… well, nearly. “I’ve had the car four months now, and it’s been running 370bhp for a little while now. I’m used to the power, so I think I need more. Next step is 450bhp, maybe 500bhp.” Now we’re talking!
TECH SPEC: TUNED VW MK6 GOLF GTI
Full Milltek non-resonated 3in R20 exhaust system, Milltek 3.5in downpipe, CTS K04 turbocharger upgrade, CTS dump valve, CTS full intercooler kit
Carbonio intake system, Bosch fuel injectors, full remap to 370bhp, 355lb/ft
Koni air suspension with Accu Air E-level management, 20×8.5in Ferrari 458 Italia wheels
Vredestein Ultrax Sessanta 225/30×20 tyres
VW R20 optional kit, wider front arches, rear wiper delete, LED R20 daylight running lights, LED rear lights, LED OEM licence plate lights, bi-xenon front headlights , OEM rear-view camera, PDC
R20 seats (black leather with Alcantara), piano black painted dashboard inserts, blue stitching throughout
DVX Performance, VAG-parts, KEAN Suspension, S-works, Mag Racing and Crauwels Banden