Heavy Metal Affliction 2010 VW GTI
Volkswagen may be the entry-level builder when compared to its fellow German automakers Audi, BMW and Porsche, but they all share a focus on the driver, attention to the driving experience and good, honest, performance-engineered cars. Slogans like “Drivers Wanted” and the now urban slang Fahrvergnügen are perfect examples of this. What you get in a VW is out-of-the-box performance that will bring a smile to your face and loads of potential to tap into should the tuning bug bite.
If you begin unlocking that potential what you will get is a car that will smoke many cars twice its price. Today we meet Justin Gorson of Illinois. In the world of Forza you may know him by his Gamertag Randum 311. Gorson’s first car was a 1990 Audi 100 he shared with his father during his high school years. Despite the car showing its well-used 12 years, the interior held up well, it drove smoothly, and the five-cylinder inline motor always provided enough excitement to feed the car enthusiast in him. When it came time to buy his first car, Gorson knew he had to have something from Germany.
Gorson wanted something sporty and practical and did not have an unlimited budget so, after rolling a few rides from different makers, he chose the 2010 Volkswagen MK6 GTI. The MK6 GTI had a great heritage and had strong potential under the hood that could be unlocked later. Gorson opted for the DSG transmission—Volkswagen’s dual clutch automatic. After a test drive he realized it offered the fastest time off the line, as well as practicality. He chose the Detroit 18-inch wheels for their aggressive look and wrapped them in low profile tires. He didn’t want the navigation system or the leather options. Love them or hate them the plaid seats are signature Volkswagen. One of the nice things about buying new from a dealer and having the patience to wait for it is that you get a custom car straight from the factory.
The GTI’s 2.0 liter-turbocharged four cylinder delivers 200 hp and 200 lb/ft of torque from the factory. While that is more enough to scoot the light and compact GTI, Gorson immediately wanted more. He took the GTI to local pro tuners APR and did a stage one ECU tune, boosting the power to an even healthier 254 whp and 303 ft/lbs of torque. Next, Gorson added a cold air intake and carbon fiber inlet tube to let the engine breathe and reduce turbo lag. According to Gorson, “This gives a nice turbo flutter when I let off the pedal as well.”
When adding horsepower, it is always a wise move to balance it with attention to handling. So Gorson gave the GTI a more aggressive stance, closer to that of its European brethren, which sits a bit lower. Adding Eibach Pro-kit springs brought the center of gravity down and resulted in a much stiffer ride. So much so that the car now hugs the road as if it is on rails and passengers complain when they travel on bumpy roads. Such sacrifices must be made in pursuit of performance. If it ever gets too bumpy he can always offer his friends a pillow… or possibly some cheese with their “whine”.
The next step was to let the exhaust breathe a little more, so Gorson added a slightly larger diameter downpipe from the turbo. Then it was time for another trip to APR for a stage two ECU tune. The result? The GTI now spits out a measured 273 horsepower and 314 ft/lbs of torque. Smooth acceleration at higher speeds is now more easily achieved and turbo lag is nearly nonexistent. It also produces an aural symphony of exhaust notes throughout the powerband. The tone at high RPM shift points are more pleasurable than any music (even 311, Gorson’s favorite band).
Inside the cockpit a few small touches set off the already immaculate interior. First, a color-matched boost gauge in the left driver vent so Gorson can tell just how hard the turbo is working, and secondly cool red LED foot well lights to match the dash lights. The effect adds a dramatic element upon entry and egress and can even be turned on while driving without actuating the dome light. Dark tint gives Gorson some privacy and keeps cabin temperatures lower in the hot mid-west summers.
While stickers don’t count as upgrades, Gorson has tastefully adorned the GTI with a German flag emblem paying tribute to the GTI’s fatherland. On the other side, a lone 311 sticker proudly states where Gorson’s musical tastes lie.
The GTI’s set up is nearly optimized for Gorson’s needs but he is considering going to a stage 3 tune with a larger turbo to eke out the last few available horsepower from the stock motor. For now, the power and handling are just right to be fun at the track should he take it there, and on the street as a sleeper waiting to surprise anyone who thinks they have juice. Gorson knows he isn’t rolling a 600 HP AWD Nissan GTR, but he didn’t drop a hundred G’s either. For his investment he has got exactly what he wants and looks forward to every chance he gets to drive it. Isn’t that what Heavy Metal Affliction is all about?
Check out the spec sheet:
And here are some additional photos.
If you would like to check out Gorson’s Flickr do so here, he has been to a few shows—both car and 311 so give a looksee if you desire. The man is pretty good photographer.
If you have or know of a sweet ride that you think the community would appreciate knowing about, tell us about it in the request for community rides thread.
If you would like to comment on Randum311’s GTI or tell us what drives your Heavy metal Affliction, do so in the HMA thread.