The Honeymoon Interval

After I sat right down to write my goodbye to Project GTI and hello to Project R, AKA Habu, Eire had simply been put right into a six-week lockdown. Guess what’s simply occurred once more?

With the seemingly endless cycle of stay-at-home restrictions right here set to proceed for the foreseeable future, it received’t come as a shock that progress on Habu has been glacial since its arrival. Alternatives to each work and drive have been uncommon, so my strategy and thought course of is totally totally different to that of Mission GTI.

2020 Project R Catch Up-2

To shortly catch you up, I purchased this already-modified Golf R Variant final October when a suggestion got here by way of for Mission GTI that I couldn’t flip down. It’s a well-specced and tastefully-upgraded instance, which at first look in all probability doesn’t want far more.

If that was the case, nonetheless, I wouldn’t be penning this.

2020 Project R Catch Up PMcG-3

The primary (and most costly) a part of the puzzle was to register the automotive in Eire. I estimated that this could price round €6,500, however the precise quantity turned out to be €6,080 for the privilege of Irish registration plates. The actually wild half? Even after this car registration tax, the automotive was nonetheless considerably cheaper than shopping for an equal automotive already registered in Eire. At time of registration, the most cost effective comparable automotive was nearly €9,000 costlier.

As soon as registered it wanted to go the Nationwide Automobile Take a look at, which it did on the second time of asking. First time round it failed on emissions, requiring a brand new catalytic convertor. With a Scorpion 200-cell downpipe sourced and put in, it sailed by way of.

2020 Project R Catch Up PMcG-2

Now totally street authorized in Eire, I may lastly flip my consideration to creating my very own modifications. Whereas I appreciated how the automotive visually seemed with the 19-inch Borbet Pretoria wheels, Eire isn’t a rustic for 19s. Even with the automotive’s DCC set to consolation, the low-profile Goodyear tyres had been lower than nice for every day driving.

Naturally, they had been first to go.

2020 Project R Catch Up PMcG-4

I did use the chance of a wheel change to put in Storage Midnight’s Maintain Quick stud equipment, which is identical equipment I used on my GTI. I can’t abide by wheel bolts, so this nut and stud conversion is a low cost and easy resolution to lock your wheels to the hubs whereas offering a greater clamp as an added bonus.

Whereas my GTI is likely to be gone, its RAYS Volk Racing TE37 Sagas proceed to stay on with Habu. In case you keep in mind, the TE37s had been sourced in a reverse stagger for the GTI with wider entrance wheels and tyres.

Because the R is AWD, I wanted to pay heed to the general rolling radius of every wheel and tyre. A useful on-line calculator helped me choose a sq. tyre setup for the staggered wheels, which ensured the Haldex system could be saved blissful. I went with Michelin’s Pilot Sport 4S tyre in a 235/40R18 fitment.

2020 Project R Catch Up PMcG-6

The broader rims are on the rear now, with the marginally narrower and lighter wheels on the entrance axle. I’ve briefly examine Audi providing a reverse stagger from manufacturing unit on the present mannequin RS 3, which makes use of the same Haldex system because the R, however that’s one thing which I’ll look into once more when these tyres attain the top of their life.

There’s loads to be mentioned about shopping for high quality components that you just can carry over from one undertaking to a different, and the enchancment in how the R drives on these lighter, smaller wheels is important.

2021 Project R - January-42

One other lockdown improve was the set up of an built-in P3 Gauges vent gauge. It’s delicate, easy, and because it communicates with the automotive through the manufacturing unit OBD port, didn’t require any further wiring. The unit itself is customisable, can show an unlimited array of knowledge from the ECU, and options a number of efficiency timers besides. I sometimes use it to observe engine oil temperature or enhance. For these curious, my quickest recorded 0-100km/h (0-62mph) time in accordance with the gauge thus far has been 3.58 seconds.

I received’t point out the quantity of swearing when the manufacturing unit vent disassembled itself on elimination, nonetheless.

As background, the Mk7 R Variant includes a totally different rear silencer setup to the traditional hatchback, because of the addition of a rear wheel nicely. The exhaust trims are connected on to the bumper, with the only exhaust exiting both aspect, form of aiming in direction of them. So, one other of the straightforward modifications was to take away these exhaust trims and exchange them with extra discreet H-joined ideas which really connect to the rear silencers and guarantee all 4 ideas circulation waste gasses. I nonetheless assume 4 ideas is simply too many, however working two ideas leaves an enormous hole within the rear diffuser. Therefore, the brand new smaller and extra discreet quad setup.

Breathe Straightforward

This undertaking has thus far been much more conservative from a monetary perspective. Partly out of necessity, however additionally as a result of a whole lot of the massive ticket gadgets have already been coated off. The upgrades thus far have all been comparatively inexpensive (stud conversion, P3 gauge, exhaust ideas and many others.) or within the case of the TE37s, which really added cash into my account through the sale of the Pretorias, even after the Michelins had been bought and fitted.


One other instance of my growing fiscal accountability was buying the Movement Designs entrance splitter from Donal Maher’s Golf R, when it got here up on the market. I needed a powerful, resilient entrance splitter as I don’t have the advantages of air suspension any longer, and this Australian product is the hardest of all of them. It attaches to the entrance crossmember and I dread to assume what it will take to interrupt it.

As an added bonus, it’s not one of many hundreds of low cost, fibreglass lips which appear to adorn almost each Golf R in Eire. By buying it used, I saved in all probability 50% of the price of importing a brand new one. Cash saved which can be utilized elsewhere is at all times a optimistic.

2021 Project R - January-22

The honeymoon interval with the automotive has lengthy since elapsed, and whereas I’m nonetheless completely smitten with it, I now have a significantly better thought of the issues I wish to enhance.

2021 Project R - January-4
2021 Project R - January-7

Over the Christmas interval, I made some headway on these areas (in no explicit order).

I had frolicked researching air intakes for the R, as I discovered the APR consumption fitted to the automotive, whereas completely good, was a bit too quiet for my liking. I didn’t wish to return to a completely open air consumption (though I used to be tempted), however one thing ready so as to add a little bit extra to the expertise could be welcomed. One thing that carried out higher once more could be a bonus.

For what it’s price, the ‘soundaktor’ on my automotive is both disabled or damaged, however both method I’ve no intentions of bringing it again to life.

2021 Project R - January-12

When Eventuri provided an intake for the automotive, and I had executed some analysis on the product, I used to be eager to strive it out. There’s a whole lot of thought and growth behind this product, with the carbon fibre housing offering an aerodynamically-efficient airflow path from the air filter to the turbo inlet.

The consumption runs an inverted cone filter and utilises the carbon housing to regulate the form of the airflow, leading to a smoother (and extra environment friendly) air circulation by way of to the turbocharger. Eventuri declare a 16-25hp and 15-22ft-lb enhance over the inventory air consumption system.

2021 Project R - January-24

In addition they provide a chilly air scoop which requires the entrance grill to be barely modified to be able to present a direct path for outdoor air to the entrance duct portion of the consumption.

What I discovered attention-grabbing is that Eventuri additionally present analysis as to why they opted for a single duct design, and never an prolonged double-width entrance duct which is widespread to different producers. Lengthy story quick, they discovered the double-width duct produced much less energy than the only duct design for quite a few causes.

2021 Project R - January-25

I received’t declare that I can really feel a rise in energy, as there are too many variables when driving on the road and +16hp on a beforehand 385hp automotive is round a 4% enhance, however I actually can’t detect any drawbacks. Engine response may be very good, too. There’s a noticeable, however not intrusive, enhance in quantity from the entrance of the automotive and thus far, it has been a worthwhile improve. I’ll make it again onto a dyno at some stage.

2021 Project R - January-6

With that put in, my consideration turned to the rear of the automotive and one other secondhand buy.

2021 Project R - January-30

I lucked it with this RacingLine carbon fibre rear physique brace on Fb Market. It had solely been put in within the earlier proprietor’s Mk7 GTI for a brief time period, and when he eliminated it, had put every thing again into its authentic packaging, together with the {hardware}.

‘Like new’ could be an understatement.

2021 Project R - January-31

This can be a fairly smart improve for the big-bodied property automotive, and one I used to be eager to hold out early within the automotive’s life. Set up was a breeze; it didn’t require any modifications to the automotive and may be simply unbolted in the long run if want be.

2021 Project R - January-33

It’s a four-point brace and is kind of compact in its design. As anticipated, it doesn’t intrude with the rear seats, however its low peak and beneficiant openings enable most use of the rear space for storing. Mountain bike nonetheless goes on the roof, for these curious.

2021 Project R - January-32

The distinction even on the street was fast, with none drawbacks when it comes to NVH. Beforehand, I discovered the GTI was far more keen to alter course in comparison with the R (no shock contemplating the quantity of suspension and chassis upgrades), however this has helped to shut that hole.

2021 Project R - January-38

I’m fairly aware of not introducing any NVH into this automotive, as I discovered beforehand that just a little bit right here and there can shortly add up. You solely get the advantages of stiffer bushings (for instance) a few days a 12 months on observe, however must stay with the drawbacks each different day of the 12 months.

I already handed on the chance to interchange the entrance decrease wishbone bushings with polyurethane bushes when the subframe was dropped to suit the Scorpion downpipe. As an alternative, I selected OE bushings for that specific piece of preventive upkeep.

2021 Project R - January-45

I’ve spent a whole lot of time fascinated by how this automotive will likely be used, and compliance will completely be key as that’s what the roads I do most of my spirited driving on will reward. There are nonetheless additional upgrades to come back; some will likely be efficiency oriented and a few aesthetic. Nevertheless, I’m in no rush.

2021 Project R - January-46

The automotive is good, and its skill to be no matter I want it to be once I get behind the wheel is completely exceptional. Want a snug cruiser to cowl an extended distance effectively? No drawback. Must embarrass an unsuspecting government on the visitors lights in his ‘sports activities automotive’? Let me introduce you to launch management and present you 4 discreet exhaust pipes vanishing up the street. Want one thing that may completely redefine what you thought a automotive may do on a humid backroad? Look no additional.

Like a whole lot of the present VW Group efficiency choices, the Golf R is commonly criticised for its lack of pleasure in inventory kind. What lots of people don’t appear to know is that by delivering the R in a impartial method from manufacturing unit, it permits every proprietor to extract nonetheless a lot pleasure from the automotive as they want. And consider me, there’s loads to go round.

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos
[email protected]


2020 Project R Catch Up PMcG-11
2021 Project R - January-41
2021 Project R - January-40
2021 Project R - January-44