E n November the exhibition halls are being transformed in Essen again to the tuning Mecca. Here exhaust mufflers are shouldered and entire front aprons lifted up and carried towards the garage at home. The curious eyes of the tuning enthusiasts focus every second on everything that the sea of parts has to offer. Highly polished drop center rims, springs, dampers - or should it be a complete car from a renowned tuning manufacturer? Should the vehicle be used on the racetrack or only in traffic?
Questions about questions that sport auto with a tuning test using the example of three different VW Golf GTI variants from the company Wetterauer, Wendland and MTM answered. The very special Golf GTI test starts in the Hockenheim pit lane. “Take me!” The sporty compact class icons smile with sinful eyes through their halogen eyes and vie for the test driver's favor. Everyone wants to be the best, but despite the similar GTI facial expressions, including a honeycomb grille and red stripes, the direct comparison of these sporty wolves lags. Their tuned genes are too different.
Wetterauer VW Golf GTI sprints to 100 km /h in 6.1 seconds
The first candidate jumps onto the stage not at all quietly. Permit me, Wetterauer, my name. The dark gray GTI rolls grudgingly onto the empty circuit. After every rocker pull on the steering wheel, the driver listens to the heart-rending exhaust roar. A stainless steel system with two tailpipes the size of a stove pipe (90 mm each) ensures a robust sound. Dogs that bark do not bite? Think. The Wetterauer sprint from standstill to 100 km /h in 6.1 seconds and is therefore 1.1 seconds faster than the manual factory model measured by sport auto (click here for the Individual test of the VW Golf GTI ).
Bits and bytes and a boost pressure increase of 0.2 bar to 1.1 bar maximum boost pressure increase the output of the four-cylinder in-line engine from 210 to 260 hp. The maximum torque increases from 280 to 380 Newton meters. In addition to the software change, the Koblenz tuner also optimizes the air intake system with the help of a BMC airbox and silica flexible hoses with a diameter of 80 mm. Thanks to shorter H&R springs, the Wetterauer GTI crouches 35 millimeters lower over the asphalt than hisWorks comrades.
Wetterauer VW Golf GTI with foolproof driving behavior
Even if the lowering springs are included harder spring rates have been specially developed for the adaptive series damper system DCC, the GTI waves through the 18-meter slalom and over the race track with noticeable lateral inclination even in sport mode. In tight corners, the tuned Golf understeers with good-natured, almost foolproof driving behavior. Malicious load change reactions are not his thing. If the driver shoots beyond the limit while chasing times, the ESP, which can no longer be completely switched off, keeps him safely on course with control pulses. For ambitious drivers, however, the electronic reins in combination with the XDS electronic differential lock brake too early and too hard.
'We also offer ESP deactivation to customers who only want to drive their vehicle on the racetrack without being approved. But unfortunately we cannot offer this for public road traffic for reasons of liability, ”explains Jörg Schramm from Wetterauer. Even more than with his ESP set-up and his suspension setup, the Wetterauer reveals, especially through his tires, that the road, rather than the racetrack, is his primary escape area. The 19-inch wheels from Borbet look perfect with the sporty GTI outfit, but the mounted Hankook Ventus S1 EVO (235/35 ZR 19) are not really suitable for the race track with their moderate grip level.
Wetterauer VW Golf GTI is significantly faster than series GTI
Nevertheless, the Wetterauer GTI crosses the finish line in 1.19.2 minutes. It is six tenths of a second faster than the production model measured by sport auto (Click here for the Individual test of the VW Golf GTI ) with Michelin Pilot Exalto tires. The tuner installs a powerful four-piston brake system from Mov'it with 342 brake discs on the front axle so that Wetterauer customers are always safe on the road, despite the increase in performance and a top speed increased to 249 km /h.
Wendland trims the VW Golf GTI for racing
Candidate number two of the Golf GTI show has other priorities. A look under the wheel arches immediately reveals the intentions of the tuned Wolfsburg from Wendland. Black lacquered 19-inch wheels from BBS are hidden here, equipped with the kings of road-legal semi-slick tires - Michelin Pilot Sport Cup. A quick look at the data sheet and into the perfectly fitting sports seats with the legendary tartan pattern.
Also with an increase in performance of 50 horses (boost pressure increase by 0.3 bar when using 100 octane -Fuel and adjustment of the ignition as well as theInjection), the Swabian tuner's Golf takes the small course under the wheels. After 6.5 seconds he rushes over the 100 km /h mark. Zack, suddenly the rear of the white GTI breaks out. ESP rattles, pilot steers with jagged steering movements against it, sliding friction should become static friction again. A violent sideways stay in the ant curve slows down the time chase.
The Michelin tires are little divas
The Michelin Cup Tires work well, but are also little divas in terms of working temperature. One lap is now twitching back and forth - as in the warm-up lap in Formula 1. Three, two, one: After three laps, the Wendland-Golf then cemented a time of 1.16.2 minutes into the Hockenheimer asphalt with warm tires. The recipe for a good lap time and racetrack performance: In addition to the cup tires and a lowering of 30 millimeters, the Wendland engineers rely on motorsport know-how and determine the best possible weight distribution with a wheel load scale. In addition, the toe and camber values of the chassis are set individually for racetrack operation.
MTM brings the VW Golf GTI to 310 hp
And who is the third in the Bundles? The MTM-GTI with its eye-catching metal cladding is already in bright red when it is stationary. On paper, the MTM should have its tuning colleagues under control due to the additional performance. An adapted turbocharger from the current Audi S3 and a boost pressure increase to 1.45 bar tickle out another 50 hp more from the TSI four-cylinder than with the Wendland and Wetterauer versions. But MTM is not only starting with 310 hp, but also with the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup. So let's get out on the short course and don't forget to warm up the cup tires.
First flying lap with tires at working temperature - 1.15.8 minutes. Four seconds faster than the series counterpart. But the pilot is still not entirely satisfied. The MTM conveys with its balanced driving behavior thanks to the successful suspension set-up (lowering by 30 mm), its powerfulBrembo brakes with larger discs on the front axle (380 mm), precise steering behavior and good traction give the feeling that it was born for the racetrack. So another round. With smack through the north curve, quickly sniffing away the ant curve, left bend cross clip full, entrance Motodrom - the sector times are already half a second better.
The time chase ends with oil pressure problems and oil loss
But then that: jerk, Böööööhhhhhh, jerk - the engine runs in emergency mode. The time hunt ends with oil pressure problems. These only disappear when the engine is restarted. 'We never had this problem on the road,' explains MTM boss Roland Mayer. The Wendland and the Wetterauer do not go into emergency mode, but they also suffer from a noticeable loss of oil after visiting the racetrack. 'We assume it is due to the demand regulation of the engine', explains managing director Karl-Heinz Wendland. 'The cooling is extremely important, so we spent a long time working on the right injection and also use a special airbox,' says Jörg Schramm from Wetterauer about the oil losses. And MTM? 'We are still waiting for an answer from VW, this is also a known problem in series production,' explains Roland Mayer from MTM. We can look forward to an answer, because a sports icon like the GTI should also be able to prove its potential on the racetrack.