Throwback: Golf + Porsche + Audi = Mid-engine madness

2024 Introduction

From sleek builds to manic drag machines: we’ve featured all kinds of Volkswagen Golfs at Speedhunters over the years. As you might expect, most of these builds have come from Europe, but that’s not true of the Gulf we’re revisiting today.

The work of 034Motorsport in California, USA – a company that’s been building insanely fast Audis and VWs since 2005 – 10 years later, this may still be the wildest Golf we’ve ever seen. Read on to see why…


2014 Feature

One of the things I like about air-cooled Volkswagens is how they share DNA with Porsche models from the same era. Sure, the 356s, 914s and 911s may have been sleeker, sexier and faster than their Volkswagen cousins, but the fact that they had so many features in common gave many the inspiration to make their Beetles something more than their low price and modest image would suggest. .


When Volkswagen introduced the first generation Golf in 1974 as the eventual replacement for the Beetle, I’m not sure anyone knew it would become the icon it is today. Whether it serves as a basic means of transportation or as a platform to enjoy the car hobby, the Golf would very much become the people’s car of a new generation.


But even after decades of watching people build really badass Golfs and VW itself continually developing faster and more luxurious versions of the iconic hatchback, it’s hard to see a Golf and a Porsche side by side and see any meaningful connection .


These days you wouldn’t expect a compact hatchback and a high-end sports car to be built from the same stuff, but that connection is one of the things that made air-cooled VWs so much fun to play with.


Which brings me to the GTI RS from 034Motorsport – a car that has injected some of the Porsche spirit back into VW’s popular compact car thanks to some pretty complicated engineering. And no, I’m not talking about it style influenced by Porsche – this is a Golf with both mid-engine and turbo.


When you run a high-performance shop, the best thing you can do is build something to get people talking – and really, what better way to do that than by doing something crazy like a mid-engine VW Golf?


So starting with a base 2001 GTI, the team at 034Motorsport set out to create one of the craziest Golfs the world has ever seen.


As you might expect, converting a front-engine, front-wheel drive car to a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive car isn’t the easiest of tasks. The first thing the guys did was create a custom tubular rear subframe using suspension components. of a Porsche 996 Turbo.


Along with the 996 suspension, the new subframe was also built with custom pickup points, custom engine and transmission mounts, and even includes the stock 996 Turbo rear stabilizer bar.


Next came the task of selecting and building an engine that would occupy the space where the GTI’s rear passenger compartment once was. Given 034’s experience with Audi, it’s not surprising that they opted for a 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 from a 2001 S4.


Not only did the S4 engine fit the shop’s image perfectly, but in many ways the relationship between VW and Audi today is the same as VW and Porsche were back then. You may be buying an entry-level Golf, but you don’t have to look far to see the resemblance to the sexy Audis at the dealer down the street.


Of course, the S4 engine in this particular car is far from factory spec. For starters, it’s been bored and stroked to a three-liter displacement and the bottom end is fully reinforced with a forged crankshaft, JE pistons and other heavy-duty parts. Up top there are ported 2.8-liter heads from a B5 A4, a Supertech valve line and a set of high-performance CAT cams.


The big story, however, is the turbo setup, which can be switched between two different snails depending on the driver’s mood: a Precision Turbo CEA 62mm GT35R or a Garrett GT42RS.


Anyway, the turbo sits on a custom 034 manifold and is backed by a one-off intake and exhaust setup, along with a custom air-to-water intercooler. The whole setup is then controlled by a 034EFI standalone ECU with two different maps available. With the GT42 turbine installed, the GTI-RS delivered an impressive 807 horsepower and 596 foot pounds of torque to the rear wheels.

It also makes for a pretty nasty sound, as you can see in this short video clip of Larry grabbing when he shot the car.


And how exactly does all that power get to the rear wheels? It goes through an Audi 01E six-speed gearbox with custom ratios, an 034 Motorsport LSD and heavy-duty axles from the Drive Shaft Shop.


In terms of suspension, the Golf features bespoke Öhlins three-way dampers front and rear, with H2Sport front axles and front control arms.


Braking duties are handled by factory 996 Turbo brakes at the rear, while the front calipers have been replaced with those from a 993 Turbo, along with custom 034 Motorsport brake discs.


Keeping with the Porsche theme, the car is fitted with a set of 996 Turbo ‘hollow spoke’ wheels measuring 18 x 8 inches at the front and 18 x 11 inches at the rear, with Continental ExtremeContact DW tires all around.


If anyone asks to pop the hood, they’ll discover that the spot once occupied by the GTI’s original engine is now occupied by a large ATL fuel cell.


While the GTI’s bodywork is kept mostly stock, I’m not entirely sure you can call this thing a sleeper. Especially when you see things like the large rear wheel vents or the widebody conversion, which was custom made from metal by the 034 crew.


Inside, the cockpit is surprisingly original with an original dashboard, GTI factory leather seats and an R32 steering wheel.


But if you somehow didn’t realize there was a wild turbocharged engine behind you, the NHRA-spec roll bar and rear chassis bracing might raise some suspicion.


Ultimately, there’s a lot to like about 034’s crazy project. First, there’s the fact that this GTI is both very unusual and very fast – two things we always like.


Then there’s the idea that these guys have taken a standard Volkswagen and perfectly blended it with some high-tech Audi horsepower and some old-school Porsche DNA. This is really something Speed ​​chase it’s all about.

Mike Garrett
Instagram: japanfornia

Photographed by Larry Chen
Instagram: larry_chen_photo

Leave a Comment