The venerable Golf is on its sixth iteration, entering a seventh, with generations one and two winning umpteen hearts, gens three and four blowing many minds, gen five belatedly wooing the modified masses, and the latest (launched 2009) sixth generation is proving an award-winning affair.
The highlight of the Mk4 family was undoubtedly the R32, with its chunky body styling and 3.2-liter VR6 lump driving an all-wheel-drive system. But when the weightier Mk5 R32 arrived it had its work cut out to win over fans of the Mk4 version. As a result, it wasn't the sales success many expected, with the VR6 engine being dropped from the latest generation in favor of the 2.0T in the latest Golf R.
However, the Mk5 R32 makes a great used car bargain and is rare enough to have some cache among VW fans, so it's becoming a modified star in its later life.
One enthusiast who embraced the car's obvious appeal was Patrik Jochl, a 23 year-old bricklayer from Austria and diehard VW fan. He picked up this near-perfect, factory original 2006 example just over two years ago and it was begging for some individualisation.
"I chose this car because I love the sound of the engine," explained Patrik, whose first car was Mk2 GTI 16V. And few can blame him - the Mk5 R32 has a throaty howl thanks to the way VW set up the baffles in the exhaust system. It's truly one of the great hallmarks of this car.
Patrik had a blast in his new R32 for a while, but he wanted it to stand out from other R32s and, in fact, all other Mk5s at any shows he may attend. So his project car became the priority. "I've spent way too much money on this car already and it took me only one year," he said. "But I had my own ideas for doing to an R32, so I did most of the work myself, or got help from AH Exclusive Parts, Flachwerk and Lackwerk," he added.
The results shown here are stunning, if not for colour contrast inside then for stance and clean bodywork outside.
Firstly, Patrik had Lackwerk respray the stock Candy White in Audi Ibis White. In preparation, the hood and front bumper were smoothed, with the center section painted gloss black to integrate into the upper and lower grilles.
The front fenders were cut and widened 40mm to allow the car to be lowered, while the tailgate was shaved to accentuate the Mk5's curves.
Lime green was then selected as the contrast color, appearing strategically on the exterior so it didn't overpower the Ibis White, nor lose impact by appearing in too often.
Patrik knew the wheels were the centrepiece, so had the BBS centers painted lime green. "I knew the wheels had to be BBS," Patrik said. "So I found a set RS and AH Exclusive did great work on them."
To get the R32 to sit over the 18x9" front and 18x10" rear BBS RS, wrapped in stretched 205/35 and 215/35 Toyo T1R tires, Patrik opted for Bagyard air suspension.
Bagyard AirRide was established in Austria in 2004 and its manufacturing process is ISO 9001 accredited, with clients like Brabas on its books. At the heart of the set-up are upside-down Bilstein monotube shocks and Continental airbags.
Once installed, the air-ride created an awesome effect, with the wheels tucked neatly into the pulled fenders.
From all angles, the R32 grabs your attention but you need to step forward to seet how much work went into the interior. Lime Green leather was used to trim the seats, steering wheel, shift knob and sundry parts. These are set against gloss-black seat backs, center stack, door handles, etc.
The amount of time and money Patrik's put into the interior is probably best left unsaid - but suffice to say, it's his favourite area of the car...
Starting with a high performance R32, Patrik has created a unique interpretation of his ideal VW, matching speed with show-stopping appeal that should bring a smile to any enthusiast's face.
Name: Patrik Joch
2006 VW R32
six-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive
Bagyard air system
Wheels & Tires
18x9" f, 18x10" r BBS RS with green centers, 205/35 R18 f, 215/35 R18 r Toyo T1R tires
shaved bumpers and tailgate, wider front fenders, car repainted Ibis White, black grille section and headlight housings
green leather seats, door cards, headlining, console, shift boot, e-brake boot, black paint trim piece