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1996 VW Golf GTI

Combining a 2.0L and Turbo Propulsion Can Only Result in Major Power

Philip Royle
Apr 1, 2001
Photographer: Michael Shartsis

Only a handful of cars have floorpans you can fry eggs on. Of those, most are track-only race vehicles built to perform at any cost, but Ali Farzad was convinced that mentality could, and should, be applied to his 2.0L ’96 Mk 3 Golf. The eventual product of his determination yielded 217 hp and 231 lb-ft to the wheels, courtesy of painstaking modifications and one hefty turbo.

If Ali’s dreams of owning a race- inspired VW were to come to fruition, he knew every part must play harmoniously with the others. Picking and choosing carefully, Ali built his engine through the use of brand names and professional installation. EIP Tuning in Westminister, Maryland, started by bolting on the ultimate horsepower wrangler: a turbo. A Turbonetics T3 turbo was matched with a GReddy Type-S blow-off valve, a Turbonetics Delta Gate wastegate, a GReddy Profec boost controller, a Vortech fuel regulator, and an Autothority custom-mapped chip. After that, a Neuspeed camshaft was installed, along with an AEM adjustable cam gear, then EIP custom-fabricated a downpipe to evacuate exhaust gases, and a 2.5-inch Fox exhaust and a VR6 high-flow catalytic converter were installed to help out. Putting the finishing touches on the engine, Ali had the head ported and polished, the throttle body bored 2 mm over, and he used a K&N filter to supply air to the force-fed engine. As for the remainder of the engine, Ali utilized ABD, Weapon-R, VITEK, and Trust for carbon-fiber and aluminum covers, braided hoses, and various support towers.

The power of the new engine destroyed transmissions due to the increase in raw power. After a couple tranny swaps, Ali stepped up to a Quaife limited-slip differential for equal power distribution to each wheel and bolted in a Clutch Masters Stage 4 clutch, both of which were installed by Autothority of Fairfax, Virginia. Soon thereafter, an ABD short shifter found its way into the car, allowing for quicker and more precise shifts.

Holding the car to the road are B+G Sport Suspension coilovers on all four corners, taking the car 3.5 inches closer to the ground. ABD solid 25mm front and 28mm rear sway bars were added, while ABD front and Autotech rear strut braces firmed up the chassis. Tightening the ride even more, Ali replaced the factory suspension bushings with Energy Suspension polyurethane replacements.

The next step in building a street racer was to find a way to hold onto the road with style. Ali’s answer was to affix a set of Axis Se7en 18x7.5 wheels with Toyo Proxes FZ4 215/35-18 tires at each corner. ABD was used once more in order to bring the car to a halt using 10.1-inch front and 8.9-inch rear cross-drilled rotors wearing Repco Metal Masters brake pads and ABD stainless steel brake lines. For the track, Ali opted to switch up his wheel and tire combo for something a little lighter. For that, he utilized Lenso UPD wheels, 13x7.5 in the front and 15x6 in the rear. Putting the power to the ground is a set of 22x8x13 M+H racing slicks, while 195/50-15 Toyo Proxes FZ4 follow in the rear.

Once the serious performance was completed, it was time to give his average Mk 3 Golf a racecar look. Ali headed back to Autothority and had the carpets ripped out and a custom aluminum floor fabricated. Matching the raw racecar look, Ali installed a custom eight-point rollcage, a chrome fire extinguisher, and Monaco Rally racing seats custom-upholstered in gray by Seat Centers Suede. A MOMO shift knob and steering wheel with remote GReddy boost controller were added, along with OBX aluminum pedals and an ABD dead pedal. Seated around the custom silver-painted dash are GReddy boost pressure, oil pressure, fuel pressure, and water temperature gauges, allowing Ali to check on the engine’s vitals whenever needed.

Outside, Wings West added to the look with a full-body kit and rear wing, while Projektzwo headlights and Koito bulbs led the way. Individualizing the Golf even more, Ali had Zuffenhausen Motors in Fairfax, Virginia, shave the rear hatch and front bumper. While customizing the body, the racer look was taken one step further by adding Euro fender flares, working a custom scoop into the front right fender, and having Fair City Autobody paint the Mk 3 Venetian Blue. Finishing the exterior are silver graphics applied by And Design Graphics in Springfield, Virginia. Not to be left listening to the eerie silence of more than 200 ponies escaping from the tailpipe, Ali installed a Soundstream amp, 6.5-inch JL Audio front and rear separates, a JL Audio crossover, and wired all the components together through Phoenix Gold wiring.

Glancing at Ali’s Mk 3 Golf, it’s easy to see how race cars have inspired this ride. From the jaw-dropping turbo and engine work to the potentially electrifying floor and stereo, Ali captured the spirit of racecars and interpreted them his own way. Ultimately, it’s people with his vision that fuel the car-modifying industry and set the bar one notch higher for the rest of us.

By Philip Royle
70 Articles

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