We've been saving some of our best Mk4 GTIs in order to put together this Mk4 Mayhem issue. We hope you enjoy it, particularly the diversity of approach from the respective owners. I really liked how Tom MacLachlin's OEM+ Jetta is contrasted by Marcus Jung's candy blue creation - it would be hard to find two cars at further ends of the spectrum.
We were slightly surprised to discover that so many of our chosen Mk4s happened to be JTI conversions. It wasn't a conscious decision to compile them this way; it simply reflects the best of the Mk4 movement at present - and the JTI is obviously at the forefront.
When we say the "best of the Mk4 movement," I should add that all of these cars are, or were until recently, daily drivers. And that's what makes them the best. These aren't show queens, despite the lengthy list of modifications they all have.
You'd think Martin Jung's German GTI wouldn't even run with the weight of 17 coats of paint and lacquer, but we're told he drives it eight or nine months of the year, and then takes it off the road for the long German winter to work on it some more. In fact, when we spoke to his boss, Oliver Ochs at Bullock-Style, the car had just been pulled into the workshops for this year's makeover.
We've also got some interesting features for BMW fans, notably Magnus Bjrnerhag's E46 M3 cover car. With its CSL-style makeover and 520hp Active supercharger, the author originally claimed it was the best example in the world. And while we felt the claim was too bold to print, it's certainly up there in the top ten - if only for the way those Volk Racing wheels perfectly fill the fenders.
BMW owners will also enjoy the cosmetic overhaul for our project E36 M3 in this issue. The car's lighting has been upgraded and the author graphically demonstrates the improvement he made, something that could save lives...
We also have our First Drive behind the wheel of the BMW 135i, which promises to be a cult favorite before it's even on sale here. With its 300hp twin-turbo motor and nimble handling, it's going to be an enthusiast's favorite for years to come. And can you image an M3 V8 engine swap in one of these!
Sticking with the BMW connection, many of us have imagined how we'd design our own racecar (or is that just me?) - we all have our favorite sponsor liveries and some people even recreate them on their road cars.
During a conversation with Will Turner at Turner Motorsport, we discovered he was building his first ever E90 racecar that would need a new livery. So we persuaded him to allow you to design his E90 color scheme. We've seen your work in previous Photochop Challenges and know there's some talent out there, so why not have a go? We've supplied the main sponsor logos and the correct colors so you can make it look professional. The winner will receive a great TMS prize for their effort.
The other big story in this issue is our annual Essen show report. Sadly, our issue deadlines meant I was unable to attend for the first time in years, so we sent Sam to sprechen sie Deutsch. He came back with a cavalcade of new metal, indicating some of the new parts we can expect to see over the next 12 months.
Regular readers should look out for our special issue devoted to the Mk2 GTI in the coming months, and we really need to address the shortage of feature-worthy Audis out there. Where have they all gone?
Oh, and this may be your last chance to appear in our "Ladies of eurotuner" issue. We've already got a few cars but we're looking for more ladies who own a modified car, although they should have worked on it themselves to some extent. If you know somebody with a cool car who should be in this special issue, get her to contact us at the email address below.