Forty years old, eight wheels, seven cupholders and 1200 horsepower: those are the combined stats for the cars and owners in this story. Each driver is just 20 years old, but has the massive responsibility of more than 600 crank horsepower and tremendous speed just a pedal-press away.
Thinking back, it's amazing to see how far the VW tuning scene has come in the past 10 or 20 years. Back in the stoneages of the mid-late '90s, slapping a turbo on your VR6 engine was a good way to increase power and probably decrease reliability. Back then, neither Jacob Thompson nor Jason Moczulski were even close to driving, let alone drive a car with more power than a Porsche Turbo. Now they both have daily-driven Volkswagens that do just that.
Meet Jacob Thompson, owner of the 2004.5 Jetta GLI VR6 24v turbo. It's a monster we first saw at the NGP Racing Dyno Day last year (et 2/09). It laid down a stout 504whp, so we naturally wanted to know more about just what was lurking under the Platinum gray hood.
The story starts, like so many others, with a taste of additional power with a 1.8T chip from local shop, Induktion Motorsports in Hanover, MD. One modification led to another, with the engine eventually expiring under high-boost from a big turbo, as Jake explained: "Justin DiBlasio, the head fabricator at Induktion, had built my big turbo 1.8T and when the motor blew we were sitting around talking about it when he suggested I use the 12v VR6 turbo he had in a Corrado.'"
What they ultimately decided on was a monster GT35R turbo strapped to a 24v lump, with the internals built to handle the stress and help reliability. "I figured, if I've gotta find another motor, I might as well go big!" Jake laughed.
A 2.8 VR6 24v engine was located and the junked 1.8T removed. The block was then over-bored 1mm to accept Wossner forged pistons. Integrated Engineering forged connecting rods would keep things heading in the right direction under pressure, and the assembly was finally balanced and blueprinted.
In addition, Justin fabricated an equal-length tubular exhaust manifold in order to provide maximum spin for the Garrett turbo. The exhaust gases then continued on their way through a custom Induktion Motorsports 3" downpipe and exhaust system. Justin also fabricated the short-runner intake manifold and intercooler system, which is based around a large Garrett core.
The C2 tune gets big points from Jake:"We sent out the ECU, got it flashed, plugged it in, started the car up and droveit. Then we just happened to go to NGP's Dyno Day and decided to throw it on and see what it could do.'"
The crucial aspects of fuel and spark are handled by a C2 Motorsports' flashed ECU running the 630cc injectors, which are fed by a Walbro fuel pump. Final management of the boost is left to a Turbosmart controller and 44mm TiAL wastegate.
As we mentioned, the Jetta put down 504whp at 23psi on standard 93-octane pump fuel. This is incredible considering it's a flash tune, not to mention Jake drives the car daily. "I think I've done about 10,000 miles on the motor since it was installed," Jake confirmed.
Obviously you can't expect a standard VW transmission to cope up with three-times the power. So Induktion fitted a Peloquin limited-slip diff, South Bend stage 5 clutch and Autotech flywheel in the six-speed 'box.
"It's a stage five clutch, so it's a tad heavier than stock, but engagement feels just like the stock clutch," Jake enthused.
So what's it like to drive a 600hp Jetta? "It's pretty fast," Jake laughed modestly. "I can keep up with streetbikes and beat 911 Turbos on the highway. Trying to find traction is the problem. At 19psi, which is what I run on the street, it'll break loose in third gear on a warm day. And if it's below 50 it'll break loose in fourth as well. But when it hooks up it doesn't want to stop; the speedometer just climbs and climbs."
Naturally you'd have to be a little crazy if you didn't upgrade the chassis as well. So a set of KW V2 coilovers try to tame the wheel hop and keep it stable through the twisties, while a combination of Brembo, StopTech and Hawk brake parts do the stopping.
"It's nice having the GLI with the bigger factory brakes. It stops pretty well but I'm definitely getting some bigger brakes!" he said.
The visual changes are simple but effective. A set of 18x8" front and 18x10" rear RH ZW3 wheels fill the arches, rolling on Dunlop Direzza tires. The wheel centers were painted a textured grey, while gold bolts add a touch of uniqueness.
A badgeless grille combine with the stock GLI aerodynamics on the exterior but are overshadowed by the vinyl job - the firearms motif is taken from Rogue Status clothing, and is entitled the "gun show" appropriately enough. Each tiny weapon was manually applied to the grille, hood, roof and trunk to create another unique element.
Sadly, the interior isn't lined with AK47s, but Jake went with the never-fail choice of Sparco Torino 2 seats and 3" Sparco harnesses keeping the occupants snug. New South and Stack gauges provide info for the pilot, while Alpine electronics handle the entertainment.
Seeing this car is a visceral experience. The combination of a huge turbo shoving an ungodly amount of air into one of the best sounding six-cylinders ever built turns heads at the very the least.
"It doesn't even sound like a V6 any more. It sounds like an old muscle car," Jake proclaimed enthusiastically. "I was pulled over by a police officer two weeks ago. He pulled up next to me and asked if it was a Volkswagen. I told him it was and he said it didn't sound like any Volkswagen he'd ever heard. Then he just drove off!"
Jake succinctly sums up the experience: "It's one hell of a ride." And while that assessment is undoubtedly true, some high-boost dyno runs are planned with the aim of cracking the 600whp mark. So it should get even wilder before long. That should give him something to celebrate when he turns 21.
2004 Jetta GLI 24V
Owner: Jacob Thompson
Location: Sykesville, MD
Occupation: bodyshop employee
Engine: 2.8 liter VR6 24v bored for low compression Wossner pistons, Integrated Engineering rods, balanced and blueprinted motor, rebuilt head, Induktion Motorsports tubular turbo manifold and intercooler piping (2.5" hot, 3" cold side), Precision front-mount intercooler core, Induktion short-runner intake manifold, Garrett GT35R 1.06 a/r, 44mm TiAL wastegate, Turbosmart dual-port BOV, 3" custom turbo-back exhaust, C2 Motorsports software, 630cc injectors, 4" MAF housing, 255 lph Walbro inline fuel pump, VF-Engineering solid motor mounts and trans mount, low temp fan switch, billet 'crack' pipe, secondary air and cat delete
Driveline: O2M six-speed transmission with South Bend stage 5 FE cryo-treated clutch, lightweight Autotech flywheel, Peloquin limited-slip differential, EIP short shifter
Brakes: Brembo slotted front rotors, StopTech slotted rears, Hawk HPS pads
Suspension: KW Variant 2 coilovers
Wheels & Tires: 18x8" front, 18x10" rear RH ZW3 wheels painted grey with gold bolts, 40mm front, 20mm rear adapters, 215/40-18 front, 245/40-18 rear Dunlop Direzza DZ Z1 Star Spec tires
Exterior: JOM badgeless grille, filled hood notch, FK smoked head- and tail lights, smoked side markers, Euro textured moldings, stubby antenna, Rogue Status "gun show" graphics, tint
Interior: Sparco Torino 2 seats, Sparco 3" racing harnesses, New South dual-gauge pod with Stack boost and wideband gauges, Stack water and oil temp gauges in glovebox, R Line shift knob, VR6 cluster, Euro switch, Alpine IWA-205 double-DIN head unit
Thanks: mom and dad, Heather, Ed, Anand, Justin, Jim, Shawn, Jerm at Induktion Motorsports (www.4induktion.com), Trevor, Will, Mat, Anthony, Tommy at JRP, Greg and Kevin at Fusion Graphics, Pitcrew, The Glosser, Roy's Body Shop, 151
Jason Moczulski's GTI VR6
If Jake's Jetta is the car for a driver with an extroverted sense of self, then Jason's '04 GTI is perfect for the introvert in each of us. In fact, it's the definition of a sleeper, with stock wheels, a modest stance, and just the front-mount to tip his hand about the car's potential. "It just sorta turned out that way," Jason explained. "The sleeper look is how I always wanted to go. I like speed over looks."
The 20 year-old restaurant manager from Eldersburg, MD was an old high school buddy of Jake's, and when he saw what Induktion was doing, he had to get in on the action. "I walked into the shop and told Ed Fuhrman at Induktion that I wanted 500hp and asked him to build it." Jason said. "I came back a couple of months later and they'd done it."
As the owner of Induktion, Ed Fuhrman views these builds as typical of what his shop is capable of: "Since opening in 2003, our passion has been for performance. I'd say the VR6 and B5 S4 are two of our main staples and we've built the shop's name on them."
Jason's car sports a similar turbo system as Jacob's, but retains the standard cylinder bore and sports a C2 Motorsports intake manifold rather than the Induktion part.
The result, with a 93/109 fuel mix in the tank and 25psi boost was a transmission-shattering 560hp at the wheels.
Jason especially credits DiBlasio with the build, "Justin masterminded it all. I owe him special thanks. He loves these cars, they're his babies."
Visually the car is lowered on Tein coilovers and sports a Kamei grille. An array of Stack gauges keeps Jason informed about his engine's vital signs.
The only real fault with the GTI is that it's perhaps too modest in the realm of braking, as everything is stock. However, the owner assured us something was in the works, along with camshafts, head work and even more power.
With Induktion moving to a new, purpose-built facility, doubling their space and buying equipment such as an in-house dyno, we're sure it's just a matter of time before we start seeing more of these Maryland monsters.