It's time to induct another car into our hall of fame. Jeremie Arpaia's '04 R32 isn't just a crazy VW show car, but it has the power to silence anything on the road. Supercharged M3? No problem. Lamborghini or Ferrari? No sweat. Jeremie's R32 turbo pushes more than 900hp to the crank with traction to back it up. This is why it's claimed to be one of the most powerful street-driven cars featured in eurotuner.
Jeremie fell for VWs the first time he drove one. "My first car was a Renault but I smashed it," he laughed. "My second car was a Jetta and since then the passion has remained. It wasn't the power I liked but the torque. I had Hondas before but I liked the feeling and handling of VWs."
With VWs becoming an obsession, Jeremie fixed-up projects on a regular basis, including friends' cars. As a result, he opened JA Tuning in '94. As the sole owner and mechanic, he worked day and night offering parts and service to VW/Audi owners. His resumé included a Mk2 Jetta VR6 swap and VR6 turbo - both ahead of their time in the '90s.
Jeremie gained valuable experience running his own business but was forced to close shop in '05. Now the manager of an electronics store, the 33 year-old from Quebec didn't ignore his passion. In 2/06, this R32 came into the picture. "I wanted to import a Mk4 R32 into Canada since '04 because they were never sold here. I got mine salvaged with only 500 miles - it had a trunk fire but there was no frame damage. For me, it was brand new, but it cost a lot to bring the car in without the government saying anything."
Jeremie's first order of business was to sandblast and paint the car. "When I decided to go turbo, I knew I would need more contact patch," he revealed. "So a widebody conversion was mapped out from the very beginning."
It was dropped off to nearby Atelier Richer and while the body fabrication was pending, money was invested in turbo parts.
The owner found a used EIP turbo kit and new pistons to lower the compression. With the body still unfinished, Jeremie got antsy and sold the kit for bigger and better plans. "At first I wanted 500whp," he explained. "But I decided to go with a bigger turbo and build the engine. I wanted to see four digits. So I met Danny Bourgault from DM Motorsport. I explained what I wanted and coincidently he planned the same thing for his Jetta, so we built both engines together."
If DM Motorsport rings a bell, it's because Danny's '90 Jetta Coupe was featured in et 3/09 with its AWD conversion and R32 turbo swap. It made headline news in the VW scene when the Mk2 ran 10sec quarter-miles.
Jeremie's motor was built to a similar spec. The 3.2-liter VR6 was fitted with Ross pistons, lowering the compression from 11.3:1 to 8.5:1. Beefier Eurospec connecting rods were installed with larger 3/8" bolts. While the block was apart, each cylinder was honed to ensure the walls were straight and round. As for the 24v head, it got a three-angle valve job.
With the engine ready for abuse, DM fabricated the hardware for boost. A tubular long-runner exhaust manifold was mated to a massive Precision T74/76 dual ball-bearing turbo. To cool the air, DM placed a massive Precision intercooler behind the front bumper, feeding into a 4" intake and Huber Rennsporttechnik short-runner inlet manifold.
The massive amounts of air pouring into the VR6 required just as much fuel. So 830cc injectors and a 4-bar regulator were added. And when two in-tank 255 lph Walbro fuel pumps left the motor thirsty at full throttle, two Bosch Motorsport pumps were hidden in the spare wheelwell to provide an extra 600 lph.
To prevent the engine from grenading, Snow Performance water/methanol injection allowed the engine to deal with the 91-octane available at most fuel stations in Montreal.
To secure the beast, DM Motorsport built a subframe support with a front cross brace. "Now instead of three engine mounts I have four, including a Mk3 VR6 mount. On full power, the engine wants to jump out, lifting the front. But the extra mount keeps it in place and gives the frame more strength," Jeremie told us.
The next step was tuning, and Mike Zielinski from Unitronic developed a new file based on DM's Mk2 Jetta. He recalibrated the ECU for its low compression, boost, fueling and engine load.
Initial testing then showed the factory six-speed 02M tranny was a weak point. "I had to lower the boost because I blew the tranny," he admitted. So a triple-disc clutch and chromoly flywheel were added as a temporary fix; along a Peloquin limited-slip and HPA Motorsport Haldex controller to aid power transfer. However, Jeremie reports new, longer gears are in the works.
What he later conceded is that he had also fitted a two-step launch control system. "You can set the RPM to a certain point and it cuts the ignition," he explained. "Fuel is pushed directly to the turbo, making it spool without putting load on the engine. So when I'm driving, it allows me to power-shift and stay on boost when I shift. But that's how you rip gears!" he admitted.
The violent launch can easily break the tranny but Jeremie told us it allows him to do four-wheel donuts and get flames from the exhaust pipes as the fuel burns. Don't believe us? You can check out Jeremie's YouTube video on his 'jarpaia' channel.
With the monstrous motor finished, the bodyshop was putting its final touches on the long-awaited widebody. The original plan was to go 3" wider all-around. However, Jeremie had the fronts reduced to 1.5" because they looked wrong. With the original side skirts and bumpers modified to fit the new fenders, the car was repainted.
It was then time to dial-in the chassis. Mk4 R32s normally run 225-section tires but with the recent surgery, Jeremie had a range of options to maximize grip. After selecting a staggered set of 19" HRE wheels, the rear rims received 315/25 ContiSportContact 3 tires, with 255/30s up front. And since this gives the same rolling radius front and rear, it doesn't mess with the Haldex controller for the all-wheel drive.
Finishing the upgrades meant adding braking and suspension solutions from ECS Tuning and H&R Springs. Most of the stopping power would be taking place up front, so a stage 5 ECS kit utilized 14.1" rotors with six-piston Porsche Cayenne Turbo calipers. The rear got 12.1" rotors.
And giving the Mk4 its sportier handling were down and dependable H&R coilovers.
With the R32 complete, it was time for numbers. With the motor originally boasting 240hp and 236 lb-ft of torque, Jeremie shocked the masses by putting down
756whp and 735 lb-ft!
The incredible feat was recorded on a Mustang dyno using 93-octane fuel with water/meth at 30.6psi boost.
Estimated at over 900hp to the flywheel, Jeremie keeps the car de-tuned for the street, lowering the boost to 25psi. This setup is still good for 590whp and is plenty thirsty. "Right now at full throttle, it goes through six liters a minute. If I drive the car to work, it's $150 bucks a week!" he smirked.
Although Jeremie hasn't broken the 1000hp mark yet, he plans to do so in the near future. But even so, he's built a bulletproof R32 widebody that can hook up all four wheels and shut up everybody.
2004 VW R32
Owner: Jeremie Arpala
Location: Valleyfield, QC
Occupation: electronics store
Engine: 3.2-liter VR6 24v with honed cylinders, Eurospec rods, Ross pistons, 8.5:1 compression, Race bearings, DM Motorsport long-runner exhaust manifold, Precision T74/76 turbo, TiAL 44mm wastegate, 830cc injectors, Unitronic software, twin Walbro 255 lph fuel pumps, twin Bosch Motorsport 044 inline fuel pumps, Forge Motorsport 007 diverter valves, Precision front-mount intercooler, DM Motorsport 3" intercooler piping and 4" intake with K&N filter, Mocal external oil cooler, Huber Rennsporttechnik short-runner intake manifold, Snow Performance water/meth injection with Moroso tank, VF-Engineering mounts, DM Motorsport front subframe, 3" into 2.5" stainless turbo-back exhaust with Magnaflow muffler and wastegate discharge pipe, valve cover, intake and turbo compressor powdercoated black
Drivetrain: 02M six-speed manual with DM Motorsport triple-disc clutch, Peloquin limited-slip differential, HPA Motorsport Haldex controller, Hyperformance short shifter
Brakes: ECS Tuning stage 5 kit with 14.1" drilled and slotted front rotors and six-piston Porsche Cayenne Turbo calipers, ECS stage 2 rear kit with 12.1" drilled and slotted rotors, stock calipers, stainless braided lines, Hawk HPS pads
Suspension: H&R coilovers, ECS Tuning adjustable control arms
Wheels & Tires: 19x9" front, 19x11" rear HRE 590R wheels with 255/30 R19 front, 315/25 R19 rear Continental ContiSportContact 3 tires
Exterior: rear quarter panels widened 3", front fenders widened 1.5", widened OE side skirts and Euro R32 rear bumper, modified Seat Cupra front lip, molded Caractere hatch blend, filled door handle cups, two-bar badgeless grille, Hella projector headlights painted black, Bosch HIDs, Polo rear wiper, Hella tail lights, roof and mirrors painted Black Magic
Interior: Euro R32 instrument cluster, Auto Meter boost, exhaust gas temp and UEGO wideband gauges
Thanks: Daniel Richer, Danny and Mathieu at DM Motorsport, Mike Z and Mike S at Unitronic Chipped