For those who haven’t formally met me, I’m Sam Du. I’ve had the pleasure of serving you as a Super Street editor since April ’11, however prior to this mag, I was a hardcore European car guy. I worked for VW/Audi/BMW tuner in college before I slaved away at eurotuner for five years—guess you can say I know a thing or two about Euros.
Since joining SS, I’ve worked closely with Jonathan and Nate to look at ways of improving the magazine. We’ve collectively agreed to give the Euro scene some love! But don’t get too bent out of shape if you hate the idea—this isn’t going to become eurotuner. We simply want to represent the best of what the aftermarket community has to offer and Euros are a major part of that. So for the ensuing months, we’ll be showcasing some of the sickest VWs, Audis, BMWs and Porsches around. And because I can…I’m starting this section off with my car!
The Little Engine That Could
This GTI has been my one and only project car for the last decade. I’ll admit it’s no racecar, but it’s no slug either. Originally a 150whp 1.8-liter turbo, I bolted up as many parts as I could until I maxed out the stock turbo. Then, 034Motorsport and Raven Motorsports helped me take the project to the next level.
Raven disassembled the motor and dropped in a stroker kit from Integrated Engineering. On 1.8Ts, rods are often the weakest link so the IE replacements were just what I needed. Mahle pistons (83mm compared to 81mm) were installed bumpin’ up displacement to 2008cc. The final element was a forged crank with a larger stroke (92.88mm versus 86.4mm).
I got head next. Uhm…That came out wrong. But seriously, I upgraded to a better OEM cylinder head that comes with larger ports. 034 re-cut the seals and locked everything back into place to strengthen it. They also smoothed and shaped every millimeter of the combustion chamber and ports improving the quality and quantity of flow. Add in Supertech springs, oversized valves and titanium retainers; the valvetrain was comparable to what a dedicated race motor has!
From there, 034 fabricated a long-runner manifold that mated to a Garrett GT2871R turbo. After a custom downpipe, fuel system and intercooler were installed, my lil’ Dub wasn’t so little anymore. The four-cylinder put down 301.1whp and 318.3 lb-ft of torque— nothing redonkulous but just the right amount power for a daily-driven, front-wheel drive hatch.
On the Down Low
Hate me all you want but I’m sort of a stance guy. The trend has been hot in the Euro scene before all the buzz and blogs popped up a few years ago. I decided to go with air-ride a couple years back and haven’t regretted it. I wasn’t planning on doing any competitive track events so it made sense. Having the ability to air up the suspension at every bump and curb made life so much easier, plus nothing surprises people more than slammin’ it on the oil pan.
White is Tight
Most guys I know swap through a different set of wheels every other year. I’ve rocked my BBS LMs since 2004! It was my first major purchase for the project and I’ve never looked back. Unfortunately, they take a beating everyday so on the last pothole incident, a lip cracked. After ordering a replacement, Rotiform took care of the rest polishing all four lips and powdercoating the centers a nice pearly white.
I have a few other things worth noting like the Euro bumpers and mirrors, kevlar seats, rollbar and larger brakes. The car still has a few loose ends but I like to think it reps the Euro scene pretty spot on. It doesn’t scream for attention but has a decent mix of parts to give it a smooth criminal look. And unlike most guys with builds as extensive as this, you can see me rollin’ everyday!
2003 VW GTI
Owner Sam Du
Hometown Hollywood, CA
Occupation You know what it is
Engine 2.0 liter 20v four-cylinder turbo with Integrated Engineering stroker kit (83mm Mahle pistons, 2.0T FSI crank and 144mm H-beam rods with 9.525mm ARP bolts and 20mm carbon-steel wristpins); AEB cylinder head with stage 3 enlarged ports, 1mm oversized stainless steel intake and inconel exhaust valves; Supertech valve springs; titanium retainers; Autotech 195° intake cam; Garrett GT2871R turbo; Bosch 550cc injectors; 034Motorsport FP34 fuel pump kit, 3" downpipe, phenolic spacer, catch can breather kit, track density mount kit, high performance coils; 3" turbo inlet; 2.75" Audi TT MAF housing; OE Euro big-port intake manifold; Techtonics Tuning exhaust with Brullen tips; Evolution Racewerks front-mount intercooler; Forge Motorsport 007 diverter valve; BMC carbon intake; Unorthodox Racing pulleys; RAI Motorsport kevlar timing belt
Drivetrain Five-speed 02A manual with ACT clutch kit and 8.3lb flywheel; Autotech short shifter
Engine Management 034Motorsport custom tune
Footwork & Chassis Air Lift performance air ride kit with five-gallon tank, Viair 380c compressor, two manifolds and AutoPilot controller; H&R rear dampers and 26mm front sway bar; H2Sport Sport spindles; Autotech front strut bar
Brakes 312mm OE 20AE GTI front brakes; Adam’s AR Race rotors; StopTech pads
Wheels & Tires 19x8.5" BBS LM wheels with polished lips and powdercoated centers by Rotiform; 215/35R19 Nitto NeoGen tires
Exterior OE Euro VW bumpers, rub strips, 4-Motion valences and stubby mirrors; filled hood and bumper notches; OE Votex side skirts; MHW badgeless grille and side markers; Hella Mk5-look grey headlights; rear foglight kit
Interior Status Racing Laguna seats with kevlar shell and leather upholstery; Schroth Rallye 4 harnesses and pads; Autopower rollbar; 12.6" Momo Monte Carlo steering wheel and hub adapter; OE Audi TT pedals; Auto Meter Sport-Competition gauges; Evolution Sports gauge holder; OE Sport Edition shift knob and boot, W8 overhead console; OE Euro VW headlight switch; Pioneer head unit
Titles that didn’t make the cut:
Du Work, You Can Du It, Just Du It, Du-Over, Du Hast!, Du Speed, Mountain Du, What It Du, Du it To It, Du it Big, The Du’s and Don’ts, Scooby Du, Honey Du Du Child, Do the Du (SMH - SS Staff)