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We've been following the build of Florida-based fifteen52's Mk5 Rabbit project for a while and thought we'd bring you these photos since it's coming together nicely.
The company is working in partnership with C2 Motorsports from Maryland because C2 has several turbo conversions for the latest Rabbit 2.5. In fact, we featured the engine upgrades in the 4/08 issue.
Most of the prototype work on fifteen52's widebody is now complete, so we decided to offer up a few details on the car's progress. The flares seen here were designed to offer substantially more room for wide wheels and tires once the stock bodywork has been trimmed; the wheels shown here are 18x10" BBS REs with 265/35-18 tires all round.
Fifteen52 is also working on a GTI/GLI version. It will be narrower and will integrate with the OE skirts and valances for those folks not looking to stuff so much rubber under their fenders.
Until the Mk4 Golfs, all GTIs were offered with black fender flares and trim. So fifteen52 felt the retro design of its fender flares was ideally suited to the classic-themed Mk5 GTI. They tell us the first production runs will use a quality, reinforced fiberglass but if demand is sufficient, they'll move to an OE-style plastic material in the future.
No word yet on pricing for the kit, but the target price for a set of four flares and mounting hardware is $800. We also understand fifteen52 and C2 plan to install a 4Motion all-wheel drive system into the car after Waterfest.
You can expect to see Ryan Charlton's E36 M3 turbo hit these pages soon. Modified by KC Performance near Kansas City, the car's almost complete.
While the rest of the turbocharging BMW world seems to be going for maximum power, Ryan's goal is to build a reliable yet powerful street car that will shine on the road course as well.
The goal is for power in the mid-400hp range, with a torque curve to give him the edge when powering out of low-speed turns. To achieve this, it will have a fully-built bottom end using low-compression, forged pistons, forged rods, ARP fasteners and upgraded cooling system. MKC specializes in engine tuning on its Dynojet, so the shop will manipulate the programmable engine management to get the Garrett GT35R turbo spooling early.
By also doing extensive work to the interior, MKC hopes to save around 500 lb, giving the car an incredible power-to-weight ratio. At the same time, the expensive "Mystic" metallic paint job already gives it show car quality.
Stay tuned for a full feature and dyno test.
Andrew McDermott made great progress on his retro '89 VW GTI 16v last month. A new RSD oil cooler and Stinger battery were fitted, while the alternator was relocated to tidy the engine bay. This month, a difficult challenge faces him.
"Part of the fun of this project is to try new things," Andrew explained.
A hole was punched into the floor and the exhaust piping was fed behind the driver's seat. The 2.5" piping goes into a Magnaflow race muffler to decrease noise levels. The exhaust then shoots out the driver's side, where the tip will be finished with a billet piece from gruvenparts.com.
"The sound from the new exhaust is a beautiful, deep tone," Andrew was happy to inform us.
With the exhaust done, the GTI will now receive some TLC from Highway Motors.
"Supposedly everything has been done to the Mk2 platform already. This is true with side-exit exhausts, but I've never seen one come inside and through the body. It just so happens, Tim at Tomas Sport Tuning was thinking of trying it and had a good idea about how it should go."