Like a newborn baby, it's taken nine months for us to develop this '09 Volkswagen Jetta TDI. Introduced in et 1/09, we've upgraded the Platinum grey sedan in a GQ-smooth fashion with KW V3 coilovers (et 2/09), 19x8" BBS CH wheels with 235/35-19 ContiSportContact3 tires (et 3/09) as well as a Euro Sport intake, Techtonics exhaust, plus EBC rotors and pads (et 6/09). In et 4/09, we pitted the car against a Prius, Civic and Project Silverstone, where it honorably returned 41.74 mpg in a mixture of city, highway and canyon driving.
Now we're happy to show Project TDI's exterior with Volkswagen Accessories' new three-piece body kit, which debuted on the Jetta TDI Cup racecars, giving us looks that kill. The kit comes with the pronounced front bumper derived from the Thunder Bunny SEMA concept (et 2/07). The new skirts and rear valance are edgier to match the aggressive front-end. We also included a subtle lip spoiler on the trunk to complete the makeover.
When we decided to paint and install the body pieces, Volkswagen of America recommended one of its most trusted support companies in Southern California - Foam Molders. The company has been around for 40 years but never in the spotlight. Based in Cerritos, CA, they specialize in aircraft, automotive, medical, paint and foam fabrication. They began molding foam but grew into a huge empire with a 130,000sqft facility specializing in various industries. Foam Molders has relationships with many OEMs, such as Toyota, Honda, Mazda, GM, Boeing, Disney and, of course, VW. So, if you've ever bought a body kit from a VW dealer, it was probably painted and shipped from Foam Molders since they ship directly to the ports before cars even hit local dealers. Unfortunately, an enthusiast can't go directly to them for paint and bodywork but we were lucky enough to get OEM quality service
You'll find abridged step-by-step instructions here, but you can find the full version posted at www.eurotuner.com
According to Foam Molders, the parts are user-friendly and the installation is self-explanatory. If you have a mechanical inclination, you could certainly do the job yourself. VW claims the job takes 7.5 hours to finish, which was close to our own experience.