By today’s standards, the Volkswagen Golf MK4 is an old and outdated car, but that doesn’t mean it can’t pack a punch, especially if we’re talking about the R32 variant.
The regular Volkswagen Golf 4 was the German car maker’s attempt to move the model upmarket. A process that spawned one of the well-built and all-rounded compacts ever. The fact that there’s still lots of them roaming the streets, is a testament to their success.
And the cars even came with some frisky engines, one of which was the 1.8-litre, 20-valve, turbocharged 4-pot that was eligible for high-end tuning. But the Golf 4 wrote itself into the history books with the R32 model – an angry beast, powered by 3.2-litre, 24-valve, VR6 engine. In its prime, it was unlike anything on the road. In fact, it gave a new meaning to the term “hot hatch” and it was the first production car to feature a dual-clutch DSG gearbox.
The engine produced 241 PS (237 hp), and 236 lb·ft (320 N·m) of torque, and the power went to all four wheels through a Haldex-based 4Motion four-wheel-drive system. It was an instant hit, even building a modding cult around it over the years.
Case in point, 12 winters after its official launch, we are presented with a R32 that rewrites the rulebook. This beast is modified by HPerformance and HPA Motorsport and when I say modified, I really mean “transformed into a monster”.
An in-house developed software optimization in combination with a HPA EFR550 turbo kit, reinforced piston, and a water cooled intake manifold managed to squeeze approximately 550 PS (541 hp) and 730 Nm (538 lb-ft) of torque out of the engine. Can you imagine what kind of performance this automobile now boasts? Because we can’t and neither does tuner, as it didn’t provide any official performance figures.
Moreover, an electronically adjustable boost controller can change the air charge compression, which basically makes it produce more power. Yes, more than 550 PS (541 hp).
The project also features an exhaust valve control, which comes mounted on the new exhaust system with 90 mm end pipes. Mind you, the Golf sits a bit lower to the ground thanks to a KW coilover set, while the wings have been enlarged in order to accommodate the 8.5 x 19-inch HRE rims.
The price of the conversion? About €35,000 ($39,086), excluding the acquisition costs of an R32. Yes, it might sound a lot, but the Golf’s power figures is reaching supercar territory.