We totally get that “stance” is a thing these days, and has been for a while now. Lord knows we’ve gone down that off-cambered road at least once or twice ourselves (a certain VW Mk4 Jetta wagon and Ford Focus ST come to mind). The fact is, though, that these days our preferences lean more toward the performance side of the aftermarket spectrum, and we’re quite pleased that many of our customers feel the same way. Take Bryce Allen and his VW Mk5 GTI for example.
Bryce has been employed by the US Military and over the last few years has spent a great deal of time away from the US. It’s hard work and we respect him for it, and early on he shared with us that having a project car back home to focus on helps keep him distracted from the realities of his occupational duties and also, as he puts it, “it just simply helps the time away from home go by more quickly.” When he first brought his Candy White GTI Bryce wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with it, besides make it faster, handle better, look meaner, etc. It was his baby but he was comfortable leaving some of the details up to us. We enjoy that when it happens.
We suggested building the car in stages, with stage one consisting of all the basics such as simple engine mods, a coilover suspension swap, wheels and tires, some exterior and interior changes – all in all, nothing too crazy (stage two will cover crazy…). We took the basic performance upgrades part of the build seriously, and recommended to Bryce a set of KW V3 fully adjustable coilovers, some choice AWE Tuning engine bolt-ons (FSI CCB intake and performance turbo-back stainless steel exhaust), some uprated brake pads and stainless steel lines, and some beefy wheels and tires.
The wheels are 18×9 satin-black forged fifteen52 Ken Block Turbomacs and the tires are 235/40 Nittos. The size and offset of the wheels meant that some arch work was going to be necessary for them to fit, even without a slammed suspension “stance.” Fortunately for Bryce, we’d recently released our bolt-on motorsport flare kit for the VW Mk5 Golf. Adding flares over stock skinny arches doesn’t do anything for extra clearance, so the car was taken to our boys at Ranz Motorsports in South El Monte and before long we had Randy cutting and welding. The front arches are simple – just cut along your chosen radius and bolt on some 52 flares.
The rear arches are very different. There’s a structural component to the rear quarter panels that has the metal inner fenders seam welded to them. It’s an incredibly strong chassis point and excellent for keeping road debris from penetrating deep into the chassis recesses. When a radius is cut on the rear quarter panel it bypasses the welded area and leaves a very flimsy and open area. It looks bad but for Randy it’s no big deal as he reshapes the inner fender area and then seam welds it to the trimmed quarter panel.
With all that body work being done, why not just repaint the car? And while you’re at it, Randy, why not make it that really awesome BMW Urban Green? Cool, thanks… The VW Thunder Bunny front and rear bumpers looked sharp when they were white, but in the new shade of green they give the car an even more purposeful and sinister look. Some new darker headlights and taillights complete the new mean vibe.
With Bryce back Stateside and enjoying his GTI, we’re not exactly sure when stage two begins, but when it does he’ll be seeing a big bump in power, braking, interior function and who knows what else. Ready when you are, Bryce.