It’s well known that we’re supporters of all aspects of car culture on Speedhunters.
This comes across as tiresome to a lot of you, particularly when it comes to areas of car culture that some consider irredeemable (hello there, onikyan). While we always try to see the best in things, the truth is that each Speedhunter has his or her own opinions on pretty much every thing car related.
There are a lot of things we agree on, but likewise, there’s probably an equal amount on which we don’t. Amongst us, the Volkswagen scene is a pretty consistent divider of opinions. Some have tried, but fail to see the attraction. Others don’t even want to give it a chance.
I’ve probably come to the defence of the scene more than most, but I’d like to think that I’ve aimed my fair share of criticisms at it, too. Nothing within our community should be beyond reproach and we should all be free to change our opinions at any time when presented with valid arguments.
What I’m trying to dance around here is that I personally don’t like every facet of the VW scene. Hell, I wasn’t even a German car guy growing up. My formative years involved Ford rally cars and my late teenage years were all about that JDM life. It was only a chance encounter with some English gentleman and his black MKV GTI that converted me some years ago.
It was that particular car, in that exact stage of its evolution, that helped me to define exactly what made my kind of Volkswagen. It should be clean, subtle and it should be quick.
Basically, everything Lasse Jensen’s MKV R32 Turbo is.
There was a little bit of luck and social media reach required in securing this feature. You can probably guess by the rolling backdrop that these photos were taken in Austria, and you would be correct.
It was a day or two beforehand that I spotted Lasse’s MKV at Turbo Kurve during a combined photo and Instagram Live session.
There are a lot of clean cars at Wörthersee, so when this stood out from within a crowd of its peers, it immediately had my attention. To be frank, the first thing that really caught my eye was the quality of the paintwork.
I once owned a Black Sapphire Metallic BMW 3-Series, which taught me that I did not have the patience required to maintain black paint. Undoubtedly, it was a stunning finish when it was freshly washed, polished and waxed but that would usually last about a day before it was inevitably covered in a fine layer of grime which just took the sheen (literally) off it.
Also, I’ve never had a car that was shit on so much by my local feathered friends. Again, literally.
It was a hard colour to maintain because it would also highlight any imperfections instantly. I spent more time chasing swirl marks, holograms and wipe marks than I did driving it (not literally).
When I started looking around Lasse’s car, I couldn’t find a single imperfection. Not one. The flake in the metallic was glistening in the absurdly harsh sunlight but the sun’s reflection highlighted not a single flaw.
A conversation with Lasse would reveal that the car was re-painted in its original black in 2017, but that was still two years ago and the car was driven to Wörthersee from Denmark. That’s not a casual spin down the road.
The next thing I started to appreciate was the car’s stance in its aired-out state. ‘Tucking’ is big in Europe, as it gets around most of the incredibly strict rules with regards to wheel fitment, so this wasn’t a surprise.
It also allows most to run a full size tire if they wish, avoiding the issue of stretching the tyre just to make a wheel fit. While it might appear that it has negative-six-million-degrees of camber, that all comes back into spec as the car raises up to its driving height.
I did notice the wider front fenders (again, a normal sight at Wörthersee) but I didn’t initially spot the carefully feathered line in the paint.
The fenders were full carbon but with only an inch or two of their weave exposed. Subtle, but a nice reward for anyone looking closely enough around the car.
The wheels themselves are proper centre-lock OZ Ultraleggera HLTs in 19×8.5-inch ET53 mounted on Hoffman Racing centre-lock adapters on the original 5×112 hubs.
The brakes, while Porsche branded, are actually Audi sourced. The fronts, with discs measuring 390x36mm are paired with RS6 six-piston calipers. The rears are four-piston calipers from an Audi R8 with a separate functioning handbrake caliper and 356x32mm discs.
While ride-height and wheel fitment are incredibly subjective matters, I do like the result. It’s simple and clean with a nice OEM+ vibe, particularly at driving height.
What interested me most was the fact that it was clearly on air, but had ‘Bilstein‘ written on the side. As it turns out, he has used Bilstein struts with adjustable top mounts in conjunction with Air Lift Performance 3P management for ride control.
There’s also Powerflex bushings all around to help keep everything tight.
There’s been no revolution inside the car, because there really doesn’t need to be one. An upgraded MFSW from a Golf MK6 R, along with an updated navigation head-unit from the same model are the major interior improvements.
The much sought after Recaro wingbacks were fitted to the car at the factory, although the Pleie-Sport half-cage was added sometime later. The requisite Air Lift Performance controller has been neatly mounted in place of the factory ash tray.
All the trim parts have been painted a particular shade of grey from Audi.
The exact moment when all of this evolved from ‘this is nice’ to ‘MUST SHOOT IMMEDIATELY’ was the discovery of a rather large turbocharger mounted to the 3.2-litre R32 motor.
While it’s still a work in progress, the Garrett GTX3582R Generation II boost-maker currently helps the AWD MKV to over 350hp, an increase of 100hp over stock. I’m sure there’s even more to come, but it’s easy to forget that 350hp is a decent amount of power in a street car.
Most of everything in here was custom made, including the (mostly) hidden from view intercooler and exhaust manifold, although the latter does connect to a Milltek exhaust system. The intake manifold is by HGP.
It’s not the sort of car that will change the world, but then again, it’s a pretty good reminder that not every build has to. It has just enough in every area to make it stand out, whilst remaining subtle enough that the ordinary commuter will have no idea what might lie beneath. Even the average enthusiast might not appreciate what’s in front of them until things are pointed out.
There’s a lot of thought and careful consideration in here, improving the things which might need improving whilst leaving things that work alone. It’s a lesson in restraint and flawless execution.
Who knows, maybe this might show some more people that not all Volkswagens are just wheels & low? One can hope.
Owner: Lasse Jensen (@lasse_r32t)
Cutting Room Floor