Improving the performance of a 2.0 8V VW Golf (MkIV)

Well as you might be aware I used to have a 2.0L MkIV Golf (8-Valve engine) which in it stock form did not go all that well in terms of outright speed. I looked seriously at various options for improving its performance.

The options I found were
1) Replace the engine
2) Turbo or super charge the engine
3) Chip (modify the ECU)
4) Suspension

Replacing or force inducting the engine really cost a lot of money and cause issues with resale, insurance and registration – its a hassle and its bloody expensive.

Chipping the car only gains approx 5kW if you are lucky and warranty is not happy, insurance can get grumpy with you but it has some potential to improve the driveability in the mid range – force induced cars seem to fare much better with chipping.

Suspension – believe it or not this is probably the best place to spend your money with your 2.slow! In stock form it has woeful body roll (the chassis is not very stiff) and this can cost you severly on and in the corners.

My solution: Test drive lots of cars (Renult Clio Sport and the ilk) and settle on buying a MY00 Audi S3.

The S3 is a 1.8L Turbo Charged (K04) outputting 154kW (122.7kW @ wheels) in stock form 3 door hatch weighing in at 1488kg’s but having the haldex based quattro system providing excellent traction when you need it – full review to follow at a later date.


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