When something in perfectly good working order isn't good enough for you, that's an early warning sign. When you lie awake at night with numbers swirling around in your head, thinking about ratios, hardware, software and solutions, that's obsession. When you forsake food and sleep entirely, well, that's just plain stupidity.

Thankfully, Parin Bhatt, owner of this unsuspecting giant killer, hasn't gone that far. Instead, what started as a Mk III Golf VR6 with an ATP VR6 turbo kit has morphed into something entirely different. With the help of Dubwerks, one of Chicago's few hardcore VW tuners, Bhatt created a sleeper that's shown its taillights to more than a handful of seemingly faster cars. In the process, he's tried out three different turbos and had four different chips burned to get it exactly the way he wanted it. The result is 362 whp at 15 psi of boost. The power comes on early, the powerband is both thick and wide, and there's ample low-end torque for great drivability.

Aside from the intercooler sitting under the bumper, there are few obvious signs of its potency. Shaved of its emblems, rolling on relatively small 16s and purring quietly through a Techtonics exhaust, stealth has allowed Bhatt to leave more than a few slack-jawed in disbelief, his favorite being the driver of a Porsche 996.

And like a true obsessive, he's not satisfied. He's hoping to raise to boost to 26 psi.

1996 VW Golf VR6
EngineAutronic SMC engine management
Autronic CID firing box
JBE intake plenum
Innovative 60-1 turbocharger
Billet fuel line
Dubwerks intercooler piping
Magnecor wires
Aeromotive braided fuel lines
Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator
ATP exhaust manifold
550cc fuel injectors
Sard R2D2 blow-off valve
Tial 35mm wastegate
Techtonics exhaust
Automotorsports manual boost controller

Drivetrain
Peloquin differential
Werks of Art 3000-lb clutch
Synchromesh fluid
Velocity lightened flywheel

Suspension
Bilstein Pss9 coilover shocks and springs
Autotech anti-roll bars, 25mm (f) 28mm (r)
Eurosport rear strut bar
KCD full-race solid mounts
BBS RXII, 7x16
Kuhmo Ecsta Supra, 205/45-16

Brakes
Wilwood calipers and rotors
Braided stainless-steel brake lines

Exterior
OEM European bumpers, side moldings and turn signals
Hella smoked rear taillights
European front lip
Mattig 3 bar grille
Impro foglights

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