Volkswagen wouldn't do it, so Doug Neilson did it himself. He brought an R32 into Canada-almost. Using a 2004 GTI with the 2.8-liter, 24-valve VR6 as the base, he worked with HPA Motorsports in Vancouver to get all the necessary 4Motion hardware across the Atlantic. One hundred labor hours later, an R28 emerged from the garage complete with independent rear suspension, fully integrated ESP and the close-ratio European-spec gearbox. The only thing missing was the quicker steering rack and the big front brakes. Neilson used Brembos off a Boxster instead.
Thanks to a careful selection of the right power parts, the 2.8-liter engine puts out nearly the same juice as the 3.2 (235 bhp vs. 240). Schrick 264/260 cams play a big part, as does a custom ECU program from HPA, a Euro-spec dual downpipe/catalytic converter pipe sections and a Blue Flame cat-back exhaust. And to top it off, Neilson's R28 weighs 200 pounds less than an R32, giving it a more favorable power-to-weight ratio and greater agility in the corners.
One could say that if he added up the cost of the base car, the new parts and the labor, Neilson could've bought himself something on the order of a new S4, but when you're an obsessive, you kinda stop listening to everyone else.
This month's Obsession brought to you by Mothers www.mothersreflections.com
Engine2.8-liter V6, dual overhead cams, four valves per cylinder
Mods Schrick 264/260 cams, HPA custom ECU, K&N filter, Euro-spec dual downpipes and catalytic converters, BlueFlame cat-back exhaust
DrivetrainSix-speed close-ratio Euro-spec gearbox, 4Motion all-wheel drive system, HPA short shifter
SuspensionKW V1 coilovers, Neuspeed 22mm rear anti-roll bar, Performance Products custom stainless-steel adjustable control arms, corner balancing
BrakesPorsche/Brembo four-piston calipers, 13.1-inch cross-drilled rotors (f)R32 calipers, slotted rotors, stainless-steel braided brake lines (r)
Wheels and TiresOZ Superleggera, 8x17Yokohama AVS ES100, 225/45-17