Every other letter we get here at European Car seems to revolve around us "ignoring" our core VW/Audi group. There are complaints by people who say that we have forgotten VW/Audi all together and are nothing more than a BMW Magazine now. While it is true that in the past we had a substantial bit more VW/Audi coverage, we still average at least one VW/Audi article per issue. We also have BMW, Porsche, Mercedes, Mini, Lamborghini, Ferrari and even the occasional Alfa or something even more obscure in there.
The magazine is called "European Car" so it is appropriate that we focus on European Cars in general. We also intend to focus on performance cars. It has been a while since VW has built a real performance car. There was the R32, before that the Corrado and that was preceded by the Scirocco. Yes the GTI is a capable performance car. My mkII GTI is probably one of the best cars I have ever owned, but after that the GTI more or less lost its way. The new GTI is a great car, but is it a real European Performance car? I'm not really sure you can call it that.
Does it have great potential, yes definitely.
I had the chance to drive several of the cars that competed in the GTI event that VW put together for SEMA. They are awesome, but VW isn't building anything like that for mass consumption. We could bring you every tuner car that gets built out there, and we have done that in the past. Then we start getting letters about how we always cover the same cars, every month they are just different colors.
With that said, we are going to start a few online project cars. The first one you will see will be a mkIV 1.8t car. We aren't going to try and set dyno records or shatter any track times with it, but we are going to try and build a car that the average reader would be able to build themselves. A car that doesn't have an unlimited budget, something that could be done in stages, and something that a VW enthusiast would be proud to own.
A second project car will be on the way for people with either a bit more mechanical ability or the means to pay someone with a bit more mechanical ability. It will involve taking an affordable used VW and transforming it into something that VW should have built to begin with.
I am as big a VW/Audi fan as any of you out there. I have owned several VWs, at least one of each "A" platform from the mkI to the mkIV. I do not and have not owned a mkV, why? Partly it's financial, but even with unlimited funds for a project I am just not sure the new GTI is where I would start. Yes, I am one of those who still can't warm up to the new design, now the Audi A3 that is a whole'nother story.....