THERE WAS A TIME AROUND 1990 when to achieve a 20% increase in power output form an engine, an enthusiast would have to fork out a considerable amount of cash to achieve such ends. In fact it would result in some R8 000, which could include a cashaft, banana-branch, free-flow exhaust and other minor upgrades.
Remember in 1990 R8 000 was a bag-full of money, with the car also remaining in the workshop for up to two days. The story has cahnged somewhat nowadays. For a similar increase in power, with an Uosolte chip and tuning, you leave the car for a day and fork out R3 199.00 - and they're extremely thinner rands - very big bucks. And what you get is a car with an engine untouched by hand in mechanical terms and with better results.
You see it's not only the outputs that are higher but they're of a more linear nature. Turbolag is also virtually non-existent while the already quick throttle response is better than before. And this is well proven on the road. The Upsolute GTI performed extremely well. In fact it's turned out to be a Subaru WRX and Audi TT 1.8 T fighter.
To get the car ready in time Upsolute received a brand-new GTI the afernoon before my test, with just 250km on the clock. Any mackie will tell you that things only start loosening on the car with around 4 500km, naturally at a retired Sunday-school-choirmaster's pace it could take much longer.
Result? The GTI slammed the zero to 100 in 6.8 seconds with the exit speed at the end of the quarter mile at 157km/h! Extremely quick for a car that stands you in at around R249 000 and will the chip and tuning included makes it almost as quick as its kissing cousin Audi 1.8 TT's 6.7 seconds. Experience has shown that with around 4 000km of sporty driving it should be possible to shave a further two tenths of a second off.
I attempt on various accasions to catch the turbo off guard by flooring the car at around 1 500rpm - but no go, it responded sweetly and effortessly. And that is perhaps what mostly impresses. No doubt the FSI injection system with its capacity to improve gas-charge detanation is a good start to achieve those quick throttle respones - and seemingly bettered with this Upsolute optimisation.
In all performance parameters the Upsolute GTI only came unstuck in one - the 120 to 160km/h acceleration test in 4th gear at 6.6 seconds, which is identical to the standard GTI. Perhaps fuel consumption was heavier this no doupt in part due to the fact that such great produced a new, lead accelerator foot!
This upgrade takes the Golf GTI into new territory - and in the process surprises those on the receiving end, too.