VW Golf GTI Mods An Extensive How To Guide

With the seventh generation of the Volkswagen Golf, we also received one of the most potent reiterations of the GTI and, respectively, the legendary 2.0 TSI. It goes without saying that Volkswagen really held nothing back and, luckily for them, it all paid out properly. And even though they did a great job, YOU can actually improve on their foundation with GTI mods. Specially designed to cater to the needs of those drivers that are looking for more, GTI mods are a surprisingly fast and accessible way of getting the full experience out of your car.

In the following paragraphs, we’ll cover the ways through which you can transform your car and make it even better than it already was. Yes, that’s actually possible. After all, there’s always room for improvement. We’re going to start off smooth and easy: with some good, old appearance tweaks.


If you want to make a change in the appearance of your car, wheels are the easiest GTI mods that can get this particular job done. In reality, you’re not doing more than swapping out your old stock wheels for something different. But the aftermaths of this modification will be definitely visible, trust us. In terms of performance, you’re not going to gain much out of it. Sure, better-quality wheels that are also more compatible with your car and its prowess will just work better overall. Don’t expect any horsepower or torque gains, though. We’ll get to that later.

So, should you decide that new wheels are now on your to-do list, you have to also decide where you’re going to get your wheels from. Us? We have several recommendations.

#1 Forgestar

Forgestar is a company with tradition, especially in terms of their amazing collaboration with BMW. But they’re not a BMW exclusive brand so, fortunately, your VW Golf will also benefit from the mastery of their wheels. More specifically, we recommend the Forgestar F14 Wheels for Volkswagen 18″ 5x112mm.

Features (as seen on Mod Bargains):

  • Customizable wheels offer the option of much meatier tires;
  • Flow form design offers durability of a forged wheel at a value price;
  • Lightweight design reduces unsprung weight for better handling & acceleration;
  • TPMS compatible so no annoying TPMS light*;
  • (*Installation of TPMS sensors from OEM wheels or new sensors required, of course);
  • Big brake friendly design clears aftermarket kits and OEM calipers;
  • Available with custom offsets and 5 and 6-lug bolt patterns to suit the needs of even the most customized vehicle;
  • Fits nearly any vehicle because every set is custom made to your exact specs!

The Forgestar are flow-formed alloy and extremely lightweight, but their stand-out trait has to be the extremely eloquent custom service. Whatever kind of odd specifications your wheels might have, Forgestar is going to make you a set of wheels on order so they can fit right in. Plus, it’s not just all about the size and adjustments. They have an impressive variety of finishes, so if you find yourself daring enough to “dress” your car with neon pink wheels, go for it!

Available Finishes:

  • Gloss Black;
  • Matte Black;
  • Textured Black;
  • Silver;
  • Gunmetal;
  • Textured Gunmetal;
  • Frost White;
  • Race Gold;
  • Brushed Black;
  • Semi Gloss Black;
  • Brushed Charcoal;
  • Brushed Titanium;
  • Carbon Overlay – 100% real carbon fiber overlay;
  • Karbon Overlay- This is a carbon fiber look overlay.

#2 HRE

We strongly believe that it’s a high chance for these HRE FF01 Flow Form Wheels for VW to win you over. This is because they’re good-looking, they look extremely exquisite, yet they’re relaxingly affordable to the budget of a Golf owner.

Features (as seen on Mod Bargains):

  • Killer looks with a high-depth durable Liquid Silver powder coated finish;
  • Grip the road and pass cars on the outside lane with the added traction of extra wide wheels;
  • Sets your vehicle apart from other boring VWs with an eye catching aggressive split-7 spoke design;
  • Don’t get left in the dust & be faster off the line thanks to reduced un-sprung weight on your chassis;
  • High strength FlowForm production;
  • Durability of a fully forged wheel;
  • Lightweight and excellent value;
  • TPMS compatible;
  • Durable powder coated finish.


Well, then! Got yourself a new set of wheels? What’s the next step? Getting rid of that unsightly wheel gap might be a good start. While you’re it, you can also regulate the gravitational center of your car. There’s a lot to fix, but hardly any idea of where to begin looking. First of all, you will need to make the daunting decision of determining whether you’ll be using springs or coilovers for your GTI mods.

Differences between these two are of all kinds with the financial ones being the most substantial, some would say. Springs are definitely budget-friendly options, but definitely not if you’re planning on making this a long-term solution. Most of the springs are going to completely weigh down on your shocks/struts, so you’ll end up having to replace those too. This will end up with a more prominent gap in your wallet than if you were to go for coilovers.

Alternatively, most people run away from coilovers because they’re “too difficult to install,” “expensive,” and “only suitable for tracking.” It’s not necessarily that this isn’t true, but not entirely. If you luck out and find a proper brand, you’ll have no trouble installing them, searching your pockets for money, or worrying you won’t be able to take your kids for a ride through town. This is why we’re here with some recommendations for the brands that align best with your GTI mods collection.

#1 Vogtland

If you want to maintain the supple ride and the delicacy of your ride height, then we reckon you’ll be pleased with the Vogtland Sport Springs for 2012+ VW Golf / GTI. Every spring comes packed with pre-load characteristics and calibrations that make them able to preserve the ride quality of your car.

Features (as seen on Mod Bargains):

  • High Tensile Chrome-Silicone Alloy Springs;
  • Sold as a Set [Front/Rear];
  • Sporting Ride Characteristics offer Performance AND a Comfortable Ride.

Ride Height:

  • 4″ Drop for all except GTI
  • 2″ Drop for GTI


  • VW Golf VII w/Multilink Rear Axle 2012+ (956142)
  • Golf VII w/Twist Beam Rear Axle 2012+ (956143)
  • GTI VII w/Multilink Rear Axle 2012+ (956146)

#2 H&R

Next up, if you’re looking for a firmer and sportier alternative, maybe you’ll enjoy the H&R Sport Springs for 2011-16 VW Golf R. They give a drop to your car that is going to rid it of the wheel gap that makes it look as if you’re driving around on wheels attached by stings. And, don’t worry, it’s all road compatible, of course.

Features (as seen on Mod Bargains):

  • Car lowered by .75″ in front and rear
  • More aggressive stance with reduced fender gap
  • Springs have a progressive spring rate
  • Body roll reduced for increased handling performance
  • Ride quality and driving comfort is maintained
  • Lowers car’s center of gravity for better cornering.


We assume you don’t just want your car to LOOK good, it needs to work well too, right? Well, this is probably the most entertaining part, seeing how the famed 2.0 TSI and its variations are incredibly modding-friendly. Since we’re focusing on turning your car into an all-around package this time around, we won’t jump into incredible details regarding power boosting. Generally speaking, all you need (for basics) to give a new edge to your driving experience is new GTI mods: an exhaust and an intake.

Unfortunately (we suppose), there are as many GTI mods as there are types of engines that you can find equipped on your vehicle, so take your pick. Locate your type, visualize the number, and then you’ll be able to see by how much the various performance GTI mods recommended next are going to help you improve on those gains.

Petrol engines
0–100 km/h
Top speedTransmissionNotes
1.0 TSI BlueMotion999 cc (61 cu in)115 PS (85 kW; 113 hp) at 5,000-5,500 rpm200 N·m (148 lb·ft) at 2,000–3,500 rpm9.7 s204 km/h (127 mph)6-speed manual
7-speed DSG (optional)
1.4 TSI BlueMotion1,390 cc (85 cu in)122 PS (90 kW; 120 hp) at 5,000 rpm200 N·m (148 lb·ft) at 1,800–4,000 rpm9.3 s203 km/h (126 mph)6-speed manual
7-speed DSG (optional)
1.6 MSI(non turbo charged)1,598 cc (98 cu in)110 PS (81 kW; 108 hp) at 3050 – 4800 rpm164 N·m (121 lb·ft) at 3400 – 4700 rpm13.6 s190 km/h (118 mph)5-speed manual2016 Brazilian entry model
1.8 TSI1,798 cc (110 cu in)172 PS (127 kW; 170 hp) at 4,800–6,200 rpm270 N·m (199 lb·ft) at 1,600–4,200 rpm7.6 s209 km/h (130 mph)5-speed manual
6-speed tiptronic automatic (optional)
North America
GTE1,395 cc (85 cu in)GTE Hybrid mode – 205 PS (151 kW; 202 hp) at 3,750–6,000 rpm
Electric Motor – 100 PS (74 kW; 99 hp)
Petrol Motor – 150 PS (110 kW; 148 hp)
350 N·m (258 lb·ft) at 1,500–4,000 rpm6.3 s222 km/h (138 mph)6-speed DSGEU
GTI1,984 cc (121 cu in)220 PS (162 kW; 217 hp) at 4,500-6,200 rpm350 N·m (258 lb·ft) at 1,500-4,400 rpm6.5 s246 km/h (153 mph)6-speed manual
6-speed DSG (optional)
GTI (with Performance Package)1,984 cc (121 cu in)230 PS (169 kW; 227 hp) at 4,700-6,200 rpm350 N·m (258 lb·ft) at 1,500-4,600 rpm6.4 s250 km/h (155 mph)6-speed manual
6-speed DSG (optional)
R1,984 cc (121 cu in)300 PS (221 kW; 296 hp) at 5,500-6,200 rpm380 N·m (280 lb·ft) at 1,800-5,500 rpm4.9 s250 km/h (155 mph)6-speed manual
6-speed DSG (optional)
Diesel engine
0–100 km/h
Top speedTransmissionNotes
1.6 TDI BlueMotion1,598 cc (98 cu in)90 PS (66 kW; 89 hp) at 2750 – 4800 rpm230 N·m (170 lb·ft) at 1400 – 2700 rpm12.9 s185 km/h (115 mph)5-speed manual
7-speed DSG (optional)
1.6 TDI BlueMotion1,598 cc (98 cu in)105 PS (77 kW; 104 hp) at 3,000–4,000 rpm250 N·m (184 lb·ft) at 1,500–2,750 rpm10.7 s192 km/h (119 mph)5-speed manual
7-speed DSG (optional)
2.0 TDI1,968 cc (120 cu in)110 PS (81 kW; 108 hp) at 4,400 rpm250 N·m (184 lb·ft) at 1,500–2,500 rpm10.5 s190 km/h (118 mph)5-speed manual
2.0 TDI BlueMotion1,968 cc (120 cu in)150 PS (110 kW; 148 hp) at 3,500–4,000 rpm320 N·m (236 lb·ft) at 1,750–3,000 rpm8.6 s216 km/h (134 mph)6-speed manual
6-speed DSG (optional)
GTD1,968 cc (120 cu in)184 PS (135 kW; 181 hp) at 3,500–4,000 rpm380 N·m (280 lb·ft) at 1,750-3,250 rpm7.5 s230 km/h (143 mph)6-speed manual
6-speed DSG (optional)

Now, on to the fun part.


With a competent air intake, you will allow your engine to breathe better while also enhancing the sound and the performance. For quality high carbon products, a company like AWE Tuning seems like the most logical option for intake GTI mods. AWE has been around for a long time and they’re particularly famous for their mastery in intake and exhaust craftsmanship. In this case, we recommend no other than the MK7 GTI S-FLO Carbon Intake.

Features (as seen on AWE Tuning):

  • Fully sealed carbon fiber box and filter combination;
  • Max gains of 18hp and 18ft-lbs of torque at the crank;
  • Perfect integration with OEM inlet ducting;
  • Utilizes stock mounting locations;
  • UV stabilized resin and clear coat prevent yellowing from heat;
  • Filters are durable, and washable;
  • Designed, Engineered and tested in house at AWE Tuning;
  • No Check Engine Light – Guaranteed.
  • Perfect Fitment – Guaranteed.

Worth keeping in mind is that when you decide to opt for a sealed air box intake, you’ll have both advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, you will have consistent gains seeing how your car won’t draw in air that’s any hotter, anyway. On the other hand, the response might not be too happy about it. Regardless, though, for a smooth and all-around kind of performance, this is as good as it gets. Moreover, we admit – we didn’t mention the price for a reason. It’s a bit spicy, but that should be expected given the high-quality material.


An exhaust’s main function should be to provide your car with the sound it deserves, one that can reflect all the progress you’ve made with these GTI mods. But, also, it would be great if it would help with some gains too. Luckily, if you know where to look, you can find products that bring the best of both worlds. While the aforementioned AWE Tuning definitely works in case you want to rely on the same source for both pieces, Remus Innovation steals the thunder this round.You have several options at your disposal, but our recommendation has to be the REMUS Sport Exhaust for 2015+ VW Golf GTI [Mk VII].This complete-package piece includes a midpipe and tips trimmed with quad carbon fiber.

Features (as seen on Mod Bargains):

  • Dyno proven performance gains;
  • May increase fuel efficiency;
  • Deep, aggressive exhaust note;
  • Enhances your GTI’s appearance;
  • Dual-exit exhaust for sporty look;
  • Stylish quad exhaust setup.


  • Designed, developed and hand made in Austria;
  • High quality 304 stainless steel construction;
  • Durable ABS diffuser for quad or dual exhaust;
  • Backed by a 3 year/unlimited mile warranty.

Final Words

So, are you ready to hit up the stores to acquire any of these excellent GTI mods? Your Golf GTI is going to thank you, guaranteed. With some simple rounds of research, you will be surprised to discover just how easy it is to modify your GTI to your liking AND gain some performance bonuses.

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