What can our GTI daily also do? Win at autocross.

Tom
Update by Tom Suddard to the Volkswagen Golf GTI project car
Sep 20, 2023 | SCCA, Volkswagen, Autocross, VW, GTI, Mk7 GTI

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Can one car really do it all? That’s the question we keep asking of our Mk7 GTI, and it keeps answering “Yes.”

That answer came yet again when we registered our daily driver in a local autocross hosted by the Central Florida Region SCCA at Daytona International Speedway. We entered the GTI in Street Touring H, competing in a class of seven cars against one other GTI, a few Cobalt SSs, and a Focus ST.


Photography Credit: Chris Tropea

Oh, and we did the event on hard mode, using the same 340tw Continental street tires we’ve been running, and sharing the car with a second driver to make sure our GTI was good and heat-soaked on the 90-degree Florida day.

Despite these disadvantages, though, the GTI pulled off a miracle: First in class by nearly half a second, with flawless reliability all day.


Photography Credit: Chris Tropea

Out of 146 entries, we finished 40th in raw time and 34th in PAX. What does this mean? Well, we might not have a nationally competitive car (or driver), but we can certainly check “local autocross” off the list of achievements for the Volkswagen.

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Comments
Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
9/20/23 10:26 a.m.

Aside from landing a sweet jump, is there anything the GTI can't do?

It's almost annoying that with a few software upgrades and a few bolt-on handling improvements, it's darn near unstoppable.

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
9/20/23 10:43 a.m.

In reply to Colin Wood :

Yeah I really like the GTI, I may be a bit biased though since I have owned two of them. It was a blast to drive at the autocross and actually made me feel like I knew what I was doing, even if I was much slower than Tom. 

flatlander937
flatlander937 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
9/20/23 2:59 p.m.

They're such insanely good "do it all" cars. Due to the hood vent on mine (to help with heat for track shenanigans), I'm in XA now (but is otherwise a very under-prepped STH legal car)... but this past weekend I could have PAX'd 2nd in STH of 84 drivers.

Even with the XA hit in PAX I managed 1/8 in XA, 5/84 in raw time, and 9/84 in PAX. 

And then drove home in comfort getting 35ish mpg.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
9/20/23 3:14 p.m.

We're back at the Speedway this weekend. If anyone is interested, I don't know if there's a cap on entries, but it's probably not too late to enter. 

TR7
TR7 Reader
9/20/23 3:25 p.m.

In reply to flatlander937 :

Sidebar; How are you all getting 30+ MPG in these? My stock car, with 17" Vredestein quatracs (previously General AS05) on a flatland mostly rural commute at a consistent (40 miles, 5 lights) 60-65mph nets me 29 mpg every time... 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
9/20/23 3:44 p.m.

No idea, but I routinely see low-30s on the highway. It's mid-high 20s around town.

Is yours a DSG or a manual transmission?

 

ConiglioRampante
ConiglioRampante Reader
9/20/23 4:59 p.m.

VW left a lot of performance for the owner to unlock, and y'all have shown some good, reasonable ways to go about getting it without spending a massive amount of money.

I've read in the past -whether true or not- that VW sells the GTI in a conservative tune because they don't want to cannibalize Golf R sales (didn't Porsche issue similar statements regarding the Boxster/Cayman relative to the 911?)

Anyway, it sure would have been nice if we could have received some of the special GTI's over the years like the GTI TCR and it's 290hp motor straight from the factory and with a warranty.

But, that's why the aftermarket exists.

Good job of building and not "ruining" the car, as that was one of your stated goals.yes

flatlander937
flatlander937 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
9/20/23 10:20 p.m.
Tom Suddard said:

No idea, but I routinely see low-30s on the highway. It's mid-high 20s around town.

Is yours a DSG or a manual transmission?

Not sure if that was for me or not - but mine is a 7 speed DSG. It has much lower cruising RPMs in 7th than the 6MT or 6 speed DSGs did. The 6 speed has completely awful gearing for motorsports, but also the highest cruising RPMs in 6th. It's pretty lousy and one of the reasons I'm glad I got a DSG (though I was initially indifferent to them).

 

You can download that calculator I made here. You'll need to just save it to your own Drive or download as an Excel file.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ezjBq_R2CqX6rWkhbwprIFYRapoghEK_/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=110828156993139591434&rtpof=true&sd=true

 

 

TR7 said:

In reply to flatlander937 :

Sidebar; How are you all getting 30+ MPG in these? My stock car, with 17" Vredestein quatracs (previously General AS05) on a flatland mostly rural commute at a consistent (40 miles, 5 lights) 60-65mph nets me 29 mpg every time... 

I've actually hypermiled mine a few times and gotten closer to 40mpg when I had the stock all-seasons. (I make a regular ~120mi round trip 2x every other weekend - it consists of cruising at 65mph with 1 traffic light before I get to the highway, and only 1 when I need to get back on). I think a big part of that is because of the DQ381 as outlined above. 

I will add: I RARELY do that anymore since it's way more fun when tuned. I have a lower boost map and I've found that keeping that one loaded for day to day driving has a HUGE affect on mpg - my full beans map will make 20psi at 2500rpm which only really requires tickling the throttle pedal when cruising on the highway.

To clarify further: If I REALLY want to drive nicely, it's not hard to get good mileage. Usually when leaving VIR I drive pretty restrained cruising home on Rt58, and while I'll be getting 35-37mpg (indicated on the dash, which is optimistic by a couple mpg usually) specifically from there to home... that gets averaged out with me hooning around and having fun to bring it way down.

Here is my actual mileage log since I made a sort-of "app" to track it on my phone - it's important to note that I've made 90 different tune revisions since March and I also work from home now... so literally the only times it gets driven is if I'm on my way to a race track, an autocross, or going out and doing 3rd gear pulls to fiddle with something on the tune.

You can see that after the one fillup after a VIR trip, I essentially drove the car home and parked it, then drove it all highway. 99% sure I wasn't truly hypermiling it (as the last time I did that wasn't anywhere near recent)... just going the speed limit and that's it (65 or 70mph here).

 

Edit: And here's a snip of right before I flashed a tune to my car for the first time - I didn't start logging until this point, but I had been getting 34-35 consistently without really trying too hard. I didn't think to start recording this stuff until I thought about tuning the car for reference:

TR7
TR7 Reader
9/21/23 7:35 a.m.

In reply to flatlander937 :

Thats some good info, thanks!

GrDeleto
GrDeleto GRM+ Memberand New Reader
9/30/23 3:27 p.m.

In reply to flatlander937 :

Strange Question, but how about the GLI? I.e the "gti sedan" I barely see any when it comes to autocross. Is their a reason why or?

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