Ah, the elusive VW R32! This high-performance Golf GTi variant is a much-coveted vehicle that never got the love VW/Audi enthusiasts demanded in Canada. The R32 never shipped to Canada for the MK4 model year so we had to live its performance dreams through lucky owners south of the border. One such lucky person is Genaro Romero from New Jersey. Genaro recalls dreaming of owning a R32 while in high school but little did he know he would stumble into ownership sooner than later.
Ironically, this 2004 R32 came in as a trade while Genaro worked at a local Honda dealership. He had a quick glance at the car but immediately noticed something distinctly odd – it had a boost and A/F gauge! A closer inspection revealed the R32 was indeed turbo-charged when he opened the hood and found a HPA FT450 turbo kit complete with two stealthy side-mount intercoolers! Jackpot. Genaro had found his dream car with some very respectable bonus mods so he took the plunge and bought the blue beauty.
All the performance mods were nicely taken care of by the previous owner so that only left the aesthetics for addressing. The car came with stock VW wheels so that was Genaro’s first order of business – getting fitted! After careful consideration, he went with a very aggressive set of CCW LM5 wheels in 18×9 3″ lip trim in front and 18×10 4″ lip sizing out back. Keeping it low to the ground are a set of KW Suspension Variant 3 Coilovers paired with Koni springs in the rear for more droppage.
We love the aggressive fitment with the huge LM5 lips! To make it all fit, Genaro had to run a -5.5 camber spec to make it just perfect.
Specs: 2004 VW R32 DBP with a HPA FT450 kit
• HGP R30 Garrett Ball Bearing based hybrid turbo
• Custom compressor housing
• Integrated recirculation valve
• Custom exhaust housing with integrated wastegate
• Flow-benched Cast exhaust manifold with external Oxygen sensors
• Short Runner Cast Aluminum Intake Manifold
• (Upgraded) Side Mount Intercoolers with velocity air shrouding
• Stainless Steel Exhaust Manifold Heatshield
• Flow Optimized cast downpipe feed
• 70mm downpipe with integrated flexjoint featuring interlocked liner hose for better flow
• Custom wrapped Silicone piping with stainless steel clamps
• High flow fuel injectors
• Head spacer plate to lower compression to 8.5:1
• Braided Stainless Steel Oil Feed Line
• Oil Return lines
• Water inlet and return lines
• Performance ECU upgrade
• High Flow Fuel Pump
• High Flow Catalysts (100 Cell)
• Race Grade Connecting Rod Bearings
• Raceware Head Studs
• High Flow Mass Air Flow Sensor
• 268/264 Schrick Cams
• Milltek Full Exhaust
• VF Engine Mount, transmission, and dog bone
• South Bend Clutch stage 4 with single mass flywheel
• (Stock seats) Konig leather/Cloth bucket seats
• AEM Wideband gauge
• Auto Meter boost gauge
• KW Suspension Coilovers Variant 3 (Konis rear springs)
• CCW 3 piece LM5s (Front 18×9 3”lip, Rear 18×10 4”lip)
It’s been two years and Genaro informs us he’s not sick of the car one bit yet. I’d share the same sentiment if I had the pleasure of owning a R as well. But until then, we’ll just admire this beast from afar and give Genaro respect where it’s due. Thanks to Frank Cervone for shooting this feature and Genaro for sharing his ride with our readers!