Project Schwarz Update Part 3


Project Schwarz : Update Part 3 

It's been too long since we've shared what we've been up to with our MK7 Golf TSI Project.  While we haven't gone wild, we've made quite a few updates to the suspension, the exterior, the wheels and tires, and even upgraded the turbo.  The new combination of parts still play well together and equate to a subtle yet effective package.  Not quite a wolf in sheep's clothing, but definitely more than a coyote.  Regardless of what animal you equate it to, it's a ton of fun and is still very easy on the eyes.  It's pretty clear that just because the Golf is the base model doesn't mean that it's not a very promising platform to build on, and we're confident that this project proves that conclusively. 

IS20 Turbo Upgrade

Sure, we could have gone the slightly more obvious and aggressive route of an IS38, or even larger turbo, but that would not really be in keeping with the budget build theme of this MK7. Clearly not everything was done on the cheap, but on the whole, dollar for dollar this has been very economical and represents a great value.  That said, our IS20 turbo came by way of our Project UA30. With only 12,000 miles on the clock when it was removed, it was basically new and best of all, free. Used IS20s are pretty much a dime a dozen, and the ones that were going to pop most likely would have already done so by now. That's not to say that there isn't potential for that to happen, but the cost is pretty easy to digest even in that worst case event. For us, it just made sense.  On top of the cost, the power band works well with the 5 speed transmission. While things do shift slightly higher, the turbo spools quickly and the increase in torque is extremely noticeable.  To take full advantage of the larger turbo, we flashed our ECU with APR's IS20 software file as this is an absolutely necessary step to maximize gains. 


12,000 mile used IS20 ready for install.

Comparison shot of the IS12 and the IS20

APR's power graph of approximately what numbers the Golf is making now.

The APR Turbo Inlet Pipe is an easy-to-install bolt-on upgrade that eliminates a restriction before the turbocharger. This was a great opportunity to make this upgrade at the same time. You can see more about this simple piece of hardware HERE.

Prototype BFI Stage 3 Lightweight Flywheel and Clutch Kit

With added power comes added...slippage? The factory clutch wasn't up to the task of handling the added power of APR's Stage 1 software on the IS12 turbo, so we knew that it would be the final nail in the coffin once we added even more power. As a result we set about adapting our already popular line of clutch kits to the 1.8T engine.  What we wound up with was a very stout kit that holds the added torque very nicely, while exhibiting the same characteristics of the other MQB kits. Pedal effort is firm but manageable, and while there is some added chatter from the flywheel, it is more than tolerable for street driving. We have not yet put a date on when these will go into production, and at the moment we are wanting to gauge interest on whether or not this is a product you'd purchase for your vehicle. If you're desperate, or just want to send some words of encouragement, we welcome the feedback sent to

Suspension Upgrades

In the interest of science, and also just because, we have installed several suspension options previously on the MK7. As an effort to get more experience we decided to change things up once again. Initially we just went with a set of Racingline lowering springs to see what the least expensive option could do.  Those offered a mild drop and a slightly sportier ride, but we knew we want the adjustability of coilovers to really get things right.  The next step was a set of ST Suspension coilovers, which drastically improved the feel and performance. While these were a decent option and a great upgrade, we ultimately knew we wanted even more adjustment and fine tuning. The ST was only ride height adjustable with preset damping and no provision for camber plates. 

BC Racing Coilovers

To get more features we looked to BC Racing, which is a well known and popular choice for this platform. We cannot recommend these coilovers enough. They are the perfect balance of comfort and performance, and with their adjustable front camber plates you are able to improve turn-in as well as wheel clearance with aggressive fitment. Damping is adjustable via an integral knob on the body which allows you to dial in the perfect feel for the application, whether city cruising or spirited mountain carving. 

In addition to the coilovers, we wanted to firm things up even more by installing our own solid rubber control arm bushings. By filling the voids that are normally present in the factory bushings, we can further limit movement and help to improve steering feel. There is absolutely no trade off in terms of comfort and these only help to upgrade the car from how it was delivered from the factory. This low cost option is very worthwhile, not only as a modification, but also as a repair to a likely already worn out bushing that is especially common in higher mileage vehicles. See more about these here: MK7 Golf Suspension

Wheels and Tires

Let's be honest. This is everybody's favorite game. Nothing changes the look of a car more than swapping on a set of new rollers. It's one of the most satisfying and fun things that you can ever do to a vehicle and that's why we like to do it often.  There isn't a better company out there than Rotiform when it comes to offering unique styles at affordable pricing, while setting the trends of the future. 

Rotiform LAS-R with AeroDisc Wheel Covers

There are a few wheel options from Rotiform that will accept their AeroDisc wheel covers. We liked the fact that the LAS-R give a rally inspired look, which pairs well with the motorsport vibe of the AeroDisc.  With these you have the option to run them in multiple configurations depending on your mood. You can opt to run with no discs, fronts only, rears only, or all four. To us the versatility and dynamic look are a breath of fresh air in an otherwise saturated space.  Using the discs as a canvas for your creativity you can make the anything you want, or leave them completely blank for a more minimalist approach. Rotiform has quite a few suggestions should you have trouble getting the creative juices flowing, and you can find them all here.


Our LAS-R are 19 x 8.5 ET 45

Black AeroDiscs 

Rotiform BLQ-C Wheels (Pre-release)

These yet to be released wheels are a reinvention of the wheel that started it all.  Drawing inspiration from Italian super cars, these wheels have been adapted perfectly to bolt directly onto your VW / Audi or other European car with no issue. Ours come in a 19 x8.5 ET 45 variety, and we have chosen to add our 10mm spacers to get a more aggressive and flush look. With that extra addition of spacer, does come a bit of rubbing in very select circumstances, however nothing that takes away from daily driving. The anthracite finish is a perfect complement to the black paint, and these give our MK7 Golf a monochromatic look, with a touch of contrast. See below for how they look installed!



Prototype Aero Parts from aerofabb

In a very short time aerofabb has made quite the name for themselves by manufacturing innovative and functional aero accessories for exclusively European vehicles. With their incredible attention to detail this small start-up has had a big impact on what the standard is for aftermarket accessories.  Each component is subjected to extensive torture testing which leads to multiple product revisions and in turn yields a seamless and reliable customer experience. Not only do these aero parts function as intended, but they also look great. With multiple styles to pick from, there's bound to be a fit for any customer. Thanks to their proprietary aerobrace and rugged construction, these parts will stand up to whatever speeds (or curbs) you can throw at them. 

Prototype Parts 

  • Front Splitter
  • Side Skirt Extensions
  • Rear Hatch Spoiler

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