Built by Boba Motoring in Germany, the Golf started out as a homely, humble hatchback. It led a quiet life until it was selected to receive a heart transplant. The stock engine was tossed out and replaced by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 16 valves borrowed from a third-generation Golf GTI. The swap made the Golf much more dynamic to drive, but it turns out that was just the beginning of the project.
Through nearly endless modifications, Boba Motoring cranked the turbo four’s output up to a volcano-awakening 1,233 horsepower and 806 pound-feet of torque. The list of upgrades includes bigger injectors, a re-mapped ECU, a turbo the size of a soccer ball, and upgraded cams. Internal components like the valves, the pistons, and the connecting rods were strengthened to handle the extra grunt; after all, the folks in Wolfsburg didn’t design the 2.0-liter to make four-digit horsepower figures.
That prodigious amount of power is channeled to all four wheels via a six-speed sequential transmission and a Haldex-type 4Motion all-wheel drive system sourced, surprisingly, from the Volkswagen parts bin. Weighing in at 2,600 pounds, the hatchback makes the Dodge Challenger Demon look like your dad’s old Super Beetle by blasting through the quarter mile in 8.6 seconds at 174 mph.
The performance figures are jaw-dropping, but what’s even more surprising about this Golf is that it looks 100-percent stock. To the untrained eye, it’s just a tired old Golf. There are no spoilers, no air vents, and no gimmicky air diffuser underneath the rear bumper. The story is the same inside, where the only hints of the grunt under the hood are a speedometer that goes up to 300 kilometers per hour and a few additional switches.
Updated 5-10-2017 by Ronan Glon: Corrected a technical error in the second paragraph.