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Focus RS-chaser from ABT

2009-07-13 07:56
As much as the GTI moniker denotes VW hot hatch performance, prefixing ABT to it adds even more dynamic focus.

From his Kempten base, Hans-Juergen Abt’s technicians have prepared a well rounded performance and aesthetic upgrade for the sixth generation Golf GTI, encompassing engine, chassis and styling modifications.

The factory specification GTI’s bland rear styling is cured to an extent with a new rear spoiler and apron treatment, housing a split, vertically stacked quad exhaust system.

Around the front of the ABT GTI you’ll notice a radically redesigned grille and lip-spoiler, with vertically arranged daytime running lights embellishing a new front apron.

The styling package majors on red and black contrast finishes, which is a tad overbearing, spoiling the normally attractive BR alloy wheels for instance

Red and black Gothic contrast colour scheme a bit over the top, yet ABT's GTI VI is well differentiated from VW's MK V version, unlike the factory GTI VI.

Big power boost

As neat as the new styling bits are, any ABT badged VW product needs dynamic validity and the ABT GTI offers a two stage engine power upgrade to flesh out performance credentials.

The mellower ABT POWER kit is a simple ECU remap and performance exhaust set-up, which manages to bump the GTI’s 2.0 TSI output from 154- to 191kW, indicative of the very healthy latent power extraction margin VW has engineering into this engine.

For customers who wish to go Ford RS baiting, there is the POWER S tuning option.

The full house POWER S tuning package has ABT’s technicians coupling a new turbocharger to the 2.0 TSI engine, boosting power to 221kW and rounding off the 0-100km/h acceleration time to around six seconds.

Balancing the dynamic handling and deceleration demands of these increased power figures are both suspension and brake upgrades.

ABT's GTI sports a 30mm ride height reduction thanks to recalibrated ABT springs at all four wheel corners (which should sharpen handling responses slightly), and stops more resolutely courtesy of significantly larger 345mm diameter brake discs.

ABT’s interior upgrades are slightly questionable in taste, with the red contrast accents and stitching coming off as a decidedly haphazard exercise in cabin embellishment.


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