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Mean machine makeover

2007-03-16 13:33

The Sportech MMM Golf GTi will feature some of the biggest wheels yet seen on a Golf5, and will make significantly more power than standard thanks to a bigger turbocharger.

Sportech, SA's leading optical tuner, is building the ultimate Golf5 GTi to showcase the company's talents at the Castrol Extreme Show, which kicks off on April 27. Dubbed Mean Machine Makeover, the Sportech project will represent the pinnacle of the automotive tuner's craft in terms of visual styling, performance, handling/braking, interior, and in-car entertainment. MMM is sponsored by P.Cubed, an information technology and logistics company.

But the P.Cubed Mean Machine Makeover will not be just about building one very special car. The project will hopefully also act as a career launch pad for Travis Maddocks, a fourth year Industrial Design student at the University of Johannesburg.

Travis won an internal competition in which 10 top students were invited to submit designs of what their ultimate hot Golf would look like, and his prize is not only a high-end Dell laptop loaded with Autodesk Viz design and visualisation software, but the opportunity to work with the Sportech team as they incorporate elements of his design into the finished product!

Going well beyond what is traditionally seen in a sector where bling has become the byword, Sportech?s interpretation is likely to feature such innovations as in-car internet, a once-off interior with custom leather from upholstery experts, Philton, and probably the largest diameter wheels yet seen on a Golf5. All the fundamentals will remain largely as before (for example, the 2,0-litre turbocharged powerplant will be used as the basis for motive force), but in terms of the details there will be huge changes.

Expect a lot more power and torque thanks to a larger turbocharger from American VW specialists, APR. To prove the efficacy of the changes, Sportech will pit a standard GTi against the modified car at the high-tech Gerotek testing facility. Not only acceleration will be measured, but braking too: because the modded car will be carrying a fair amount of extra weight it is going to need the uprated brakes (which means bigger discs and multi-piston calipers) that Sportech's head honcho Chad Wentzel plans on fitting.

As well as the mechanical changes, the Sportech Golf will be a piece of automotive eye candy second to none. Wentzel isn't giving too much away at this point, but it is safe to say that it'll showcase the very best in body addenda, paintwork (from Standox, which has a lifetime warranty on its products), and craftsmanship in terms of fit and finish.

The body kit will be complimented by a ground-hugging stance thanks to suspension designed to radically enhance cornering ability. A firm believer in using premium components, it is likely that Wentzel will fit Eibach springs and dampers, coupled to Continental tyres and a mixture of Foose and Khan wheels.

With modern electronics and components, the sky is the limit when it comes to car sound. Expect the Sportech offering to not only be loud in terms of its ICE (built around a Rockford Fosgate system), but sweet-sounding too. It will be linked to a pair of Audiovox DVD players built into the front headrests. But it is the internet connectivity which is going to create a stir: the car will use modern portable broadband technology to enable fast internet access - on the move.

During the build process, Sportech's technicians and craftsmen will be filmed conceptualising, designing, stripping, and then building and finishing off the car, with regular updates on Car Torque, the popular SABC3 motoring show. This will capture the excitement, the creativity, the mistakes (and the agony and anger which inevitably goes with them), and the tension of working to a strict deadline.

Think of it as reality TV with a strong automotive flavour, similar concepts enjoying huge success in the USA, with the likes of Overhaulin, Rides, and American Hot Rod drawing massive television audiences. In addition, a dedicated website is being set up and will be live by the end of March: www.meanmm.co.za, where petrolheads can keep abreast of developments as the car is fettled for its end-April unveiling.


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