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SPORT SUSPENSION ON GOLF GTI

alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210
edited March 17 in Volkswagen
In a Edmunds road test, it is mentionned that from
model year 2001, a sport suspension will be an
option on the Golf GTI's (and incidentally on the
Jettas as well).
I am considering to buy a 1.8T but I DO feel that
the car 'floats' a bit too much in hard cornering.
What 'MAKES UP' a 'sports suspension'? Is it
adding stiffer springs/absorbers ONLY, or is it a
package which involves anti-roll bars and other
reinforcements to the chassis?
If I purchase a 'soft' 2000 model, can I 'stiffen'
it in a reliable and performing way by simply
purchasing stiffer abs? (a helpful reader suggested
KONIs)...
And does anyone have reliable info regarding the
availability of such an option on the upcoming 2001
model? (the dealers, as usual have been useless in
answering my questions...)
Thanks in advance
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Comments

  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    If you go on the VW website, they actually sell sport springs through their accessories catalog. If you need a more complete package, I'd check out some place like Neuspeed. They sell performance suspension packages. Of course, you can probably kiss your warranty goodbye...
  • tognetertogneter Posts: 245
    First of all, I think (hope) that they're planning on finally making a fully independent suspension. Right now the rear is emi-independent, which causes that "floating" you're talkng about. It also has significant understeer. I always feel like I'm gonna go into the rail in this car.

    A fully independent setup would make a world of difference. I'd wait for it if this is the case.
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210
    I got my confirmation directly from VW's customer service center... the GLS 1.8T will indeed be offered with a sport suspension this fall... So that makes it simple for me... i will just wait!

    Thank you Lancerfixer and Togneter...
    Though I do disagree with you Tog on the fact that the semi-independent suspension is the cause... The cause for floating in my eyes in simply because the present suspension isn't stiff enough. Granted, American roads are full of pot holes compared with the West European roads, so I guess many people don't want to sacrifice comfort for handling. But in Europe, no one in their right mind would get the GTI with suspension as soft as they come with over here! But then, Europeans drive much faster on average... different market, different specs I guess...
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    If the car you want is available now, go for it. The aftermarket for VW suspension upgrades is huge. You can upgrade to one of several levels by working with a company like Neuspeed, and build a car that handles like YOU want it to. Suspension upgrades, if done reasonably, will not void your factory warranty - check out some of the legal info at the SEMA website.

    You can compensate for some of the Golf's shortcomings with aftermarket parts, but togneter is correct - VW's twist beam rear suspension won't provide the handling precision of a decent multi-link, fully independent set up.
  • tognetertogneter Posts: 245
    If you're worried about warranty stuff, VW now provides its own brand of upgraded springs. At least this is the rumor from my roommate who owns a GTI.

    I guess VW saw that people were upgrading their suspensions, so they figured that they might as well get in on the act, have their technicians do the work, and keep it all up and up.

    Check on this. I'm pretty sure our local dealer is doing it. They are probably just branded versions of another company's springs, so if you can find out what kind of springs they are, you can see if they're worth it.

    I'd still be inclined to wait on the factory sport suspension, though...
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210
    For your constructive remarks!
    Like I mentioned in another thread, I belong to the crowd which is somewhat wary when it comes to 'adding' non-original parts. Though I am perfectly aware that VW, like other manufacturers, overcharge for their 'own' branded equipment (which Togneter points out is certainly outsourced anyway).
    Silly me...
    But what do you guys think the 'suspension package' from VW would consist of? Would it be stiffer springs/abs, or would it include antiroll bars, reinforced struts and the like? All of a sudden, it may well be that a similar aftermarket upgrade would turn out to be expensive, if not cosmetically challenged?!
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210
    Since I am so lucky to have some handling experts here... what alternative car would you guys consider for a good combination of fun driving and convenience?
    I test drove the Si which was fun, but I am certain that the high revving engine would tire me on daily long highway drives... (tried that before!). Also, I think the car is seriously overpriced!

    But looking around, what can I see? If I had the choice, I'd bring in a Alfa Romeo 147 or 156 from Europe... but Alfa will not distribute them in the US before 2003... (now I know Alfa does not have a good name in the US... but the 156 is a beautiful car which litterally sticks to the road, and offers a choice of powerplants from 120 to 240bhp).
  • tognetertogneter Posts: 245
    ...both silver_bullet and myself.

    We both drive Focus ZX3s. This is a GREAT handling car. Refer to the Civic vs. Focus ZX3 thread for pots from both of us on this.

    I also encourage you to look at the June issue of Automobile Magazine, as I mentioned in the other thread.

    I also love Alfas, but that's 'cause my family's from Italia...
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210
    Actually, I am from Norway, but I do think that Italian cars (food, women, ...where does it stop!?) are great.
    It's funny though, because in Europe, you have a lot of hatchbacks to choose from. Peugeot, Alfa, Renault, Opel, Ford (Ka, Focus,...) Fiat, Seat, VW of course, but the list is so long, I wouldn't know where to start. Of course, I forgot ALL the Japanese cars. But see... that's exactly my point. Japanese cars, however good they are, are dead boring to me (and to most Europeans).
    I agree that the Focus is a very good and cool car. It's just that I've never been a Ford nor Opel (GM) kind'a guy. But maybe I should try one!

    WHAT DO I THINK IS REALLY A HOT HATCH?
    CHECK OUT THE LINK AND LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!www.alfa147.com/
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    Togneter is correct - since all those interesting Euro hatches aren't due to arrive stateside anytime soon (can you say "never"?), you owe it to yourself to drive the ZX3. I'm very pleased with mine, and have owned a wide range of cars - but almost no domestics, and only two Japanese vehicles (Miata and Civic CX hatch).
  • tognetertogneter Posts: 245
    I've always been a Euro car snob. In fact, the first time I saw the ZX3 was in Rome. I told the Ford dealer that until this car came along, I wouldn't even have slowed down on my way by a Ford dealership.
  • tognetertogneter Posts: 245
    I'd definitely try the Peugot 306 and the Renault Clio. The 306 speaks for itself, and I love the look of the Clio. It just looks like an angry little hatch ready to kick some a** =]
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210
    I agree wholeheartedly with you guys. It's great to see that some people 'over here' actually have some common sense when it comes to cars!!! - hey, I'm only joking!
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    No, I think you're right...I've been dodging WAY too many SUVs lately. As far as other small, nimble cars goes, No discussion is complete without bringing up the Acura Integra. Even in its base form, it's a wonderful handler. Step up to the GS-R or Type R, and hold on.
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210
    Togneter and Lancerfixer, I will join you in the other forum (ZX3 vs. Civic) to discuss that car (or maybe there is a more relevant forum).
    I agree with you regarding the Acura Integra. Drove it, loved it!

    Anyway, I don't have more to ad nor ask regarding the suspension topic for the GTI, so I guess I will leave this forum a bit idle for the time being...
    Again, thanks to both of you for wonderful input and see you soon to discuss the ZX3!
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210
    Ok... so it seems that VW is hearing the voice of Reason: the GTI 1.8t 2001 will come STANDARD with sports suspension. Now it all makes a lot more sense... (for those who want the softer ride, you can get the GLS with the same engine).
  • drewrdrewr Posts: 7
    I just bought a 2000 GTI 1.8T (manufactured on 4/17. It has the sport suspension (even lists it on the window sticker). It is very common for late availibility options/packages to come about as a result of sharing the remaining parts inventories (remember the 98/99 Wolfsburg package - it shared many trim pieces, as well as the rear brake discs of the GLX/GTI VR6)?

    I love it...marked improvement over the standard suspension (Continental tires from the Passat,as well).

    -Enjoy
  • drewrdrewr Posts: 7
    I just bought a 2000 GTI 1.8T (manufactured on 4/17. It has the sport suspension (even lists it on the window sticker). It is very common for late availibility options/packages to come about as a result of sharing the remaining parts inventories (remember the 98/99 Wolfsburg package - it shared many trim pieces, as well as the rear brake discs of the GLX/GTI VR6)?

    I love it...marked improvement over the standard suspension (Continental tires from the Passat,as well).

    -Enjoy
  • gtifreakgtifreak Posts: 1
    Bought a brand new 2000 GTI 1.8T. Power was nice, but car rolled and slid into the corners and the tires howled. Should I lower the car? Get some better springs? WAIT A MINUTE! What was that I said about the tires howling? CONTINENTAL 'ContiTouring'? WHAT THE HELL ARE THESE????? Into the garbage with these... Put on some nice Michelin PILOT's! Is this the same car? It handles like it's on rails now, just point and shoot. Beautiful!

    Moral of the story:

    All this talk about sport suspension makes you wonder...The car magazines say the Integra handles nice. Why? Because it comes with Bridgestone Potenza's or something decent. The Volkswagen is 'soft', 'rolls too much', blah, blah... If you have 'touring' tires, the sidewall bends more and the tire is made for a mushy ride and also harder, resulting in less grip. Why does VW put such silly tires on a good sports car? Try putting on a decent set of tires before worrying about changing the suspension or anything like that. I did, and it was the best $600 (CAN) I ever spent in my life.

    Cheers!
  • cascio1cascio1 Posts: 1
    Does the vr 6 come with the sports package too??
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