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alfaromeoalfaromeo Member Posts: 210
edited March 2014 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
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


  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Member Posts: 1,284
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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!

  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 1,284
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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).

  • drewrdrewr Member 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).

  • gtifreakgtifreak Member 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.

  • cascio1cascio1 Member Posts: 1
    Does the vr 6 come with the sports package too??
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Member Posts: 210
    I hear you... the standard tires may not be top notch. But nevertheless, I test drove two Audi A4 with the 1.8 t engine. Same tires, but one was equipped with a stiffer suspension. It was a world of a difference.
    Also, back in Europe, the cars have 'overall' a stiffer suspension than they do here in the US. I do not advocate stiff suspensions for use on 'all' roads in the US since there are a lot more potholes here!
    It's a matter of preference at the end of the day. I like my car to lie flat while cornering, at the possible expense of a harder ride.
  • tutoo7tutoo7 Member Posts: 10
    I just bought a GTI 1.8T and I dont if its just bs,but on the sticker like drewr it says on the sticker "sport suspension". Is this really nothing?
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Member Posts: 210
    I you check a few threads up, someone else noticed that too...

    I don't really know... if it says so, I guess it is!

    How do you like your car? - and why did you choose it over the VR6? In my case, price would be one answer to that question, plus I've heard from several that the 1.8t also handles better...
  • tutoo7tutoo7 Member Posts: 10
    Well for me price wasnt the only reason why. If I had wanted I could have gotten the vr6, but I figured overall that I wanted the 1.8. Although the difference in horsepower and torque is pretty signifigant the weight of the vr6 engine is alot more than compared to the 1.8 so the times for quarter of a mile or 0-60 arent that much off. In real time this time doesnt matter to me because its not like im going to measure out .5 sec. Also, I figurd if I really did want the extra power I could always just chip it making it more powerful than the vr6. So that was my reasoning.
  • cdyercdyer Member Posts: 3
    Agreed, avoid the VR6 (though it is a great motor) and opt for the 1.8t. If it's not enough hp for you, there are 5 or more reliable chip manufacturers out there that can easily make 180hp, same as the std. Audi TT, most around $400.

    For Golfs, the 1.8t is only available on the GTI model, so that means, acording to VW, that it has a "sport suspension."
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Member Posts: 210
    Personally, I'd avoid the chip, for fear of voiding the warranty...

    I am still pondering between the GS-R and the 1.8t... very different cars, but I really like both, and the Integra can be bought under 20K which is not a lot for a pretty nice sports hatch in my opinion...

    Regarding the sports suspension, I think VW have it all messed up... either they don't know what they put into their cars, or their customer service people are completely off touch. They confirmed that the 1.8gti would be equipped with sports susp as of 2001 models...

    It sounds to me like Volkswagen should get their act together, and that concerns the dealers too. They should know their product. Basta!
  • tognetertogneter Member Posts: 245
    My roommate has a VR6 which he has a chip in. The manufacturer is in Canada, and they program it such that it reads like a VW chip when they run diagnostics. I can get more info if you're interested.
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Member Posts: 210
    togneter, thanks, but don't waste your time.. if your answer was intended for me... I am not really a 'chip-fan' so long as it cancels out the warranty...
  • tutoo7tutoo7 Member Posts: 10
    Would you consider a chip after the warrant is over?
  • tognetertogneter Member Posts: 245
    Info on the legalities of denying warranty claims.

    I found it interesting, although I don't know if I would use a chip either.

    By the way: I prefer the VR6 because of its vastly superior torque.
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Member Posts: 210
    I'll hopefully be driving an S4!!! lol
  • tognetertogneter Member Posts: 245
    The torque difference doesn't look like much on paper, but my roommate has a VR6, and his girlfriend has a 1.8t.

    I've driven both. You can feel the difference.
  • tognetertogneter Member Posts: 245
    carlady's gonna get mad at us =[
  • mznmzn Member Posts: 727
    togneter, surely you jest :-)

  • judasjudas Member Posts: 217
    The only thing I really don't like about the VR6 is that I've heard it's not easy to get power out of it, short of adding some kind of forced induction. The VR6 is the superior engine as far as acceleration goes in stock trim. Both engines have their pros and cons, the three things that make me lean towards the 1.8T are price, lighter weight/better balance and cheap/effective aftermarket mods.
  • tognetertogneter Member Posts: 245
    Turbos are always easier to tune than NA engines.
  • judasjudas Member Posts: 217
    Of course, because you can just dial up the boost. But even for an NA engine I've heard the VR6 isn't easy to get power out of, probably because VW did a pretty good job the first time.
  • tognetertogneter Member Posts: 245
    That engine gets a lot of kick for its size. they squeezed out most of what it had.

    I love the VR6 engine.
  • judasjudas Member Posts: 217
    I've seen some turbo/supercharger equipped VR6's, and they sounded like monsters, but it seems like too much of a hassle. Sounded like it was a really expensive/painful install and they had some definite reliability issues.
    The replacement K04 turbo and chip for the 1.8T is supposed to make around 225-230 HP. Throw in a good intake and exhaust and you should be looking at around 250 HP for around 2500 bucks. But I'd be a little leary about a 1.8 make 250 HP. Almost 140 HP per liter. I could totally see some serious problems with the setup. Anyone know if the 150 HP 1.8T has the same internals as the 225 HP Audi 1.8T? It seems like they're identical, with the exception of the turbo and the amount of boost, but they could have some difference below the surface. If the 225 horse Audi engine had the same internal components I'd feel a lot better about getting 250 horses out of the 1.8T in the GTI.
  • tognetertogneter Member Posts: 245
    There's s guy in Vancouver, BC who's retrofitted a New Beetle with a VR6 and a turbo. That's a 350hp Bug. He was selling it for $20k US, but I'm sure it's gone by now...
  • sentra20sersentra20ser Member Posts: 68
    The internals are totally different on the 225hp TT. Check this site or Motor Trend. I remember reading about it, but I'm not sure where.
  • quint3quint3 Member Posts: 20
    VW's GTI does not come with a sports suspension, although one is supposedly promised for next year. Even so, it won't hold a candle to aftermarket springs and shocks.
  • hemant7hemant7 Member Posts: 9
    I am considering 17" wheels on a new GTI I am about to buy. Any comments on whether this is a good idea? I think the bigger wheels may help traction and provide more ground clearance.

  • quint3quint3 Member Posts: 20
    Excellent idea. Get a set and plop on some 215/45's. Yhere will be more stability, but if you want to get rid of the wallows you will need to change springs and shocks. The only way you'll increase ground clearance (?) is by choosing the wrong size tire.
  • hemant7hemant7 Member Posts: 9
    Thanks. If I do change the springs and shocks, how does that affect the warranty? Also is the trunck-mounted CD changer easy to install myself?

    Much appreciated.
  • hemant7hemant7 Member Posts: 9
    Thanks. If I do change the springs and shocks, how does that affect the warranty? Also is the trunck-mounted CD changer easy to install myself?

    Much appreciated.
  • quint3quint3 Member Posts: 20
    Have you ever had anything go wrong with a car's springs and shocks? Don't worry about it. Just do it.You don't know what your missing. As for the changer, don't know. I leave that to the pros. I don't want any problems.
  • cirrus3cirrus3 Member Posts: 4
    I just drove the GTI Turbo. I drove the VR6 about a month ago.

    Though the Turbo is quite strong and has almost no lag (I have an '88 Saab Turbo, so I know about lag), I honestly prefer the six cylinder. Turbos tend to be jerky and rubber-band-like in their power application, which I assume is why companies such as BMW eschew them, preferring a smoother, revvy-er approach.

    The salesman didn't seem to know whether the car I drove had the sport suspension (it was a 2001 model built in Brazil). It had signicant body roll, so I suspect it did not. Personally, I'd go for the VR6 and consider firming up the chassis later.
  • quint3quint3 Member Posts: 20
    There will be no sport suspension option for either GTI this fall!!! Now go hit the aftermarket!
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Member Posts: 210
    True, there is no option, ...because it's STANDARD!
    I just bought a 2001 GTI GLS (1.8t).
    Check out the Vortex site, and you can read about the improved sports suspension standard on those cars.
    It's NO RACING SUSPENSION, but it's stiffer than the one on the outgoing model from 2000.
    It's a 'compromise' solution for everyday use, which feels smooth enough for your commuting, while offering better cornering. I guess that those wanting 'the real stuff' will have to resort to the aftermarket. Depends what you want your car for.
    Anyway... the car is great!
This discussion has been closed.