Race Mode: Unitronic’s 11-Second Golf R

Race Mode: Unitronic’s 11-Second Golf R

Photography courtesy of Unitronic


As is the case with many things with a substantial hype-train, so many hop aboard and are disappointed in some way with the resulting launch. We’ve seen it happen with video games, movies, and even cars – and we can’t say how happy we are that the Golf R fell didn’t into that same category as so many other hyped-up products.

It was definitely hard to not be excited about the first “R” model Golf that North America would get without a limited number being associated, and then add to that the promise of Haldex 4MOTION all-wheel drive, and 296 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque out of a burlier EA888 Gen. 3 engine that already had a faithful following among GTI enthusiasts. A reworked cylinder head, new exhaust valves, valve seats and springs, injection valves, pistons, and a larger intercooler and turbo lead to a car that could comfortably go get groceries, and then switch to “Race mode” for some quick time attack on the way home.

03 Unitronic 2016 VW Golf R Waterfest PASMAG

In the true spirit of tuning, Unitronic rolled their eyes at these performance specs and said, “We can do better.” Already offering a full catalogue of tuning products for the third generation EA888 engine, this was an exciting project to tackle, and their results were impressive. Thankfully, one of Unitronic’s sales reps, Patrick Archambault, happened to pick up a 2016 Golf R and was the perfect guinea pig to see these enhancements put to the test on the drag strip.

Of course, the engine and transmission would need a bit of a wakeup call in order to put down some decent numbers, and Unitronic’s Stage 2 ECU and TCU tune were just what the doctor ordered. Paired up with an upgraded Unitronic intercooler, limited edition blue carbon fiber air intake, and down-pipe, Archambault’s R puts out 397 horses and 368 lb-ft of torque on MS109 VP race fuel.

04 Unitronic 2016 VW Golf R Waterfest PASMAG

Not wanting to give up the “street to track” spirit that the Golf R carries, Archambault armed himself with two sets of wheels and tires: 19x8.5-inch BBS CH-R wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S 235/35 tires for the street, and 17x7.5 Enkei RPF1 wheels wrapped in 235/45 Toyo R888Rs for the track, bolstering the already great grip and acceleration of the R.

Archambault has previously owned two fast GTIs – both an MK6 and MK7 - and says the Golf R is a step above in the performance department.

“I’ve always loved the GTI, but it lacked traction when modified,” he says. “The R has traction!"

06 Unitronic 2016 VW Golf R Waterfest PASMAG

Sitting at the right height with KW V2 coilovers and brought down by StopTech slotted rotors and EBC Redstuff brake pads, the R was finally ready to put down some times at the drag strip. Both Archambault and Unitronic came home happy with their results. Crossing the line at 11.54 seconds at a top speed of 118.9 miles-per-hour is fantastic outcome from a car that originally supposed to be a fun commuter. Those are some fast groceries!

To see Archambault’s Golf R, as well as some other quick V.A.G vehicles and the product that makes them fast, be sure to stop by Unitronic’s booth at Waterfest 23.

05 Unitronic 2016 VW Golf R Waterfest PASMAG

ESSENTIALS

Owner: Patrick Archambault
Vehicle: 2016 VW Golf R (MK7)
Engine: VW EA888 Gen. 3 2.0L TSI I-4
Horsepower: 397 hp
Torque: 368 lb-ft
Quarter-Mile: 11.54 @ 118.9 mph

ENGINE

  • Unitronic (Stage 2 ECU tune, intercooler, limited edition blue carbon fiber intake)

EXHAUST

  • Unitronic down-pipe

DRIVETRAIN

  • Unitronic Stage 2 DSG tune

02 Unitronic 2016 VW Golf R Waterfest PASMAG

WHEELS/TIRES/BRAKES

  • BBS CH-R street wheels – 19x8.5 +48 (f/r)
  • Michelin Pilot 4S street tires – 235/35 R19 (f/r)
  • Enkei RPF1 track wheels – 17x7.5 +45 (f/r)
  • Toyo R888R track tires – 235/45 R17 (f/r)
  • StopTech slotted rotors
  • EBC Redstuff pads

CHASSIS/SUSPENSION

  • KW Suspension V2 coilovers

EXTERIOR

  • VW Euro (aluminum mirror covers, LED Golf R tinted taillights & adapter harness)
  • SRS-Tec spoiler extension

INTERIOR

  • P3 Track Pack gauge

07 Unitronic 2016 VW Golf R Waterfest PASMAG

Related Articles

Injen's SP Series Intake for 2018-2021 Mazda 6 Injen's SP Series Intake for 2018-2021 Mazda 6
Easily bolt on up to 12 whp and 13 lb-ft of torque for your 2.5L Mazda 6 (2018-2021) with Injen's newest release - the SP Aluminum Series intake for...
ACT Releases Mod-Twin Clutch Kits for R32/R33 Skylines ACT Releases Mod-Twin Clutch Kits for R32/R33 Skylines
If you’re an owner of a 1993-1994 R32 or a 1995-1998 R33 Nissan Skyline GT-R, get ready for an upgrade we've been waiting to announce since we first...
Holley's Sniper 2 EFI Platform Goes Bluetooth Holley's Sniper 2 EFI Platform Goes Bluetooth
In a bold move that signals a shift in how classic car enthusiasts interact with their vehicles, Holley Performance Brands has rolled out a...
Whiteline Expands Suspension Upgrades for EVs Whiteline Expands Suspension Upgrades for EVs
As the electric vehicle (EV) market continues its rapid expansion, the demand for specialized aftermarket parts grows. Whiteline, a revered name in...
The 5 Best Automotive Products on Amazon This Month The 5 Best Automotive Products on Amazon This Month
Spring has sprung, and for many enthusiasts who had to sit through the wet and freezing winter months, it's time to clear the dust out of the garage,...
LS Swaps 101: The World's Most Prolific Engine Swap LS Swaps 101: The World's Most Prolific Engine Swap
GM's family of LS V8 engines reigns supreme as the go-to powerhouse for engine swaps into just about anything it can fit in, from hot rod overhauls to...