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Tanner Foust Golf GTI SEMA build

April 30, 2019 2 min read

Whilst mountune have been a name more typically associated with other vehicle manufacturers, when the opportunity arose to build something special together with VW aficionados, fifteen52 ahead of the 2017 SEMA show, they jumped at the chance.

"One minute we were talking to Tanner Foust about a few crazy ideas, the next we've got a car, some incredible partners lined up and a ridiculous schedule to get this m350TFR built!" enthuses Dave Moore, mountune Performance Director.

mountune's relationship with current works' VW Rallycross driver, Foust dates back a number of years when their 600bhp turbocharged, 4-cylinder engines helped power him to countless race wins and multiple Championship titles in the GRC (Global Rallycross Championship). "When we knew we were going to build a VW for SEMA, it was key to us that Tanner was going to be a part of that. Ultimately, we respect what he brings both on and off the circuit and his input has been invaluable", Moore adds.

With a track record that speaks for itself in engineering race engines and road car performance parts, achieving the 350PS and 550Nm output via a host of component upgrades was actually relatively straightforward. An engineering exercise was undertaken whereby intake losses were optimised via higher-flow, low-loss versions of the OE equivalent, charge temps were reduced through an uprated intercooler and the exhaust back-pressure was dropped, before the m350TFR calibration was created to fully enhance all of the revised hardware.

Creating something that was actually going to remain accessible to the enthusiast and VW fan alike was also key; virtually all of the bespoke parts used could be productionised at a later date, should the need or demand require.

Ensuring the car handles and stops as well as it goes and looks, are chassis upgrades from the ST Suspensions and Tarox stables. XTA coilovers greatly enhance the already impressive handling ability, thanks in part to their fully adjustable rebound settings and easy camber adjustment, while 8-pot front calipers paired with 360mm disc/bells up front and grooved rotors at the rear help improve pedal feel, and overall braking performance significantly. These sit behind the 19" fifteen52 Formula GT wheels with custom front / rear offsets to get it sitting just right.

Meanwhile, the interior, although a mighty-impressive place to pedal a car from in standard form needed some motorsport touches too. Recaro Sportster CS seats now dominate the cockpit, provide the perfect mix of road-going comfort and motorsport practicality - allowing for multi-point harnesses, whilst a removable deep-dish OMP wheel and TFR gearknob add the finishing touches.

A road-going Golf GTI that's just as capable on a road rally, track, or Pacific Coast Highway, gets our vote!

Photos: Andrew Ritter