I’ve been shooting Volkswagens and Audis for Performance VW Magazine for many years—in fact, without the guidance of the PVW editorial staff (Elliott, Dave, Si!) there’s a great chance that I never would have ventured down the automotive photojournalist path that has led me here. A few months ago I embarked on the journey of building the VW GTI RS with my pal, Swoops (SwoopsBUILT), in Oceanside, New York. What began life (at 1200 miles on the clock) as a wrecked Mk7 GTI escalated quickly, and before I knew it I had a saw in-hand and was cutting into the side of the car.
A few months, a dozen trips from Miami to New York, and hundreds of hours later, and I found myself driving up to Connecticut on a Friday night in October for an early morning of shooting. My friend, Brett Sloan (stunt driver for the day) rode shotgun the next morning, finishing short trek to Lime Rock Park, where I had arranged a 30-minute window to photograph the GTI on the track.
After scouting the track using Forza Motorsport 6 at home in Miami, I knew exactly which corner I wanted to shoot at and just how to pose the car. With the changing New England colors in the background, the GTI RS looked right at home on the track—just as I had envisioned it!
In what felt like minutes, the shoot was finished and the track was hot with cars lapping, and it was time to turn the photos and words around to the guys at PVW before the deadline for the following issue! A couple weeks later the issue was in print, and after getting lost crossing the Atlantic Ocean, I finally got my hands on a copy.
An unmeasurable amount of planning and deliberation went into the creation of the GTI RS, and the Vossen Forged VPS-317 tri-spoke wheels are no exception to that. Wrapped in Nitto INVO tires (285-30-19 F+R) and measuring 19×11″ front and rear, the split three spoke was the only option that fit the Japanese bodykit bill, paying a bit of homage to the JDM king pins of the 90s without losing its German heritage.
Inside the car the aggressive track inspiration (and function) continues, with Statüs Racing’s carbon fiber ICON GTX seats, trimmed in dark red leather and grey alcantara. A custom 4-point roll cage is welded into the car, reinforcing the body and omitted the rear seat, while bespoke seat brackets and floor pans were created to eliminate clutter and unnecessary additional pieces, all hand-crafted by SwoopsBUILT in Oceanside, New York.
I thoroughly documented the build of the GTI RS, showing just how much attention to detail went into the design of the inner widebody that Swoops created to mate up to the Rocket Bunny panels, along with the rear diffuser, interior and engine components, and even the lowered Thule roof rack and cargo box. Stay tuned and follow me on Instagram (@sdobbins_vossen) to see more of it all when the build video is complete!
Visit your local book store today to pick up your December 2016 issue of Performance VW Magazine, or find it online by clicking here! Thanks again to Elliott and Dave at PVW for the opportunity to share the GTI RS in the magazine, and visit www.gti-rs.com for more photos and information about the car!
Greg “Swoops” Scigliano / @theswoops
Andrew Miterko / @iamdrewseph
Jack Dean / @jackhamr
Greg Trillo / @gregtrillo
Neil Ramcharitar / @neilramcharitar
Brett Sloan / @sloancars
Anthony Purcell / @halcyonphoto
Lime Rock Park
WIDEBODY ///// Pandem Rocket Bunny • @pancrossllc • @rocketbunnyusa
FABRICATION ///// SwoopsBUILT • @theswoops
WHEELS ///// Vossen Forged VPS-317 (19×11 F+R) @vossen
TIRES ///// Nitto INVO 285-30-19 (F+R) • @nittotire
BRAKES ///// AP Racing Radical by Stillen • @ap_racing_by_stillen • @stillen
SUSPENSION ///// H&R Coilovers • @hrspringslp
SEATS ///// Statüs Racing ICON GTX Carbon Seats • @thestatusracing
STEERING WHEEL ///// Renown USA Motorsports 100 Rosso Wheel @renownusa
ROOF RACK ///// Thule Aeroblades and Sonic M Box (lowered by SwoopsBUILT) • @thule
TUNE ///// United Motorsports E85 Flex Fuel @united_motorsport
CHASSIS ///// Tyrolsport Deadset Kits F+R @tyrolsport1
ENGINE ACC ///// Forge Motorsports Intercooler & Silicon Hoses • @forgemotorsport
MOTOR MOUNTS ///// Black Forest Industries • @blackforestindustries
CLUTCH ///// Sound Bend Clutch Stage 3 Daily • @southbendclutchkits
DIFFERENTIAL ///// Wavetrac Limited Slip @wavetrac_differentials
EXHAUST ///// AWE Tuning Touring Suite with Downpipe @awetuningofficial
PAINT ///// PPG Refinish • @ppgrefinish
PAINT PROTECTION ///// XPEL Paint Protection Film • @xpeltech & @detailingdynamics
ACCESSORIES ///// Rennline Quick Release Hub &Tow Hooks • @rennline
GRAPHICS ///// Sign Factory • @signfactory • @signfactoryadam