Buried on the pages of Chicago’s Craigslist is what’s probably one of the cheapest cars to have a wheel horsepower listed in its description. This 2003 Volkswagen GTI has a bigger turbo and over 400 horses. Driving it will probably be the best five seconds of your life, right before the car finds a way to kill you.
A normal 2003 Volkswagen GTI is already a fun car. Volkswagen took its sensible Golf hatchback and gave it a healthy dose of power. We’re talking about a car originally powered by a 2.0-liter 115 HP four, now making 180 HP through a 1.8-liter turbo four or 200 HP through a 2.8-liter VR6. Those healthy gains move a 3,000-pound body through the front wheels. This Craigslist seller claims to have more than doubled those numbers, which makes it sound like a delightful death trap.
The mod list of this thing looks nearly as long as a family’s grocery shopping list:
Having this much power getting sent to just the front wheels is silly. It reminds me of the Pontiac Grand Prix GXP, which sends 303 HP to its front wheels by way of a 5.3-liter V8, and this makes even more power.
This thing probably does a satisfactory job at converting front tires into smoke and noise.
Funny enough, this GTI has already been in a crash, resulting in the removal of the front bumper, fenders and hood.
It’s unclear if the crash occurred because so much power is getting sent through those poor wheels. The seller says that it runs and drives so good that the check engine light is off and there aren’t any stored codes. The registration sticker on the license plate suggests that this car is legal until next summer, so the crash must have been recent.
I wasn’t expecting to see the shifter of an automatic transmission in the center console.
Old GTIs litter the marketplace with broken automatic transmissions and those were stock. I hope something was done to the poor transmission to help it cope with the power. Maybe it spins its tires so much that it doesn’t matter.
The seller notes that the ECU has been tuned to account for the deleted emissions equipment, so it shouldn’t fail Illinois’ easy emissions tests. Emissions testing here consists of plugging a reader into your OBD port and seeing if there are any stored codes and if the car thinks its emissions equipment is working.
Of course, you’ll likely be less successful in a place that actually measures what comes out of the tailpipe.
Either way, someone should buy this for $6,000 from Craigslist in Bourbonnais, Illinois and enjoy every second you get spinning its tires before it tries to kill you. Or even better, put a lift kit and mud tires on it and make it into an awesome trail rig.