Matt Farah Gets Floored by 500-Plus HP Volkswagen Golf R

Matt Farah tests the APR Stage 3+ ‘Gonzo’ Golf R which has enough power to make supercars nervous.

byChris Constantine|
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Alabama-based tuning company APR is already well known in the Volkswagen AG community for its ability to coax tons of power out of an engine with just a few tweaks. We know what a simple APR ECU tune will do to a car, but what happens when they put every part on offer into a VW Golf R

Magical things happen, as Matt Farah finds out in the latest episode of his One Take series. Matt is testing the new camouflage-clad creation from APR, dubbed the Stage 3+ "Gonzo" Golf R, which makes 470-horsepower at the wheels on premium gas and 536-wheel-horsepower on 104 octane racing fuel. That's enough power to scare cars which cost three times as much as this little Dub.

The "Stage 3+" moniker in the name means this car is seriously modified. For reference, a Stage 1 upgrade is usually just software added to the engine's ECU, and a Stage 2 software flash requires upgraded parts like a cold-air intake and downpipe. This Stage 3+ Golf R goes the extra mile with a new 2.0-liter APR crate engine, 71-millimeter Borg-Warner turbocharger, and forged internals.

The grand total for a similar build will cost $17,000 according to Matt. That fat stack of change combined with the Golf R's current retail price puts it dangerously close to Audi TT RS territory. Comparing it to cars in this price/performance range is silly though because, at the end of the day, it's still an all-wheel-drive Golf. APR was only focused on whether they could do it, not whether or not they should do it.

Mr. Farah's (one) take on the subject can be found below.

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