2012 GTI "The Wraith" Build


Autocross Champion
Well, for a car that was supposed to be a money saver over a 2008 Charger Super Bee, my list of mods has grown behind any plans or signature line limit. So I figure I will start a build thread even though a lot of mods are complete since I have photo documented a lot of them anyway.

Base car is a 2012 Black Pearl GTI 4-door 6-speed with Sunroof and Nav package. Here it is the day I brought it home. (Crappy Smartphone pics)

List of current mods;


  • APR Stage 2+
  • 42DD downpipe nonresonated w/cat black flameproof coating w/clearcoat finish and copper seal gaskets
  • Nuespeed Turbo Discharge Pipe powdercoated in RAL 5002
  • BSH Integrated Throttle Pipe powdercoated in RAL 5002
  • Modshack VTDA Intake in RAL 5002
  • Sigma 6 Short Throw Shifter
  • SPM Aluminum motor mount
  • SPM Aluminum transmission mount
  • SPM Aluminum pendulum mount
  • Suitcase muffler delete, custom center mount exhaust

  • TSW Nurburgring 18x8 45mm offset (Bronze)
  • Goodyear Eagle GT 225/40ZR18
  • H&R Super Sport springs


  • Front lip spoiler (Tornado Red with temporary black Plasti-dip on ends and top)
  • Spyder tinted LED tail lights
  • 5% tint on rear
  • Smoked front markers w/white LEDs
  • Xenon White LED front turn signals
  • 100w Diamond yellow foglight bulbs
  • Yellow Laminx foglight covers
  • Blue tinted blind spot mirrors
  • Plasti-Dipped rear reflectors

  • Auto Chrome Euro Switch
  • Red interior LEDs
  • Interlagos Steering Wheel Inserts from kliimotorwerkes

VCDS Tweaks
List of Popular VCDS Tweaks
  • ESC Disable
  • XDS set to 2
  • TSC enabled
  • Courtesy turn signals set to 4
  • Comfort closing windows/sunroof
  • Comfort open windows
  • Emergency flash on panic stop
  • Fogs active with highbeams
  • Gauge sweep staging
  • Teardrop front and rear wiper
  • Horn at lock disabled
  • Seatbelt chime disabled
  • Navigation data entry warning disabled
  • Bluetooth sensitivity set to -8

Stickers (5hp each)



  • SPM Intercooler
  • Upgrade sway bars
  • Brake upgrade
  • Color matched diffuser
  • Color matched front bumper insert
  • Color matched mudguards
  • Custom painted engine cover
  • CSG paint emblems
  • Undercar aerodynamic shields

From my first track day at infineon Raceway, September 2012.

And here I am at Laguna Seca May 19th, 2013.

A little video I put together from a track day at Infineon Raceway November. I left the audio in to showcase my exhaust, which you can hear under acceleration over the wind noise, over the music, and several car lengths back as you notice in the video. :D

And Laguna Seca. Just an amazing track.

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Autocross Champion
Spyder tinted tail lights installed and 5% tint.

Not as sexy as R style LEDs, but much cheaper and better than stock. LOL

Install was easy, fitment is fine though I have not gotten a micrometer out. Been on for about 5 months and 3500 miles, no issues.

Here they are at night.

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Autocross Champion
Motegi MR116s in 18x8 40mm Offset installed......smoke tint side markers and yellow Laminx also installed.

And after the H&R Super Sport springs installed......

Car has settled even more since, will update soon and add FTG measurements. I never had any thought about lowering it until after the wheels went on. All of a sudden, all I could see was wheel gap, even though it was the stock wheel size on the same tires. It was just.....noticeable. LOL

Ride is fine except on sharp bumps and big drops/rises, then it gets harsh but it's liveable until the stock dampers blow.
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Autocross Champion
Lip spoiler in Tornado Red installed and graveyard photo shoot.



Go Kart Champion
Car looks nice so far man, and MUCH better sitting on the H&R's. Any rubbing issues with the 40mm offset once lowered?


Ready to race!
Beauty, not too sure about those tails but OEM is way over priced. Post a pic of the led turn signals?


Autocross Champion
Car looks nice so far man, and MUCH better sitting on the H&R's. Any rubbing issues with the 40mm offset once lowered?

No issues on normal driving, however, after a few hundred miles and it settling I get some rubbing on the fronts (fender liner screw) under heavy braking on downward curves. It needs heavy suspension compression while turning to rub. I'm going to wait until I do the mudguards and do the screw mod at the same time.

Beauty, not too sure about those tails but OEM is way over priced. Post a pic of the led turn signals?

Yeah, they look better at night but they were $350 cheaper than the OEMs on a group buy, I think they are pretty good for that cost savings. :D

I'll update the tail light post with turn signal and night pics this week.
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Autocross Champion
I went back and forth on a short throw shifter install. I originally was going to use the S3 mod but really didn't feel like it would be a big enough difference for me. I finally found the Sigma Six thanks to some other members here and pulled the trigger on it.

In my opinion, the Sigma Six is the Stage 1 equivalent for the manual. It is that important as far as I am concerned. The change to the way the car feels to drive was drastic.

Second gear with the stock shifter

Second gear with the Sigma Six

These videos don't come close to showing how big the difference was, shift throw front to back was reduced by close to 60%, side to side movement was also cut by 40-50%.

Stock shifter

With Sigma Six Short Throw

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Autocross Champion
Here is the Modshack VTDA installed. Easy as pie install, looks great, and has some real performance increases (on a tuned car). I already did a full review on this part, but will repeat some of it here. For the full review, go here;

Modshack VTDA Install and Review

Let's start with the install. Package came VERY well protected with everything wrapped in bubble wrap and hardware in separate little baggies with labels. Also included were three ModShack decal/stickers and a K&N sticker. The VTDA itself was wrapped about 7 times in bubble wrap. Step by step instructions were also included and I have to be honest, other than the lack of a "flashy" box, there was nothing that said "amateur". This was a professional presentation all the way.

Install took about 20 minutes and was really pretty basic and easy. Intake is very secure mounted on two brackets at the front grille and supported on the rear using one of the OEM mounting locations.

Now, the IMPORTANT stuff. Performance. All test runs were done on the same stretch of road as each test. The 0-60mph runs were done on a back road near my house with smooth pavement. 35-70mph runs were done on the state highway nearby. AC was off, traction control was off. Baseline tests were done at 9AM-10AM, with VTDA installed tests done at 11:30-12:00.

On the stock tune from 0-60mph there was less than a tenth of a second difference in the average time on the stock airbox and the VTDA. On 35-70mph runs using the stock tune settings there was a 0.1s reduction in time from the stock airbox to the VTDA.

Using Stage 1 I found a full 0.2s reduction in 0-60mph times from the stock airbox to the VTDA. On the 35-70mph runs using Stage 1 settings there was a full 0.3s reduction in time.

As expected, there is little benefit on a stock vehicle as the engine does not NEED or have the ability to use much more air. Throttle response may be improved and sharper, and that is something I may examine when I get around to further tests. On Stage 1 the engine gets hungry for air and is starved by the restrictive stock box.

For those wondering about noise, at speed you can't hear anything, windows up or down. Sitting in the garage and revving the engine there is a noticeable sound of blowoff/vent. Certainly less than I have heard on videos of other intakes, but still there. So sitting at a light showing off for the girls will be fine.

After a longer test drive with both normal and spirited driving there is some vent noise on occasion. I first noticed it when I went to pass someone and then had to back off due to lane ending. In normal driving, you will not hear anything, but if you WANT to show off just accelerate hard for a few seconds and then back off the accelerator fast.

And here it is installed on my car. I need to keep my eye on that ridiculous SAI intake pipe. The only place I could find to zip tie it easily was to a water bypass hose and I am concerned about vibrations cutting it. I will clip off the excess of the zip tie after I firm up a location.

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Autocross Champion
Photos do not do it full justice, but here is the interior LED swap with all red LEDs. Light is bright and allows you to see and read anything, but the light has no impact on your ability to see outside or your nightvision. Sometimes I turn them all on at night when I am driving around and leave them on, just to mess with people. :D

Here are the bulbs I used.

For the footwells, front and rear dome lights and the glovebox;

For the visor mirror lights (please note these are AMAZINGLY bright. I am serious, they are almost blinding, I would not open the visor while driving at night. LOL Photos coming soon);

The one I used for the trunk is very weak, I would not recommend it;

I am thinking about using one of the 36 LED Array panels from here with some double sided tape. :D
Scroll down about 2/3rds of the page.
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Autocross Champion
Post a pic of the led turn signals?

Hard to get a good shot, figured dark would make the light stand out but think it's washing it. I'll see about adding some day shots eventually here.

These things are BRIGHT. These are normally used in the fog lights of the new Camaros. LOL Unlocking the car in the dark is like lightning going off, it's awesome. That said, when the headlights are on they are not that bad so I have not had any issues on the road yet.

One thing to note, the sockets have a different slot design than our cars. Two rails inside the socket instead of one. These have to be shaved off so the light will clip into our socket. I didn't get the passenger side shaved down quite enough and when I tried to lock the socket in place it broke one of the tabs on the headlight housing. It's still secure now, but that was annoying.



Autocross Champion
Very nice! Do you have any rubbing in the rear?

None that I can tell, wheels tuck right up into the wells. Rubbing only happens on turns ai described, hard bumps in the rear make no sounds of rubbing.


Go Kart Champion
Looks good so far. Interested in those tail lights since I want new ones. The OEM's are SO DAMN EXPENSIVE :laugh:
Also the turn signals are interesting. I like it.


Go Kart Champion
Looks good so far. Interested in those tail lights since I want new ones. The OEM's are SO DAMN EXPENSIVE :laugh:
Also the turn signals are interesting. I like it.

For those of you looking for a less expensive alternative to the oems, that actually still look like the oems, check out the website for They've got replica's that are damm near the real thing as far as looks are concerned, selling for 499 including adapters, with free shipping in Canada and the US. Only issue is they appear to be available only in cherry red with the fog option.

edit: link to those 499 tails...

Sorry for the slight thread jack^.

Back on topic, I was a bit worried about that lip when you mentioned that you had it installed in tornado red, but after seeing the pics, I have to admit it's actually growing on me...You've got a subtle theme going on. You should look into some kind of red highlight on the side skirts as well... .. .