My CW GTI Daily - Now with K04! - OEM++


Go Kart Champion
CW Mk6 GTI Daily Driver, my First "Practical" Car

2012 Golf GTI 4 Door - DSG - Candy White

Current Mod List (Last Updated 2022/07/26)

• Summer wheels: 18x8.5" et45 Superspeed RF03RR
- 235/40r18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S

Winter wheels: 18" Audi "Avus" wheels
- 225/40r18 Michelin XI3

Engine & Drivetrain

• Cobb Accessport
• Stratified K04 Pro-tune - Shell 91 Octane
• HPA Motorsports Stage 3 "Extreme Performance" DSG Tune
• APR Carbon Fiber Intake
• USP Motorsports "Tear-Duct Direct Flow Rear Intake Pipe"
• Unitronic Factory Mount Intercooler kit
• CTS K04 Turbocharger
• CTS 3" Catted Downpipe
• CTS K04 Turbo Outlet Pipe
• CTS Throttle Pipe
• Bosch 4 Bar MAP Sensor
• Go Fast Bits DV+
• Audi Red Top Coil Packs

Suspension, Chassis, & Brakes

• HPA Motorsports SHS Coilovers by KW
• HPA Motorsports Dogbone Bushing (Softest 75a Red)
• CTS Front Subframe Bushing "Deadset" Kit with ARP Bolts
• Unibrace UB (Under Brace)
• Stern Rear Subframe Brace
• Whiteline 24mm Rear Sway Bar
• Stoptech Slotted Cryo-Treated Brake Rotors
• Stoptech Street Performance Brake Pads
• Stoptech Stainless Braided Brake Lines
• Tyrolsport Brake Calliper Stiffening Kit

Aesthetics & Accessories

• Audi R8 Oil Cap
• Audi R8 Coolant Cap
• OEM VW/Hella LED Euro tails "Cherry Red"
• PIAA yellow fog bulbs
• BFI Golf Ball DSG Shift Knob
• Hardwired Escort Passport radar detector
• Hardwired Thinkware F200 Pro Front & Rear Dash Cams
• LED Interior lights
• Euro Style Aspherical & Blue Tint Mirror Glass
• 30% tint on rear windows
• Body colour paint matched "Face Mask" lower grille surround
• Ebay OEM Euro Style front lip
• Custom Mk7 Style Front Fog Light Surround & Grilles
• 3M Gloss Black vinyl roof wrap
• Kill All Wipers rear wiper delete
• Badgeskins Front GTI badge blackout
• Rear GTI badge removed
• Front Grille GTI "Lipstick Line" blackout.
• Klii Motorworks rear badge insert
• OEM Suitcase Muffler painted high temp black

Hey guys, long time lurker, just getting into posting as I become more familiar with the car and start to modify it a bit. This is going to be my build thread for my 2012 Golf GTI daily driver, I purchased it a few months ago and have a ton of plans for mods, though I work a little slower I have always really enjoyed documenting my builds and wanted to start up a thread for the new GTI. I'll warn you in advanced this thread will be VERY photo heavy as I love taking pictures of my car, and I personally enjoy scrolling through photo heavy build threads.

First, A little about me. My name is Harrison and I live on Vancouver Island B.C. in Canada. The GTI is my second long term car, and my first Volkswagen. My love affair with Volkswagen started the summer of 2017 when I worked sales at my local VW dealership. I fell in love with how well put together and tight they feel, their mod-ability, and how darn practical they are despite all that sportiness. The first VW I drove was my drivers-ed car, years ago, a manual City golf, and the first GTI I drove was a good friends MK7.

My current impractical car, is a 1991 Mazda Miata, which was my first car. I purchased it in 2013, before I even had my licence. It's the car that made me fall in love with driving, introduced me to the world of modifying, and taught me how to work on my own car. At the moment, I could never see selling it, this car has brought me into the automotive world where I now hope to make my career, and has introduced me to fellow car nuts who now make up nearly all of my current friends. I have a thread documenting that build for anyone who may be interested in more pictures over on the Miata forum where I am quite active.

Enough about my Mazda though, onto the Volkswagen!

I purchased my GTI July 2017 from the dealership I was working for at the time, Comox Valley Volkswagen in Comox B.C. The car is a Candy White 2012 DSG, and is the exact spec I wanted. Dynaudio, DSG, Tartan cloth, and no sunroof. The car had a few power modifications done just a few 1,000km's before I purchased it but visually was 100% stock.

Mods the previous owner had done include a APR Intake, CTS Catless Downpipe, a suitcase muffler delete, R8 Coils, and APR Stage 2 Tune.

The first things I had done to the car where window tint, a rear wiper delete, rear GTI badge removed, and spacers for the OEM wheels. Theses little touches though small where the first step to making the car mine!

Next step was getting some wheels and tires for the Calgary winter which was fast approaching. For those who don't know, Calgary has some pretty harsh winters, which was a large part of the reason I ditched the Miata for something more capable in the snow and less prone to rust. I picked myself up a set of used 18" Audi Avus wheels, like would have been original on a B6 S4, and wrapped them in a set of brand new 225/40r18 Michelin X Ice 3's, and put them on with my 10mm spacer in the rear. I also added some PIAA yellow fog light bulbs for the winter months.

That gets us updated to just about current! I have a few more things to photograph and on order and will be back to update soon! Like I said this build may be slow, but I love documenting my progress with each car I own and sharing it with the community. Thanks for taking the time to pop by and read!
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Go Kart Champion
Been waiting for a warm day to take my car to the wash so I could finally take a picture of my newest addition. Car is still disgusting and was mud covered by the time I got home, but here it is:

Euro Style GTI lip, this one was a cheaper eBay one, not OEM. Lip took some work to fit, having to file down tabs and having a few tabs break, and had to source my own hardware. Thats what I get for going eBay and not forking out the extra cash for real quality, but in the end it looks great! Choose to keep the lip unpainted at least for now, I kinda like the look over painted, looks very subtle and really pulls the whole front end together a little more. I may choose to paint it or attempt to texture it like the GTI side skirts in future, not sure yet.

Also put in some orders for a few more parts this week, should start slowly showing up in the coming months!


Go Kart Champion
Installed my SPM lowering springs a few days ago and just got car aligned. Fronts where a major pain as I didn't have any of the specialty tools, rears where an absolute breeze! So far very happy with them, car rides like stock over smaller bumps, and though it is a little more jarring over larger bumps it does not feel overly bouncy or unstable. Overall they are a little better than I expected lowering springs (especially non linear) ones to be on a stock damper! I do not think stock damper paired to them will be permanent, but it will be perfectly comfortable for a while.I rub a little in the front but I think a fender screw mod will fix that for the most part. Height looks AWESOME! Its very snowy out at the moment, and it looks a little higher with the wheel wells glowing nearly as white as the paint, but the height is dead on in my opinion. With the way our roads (and my garages approach angle!) are, its exactly the height I would set an adjustable suspension to.

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New member
Nice! I also came from a Miata. I some days regret selling it, but, it was worth it to get another one day. I'll make it better than the last.


Ready to race!
How does it handle in the snow? I live in California but plan to move to a colder climate someday, and have wondered if snow tires are going to be enough to make this thing hook up in snowy conditions.


Go Kart Champion
How does it handle in the snow? I live in California but plan to move to a colder climate someday, and have wondered if snow tires are going to be enough to make this thing hook up in snowy conditions.

With good snow tires its been great! Only gotten it stuck once when I high centred on some ice parallel parking. Other than that I have had it through powder higher than the lower grille, and it just kept going as the snow flew over the hood! Always been a firm believer that you dont need AWD in the snow, it wont turn or brake any faster than a FWD, just get you into trouble faster. Car has started fine even in -25c, and really has been an overall great winter car!
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Go Kart Champion
Yesterday I wiped my Stage 2 APR tune and installed a Cobb Accessport, the Cobb OTS tune was quite torque-less, as I thought it would be but incredibly happy to be rid of the APR tune and its strange drivability issues, even if it was fast. Today, less than 24 hours after sending my info off I got my Stratified tune!

… and … Oh my goodness it’s everything I thought it would be and more. Would love to have been able to get before and after dynos, but the butt dyno says this tune has as much, maybe more HP and Torque as the APR tune did, but drivability is better in every way. It solved more problems than I thought it would, many clunky starts and shifts that I associated with an aging DSG transmission are now all completely gone! Throttle response is much better, and pedal feels a lot more usable, and easier to modulate. The part throttle surging of the APR tune is all gone, and pulling at any throttle level just feels smoother and healthier. The crackle tune though gimmicky is a lot of fun to play with, was on the way home today and came across a Mini that had a crackle tune, and we played on the highway probably annoying everyone around us for a few km’s, it was some of the most fun I have had in this car in months. I also like that as I further mod the car, I now have options for tuning far easier and cheaper, from minor modifications to the flash tune, to a pro tune if I ever go bigger turbo, or water meth injection.

Seriously, if anyone is having issues with a current tune (*Cough* APR.. , then do it, do it now, you will regret not having done it long ago! It was slightly over $1,000 Canadian, which is hard to swallow for a full time student, and I had to throw away my $900 APR tune, but I would do it again all day every day.

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Ready to race!
Awesome build so far man!! Lookin very clean with nice simple touches. I’m slowly nodding mine as well, had it for about six months. I just picked up an AP and Cobb intake for it that I’ll be installing soon. I’ve thought about a stratified time, but not sure if i want to wait for more mods first. Sounds like the tune was worth it for you though. Looking forward to watching your build progress!


Go Kart Champion
Awesome build so far man!! Lookin very clean with nice simple touches. I’m slowly nodding mine as well, had it for about six months. I just picked up an AP and Cobb intake for it that I’ll be installing soon. I’ve thought about a stratified time, but not sure if i want to wait for more mods first. Sounds like the tune was worth it for you though. Looking forward to watching your build progress!

Seriously man, get the tune, I love it, haven't been able to keep the smile off my face in the drivers seat. You could always get it now, then pay (I think $50) for them to update it to new mods in future. Depends on how soon you think you will add more mods I guess. I already had down pipe and intake, I do plan on adding intercooler and some other little bits in nearish future, not sure if it will be necessary or beneficial to update the tune when I get those, but ill contact them when the time comes and see what they have to say!


Go Kart Champion
Well, the Stratified tune is finalized after a couple of revisions and feels awesome! Much smoother and healthier feeling than my APR tune, and the butt dyno says torque is about the same, but HP doesn't fall off as much in the higher RPM's. Overall VERY happy with end product and service.

I am back in B.C. again, and back into my sales role at Comox Valley VW! If you wana check that out or you live in the area and want to buy a VW from a fellow enthusiast!

Another big expense has come up with the car, and it will slow down the fun stuff for a bit. Had my timing chain, tensioners, and guides all replaced, and got a DSG service done a bit early. Though less glamorous than big HP and shiny parts, it was important and I am incredibly happy to have it done! Staff discount made it a bit easier to handle, and the car feels better than ever! Apparently chain was quite stretched and tensioner was at far end of adjustment range, so it was a good thing I got it done when I did! Car has stopped it's cold start rattle, and the transmission feels buttery smooth!