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Old 09-21-2011, 05:38 PM   #1
tmiw
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US GTI vs. European GTI

So it looks like I may be waiting a few months for my GTI to come in due to low stock. In the meantime, I've been thinking of mods that I want to do and I think I want to take a different route with my modding. As you all know, the US version of the GTI is missing a fair amount of stuff compared to the European versions, so I'm thinking of modding it to get as close to Euro spec as possible in appearance and functionality.

Here's what I've been able to figure out so far:
  • Auto headlights and windshield wipers (and Coming/Leaving Home)
  • Rear fog light/LED tails
  • Dual-zone Climatronic
  • Storage drawers under front seats
  • Auto-dimming rear/side mirrors
  • Auto-flipping side mirror when in reverse
  • Homelink visor
  • Rear camera
  • Opticial Parking Sesnors/parking assist
  • Cubby under headlight switch
  • Adaptive Chassis Control
  • Headlight washers
  • Lack of side markers
  • RNS510 instead of RNS315
  • Euro cupholder

Am I missing anything? I think most of the above's doable with the exception of Adaptive Chassis Control, headlight washers and possibly the Climatronic. And of course, tint and Stage 1 will probably happen at some point, but those aren't strictly US or Euro spec

Last edited by tmiw; 09-21-2011 at 06:58 PM. Reason: Added Euro cupholder
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:42 PM   #2
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1) You might actually save money by purchasing a Euro GTI and ship it over.

2) Make sure you have Vagcom to render your settings to the Euro standards

3) I believe US GTI has certain control modules that will not support the "Euro Mods"
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grambles423 View Post
1) You might actually save money by purchasing a Euro GTI and ship it over.

2) Make sure you have Vagcom to render your settings to the Euro standards

3) I believe US GTI has certain control modules that will not support the "Euro Mods"
1) Probably, but importing a gray market car is pretty much illegal from what I've heard. Or at least difficult enough to make it not worthwhile. And modding's fun

2) Yep, Vagcom is probably one of the first things I'm getting.

3) Interesting. Will need to read about that further.
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:46 PM   #4
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Actually if I'm not mistaking the wiring harnesses are both completely different.
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:49 PM   #5
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Yeah. For example, the ECS rear tails come with a wiring harness, and I imagine a lot of the other Euro mods do too.
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:55 PM   #6
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  • Auto headlights and windshield wipers (and Coming/Leaving Home) Auto headlights are easy with Vagcom, but rain sensing windshield wipers will be tough. I dont know much about it, but with other cars I've worked with, its a complete windshield swap...again I dont know about the GTI though.
  • Rear fog light/LED tails
  • Dual-zone Climatronic - Shouldnt be hard as long as the wiring harnesses have the same couplers.
  • Storage drawers under front seats - Easy
  • Auto-dimming rear/side mirrors - Easy
  • Auto-flipping side mirror when in reverse - I've seen this done
  • Homelink visor - Easy
  • Rear camera - $$$ but easy
  • Opticial Parking Sesnors/parking assist - Complete bumper retrofit with wiring harness will cost you a hefty penny, and I'm not sure the harnesses are actually the same.
  • Cubby under headlight switch - Easy
  • Adaptive Chassis Control - Theres a guy on Vwvortex trying this, but none of the harnesses match up, nor does the steering wheel control, or programming. This will be a bitch to figure out.
  • Headlight washers - another tough one
  • Lack of side markers - Easy
  • RNS510 instead of RNS315 - Easy
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:55 PM   #7
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Just making sure, I have a euro spec car but I don't have all of the things that you have listed. Be careful as of what exactly you are you choosing. It will be a nice way to differentiate yourself from the other GTI's around you.

4 things extra I'd like to add.

You also get the Euro lip spoiler, not a big thing.

Color MFD

Quoting this from my GTI brochure (from Germany)
"The "Plus" anti-theft warning system including selective door opening has an interior monitoring feature in the interior light module in the headlining. With the help of sensors, it reacts to any manipulation on the bonnet, doors or tailgate."

Oh and you get 10 more BHP (advertised anyway)
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:57 PM   #8
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There is a member on here who turned his GTI into a "Euro Golf R" kinda with many of the Euro mods included. It looked like a cool project but has to be considered a hobby. It is a huge expense to include those features after the fact and the owner will get little back (outside of the joy of using the features) in return once you "bake" those items into the car.
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:58 PM   #9
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Why do you guys care about such minor crap? No one will be even able to tell the difference, esp after you drop 10k on OEM mods.

Just buy a BMW that has all the same features standard.
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:58 PM   #10
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Weird. I thought you needed the rain/light sensor to get auto headlights. Without it, the Euro switch with the Auto setting turns on the lights when you start the car and off when you turn off the car, IIRC.

And I'm thinking no for Climatronic because of that one guy who had to take apart all of his interior to get it done. But that was a MK5 GTI, I think.
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Old 09-21-2011, 06:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxtdi View Post
Why do you guys care about such minor crap? No one will be even able to tell the difference, esp after you drop 10k on OEM mods.
All of these little things add to the overall pleasure of driving the GTI. I agree with you in that if you want a tech and toy loaded car out the door, you'll need to look elsewhere.

I'm just stoked that the little additions are available and look stock when they are installed (since they are stock items on the euro spec versions).

I saw the pictures somewhere of the dual climate retrofit and that is definitely not worth the cost or the added rattles you might add from taking the entire dash apart.
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Old 09-21-2011, 06:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxtdi View Post
Why do you guys care about such minor crap? No one will be even able to tell the difference, esp after you drop 10k on OEM mods.

Just buy a BMW that has all the same features standard.
Some of love the modding part of it. I personally think that no matter if I was to have a 1990 Honda Civic or a F360 I would find some way to add mods to it. Some people just love to mod cars. I know I am one of these people that would mod anything worth the effort might not mod the '90 civic though lol.
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Old 09-21-2011, 06:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImmI View Post
Just making sure, I have a euro spec car but I don't have all of the things that you have listed.
Yeah, a lot of this I got from running Google Translate on the vw.de configurator for the GTI and from reading the vortex and this forum
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Old 09-21-2011, 06:25 PM   #14
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Damn I didnt realize that the euro GTI's were that diffrent from ours. Of course naturally they get all the cool stuff and we don't
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