Hey guys, this is my first write-up for my beloved Volkswagen Jetta 2011 Highline DSG, named by me as the ‘JetStream’, this is my first article so I apologize for the mistakes 🙂. She was bought in August 2011 from East-Delhi Volkswagen for approximately 22 Lakh on road. Initially, when I bought the car, it was out of desperation for not getting what I want from the existing car market in India. Father wanted to buy a diesel car for my college going purposes to keep the costs in check, so the viable options were the Hyundai Verna Fluidic 1.6 Diesel SX(O) Automatic which I declined because of the bad gearbox, and the VW Vento 1.6 diesel which I declined due to lack of space because I was very generously proportioned at that time 😛.
Then I decided to move on to the next segment, i.e., Chevy Cruze, VW Jetta, Corolla altis and the likes. In this segment, the Jetta was the new-boy, the car that was supposed to shake things up a bit, seeing that, I pre-booked the car looking at the Euro-specs and hoped for the best. However, the car which was launched in India was a bit of a let-down solely because of the lack of features (I was a layman back then and not the enthusiast I am now). Still, I decide to buy the car because of its no-nonsense looks and its German heritage. Having gotten the reasons for getting the Jetta DSG out of the equation, I’d like to give a brief view of initial ownership. I was actually disappointed to be honest, it was a car which was too mundane and too fragile for a college going kid to maintain, however, I stuck with it. The car had a few number of basic problems, maybe because my car was a pre-production mule and the first to be delivered in Delhi-NCR. So all in all, this car wasn’t loved like my own, it had become what every car dreads of becoming, a basic form of transportation, which I beat on quite a lot because I love to drive fast. Mechanically however, she ran just fine and was just bulletproof (being German has its plus points :P). The car had 2.0 ltr TDI engine producing 140Hp and 320nm torque(stock) which was mated to a Six Speed DSG gearbox which is a wet-clutch unlike new 7 speed Vw DSG’s in the Polo GT TSI. Time went by, the car ran around 15000 kms, I decided that it needed a refresh to calm my need for speed, so I decided to modify it into a car that I truly love and appreciate. I approached Autopsyche for the job at hand, with a singular goal of making my car as track worthy as possible. I sat down with Arush, the owner of Autopsyche, and began listing my requirements. The priority was performance, looks took a secondary position. The first step was a remap, along with a full turbo back exhaust with a 2.75″ downpipe, Bilstein B6 dampers along with H&R Springs, Tar.Ox G88 rotors, Green Performance filter, Momo Sentry 18x8j rims, Dunlop Direzza DZ101 235/40 and a couple of decent discreet visual mods to get rid of the chrome on the car. This was the first initial tune of the car. I took it to the open track day on buddh circuit and posted a respectable time for a Jetta 2:50:1 with a novice driver, while a professional driver of Autocar magazine took 2:54:3 to get a stock Jetta around BIC. I basically wanted to make it a drifter(as much tail happy as a FWD car can get) and have fun with it, and it did that pretty well, even my 2nd tune was aimed towards more sideways action.
After running the first tune for a full 4-5 months, it was time for its 2nd tune up. This time I decided on Adjustable rear anti-roll bars to make it slide more, Braided brake lines, Traction control switch that disables the ASR, to make the ECU not cut power to the wheels under slip, Neuspeed turbo inlet pipe, Carbon fibre paddle shifter extensions to make it easier for me to reach the paddles, also had the local muffler I had on the car replaced by Magnaflow twin tips. With all these changes made, I test drove it on a testing track I have laid out in Gurgaon and noticed pretty significant changes. The car tailed out more, rode a bit stiffer at the rear, had less body roll at the rear so the tyres slid much more easily also, the power had gone up marginally because of the turbo pipe(not normally noticeable but will be apparent in track times) and the power to the wheels was not cut under slip, however even though the ASR could now be turned off, the ESC stayed on, making it a bit annoying under slippy situations(It did save my ass a couple of times though :P). The new paddles were a treat, making it much easier to shift manually, making usage of the paddle shifters more intuitive than before. Braided brake lines have made the braking feel more consistent and decreased the sponginess of the pedal after repeated abuse on the track.
I ran the 2nd tune for a total of 6 months, then I decided it was time to go faster and that the time for fun and games had come to an end. Ended up deciding that the tail-out madness had to end and that it was time to become more serious with the car. So, a 3rd tune up was in order. This time it would be a lot more focused than the 2nd tune. First up was to lighten the rotating mass of the car, so I ordered ultra light racing rims that were a size down than the previous ones(17x7j from the previous 18×8), Pirelli Pzero tyres(again downsized to 225/45 to ensure a good balance of grip and tossability), Neuspeed powerpully to reduce parasitic loss, rear slotted and ventilated disc brakes Tar.Ox F2000, front Splitter for enhanced downforce, side canards for stability, rear diffuser- to manage airflow, I also got rid of the side stripe that followed the tornado line from the headlamps and ended up meeting the rear lip spoiler to give the car a more cleaner and racy outlook. Also decided to do some ICE upgrades as my stock speakers in the car started dying and it was time to get new ones, Rainbow Intelligence line speakers made for the Golf mk6 were ordered for a super clean install along with a blaupunkt Philadelphia 850 Head Unit which gives me Bluetooth, USB and navigation features along with superior sound quality as compared to the stock RCD510. This is the first creature comfort I have put in my car and I love it 😀.
The weight reduction in the car was a massive 50kgs un-sprung weight(rotating mass) which equates to 100 kgs sprung weight, and this is just as a result of the light weight alloys and downsized tyres. This not only had a massively positive effect on my acceleration, but also handling and braking. The Pirelli Pzero’s are like glue, ensuring that I don’t oversteer at all, also I set the rear adjustable anti-roll bar from hard(200% stiffer than stock) to medium(133% stiffer than stock) which reduces its tail-out attitude while improving overall traction.
Currently the car has reached its limit because of the small turbo and the DSG gearbox not being able to absorb more power from the engine. So the next step can only be a big one, either a turbo and tranny swap, or a total engine swap. However, I’m pretty satisfied with the car’s pulling capabilities for now, it’s doing 0-100 in approximately 6.5 seconds which is really close to sports car territory.
For now Project JetStream comes to an end, my next project is going to be a big one. So stay tuned 🙂 its coming soon.