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Old 31st July 2019, 16:51   #106
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Making the GT great again! Eibach springs, Audi S1 brak

Quote:
Originally Posted by harish View Post
What an amazing set of mods you have carried out mate! Your car is perfect now all around, wonder when mine will be in such a position.
Thank you for the kind words, Harish!

It's taken me 4 years to carry out these changes to the car. I'm sure you'll get there quicker. *Wink*

Quote:
I've been eyeing getting the paddle shifter steering, Eibach Pro-Kit and the Big Brake Kit, hopefully soon. I'm excited to see what else you have in store for the GT, keep it up. Your thread never fails to amuse me!
The paddles are an absolute must. Several people told me that I would use the paddles for the 1st week and that I won't use them again, but how wrong were they! I've had them for more than 3 months now and not a day goes by without it being used. It's addictive and extremely convenient too! The Eibach springs and BBK are serving their intended purpose and are performing beyond expectations!

Stay tuned, there's something interesting coming soon! *wink*

Quote:
Is the S1 plaque on the caliper removable by the way? I've seen GTI Brake Kit on few Vento's and GTs before but haven't seen one with the s1 plaque. Unique!
It's essentially the same thing, the GTI brake kit and the Audi S1 brake kit.

I had no choice at the time but to pick it up, because the regular GTI brake kit wasn't in stock and wouldn't be for the foreseeable future.

Yes, the plaque is removable. In fact, I had to remove it to trim it a little because it fouled with the wheels.
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Old 18th October 2019, 16:19   #107
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Making the GT great again! Eibach springs, Audi S1 brak

UPDATE:

Drive to Coonoor and Coimbatore:

In the month of August, I’d decided to put my car through a proper long-ish drive out of the city. The Sunday morning Kolar drive post the Eibach Pro Kit install just wasn’t enough and I had to get behind the wheel of this little car.

So we packed our bags and left for Coonoor, early on a Saturday (10/08/2019) via Krishnagiri.

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-1c71756cd0704318ace973b8b58a6c7c.jpg

Before embarking on the drive though, I’d decided to give the car a little extra juice, i.e. an additional bottle of Proctane, and I could feel the difference instantly as we made our way past Hosur and towards Krishnagiri. The engine felt butter smooth after pouring in the extra bottle and there was a perceivable improvement in engine performance as well. Predictably, I had an absolute ball around the ghats and on the straights too! Other than the odd Mercedes / BMW, I had no problems dispatching fast moving traffic. I used the paddles liberally for quick overtakes and properly yanked the steering around some of the bends. In fact, I found it nearly impossible to unstick the car around the corners as it held its line without a fuss. These Michelins I tell you, they’re just playing spoil sport now!

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-6d4eaf270f9e4f94badaf7b900304df6.jpg

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-8b5f964297194cba93e381c279233e4d.jpg

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-8e5bbadbaba94e13bf96e0f5d1f82d54.jpg

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GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-66e62707581c4c3ba7a2c51080358edd.jpg

I have to say, the car performed flawlessly.. except for one tiny little issue. The car was a touch bouncy even on slightly undulated surfaces. Unless the surface was pool-table smooth, the car would rebound and skip about, making the drive just a touch tiresome.

This could be attributed to the Eibach Pro Kit lowering springs that I’d gotten installed a while ago. Let’s be honest though, it’s not as bad as H&R Springs or even Vogtland, as I have sampled cars riding on those springs, and the Eibach is definitely the best of the lot. But it still isn’t perfect. The ride is busy while navigating undulated surfaces, and noticeably stiff on the rough stuff. Expansion joints will catch it out, and you will have to slow down for pretty much anything and everything, lest you transmit the roughness into the cabin. It’s not uncomfortable to the point where you just want to get done with the drive. It certainly does not ruin the driving experience. But it’s not a smooth ride and it can be a problem for some people who’d prefer a relaxed cruise. The Eibachs do make the car feel fidgety even on seemingly smooth roads.

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-625d85e6df5f481dbc923ddbfed7a78d.jpg

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Revisiting childhood memories.

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-aa6a466f8172468484494368018bfa4b.jpg

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The drive to Coonoor and back was a good one, and I’d covered nearly 1000 km from the 10th to the 13th, including a short drive to Coimbatore on the 11th to visit the famous GD Car Museum. More on that later. I’d also taken this opportunity to meet with fellow BHPian Harish, who was kind enough to let me drive his beloved Polo GT TSI - which is de-catted and straight-piped by Code6 Coimbatore. Let’s just say that the pops-and-bangs map coupled with a free-flow exhaust makes the Polo an absolute riot and downright ridiculous! I loved hooning his car through the empty streets of Coimbatore. After the museum tour and the short blast around town, we bid adieu. Little did I know that this short drive in Harish’s car had sown the seeds for what’s to come.

During our short stay in Coonoor, we spent our evenings / nights at the Coonoor Club courtesy its affiliation to Century Club in Bangalore.
GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-club.jpg

We also lunched at this restaurant called McIver...
GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-mansion-1.jpg
GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-mansion-2.jpg
GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-entrance-vew-restaurant.jpg
GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-restaurant-1.jpg
..located in La Belle Vie, a large Mansion (repurposed to accommodate guests, for a fee of course) nestled on top of a cliff with an expansive and beautifully manicured garden and also with spectacular views of the valley.
GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-view-1.jpg
View of the Mansion from an adjoining road, overlooking the valley.
GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-view-2.jpg

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-garden-1.jpg
The place is lush, with greenery and flowers.
GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-garden-2.1.jpg
GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-garden-2.jpg
GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-garden-3.jpg
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GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-restaurant-2.jpg
GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-restaurant-3.jpg
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Rustic décor all around the property makes for an inviting experience.

The food tastes just as good as it looks!
GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-food.jpg

Sneak peak of one of my favourite exhibits at the GD Car museum:
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Meeting Coimbatore’s friendly neighbourhood BHPian Harish for a walk through the museum.
GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-6c6551a3b34c41c3b1efca4172169696.jpg

P.S. Our drive to Coonoor and Coimbatore was scheduled during the 2nd weekend of August, and the drive was decided by me in the beginning of July. However, as the date approached, we were in for a little shock as the monsoons hit the States of TN, KA and KL pretty hard. So hard that some of the roads to Ooty via Mysore were shut. There were reports of major landslides and closure of roads. Friends of friends had gotten stuck on their way to Mysore and other parts. Our favourite jaunt, Sakleshpur, was submerged thanks to the cyclone. We were having second thoughts about the drive, but decided in the last minute to take the chance as we were really looking forward to it. We informed all our near and dear ones, and I had extensive discussions about routes and potential troubles that we may encounter with fellow Moderators. Moderator Jaggu was sweet enough to keep calling me and checking on us during our drive en-route. But the funny thing was we did not experience even a drop of rain during those 4 days, except maybe a brief drizzle during our approach to Coonoor.

Also, this Update is Part 1 of 3 updates that I will be sharing during the course of today.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 19th October 2019 at 09:14.
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Old 18th October 2019, 23:04   #108
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Making the GT great again! Eibach springs, Audi S1 brak

UPDATE:

In the month of September, I’d decided that I had to do something about the car’s exhaust. It’s been a life-long dream to own a car with a proper exhaust note, and I began working towards it with seriousness. This itch had to be scratched!

Having made the decision to get the exhaust done, I began the exercise of figuring out the best setup for my car. The first place I’d began to look was predictably, the internet. Immediately, I stumbled upon some tasty looking treats on the Supersprint Exhausts website:
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I also looked at another brand called Friedrich Motorsport from Germany:
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The prices in Euros did not seem too unreasonable, until I began crunching numbers by adding custom duties and shipping costs and they began creeping closer to 6 figures.. at times even breaching the mark! So I’d decided to look elsewhere.

Here in India, Remus has made available an axle-back exhaust that looks good, but I will anyway have to get a fabricator to delete the resonator and install custom stainless steel piping. That, and the labour, would send the prices beyond 75k and I wasn’t keen on that either. Then I came across Borla, which seemed like the ideal axle-back setup to have at reasonable prices. Listening to the exhaust note of Polo TSIs equipped with Borla ProXS mufflers reaffirmed my thoughts on it. I liked that it was a clean sound. But something about it just didn't seem right. I was even open to installing the stock muffler from the Polo 6C GTI, if I could find one, and then deleting the resonator But it seemed no one was looking to dispose of their GTI back-boxes, so I dropped that idea as well.

Having struck off most of the options available to me, I had to look at procuring custom exhaust systems from home-grown workshops. The first thing that popped into my head was to speak to Code6, as they do these jobs on Polo TSIs on a regular. But the quote they gave me was a touch pricey – 45k for a full stainless steel cat-back exhaust and 65k for the turbo-back exhaust. It was out of my budget unfortunately, so I’d decided to look elsewhere, and the next name that popped in my head was Raj’s famous exhaust works.

Coincidentally, I had bumped into the man himself in Century Club earlier this year , as he was walking into this nice little 2013 Polo GT TSI equipped with his cat-back exhaust system and some tasty looking Team Dynamics Motorsport rally-wheels:

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-raj-hingorani-1.jpg
GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-raj-hingorani-2.jpg
GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-raj-hingorani-3.jpg

The car belongs to his friend who was also there and offered to lend me his car for a spin around Cubbon Park. I was impressed by the exhaust note, but it was much too bassy for me. Plus, I wasn't too happy with the look of it.

However, after doing a little digging and research, I found mixed reviews. Speaking to a few enthusiasts helped me understand that Raj would be the go-to guy for an Indo-Jap car and not for a Volkswagen. This may be incorrect, but I dropped the idea anyway.

I began looking at other options and it struck me that Azaan's workshop was more than capable of such a job. I immediately got into the phone with him and promptly landed at his workshop to discuss in detail. I troubled Azaan with various ideas for the exhaust, such as the sort of sound I’d expect, the material used for the piping, even the size and shape of the exhaust tips! He patiently indulged me for a whole month and gave me a quote that I should say was fairly reasonable for such a job. He strongly advised me against deleting the catalytic converter and stick to a straight-forward cat-back exhaust. Initially, I’d only wanted to delete the cat and swap out the muffler for something a little more interesting. This way, I’d figured that I can cut out the drone by retaining the resonator and simultaneously generate an exhaust note with a custom muffler, and squeeze a bit more power out of the motor by removing the major restriction that is the catalytic converter.

However, my conscience simply wouldn’t permit me to drive a car that would potentially pollute 10 times more than it ought to. I do try to be conscious of the environment, and deleting the cat would not be something I’d be proud of. So I dropped the idea, and with it the hopes of getting an exhaust system that pops and bangs, much to my dismay.

Azaan’s quote wasn't in my range either, and if my bank balance could talk, it would use the choicest of expletives for the abuse I’ve put it through. Realizing that I’m going to run it completely dry at the rate I’m going, I’d decided to cut back on the expenditure and look elsewhere for an even better deal.

This is when I’d come across fellow BHPian speed_kill’s rejuvenated blue Vento TDI, now equipped with a stainless steel straight pipe from the cat-con. He had got it done at this place called ProRace customs and the work looked top-notch for the pictures. The price was mouth-wateringly low too and almost hard to believe. So I had to get in touch with ProRace and Mr. Kills was nice enough to put me through to them and even accompany me to the workshop, situated far beyond civilization (I’m only kidding, it’s located on the Hennur-Bagalur main road).

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-01-pro-race-board.jpg

But before I get to that, let me walk you through the process of this decision..

Joanathan Anand, the young dude who runs ProRace Customs, along with his father Mr. Juvitha Ravi, indulged my crazy by patiently listening to all my queries and answering them promptly. They were transparent with me, for the most part. I’d discussed with them my long list of preferences for the exhaust system. There were a few things I was extremely particular about and one was that I wanted a dual tipped exhaust pipe and an appropriately trimmed bumper to accommodate the tips. The other is that I wanted more of a rasp and tone than a bass-heavy note. Most of you may know that the moment you swap out the stock exhaust for an aftermarket / custom one, especially with a resonator deleted, the first thing you’d notice is just how much more bassy the note becomes. While I didn’t mind that, I wasn’t keen on just bass or too much bass. Joanathan gave me a patient hearing and even provided valuable suggestions. After a lot of deliberation and intense discussions, I’d decided to go ahead with the job, and by mid-October, I was the proud owner of a car that makes all the right kinds of noises.

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-02-workshop-entrance.jpg

ProRace Customs Type 304 2" Stainless Steel cat-back exhaust, with a deleted resonator:

The good stuff:
1) The exhaust note: Oh boy, this one needs to be heard in person! It’s pretty brilliant!
2) The actual product: High quality stainless steel and clean welds!
3) Customizable tips: I got them finished in brushed aluminum and engraved on request, and it has come out exactly the way I wanted it!
4) At Rs. 22,500/- for a stainless steel cat-back exhaust, it’s a damn good deal!
The not-so-good stuff:
1) The distance from the CBD to workshop and the roads leading up to it are absolutely terrible, with craters larger than those on the freaking moon for crying out loud!
2) ProRace couldn’t keep up to their commitments and deadlines on a few occasions – the delays were frustrating and perhaps avoidable.
3) My requests for regular updates with frequent pictures were not met.
4) The stop gap solutions to iron out the little issues were not satisfactory.

So I’d decided to swing by the workshop on the morning of the 2nd (Wednesday) of October with my car, discuss the finer points, drop off the car and collect it on the night of the 5th. As I had scheduled prior commitments on the 6th, 7th and 8th, I'd made it clear that I will be arriving at KIA at 7:00 pm on the 5th and will cab it straight to the workshop to collect my car.

Upon my arrival at the workshop on the 2nd, and after closing the deal and specifying my requirements, I walked around the workshop to have a quick look at their establishment.

Wall art of exhaust pipes. Clearly these guys are looking to establish themselves as exhaust specialists:
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An interesting request from a customer who wanted a car severed in half and complete with seating arrangements and a center-table for his establishment:
GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-workshop-overview-2.jpg

Having noticed that ProRace Customs is open to customization requests, I wanted to get something special that would set it apart from the rest of the custom jobs around.

ProRace Customs would have fabricated tips if I'd asked for it, but I’d placed an order for some cheap chrome exhaust tips from AliExpress in the beginning of September, and the tips arrived on the 1st of October, just in time for the exhaust job.

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-tips-1.jpg
I requested for the tips to be hand/machine finished in brushed aluminium and a very specific logo laser-etched onto the tip:
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Brushed aluminium tips look far better than plane mirror chrome finish, in my opinion:
GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-tips-2.jpg
GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-tips-3.jpg

All laser-etching is outsourced to a specialist workshop in Whitefield, and Joanathan will have to undertake an excursion from Hennur-Bagalur to Whitefield to achieve this job. The extra effort is truly appreciated!

However, I was under the assumption that four days would be sufficient to complete the job. But my repeated texts for updates went unanswered and I grew increasingly anxious by the 4th, at which point I’d decided to give him a call. On the phone, Joanathan mentioned that the car would not be ready by the 5th (Saturday) and asked me to collect it on the 8th. Joanathan did clarify by saying that the Workshop lost power on the day they’d scheduled to complete the job, and we can thank the BBMP for this and the digging work right outside the workshop. A setback I was not happy about.

Since the car was going to be sitting in the workshop, I’d requested Joanathan if he could buff out a few small scratches and paint the portion of the bumper that had lost paint due to an imbecile who hit my car while it was parked(!) and he offered to do it for an additional discounted fee:
GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-painting.jpg

I was keen on collecting the car on the 5th and having it washed and ready for Ayudh Pooja, but I had to cut a sorry figure at home as the car would languish at the workshop till Tuesday. More frustrations ensued as Joanathan called to inform me that the exhaust tips are not ready and can only be done by Wednesday or Thursday.

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-fabrication.jpg

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-exhaust-4.1.jpg

As I needed the car on Thursday and Friday (10th and 11th) I’d decided to collect the car on Tuesday even though the work was incomplete.

When I’d visited the workshop on Tuesday, I was relieved to see my car after a whole week. But I was equally frustrated that the job was still incomplete.

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-exhaust-1.jpg

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-exhaust-2.jpg

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-exhaust-4.jpg

Anyway, we pulled out of the workshop and onto the main road and headed towards the new Airport Road. The first thing I’d noticed was the bass of the exhaust note at low revs. Before exercising the right foot, I thought it would be prudent to get the car up to temperature and after about 5 minutes of driving, I did a couple of pulls on a few straight bits of road. All my irritation owing to the delays in delivery, and the fact that the job was still incomplete, was quelled by the new and, might I add, fantastic exhaust note!

However, I’d immediately noticed a few issues:

1) There seemed to be quite a lot of buffeting from the exhaust. This was due to the shape of the dual pipes. While one was straight, the other was cut in a sideways slant and literally faced the other tail pipe. The slant-cut with its leading edge forced the gasses to cross paths with the exhaust gasses from the other pipe, creating an annoying and strange buffeting sound. Joanathan promised that this would be rectified with the new tips.

2) I could hear a clear and audible metal-on-metal clanging sound coming from underneath the car whilst negotiating speed breakers and undulations. The reason for this is the larger diameter piping that had to sit right in between the rear axle below it and the heat shield above it. The space between the axle and heat shield is as it is quite narrow, and this was further compounded by the Eibach springs that further reduced the space available for the now larger diameter pipe. Introduce a larger diameter pipe in that space and voila, you have metal-on-metal clanging that made my life hell on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. And it seemed to get progressively worse with every undulation and speed breaker I had to negotiate during those excruciating three days! Joanathan assured me that it would be fixed permanently on Saturday and I just couldn’t wait.

On Saturday, the 12th, I promptly drove to the workshop in the morning to shake out the bugs. But after further delays that interfered with my personal commitments, Joanathan organized a stop-gap solution for the clanking sounds by fixing a rubber material/hose around the pipe and fastened it with zip ties of all things:
GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-exhaust-3-rubber-silicone-wrap.jpg

Nevertheless, I was pleased with the way it looked at the end. Just the way I liked it!

Driving back to the city from the workshop, I was happy that the clanking was temporarily resolved and that the exhaust buffeting was cleaned up with the tips in place.

Some pictures of the final product:

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GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-exhaust-5.jpg

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-exhaust-8.jpg

A closer look at the etching work:

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-exhaust-9.jpg

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-exhaust-7.jpg

The tips have been intentionally staggered, i.e. the inner tip seems longer than the outer tip. This has been done so that the tips follow the bumper line, for that factory-look:
GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-exhaust-6.jpg

I personally feel exhaust tips need to be staggered a bit, and if they are positioned at equal length, it looks very aftermarket and slapped-on.

A closer look at the tips when viewed from the top:
GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-exhaust-10.jpg

Unfortunately, only one video was managed thus far and it’s riddled with disturbances, so I will refrain from uploading videos, and I will attempt to describe the exhaust note with good ol’ literature:

At idle / cold starts, it’s loud especially in the basement of my apartment building. There’s a distinct warble from the pipes as it spits and gargles at idle. However, once up to temp, it settles down to a muted albeit bassy thrum.

On the move and up till around 2k-2.5k RPMs, it’s still bassy and muted. In fact, it’s barely audible while cruising at 1.5k RPMs higher up in the gears. Even at 2k-2.5k RPMs, there is no drone, and the minimal bass can be drowned out by some music on the stereo. Get off the gas pedal and onto the brakes, and you can hear very mild pops when on a narrow and quiet road.

However, once the RPM needle approaches 3k, it almost sounds like a valve is opened and the car finds its voice! It’s a hollow, raspy, metallic howl from 2800 RPM all the way till 6000 RPM and it gets raspier as you dial in the revs post 4k RPM! It sounds raw and absolutely fantastic! And when the exhaust is sufficiently warm, the exhaust crackles when you shift up a gear! Oh, those crackles on gear-changes are absolutely addictive! And if you roll down the windows on a quiet night, you can hear mild pops from the exhaust pipes as well! Oh, and once warmed up sufficiently and whilst puttering around a quiet empty street, you can hear the exhaust note at 1.5k RPMs, spitting, popping and gargling. It’s got a great burble, even at low revs when given gentle prods! This cacophony of sounds and notes conveys one thing: This isn’t just any regular aftermarket exhaust. It’s something special.

Let me make one thing clear, it’s not extremely loud and it’s certainly not obnoxious. You can drive it around with a light foot and no one around would even notice! In fact, below 3k it’s only muted bass that accompanies you, and it is easily drowned out by music on the stereo and / or ambient traffic noises.

All in all, I am extremely pleased with the end result and the actual product. It’s a great exhaust note and it’s not too loud or obnoxious – exactly what I wanted. However, the service from ProRace needs improvement. My biggest grouse was the lack of communication and of course, the delays. Oh, and I am not completely satisfied with the trimming of the bumper to accommodate the tips. I had specifically requested for the opening to look as factory as possible, i.e. not straight cuts but soft edges that taper away. I had even assisted them by drawing on the bumper with a sketch pen the cut-out exactly the way I would have liked it, but it wasn’t done. Joanathan did say that he would address it in the future and also find a permanent solution for the clanking against the heat shield.

I do appreciate Joanathan and his father Juvita in acknowledging the issues I have faced. Juvita also took some time out to explain to me a little more about ProRace and his future avenues, which includes a transmission with a motorized clutch, similar to the AMT gearboxes. ProRace is also looking to introduce various iterations of valvetronic exhausts in the near future.

Meanwhile, Azaan was kind enough to have a look at the exhaust over the weekend, and he did point out that the rubber hose would not last long, and neither would the zip-ties. He also pointed out that the hooks / clamps holding the exhaust to the bushes were substandard or at best, average and ordinary. He had his reservations about it, but he also mentioned that the actual exhaust itself looks / sounds good.

I’m hoping to rectify some of the issues soon. In fact, Azaan’s father was kind enough to suggest that I bring the car in soon for permanent solutions to these issues. And I may just take him up on the offer, but I would also like to give Joanathan the opportunity to resolve these minor bugs.

That being said, I am extremely happy with the result overall, and now I constantly find myself downshifting and sticking to walls / driving close to flyover ramps and driving through Bangalore’s Metro stations just to listen to that exhaust note resonate and bounce off the walls and echo through the streets! Oh, and my stereo is now permanently switched off. Who needs ICE, amirite?

P.S. Video clips of the exhaust-note are coming soon! Watch this space!

Last edited by suhaas307 : 19th October 2019 at 10:02.
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Old 19th October 2019, 01:19   #109
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Making the GT great again! Eibach springs, Audi S1 brak

UPDATE:

I had mentioned in my earlier post that I wasn’t completely satisfied with the Eibach Pro Kit lowering springs. This isn’t to say they were bad. I liked them and they served the intended purpose. And I went into the purchase knowing well that the car’s ride quality would suffer, at least a little bit. And it did. The ride was at least 20% stiffer than stock, and while I could feel the extra stiffness especially on city streets, I wasn’t too bothered by it. In fact, I wasn’t concerned by the stiffness at all and I had even decided that I would eventually upgrade the Sachs dampers to Bilsteins, specifically the B8 struts. These struts have shorter pistons compared to the B6 and other OE dampers like the Sachs and are designed in tandem with the Eibach Pro Kit springs and its stiffer spring rate.

My only grouse was that I had to slow down for some seriously undulated and rough roads, as prolonged driving over such surfaces at even moderate speeds with these springs would eventually induce rattles in the interior and maybe even result in damaged wheels and tyres.

However, I decided I could live with it and hoped that the roads would get better soon.. until a certain Doctor from Manipal (who is a car enthusiast and also happens to be a fellow BHPian) dropped me a text. He asked me to confirm if the Pro Kit springs were actually progressive or was it purely false marketing? As it turns out, it was false marketing, as Dr. Naren shared with me a few documents on Whatsapp, clearly establishing that the Pro Kit springs were indeed linear and not progressive:

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-12-doc.jpg

Here's the document that proves that these Eibach springs are in fact linear and not progressive: Eibach.PDF

Link to the Eibach Pro Kit springs website: https://eibachshop.com/index.php?p10...aloon-polo-van

Studying these documents thoroughly helped me understand that these Pro Kit springs were just not up to the mark. Anyway, there wasn’t anything I could do about it so I let it slide for the time being.

Some of you may be aware that Naren installed Cobra progressive springs on his Baleno and that he has been raving about it to everyone.

Out of sheer curiosity and with no intention of actually making a purchase, I’d requested Dr. Naren to put me in touch with the distributor for Cobra progressive springs. I was immediately referred to one Achintya Mehrotra who happens to be a professional racing driver and a home-bred tuner amongst other things. Achintya is famous for his tricked out Maruti Suzuki Ignis that regularly shows a stock Polo GT TSI a clean pair of heels on Instagram videos.

After a long and fruitful chat with Achintya, I was convinced to try the Cobra progressive springs, but this was contingent on finding a buyer for my Eibach springs. After having received several enquiries for the springs, I finally found someone willing to take it off my hands for a very decent deal, one which would not hurt my bank balance too much. I dropped Achintya a text, confirmed that I would buy a set for my car, with specifications of 25 mm / 30 mm front / rear ride height drops – very similar / same as the Eibach Pro Kit springs. Achintya was kind enough to offer me a deal and even express-shipped the parcel to my flat in Bangalore from Delhi.

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-01-progressive-springs-polo.jpg
Cobra Progressive Springs for Polo 6C 1.2 TSI.

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-02-ready-dispatch.jpg
All packed and ready for dispatch from Achintya's location in New Delhi.

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-03-arrived.jpg
The package arrived on the 10th of October, complete with two stickers.

As I was scheduled to visit ProRace Customs on the 12th to shake out the bugs in the exhaust system, I spoke to Joanathan who had agreed to swap out the springs whilst the exhaust would be worked on. Bu alas, this couldn’t be achieved as Joanathan had told me a day earlier that he had a few problems with labour and the job would be delayed / put off to another day.

As I had committed to the buyer that I would arrange for the Eibach springs to be dispatched on Saturday, I had to request Azaan to accommodate me on short notice and get the job done. As expected, Azaan welcomed me the next day and finished off the job in 1.5 hours flat!

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-04-front-springs-comparison.jpg
Here’s a picture comparing the front springs from Cobra (red) and Eibachs (black). Not too dissimilar…

..but the springs for the back are quite different, as one can see from the photograph below.
GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-05-rear-springs-comparison.jpg

- Note how the spacing between the Eibach springs (black) are equal whereas in the Cobra springs (red), the mid-section of the spring unit is tightly wound with minimal spacing and the top/bottom sections of the coils are loosely wound and spaced further apart from each other. This helps lend the Cobra springs its progressive characteristics and achieve its softer spring rates. Also, notice how the Eibach spring is a touch shorter than the Cobra spring. This gave the car (on Eibach springs) it's bottom-heavy/saggy stance that I wasn't a fan of. I'm glad that the Cobras have fixed this.


GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-06-eibachs-packed.jpg
Here's a picture of the Eibachs, cleaned up, packed and ready for dispatch to a buyer from Kerala.

With the new Cobra springs installed, I set off for a quick alignment at Madhus and to the car-wash as well as the nearest courier service.

As I write this, the new springs have been on the car for nearly a week, and I must say that the new springs have transformed the ride quality of the car!

My experience so far may be limited to city-limit hoons on some good roads and some not-so-good roads. But I can definitely tell that the difference between the Eibach linear springs and the Cobra Progressive springs is literally night and day! Suddenly, the car seems to ride like it’s back on stock springs, but it sits lower than stock. It’s witchcraft and almost unbelievable, I must say! On the very same roads where the car felt overtly stiff on Eibachs, it now quite-literally glides over them on these Cobra progressive springs, it’s uncanny! And there is no sacrifice in performance, I can assure you that.

In fact, I think these new springs have also fixed the slightly bum-heavy awkward stance of the car when it was on the Eibach Pro kit Springs.

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-07-new-stance-1.jpg

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-08-new-stance-2.jpg

It seems to sit very marginally higher than when on Eibachs, maybe 2-3 mm more? I’m not sure! But it certainly looks better whilst retaining the hunkered down look.

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-09-new-stance-3.jpg

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-10-new-stance-4.jpg

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-11-new-stance-5.jpg

When Achintya pinged me on Whatsapp for feedback on the springs, this is what I had to say: “It’s a dream now! I don’t feel the need to slow down for every little undulation or even make the extra effort to avoid the slightly uneven/rough patches. I fly over them now, without the worry that I will eventually create rattles in the car because of driving fast over average roads. And at the same time, I have the looks and stance of a slightly lowered car.”

This marked improvement in comfort is down to the engineering that has gone into the springs, particularly the rear set. A close look at them would indicate that the middle portion of the spring unit consists of coils that are wound closer together whereas the coils above and below this section are more spaced out. Furthermore, the rear spring set seems to be a touch taller than the Eibach’s rear springs. Initially, I had noticed these springs on the Coilover kit from Cobra and I was hell bent on getting the coilovers instead of just the springs. However, with the knowledge that Coilovers have a very poor lifespan on Indian roads coupled with the fact that they would cost an arm and a leg to buy, the decision to walk away from it was not difficult at all.

For now, on city streets, it appears that these new progressive springs have transformed the ride quality of my car. Back in the day, lowering your car would mean an immediate and assumed sacrifice in ride quality, but now with the advent of new tech, particularly in these Cobra progressive springs, you can have your cake and eat it too!

Credits to Dr. Naren and a big shout out to him for suggesting the change from Eibachs to Cobra springs and for putting me in touch with Achintya.

The acid test however will be a 500 km round trip to Chikkamagalur, scheduled in the second half of November. I cannot wait to put it to the test!

Stay tuned for further updates!

P.S. some of you may have noticed in the pictures that my car isn't parked within the lines. This was done only for the purpose of taking photographs and my car is never parked outside the lines.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 21st October 2019 at 10:55.
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Old 19th October 2019, 09:26   #110
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exha

Very detailed posts, thanks for sharing

Exhaust

Nicely made. But, you need to get rid of OE Cat-Con for better gains in performance. Race cat should be your next upgrade.

Lowering Springs

It's clearly mentioned by Eibach that they are linear. I believe it's lack of awareness than false marketing by their dealers/distributors in India.

Regarding Cobra springs, their rear design is progressive for all the cars. I was shocked to observe that the ride quality in my Baleno was as good or slightly better than stock when driven alone after Cobra springs. But, it does get little bouncy under full load.

Waiting for exhaust sound videos

Last edited by Dr.Naren : 19th October 2019 at 09:27.
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Old 19th October 2019, 15:32   #111
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Making the GT great again! Eibach springs, Audi S1 brak

Those are some useful mods on your car! Has the handling improved or remained the same with the Cobra springs? Also, has the low ride height caused the car to bottom out in Bangalore's phenomenal rally roads?
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Old 19th October 2019, 21:27   #112
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exha

Amazing updates Suhaas and the way you have taken care of your VW Polo. For people with limited automotive knowledge like me, these are very good information and someday I want to try it on my Linea Tjet as well.
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Old 19th October 2019, 23:42   #113
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exha

Happy to see posts from you again Suhaas, I've been waiting for this for long. It was great meeting you, the first time meeting a TBHP member. I'm glad you enjoyed hooning my car The exhaust looks spot-on, I'm sure it sounds the same as well. If you don't want to de-cat your car then you should look at race-cat options, such as the Magnaflow 200-cell one. Significant bump in power and better low-end torque with-out much increase in emissions. Good choice going with the new Cobra springs, I'm still loving the Eibach Pro-Kit springs despite them being a bit on the stiffer side and you can literally feel every tiny bump/pothole on the road. I don't really mind sacrificing comfort for better handling so it works for me. It looks like Cobra is the one to go if you want an all rounder. Keep more posts coming and enjoy your GT!
Also,
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Old 20th October 2019, 22:51   #114
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exha

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Naren View Post
Very detailed posts, thanks for sharing

Exhaust

Nicely made. But, you need to get rid of OE Cat-Con for better gains in performance. Race cat should be your next upgrade.

Lowering Springs

It's clearly mentioned by Eibach that they are linear. I believe it's lack of awareness than false marketing by their dealers/distributors in India.

Waiting for exhaust sound videos
Thanks Dr. Naren!

With respect to the cat-delete, a lot depends on my plans next year.

I am in talks with Binoy (Binz on the forum), and if I do feel the need for more power, I may up the ante by upgrading the turbo and getting a Stage 2 TCU tune as well. The cat-delete / sportcat will be an inevitable modification at that stage.

As far as the Eibachs are concerned, it may be lack of awareness, but it's sort of expected from the public, but not from those who are marketing/selling the product. I am personally ashamed that I was misinformed and did not catch this anomaly.

A small update on the video clip of the exhaust, later in this post

Quote:
Originally Posted by SavoyWalrus View Post
Those are some useful mods on your car! Has the handling improved or remained the same with the Cobra springs? Also, has the low ride height caused the car to bottom out in Bangalore's phenomenal rally roads?
Thanks Mr. Walrus!

Handling hasn't changed from the Eibachs. The car holds its corner just as well as it did before and doesn't roll as much either, just as before. There's just the element of comfort that's added to the package now.

As for the low ride height, I haven't had any issues per se. More on that later in the post..

Quote:
Originally Posted by harish View Post
It was great meeting you, the first time meeting a TBHP member. I'm glad you enjoyed hooning my car The exhaust looks spot-on, I'm sure it sounds the same as well. If you don't want to de-cat your car then you should look at race-cat options, such as the Magnaflow 200-cell one...

...I don't really mind sacrificing comfort for better handling so it works for me. It looks like Cobra is the one to go if you want an all rounder. Keep more posts coming and enjoy your GT!
Also,
Thanks Harish! It was great to meet you as well!

Yes, Magnaflow 200-cell sportcat would be my go-to option when I do decide to further improve on the performance.

I wouldn't say the Eibachs offer an improvement in the handling department. The Cobras are just as good without sacrificing on comfort and ride quality. I can only imagine how good their coilover setups must be!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Minor Update:

Yesterday, I was keen on getting a few sound clips of the exhaust note and as I had a half-day at the office I phoned Vid6639 who asked me to swing by post lunch so we could mount the GoPro on the car and get some videos.

Since I stay in the CBD where the ambient sounds may interfere with the recording, Viddy suggested I drive to his place and then to some remote areas beyond his house, where there are some open roads and lighter ambient sounds that may not distort the recording too much. It wasn't the worst idea, but then Viddy took me through some of the most treacherous roads in the BBMP limits of Bangalore. Some of these stretches were so bad that it simply makes no sense to drive anything other than a SUV or a car with good ground clearance. But the car on the new Cobra springs handled it very well. Yes, you still have to slow down to a crawl for some of the bad stuff, but minor ruts, undulations and patchwork are dismissed without having to slow down at all - a huge improvement over the Eibachs in my opinion. If I had to undertake such a drive again while riding on Eibachs, my body would be sore by the end of it.

There was one moment where the front-right mud flap hit a huge speed breaker while I was negotiating it, but that was the only time a part of the bodywork made contact with the road surface since I've had the car!

Several nerve-racking moments later, we managed to traverse these pathways that the government dares call roads, and found some nice open stretches with fewer vehicles.

We immediately strapped on the GoPro and began our hoon-sesh, only to find about 20 minutes later that something smelled funny.

Initially we thought it was the brakes, but it was coming from the exhaust. It could have either been the rubber hose melting i.e. the stop gap solution to the heat-shield knocking, or the glass wool burning inside the muffler.

Viddy also noticed the slight buffeting in the exhaust note that seemed to be back even though the tips are in place. It's a strange note that Viddy initially thought was the intake sound, but then narrowed it down to perhaps a bend or two in the piping that was causing this.

When I get some time to myself, I shall pay ProRace a visit and get these issues looked into / rectified.

We have managed to get some videos, but I haven't seen them yet. Also, I am an absolute noob at this and simply don't have the time to figure out how do edit the videos. Therefore, I formally appeal to anyone here who has the skill / spare time to chop up / compile the video for me and I will be ever so grateful. The remuneration; a quick drive and a coffee over a weekend. Please reach out to me ASAP.

P.S. Oh, and I also noticed something quite strange. After about 30 minutes into the hoon-sesh, we stepped out to see if the camera was still in place, and I noticed that the exhaust tips were sticking out about a good 2 inches further from the where it was initially positioned. Fearing that the tips had gotten loose and were not welded well enough, we tried to see if they would come off but they were sitting pretty tight on the pipes. And after the drive I had to pay Madhus a quick visit as Viddy had noticed a huge nail in the right rear tyre when he had stepped out of the car at the Electronic City Toll Booth. (These damn Michelins are nail-magnets - this is the third puncture since I got the got the set earlier this year!) At Madhus, while getting the puncture fixed, I'd noticed that the tips had retracted back to its original position. This was really puzzling. Can stainless steel really expand to such an extent that the exhaust pipe gets longer?

Last edited by Vid6639 : 21st October 2019 at 08:52. Reason: damn
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Old 21st October 2019, 09:52   #115
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exha

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
P.S. Oh, and I also noticed something quite strange. After about 30 minutes into the hoon-sesh, we stepped out to see if the camera was still in place, and I noticed that the exhaust tips were sticking out about a good 2 inches further from the where it was initially positioned.

I'd noticed that the tips had retracted back to its original position. This was really puzzling. Can stainless steel really expand to such an extent that the exhaust pipe gets longer?
Looks like a male thing, in case you were not aware!
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Old 21st October 2019, 10:50   #116
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exha

Please check system mountings and make sure they are proper and no extra load on it.

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Old 21st October 2019, 11:40   #117
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exha

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
.... Also, I am an absolute noob at this and simply don't have the time to figure out how do edit the videos. Therefore, I formally appeal to anyone here who has the skill / spare time to chop up / compile the video for me and I will be ever so grateful. The remuneration; a quick drive and a coffee over a weekend. Please reach out to me ASAP....
I can help you out. Just share your interesting videos and I will make you a video reel!
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Old 23rd October 2019, 14:11   #118
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Making the GT great again! Eibach springs, Audi S1 brak

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
UPDATE:As I write this, the new springs have been on the car for nearly a week, and I must say that the new springs have transformed the ride quality of the car!

The acid test however will be a 500 km round trip to Chikkamagalur, scheduled in the second half of November. I cannot wait to put it to the test!

Stay tuned for further updates!
Big fan of your performance oriented mods, Suhaas. And special thanks for sharing this one, because lowering springs have been on my mind for a while now. I considered the VW RacingLine springs. They are reasonably priced, but the cost of shipping and the additional customs duty mean that the landed cost will be more than 2x.

The Cobra springs seem like the perfect choice for city driving, offering a balance between comfort and handling. I have exchanged messages with Achintya, and he has confirmed that they will work with the B6 struts in my GT. So look out for an update on my ownership thread soon.
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Old 24th October 2019, 00:09   #119
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exha

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Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
Looks like a male thing, in case you were not aware!
Damn - roflmao!!!!

One heck of a response there Ajmat.

Suhaas, your Polo looks suveeetttt!!! Well executed mod. I only wish there was something to sweeten up the exhaust note for Diesels too especially 1.3 MJD on Brezza!
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Old 24th October 2019, 20:05   #120
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Default Re: GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exha

Spotted your car at the Bangalore club this evening.

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-1image.jpeg

GT'ing around in my VW Polo TSI. UPDATE: Make the GT great again! Cobra springs, SS catback exhaust-2image.jpeg
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