BWA Auto VW Golf R: Hot Tuner 2016

When the ‘R’ stands for anything but ‘regular’

BWA Auto VW Golf R: Hot Tuner 2016

Bob Whyms Automotive was established in Sydney in the mid-1970s and its background is in air-cooled VWs.

Hot Tuner 2016 is brought to you by Valvoline SynPower

These days there aren’t so many Beetles clattering around but the business, now branded as BWA and concentrating on marques such as Porsche, VW, Audi and Mercedes, remains a family concern, with Craig Whyms – who happily admits he lives and breathes this stuff! – arriving at Hot Tuner with a 2016 MkVII Volkswagen Golf R.

Of course, the Golf R is here because it’s enhanced. BWA has hardware and software relationships with several international tuning-tech companies, with this particular Golf R’s direct-injection turbo engine upgraded with APR tech.

APR badgeAs Whyms explains it, there’s a lot of potential lurking inthe shadows of a standard Golf R’s engine bay. “You can see significant gains without changing much – just a software upgrade – and that’s great for many people,” he says. “That’s a ‘stage one’ and it takes a standard engine’s 206kW to around 260 and torque from 380 to 490Nm, which makes the most of things for a daily driver. It’s great bang for the buck.”

But this Golf R has had a bit more thrown at it, taking an internally standard engine to a sensible maximum at a cost of around $9K. Just as hot-rodders have done for decades, the BWA ‘stage two’ package concentrates on better breathing, with a free-flowing air-intake system and a larger intercooler.

On the other side of the whistle there’s a higher-flow downpipe (standard with this level of power). With more boost arriving earlier in the revs, there’s a requirement for more fuel. But as Whyms explains, the standard injector hardware (with a new tune issuing the on/off orders) is up to the task. Aussie models have eight injectors (apparently some other international-market Golf Rs only have four) so there’s fuel flow like it’s coming from a firehose.

BWA Auto VW Golf R engineThe driveline also sees the benefits of a software upgrade – and we get the hint from Whyms that feeding any more than this stage-two package’s 230kW (at the wheels on BWA’s dyno) through its standard mechanical bits would be asking for trouble. But gee, Whyms’ drag-strip best of 11.8sec isn’t too shabby.

The brakes are sourced from the US – $4800 worth of Stop Tech 355mm rotors squeezed between six-piston calipers. On this Golf R, they’re backed up by standard-size rears that team well with the big fronts for fast road use.

As Whyms points out, those big brakes need larger-than-showroom wheels, this fire-breather being shod with 18 x 8.5-inch Kings and 235/40 Yokohamas.

German-made KW Club Sport is the brand and model on the suspension. Whyms notes that, although great on track, these ones are set-up a little softer than customer spec in order to cope with the jolts of Sydney’s more chopped-up roads.

All up, $20K worth of extra stuff has created an 11-second street weapon. “It’s absolutely daily driveable, good manners and all that,” says Whyms. “But capable of fun when it needs to be.”

Car: 2016 VW Golf R
Who: BWA Auto
Where: 45 Prince William Drive, Seven Hills, NSW
How long: Since 1975
Contact: 1300 292 288

Drive: all-wheel
Engine: 1984cc inline-4, DOHC, 16v, turbo
Gearbox: 6-speed dual-clutch
Suspension: coil-overs, A-arms, anti-roll bar (f); multi-links, coil-overs, anti-roll bar (r)
Brakes: 355mm ventilated/slotted discs, 6-piston calipers (f); 310mm ventilated discs, single-piston calipers (r)
Wheels: 18 x 8.5-inch (f/r)
Tyres: 235/40 ZR18 (f/r); Yokohama Advan AD08R

APR Stage 2 tune: $1874
Intercooler: $1799
Transmission tune: $1299
Exhaust downpipe: $1564
Intake: $850
Inlet pipe: $170
Suspension: $4900
Brakes: $4800
Wheels/Tyres: $2500
Total Mods cost: $19,756
Vehicle cost (mSrp): $55,240
Total cost: $74,996


How are you finding our new site design? Tell us in the comments below or send us your thoughts at


Subscribe to Motor magazine

Subscribe to MOTOR and save up to 49%
The world's most thrilling performance car magazine. Delivered to your door each month.



We recommend


Porsche Cayenne Nurburgring

Video: New Cayenne Turbo breaks Nüburgring lap record

Updated and upgraded top-spec Cayenna proves itself to be the fastest SUV ever

13 hours ago
Jordan Mulach
Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.