What makes a car a sleeper? Usually it’s a level of performance that far exceeds a relatively commonplace exterior. We know, however, that even though a Volkswagen Golf R looks quite subdued, it’s actually a bit of a rocket. Not such a sleeper to most.
But then Manhart came along and said “what if the Golf R had 331kW?” Well then we’d have ourselves a sleeper. So they did just that.
The Volkswagen Golf ‘RS450’ by Manhart still uses the EA888 engine originally nestled in the Golf R’s engine bay, but has an upgraded turbo, a Manhart intercooler, and a carbon air intake. Of course, the ECU was remapped for the new parts and output.
The total outputs are now 331kW and 500Nm, up 103kW and 100Nm from the car it started with. The European Golf R It based the back on had 228kW instead of the 213kW Australian cars get.
Manhart also added its own exhaust extractors, an upgraded (higher flow) catalytic converter, and a removal of the petrol particulate filter should contribute to a louder, more aggressive tone.
The RS450 is lower too, with a H&R set providing a new stance and Manhart’s suspension tuning making sure the ride isn’t too compromised.
Interestingly, Manhart only offers brake upgrades as options, and the RS450 just uses the standard brakes as they are. Manhart also offers optional wheels, those pictured being a set of 19-inch ‘Manhart Concave One’ wheels.
The only other styling additions are a front lip spoiler by Rieger, and a set of Manhart decals. Oh, and the paddle shifters are also replaced by Manhart - an important detail!
Currently there’s no official Manhart dealer in Australia, but if you’re after more bang from your Golf R, Brisbane-based Harding Performance offers a kit to extract 290kW and 550Nm from a Mk7.5 R!
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