Short Version: A 400hp monster that you can drive to work or the track everyday.

Our Take: Leading into SEMA this year, Volkswagen put together a GTI Tuner Challenge and enlisted four aftermarket companies – APR, ABD, WRD and H&R – to build out GTI’s to compete on the track, on the dyno and on build quality and detail (you’ll be able to read all about the tuner challenge itself in EuroTuner, European Car and Sport Compact car in a few months). In the end Volkswagen chose APR’s car below as the winner of the competition. APR’s car put close to 385hp to the wheels (more than 400 crank horsepower) with a new forthcoming “big turbo” kit utilizing an APR-specific Garrett GT series turbo. We had a chance to drive APR’s car just before it left for Las Vegas and can tell you that it is very, very quick yet drives and feels much like a factory tuned car – power is fantastic.

We’ll have a much more detailed report coming on each of the SEMA cars including the APR car in the coming weeks. Meanwhile below is the APR press release and some photos to wet your appetite.

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AUBURN, AL – As the count down to SEMA 2006 begins and car enthusiasts from across the country prepare to inundate the Las Vegas area, APR prepares to unveil their special edition VW GTI that is to be a one of a kind showstopper.

APR began work on the SEMA show car in early June of 2006 and has improved every aspect of this already note worthy VW. Stripping it down to the basics, APR immediately began working on the drivetrain by developing the APR 2.0T Stage 3 kit, which produces 400hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. This kit includes the APR inconel exhaust manifold, the APR/Garrett Turbocharger, proprietary APR FSI fueling components, all APR cast aluminum piping and custom silicon hoses and a full APR 3 inch dual exhaust system.

That’s not all the APR SEMA show car has to offer. The team continued upgrades by incorporating the APR high-flow intercooler kit with cast intakes. The suspension now features the APR coilover kit with rear sway bar, the transmission has been upgraded to include a Quaiffe limited slip with an upgraded clutch kit, and the brakes have been upgraded to four piston 13.5 inch Alcons.

The exterior of the SEMA show car features a one of a kind custom APR paint design, with the new Oettinger MkV body kit. BBS custom RS-GT wheels with matching custom paint and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 235/35-19 tires.

Moving to the interior of the car, APR left no detail unfinished. The team installed Mk5 Euro R32 seats with alcantara leather inserts and alcantara leather headliners. Custom painted door trim ads to the overall pleasing appearance of the interior and creates the custom look that labels this GTI a true APR one-of-a-kind. APR went above and beyond by installing the Internet connected infotainment system. StreetDeck enhances the driving experience with Internet radio, Internet enhanced navigation, digital media playback, iPod integration, voice activation, XM radio and backup camera. StreetDeck’s gesture controlled interface is powered by an Intel Dual Core Mac Mini.

As anticipation builds for the upcoming show, APR prepares to unveil its unique SEMA show car that not only excels in its sleek interior and exterior looks, street performance and user features, but also out-performs the competition in everyday use and top-notch performance at weekend track events. This is a one of kind APR experience so make sure you catch the debut at this years SEMA car show.

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