Project Heartland Eos: Part 1

You had to know it would only be a matter of time before we did an Eos project series, and we figured the new year was the perfect time to launch a new series. This one is a little unique in that our subject vehicle resides in the midwest, not exacty Mecca for drop-top lovers. Then again, the Eos is not your average convertible either. We though it was appropriate to feature an Eos that will not only see the warm summer sun, but also the ugliness of a Great Lakes winter, salt and all. So we begin our Project Heartland Eos with this first installment by the car’s owner, Ari Comet (aka- “Shaka” on VWvortex), in his own words….

Observing the month of October in the Midwest is breathtaking. Colorful foliage. Brisk evenings. Halloween festivities. Octoberfest. If you are a car enthusiast and happen to own a forced induction car, the cold dense air is a welcome benefit. But rarely do those of us on the Great Lakes consider this time of year the best time to purchase an open-air vehicle.

Obviously, Volkswagen didn’t have the Midwest in mind when they chose to unveil their new Eos at this time of year. Nonetheless, the local dealers have been unable to keep them in stock and finding our color of choice in this region of the country was no easier than anywhere at that time. Without a doubt the Eos is a big hit around the globe.

When my wife first told me she would have no problem replacing her 2002 New Beetle with an Eos, I laughed. Having seen the Eos for the first time at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, it seemed fun yet impractical. Owning a convertible in Ohio is as practical as having a boat. Few days during the year allow you to enjoy the benefits. But we hit the dealership anyhow and quickly fell in love.

Driving the car opened my eyes to how ideal it really was for her. In less than 30 seconds you had the benefits of a drop-top, but with the top up the car is whisper quiet, and very sporty. And the DSG transmission is wicked fun! As a purist I’ve always preferred my ‘toys’ to be manual transmission. I’m not sure that is the case anymore. Without a doubt the robust 2.0T engine coupled to this remarkable new gearbox makes me want to drive my wife’s car more than mine.

After leaving the dealership, it wasn’t long before we started talking about the things we wanted to do to the car. Our first sweep will undoubtedly be the basics that it seems she and I have done to all our VW/Audi toys in the past. You know … European headlight switch, OEM Monster Mats, aftermarket turn signals, and so forth. We were also pleased to find out the Eos shares much in common with the Mk5 Jetta, so we hope to be able to squeeze the GLI Pedal Set, GLI DSG Shift Knob, and perhaps GLI Steering Wheel into our budget. Oh, and then there is the matter of swapping out the Sirius Satellite Radio for an XM tuner. (Sorry, we’re just not die-hard Howard Stern fans.)

Come the spring, we want to transform the car into something a bit more stunning. Wheels, tires, and a good suspension typically do the trick. Everyone knows that your wheel/tire selection can renovate your basic boring vehicle into something unique, stunning, and personalized. Spring time is still months away, but we already have plans to plus size the wheels, and bring the center of gravity down quite a little bit. Aggressive looks are a must to set us apart!

Right now the Eos aftermarket is still in its infancy stages. A few body kits have rolled out into the world, with both hot and cold reactions. We hope to find one that fits our tastes, and fit it to the car after the spring. Tuners are just beginning to uncork the potential of this versatile little car, which can be a touring roadster one day, and a canyon-carver the next.

Dreaming of the warm summer weather, I’m already starting to plan my weekend road trips. Open sky, twisty country roads. Midwestern states are not all farms, you know? We have some gorgeous back roads and open highways just begging for company. And what better car to eat it all up than our Eos? Stay tuned as we tweak our new little gem. But for now, I’m going to go shovel some snow. Maybe it is time to start buying the little goodies you can enjoy, from inside the car, huh?! Ciao!

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For more photos of the car in this story, click on the link to our gallery at the right.