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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My car is a 2003 GTI 1.8T, and per the numerous threads I decided that I did not want to lower the car and DECREASE the handling. However, I wanted some improvement in cosmetics and a HUGE increase in performance. So here is what I selected:
1) Neuspeed Golf IV VR6 SofSports (220F/160R)
2) Tokico HP dampers (specs seemed a good match to the springs).
Currently, I have not installed aftermarket bars in order to assess the effectiveness of the suspension.
Here are my initial impressions:
Appearance- At 200 miles the front appears to be 3/8" lower at 26 and 5/8"; the rear appears to have been lowered 3/4" and appears to be right at 26 and 3/4". I am very pleased. All of the front lowering appears to be the result of removing the front spacers per Neuspeed's instructions. It is very difficult to tell that the suspension is not stock except that it looks "better" in some way than stock. I am very pleased as I did not want a "slammed" car.
Comfort- Maintaining comfort was a key goal as well. All I can say is that this appears to be just about perfect as far as I am concerned. I trimmed the rear bumpstomps about 1/2" for the install. There is no additional harshness that is not related to the spring rate or shock damping. There is absolutely no increase in "pitching" over the stock setup and no increased "bounciness". In fact both aspects were drastically reduced over the stock suspension. "Sharp" imperfections in the road are noticeable with a "thump" but not an impact much harsher than the stock suspension, and there is no "wallowing" over dips at high speeds as occurred with the stock suspension. Overall, seems a lot firmer, but only about 10% "harsher".

Performance- All I can say is
It doesn't even feel like the same car. Cornering is very flat and there is no sudden weight shift like the stock suspension. I have not tested the car to determine how much "push" has been eliminated, but the car feels like it should have from the factory. The damping rate of the HP's seems absolutely dead-on for the SofSports
I could not be more pleased with phase 1. I might not go to phase 2 (rear bar). My only concern is long-term reliability of the HP's but I don't anticipate problems since I did not significantly lower my vehicle.
I will post another update after I do the alignment and allow everything to settle a little more. I don't even think an alignment will be needed. I highly recommend this combo to anyone wanting a SIGNIFICANT upgrade without spensing much dough.
Phase 1 total dollars:
SofSport springs: $150 shipped
Tokico HP's: $300 shipped
Install: $200 (including installation of Eurosport cat-back exhaust and Neuspeed poly torque arm mounts).
$650 all in-- Not bad.
I hope this is informative and helpful.
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