Watch: How Much Damage Does a Lowered GTI Take on a Continental Road Trip?

ECS Tuning and Jamie Orr’s Mk7 GTI Rallywagen is back in the States after its drive from the top of South America to the bottom. The first thing to do is inspect the damage.

The car suffered on its continental journey. It high-centered on a piece of concrete, scraped gravel, and dirt, and has its belly ground down by giant South American speed bumps. And yet, the results are “flabbergasting,” according to Orr.

While a lot of damage has been done to the plating and the shields that the guys installed, they did their job and were unrelenting, keeping the GTI’s soft underbelly protected.

The turbo, too—an HPA setup that was the first actual unit to leave the factory—held up remarkably well. From extended periods of wide-open throttle to gas whose origins were better left unexplored, the turbo help up miraculously well.

And as Orr points out, the drive itself isn’t a particularly impossible one. Frankly, the locals do it every day. But the locals tend not to have lowered and modified vehicles. Rather than proving that it possible, the team proved that you don’t need a lifted (I’m lookin’ at you, crossovers) vehicle to go on a cross country adventure.

Long live the lowered.