How to Install a Golf R Bumper on a Mk6 GTI

How to Install a Golf R Bumper on a Mk6 GTI 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
The Golf 6 GTI was never a groundbreaking car, but it was better than the Mk5 in many ways, especially when it comes to comfort. It's been almost four years since it went out of production, which means you can get one for around half the original price.
One good reason to do that is that there are a lot more custom parts available for this car than for a Ford or a Honda, especially in Europe. The first thing people usually do is change the exhaust, but the front end should also get some love. There are plenty of Golf 6 R front bumpers available on eBay for a little over $300. So you can upgrade the GTI to look like its more expensive brother. We don't think of it as cheating, especially when most people tune the turbo engine to around 270 horsepower.

You will need a few good tools, but this is not the type of job that requires a specialist. First things first, pop the hood open and unscrew the upper grille insert. This will give you access to the screws of the bumper, which you'll need to undo. Remember to uncouple the wires for the fog light before removing it.

The neat thing about this DIY project is that the Golf R has the same width as the GTI, so the new bumper matches the line of the fenders. The bumper is held by two screws and two rivets on the sides. The grille also needs to be changed. Otherwise, the honeycomb will give the car away as it's a GTI trademark. Pop the connectors for the lights and the little caps covering the washers and you're done.

The Golf R bumper is different to the GTI's in many key ways. The honeycomb mesh is gone, and the side air intakes are much larger. Of course, the R sits 10mm closer to the ground, but that's hard to see with the naked eye. Many GTI owners prefer the R's rear diffuser and centrally mounted exhaust system. Both cars use 2.0-liter engines, but they have a different tune and power goes to all four wheels via a Haldex 4 coupling on the R, which is also slightly heavier.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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