Performance Tuner - April '07
Morego MK5 VW Golf GTi 250
“Embarking on this test at very short notice (thank you), David Brodie did not have time to give his MK5 Golf GTi 250 demonstrator a wash, the service or new tyres it ‘desperately needs’ and apologised profusely for its state. But he need not have worried, as even in this road-weary demo car state, the Morego Golf GTi was astonishingly good. And like most things this good astoundingly simple. A lesson to us all in tuning.
Of course simplicity comes with experience – something Morego David Brodie has in droves, having been wining motorsport races since 1963. And it’s this race-derived success that Morego offers its fast road and track customers today.
This is their demo MK5 Golf GTi 250, equipped with VW’s (surprisingly sensational) DSG auto/manual/tiptronic ‘box, and a raft of simple, but incredibly effective modifications; extracting the most from VW’s two-litre turbo four pot FSI, and a 90% standard chassis.
On first impressions, one might think this golf ‘just’ had a simple ‘plug and play’ ECU remap, or a piggyback ‘chip’, Morego have taken an engine out of a MK5 Golf GTi and had it on their Superflow 7000 engine dyno – providing the opportunity of hours and hours of mapping; at every conceivable throttle position, for any length of time and with a proper load on the turbo. Nice.
The Golf spent hours on the dyno, being mapped and re-mapped; with different sports cat exhaust systems and panel air filter set-ups… until the set-up delivering not just the power and torque curves they were after, but driveability, throttle response, sound and look they wanted were selected.
The end result of the sports exhaust, panel filter and ECU reprogramming is a hike from 197bhp and 206lb ft torque to a solid 250bhp, with 260lbft of torque, crucially available in wider more usable spread. And this is at just 15psi, or 1.0bar of boost pressure, so no stress for the VW FSi lump.
David adds: ‘There is more to come if you are just chasing numbers, but that’s not what Morego is about. We are into making great cars to drive.’
And he is not wrong. Don’t be deceived by the standard looks. This is a proper wolf in sheep’s clothing. And, thanks to some very intelligent handling modifications (a simple swap of the OE wishbones to Powergrip static geometry wishbones, widening front track, and a Morego wheel alignment), this Golf handles like no other I have driven. It’s still a heavy car, but the suspension mods bring the GTi character alive brilliantly; with excellent turn-in and bringing the back end into play and a lovely light blend of neutrality and exploitable oversteer, bought on by the increase in negative camber the clever wishbone modification adds.
This Golf GTi is a pleasure to drive around the handling circuit – an experience surprisingly magnified by the clever DSG gearbox, which works superbly, especially down-shifting on the paddles. The auto also made life easy for a consistently quick quarter mile time.
The only real downside is the standard brakes (and looks?). They are OK, and cope with the power hike fine, but a set of good pads would be a welcome addition.
This is a top hot hatch, modified with the right parts, and no more, creating a GTI with factory feel, but radically improved. One of the best FWD cars I’ve ever driven.
Fellow tester, Jim Cameron adds: ‘This car is brilliant, and could embarrass a lot more powerful and expensive stuff at a track day, and have so much tail out fun doing it. Then you could do the shopping and pick the wife up without ever having to change gear all the way home.’
Simplicity itself, proving great tuned cars aren’t always those with the most parts. ECU map developed properly – on engine dyno – is smooth, any very potent. Suspension changes transform the GTi into something special, with race-bred thinking. A true hot hatch; fast & pratical”
Engine Two-litre, 16V, DOHC turbocharged FSI engine with BBR sports stainless steel exhaust system uprated panel air filter, Morego ECU remap.
Transmission Standard DSG six speed
Body Standard MK5 Golf GTi
Interior Standard MK5 Golf GTi
Chassis Powergrip front wishbone upgrade, wider track, Morego BBR wheel alignment
Power 250bhp and 260ibft
Price £495 + VAT for suspension and £995 for engine package, fitted
Overall mark 9/10
Neil Mckay: ‘Many thanks to Performance Tuner magazine for their late invitation and especially to David for driving the Morego 250 to and from the test facility, with 4 illegal tyres sporting canvass, not rubber in places! Great to see a sensible well written tuning magazine on the market at last! (a welcome change from all this rubbish with max body kits, huge wheels & cars on bump stops). Thank you Performance Tuner.’