New Shoes | James’ Mk4 GTI


Work on the Mk4 has picked up as the year draws to a close with new components coming in thick and fast ready to turn the ugly duckling into a black swan. Latest on the list of Christmas gifts for my Golf has been wheels and tyres which will ensure that the uprated Eibach suspension and Powerflex bushes can actually transmit the difference they make to the tarmac.

It’s not just about making more of the car’s improved cornering abilities; I really want the Mk4 to look good – in a fairly subtle kind of way. Probably the best (and easiest) way of making my dub look dub is by swapping out the pitted, corroded and tiny 15-inch standard rims for a set more appropriate for the car. I got onto ROTA, whose wheels are ever-popular in the VW scene, to see what they had that would sit well on the Mk4. Standing straight out at me was a set of 17-inch D154 in Gun Metallic paint; it was love at first sight and I had to have them on the Golf.

A few days later and they arrived at Performance VW headquarters. Talk about kid in a sweet shop. Only thing was that it’s always best to wear rubber – to protect your goods – so now I set about getting some tyres to wrap around the rims. Luckily I was able to call in a favour from a friend which meant that I could grab a full set with a decent wedge knocked off the retail price. Bonus. Now obviously 17-inch wheels aren’t the biggest I could’ve put on the car by a country mile, but as you know I want this to be usable every day – not some mollycoddled show queen. As such I’ve not gone for spray-on profile rubber. However, at a size of 235/45  it’s low enough that when the car’s sitting on its new suspension, it should look just about right.


The next step is a big one – to get the car fitted with its new bushes, suspension and anti-roll bars, then get it properly set up with the new, larger wheels and tyres on. There’s absolutely no doubt that the car will be night-and-day compared to its current boat-like state, but will it be the dog’s undercarriage?

Come back soon to find out…

More about the suppliers:
ROTA Wheels: |

Davanti Tyres: |