Not everyone knows the history of the GTI models from Volkswagen. In order to evoke some older special editions, Volkswagen and Philadelphia-based VW enthusiast Jamie Orr worked together on an enthusiast concept that injects a healthy dose of the past into the latest generation.

The inspiration for the concept was an enthusiast-built Mk2 version of the GTI, which supplanted the only U.S.-built generation of the GTI in 1984. The goal: To highlight what has made the GTI special through the years.

At 241 hp, the latest GTI offers more power than any previous generation, with new driving technology that optimizes an already potent chassis setup, rounded out by a thoroughly updated interior.

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First, Orr and his team changed the wheels, giving the Mk8 a classic look with a set of BBS 19×9 Super RS – featuring the iconic BBS waffle and hex pattern – wrapped in Delinte 235/35/19 D7 tires.

Then, Orr lowered the car. “We started with a set of coil overs that H&R makes for the Mk8,” says Orr. “The rear fitment is stock, but I re-designed the fronts a little because I wanted to add camber adjustment, so it’s more of a custom mix of H&R components.”

Orr was particularly happy with the new exhaust from Borla, the first available for the new GTI, which “is just a step beyond” the stock material. Finally, he gave it the BBS retro red and black vintage livery with pinstriping running from stem to stern.

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