Enhanced by Neuspeed: Callaway MK2 VW GTI

In the 1980s, tuner cars were at their peak, with aftermarket companies getting astoundingly close to the OEMs in modifying vehicles barely off the assembly line. From ASC to Callaway, these companies were commissioned with tackling multiple projects on behalf of the major manufacturers, including building convertibles and developing turbocharger kits. This 1987 VW GTI sports one of the sought-after Callaway turbo kits but then goes a step further with some help from the famous VW/Audi tuning house Neuspeed. Find this period-correct MK2 GTI here on craigslist with no price listed and some extremely valuable aftermarket parts attached.

The seller thankfully included a link to a PDF article from Neuspeed’s website documenting this car’s build. Basically, the company behind Neuspeed (known as Automotive Performance Systems) built a project car of their own, featuring aero and suspension upgrades. A customer in New Hampshire asked for the same car, but in white and with a Callaway turbo kit bolted on. Neuspeed acquired a brand-new GTI off of a local lot and then tore it down. As you can see here, the GTI still wears its exceedingly rare Hella body kit, Zender rear spoiler, and Momo wheels. I know it’s not to everyone’s tastes, but these were the hottest parts you could buy for a MK2 VW in 1987.

The interior features gorgeous Flofit bucket seats with custom upholstery to match the GTI’s interior – they look factory, don’t they? A custom VDO gauge cluster resides beneath the HVAC controls and a Momo wheel replaces the stock unit. The fact that a tuner car still looks this complete all of these years later is impressive – most of the time, a fragile 80s hot hatch with tons of aftermarket parts has been partially pillaged over the years as owners with less foresight strip the good parts to fund a bigger engine build or what have you. I’m guessing this GTI either felt so complete as-is that there was no need to build it further, or it stayed in the hands of owners who knew what they had.

Unfortunately, that also means this car won’t go cheap. The owner even says in the listing if they don’t see sufficient interest on craigslist, it’s going to one of the major auto auctions. To that I say, stop – just put it on eBay! This type of vehicle will definitely drive sufficient interest, especially with mileage on the low side for a 1987 model. Personally, as someone who grew up reading European Car magazine and ripping pages out for wall decoration in my bedroom, I would love to own this car and wouldn’t change a thing about it. No matter how garish it may seem today, this GTI and others like are effectively heirlooms of a bygone era.


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  1. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Uuuu! Nice find, Jeff! That sort of reminds me of the GTA with white-on-white everywhere and nice seats. Although, I’m guessing that this interior is nicer than it would have been on a Renault, hardware-wise.

    Like 3
  2. Todd Zuercher

    I haven’t seen a set of Flofits that nice in a long, long time. They were the cheaper Recaro alternative and didn’t seem to wear very well.

    Like 1
  3. Scott Tait

    Great car shame about the wheels looks very dated … but thats just personal preference …also prefer round lights on a golf gti ..these make it look like a jetta!

    Like 6
  4. JACKinNWPA Jack in NW Member

    Hey I recognize that scoop, Nissan ZX turbo.

    Like 3
  5. UK Paul

    Nice one! I loved my 16v MK2 … it was Monza Blue with proper factory electric Recaros.
    I appreciate this .. a rare find

    Like 3
  6. Adam Wright

    Back in the day, this WAS the car to have, ask a guy who knows, ask me!

    Like 3
    • Adam Wright


      Like 3
  7. Howard A Member

    Since I’m unfamiliar with the car, or care for any econobox, for that matter, and whatever “Neuspeed” is, ( I’m thinking a German Edelbrock ?)and I’m sure it’s a blast to drive, it looks a tad too generic for me. I’d expect a bar code across the roof.

    Like 5
    • Rx7turboII


      Does that mean you won’t be buying my 83 Civic hatch? Lol


  8. Fiete T.

    3 things ruin this car
    1) Body kit- tacky
    2) Wheels- by Cuisinart?
    3) Monochrome paint- looks like a toaster

    The turbo kit and the Nissan intercooler hood scoop are bonuses. The rest? Yuck

    Like 6
  9. UK Paul

    It was a trend of the times though. Automotive history.

    Like 1
  10. Steve in Charlotte


    Like 4
  11. Mark-A

    What is the hate for, most comments r forgetting that it was the 80s (also known as the decade Taste forgot) I mean look at the cars from other manufacturers, and this is before I mention Miami Vice & T-shirts under a Dress Jacket with the SLEEVES rolled up? And people say that it seems dated. Definitely a pretty exclusive vehicle that this VW fan had previously never heard of, in the UK a similar performance kit was sold by Turbo Technics.

  12. Christian S.

    While I regard the cars of the 80’s with much distaste and rancour; THIS car was the _premier_ hot hatch of the millennium. You have to try out an ordinary Mk2, then a Mk2 GTI and _then_ a GTI TURBO…. I owned an ordinary Mk2, I drove a well sorted out and modified Mk2 and have had a spin in a GTI. #1 was fun to drive, #2 was a hoot in fast corners and #3 was almost as much fun as the modded Mk2. I can only imagine how much fun a turbo GTI is to drive!

  13. Rich

    This started off white

    Like 1
    • UK Paul

      What colour is it now?

  14. Doginu

    No Air Ride here..

    Like 1
  15. Doginu

    We mixed it at the paint store.

  16. J Fortner

    Hey Rich , do you still have you jade GTI? or what happened to it.

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