Dominick Barger’s entry into the world of car modification is straightforward and likely relatable for many in the scene.
The Seattle-area resident grew up loving Hot Wheels diecast cars and once he got his driver’s license, he received his Dad’s old Honda Accord which he quickly modified. After that project was completed, he set his sights on acquiring a car that was truly his own that he could modify so he chose a 2006 Volkswagen GTI.
Dominick has thrown a lot at his GTI, and nowhere is that more evident than under the hood where the stock turbo has been swapped out in favor of a Ko4 replacement. The engine’s breathability has been enhanced with a Neuspeed intake, while an Audi S3 intercooler and custom-built discharge pipe helps keep things from running too hot.
When it comes to fuel delivery, stock components were benched to make way for an APR high pressure fuel pump and Audi S3 injectors. A Drivemotorsport stage 2+ ECU tune helps optimize engine performance and a Billy Boat 3-inch turbo-back exhaust lets all comers know this is no ordinary hot hatch. Add it all up and this GTI makes 325 horsepower at the wheels.
As for stance, Dominick elected to put his ride on bags from Air Lift Performance with a set up that also includes rear shocks and 3P management from Air Lift, H&R rear sway bar, Hotchkis front sway bar and BSH engine and transmission mounts. For rolling gear, Dominick went with ESR ES-10 3-piece wheels wrapped in Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 rubber.
The Mark V GTI sports a clean and handsome design that has aged well, and Dominick has made bodywork alterations that enhance its good looks. Highlighting the changes are a Volkswagen R32 rear bumper conversion, Clinched fender flares and OSIR carbon fog light covers and eyelids.
Elsewhere Dominick uses a Maxton design splitter and spoiler extension, ECS tuning carbon fiber front lip, shaved hood, badgeless grille, custom rear diffuser, and Ventus Autowerks side splitters. On the lighting front, a set of Valeo Euro taillights and yellow fog lights were selected, while a matte brown vinyl wrap completes the custom look.
On the inside, there are a host of upgrades. Among them are rear seat delete with black fur, mahogany hardwood trunk floor with gold chrome air tank, Vair 444c compressor, New South boost gauge and gold carbon vinyl wrapped trim pieces. Handling the tunes flowing out of this head turning GTI is a Kenwood head unit connected to an upgraded amplifier and speakers.
With all that he’s done to personalize his ride, Dominick says his favorite mod is the custom rear diffuser because, “it’s pretty much one of a kind and stands out the most!”
As for future mods, Dominick says he wants to install Braum seats. Among those he wishes to thank for their tireless efforts and support are sponsors ESR Forged and Nostalgic, along with the talented crews at Tailored Auto Garage and ATYPICAL Designs.
Dominck's 2006 Volkswagen GTI is featured in PASMAG #162 / Style #7. CLICK HERE to order.
Photography by Dominick Barger
Owner: Dominick Barger
Location: Maple Valley, Washington, USA
Vehicle: 2006 Volkswagen GTI
- Ko4 turbo swap
- APR high pressure fuel pump
- Audi S3 injectors
- Audi S3 intercooler
- Neuspeed intake
- Custom built discharge pipe
- Billy Boat 3-inch turbo-back exhaust
- Drivermotorsport stage 2+ ECU tune
WHEELS / TIRES
- ESR ES-10 3-piece wheels
- Firehawk Indy 500 tires
CHASSIS / SUSPENSION
- Air Lift Performance bags
- Air Lift Performance rear shocks
- Air Lift Performance 3P management
- H&R rear sway bar
- Hotchkis front sway bar
- BSH motor and transmission mounts
- Volkswagen R32 rear bumper conversion
- Clinched fender flares
- OSIR carbon fog light covers
- OSIR eye lids
- Maxton design splitter
- Maxton design spoiler extension
- ECS tuning carbon fiber front lip
- Shaved hood
- Badgless grille
- Custom rear diffuser
- Ventus Autowerks side splitters
- Matte metallic brown vinyl wrap
- Valeo Euro taillights
- Yellow fog lights
- Rear seat delete w/ black fur
- Mahogany hardwood floor trunk with gold chrome air tank
- Vair 444c compressor
- New south boost gauge
- Gold carbon vinyl wrapped trim pieces
AUDIO / MOBILE ELECTRONICS
- Kenwood head unit
- Upgraded speakers
- Upgraded amplifier
- ESR Forged