The German car fanatics and YouTube personality Jean Pierre Kraemer has just announced he’s building a Mk3 Volkswagen Golf, just like the one in these renderings. And although this isn’t specifically mentioned, it’s obvious that it’s like a rally/race car with the engine at the back, a bespoke widebody kit and some killer Rotiform wheels.
JP has just met up with his design and engineering team, revealing the powertrain and other technical details. The Golf 3 will be fitted with the engine, gearbox, drive shafts, suspension and steering straight out of the Audi R8. More specifically, it looks like they’ve chosen the 5.2-liter V10 from an early model, keeping its automatic gearbox.
I want to believe that Jean Pierre, better known as JP Performance, has the coolest custom cars in Europe. But very few people outside of Germany know about him. And because I’m a big fan, I can speculate that this Golf is either going to have an Audi or even a Porsche engine, since he’s a fan of those two brands. In fact, the color and the Rotiform NFN wheels hint at some kind of 993 or 996-era flat-six, which would be insane.
Europe has a rich history of taking boring little hatchbacks and turning them into mid-engined monsters. Some are more production-oriented like the Renault 5 Turbo and Clio V6 while others are more like exotics, such as the Lancia Delta S4, bred for Group B racing.
Volkswagen has a connection to this world as well, but it’s mainly due to an insane concept, the Mk5-based Golf GTI W12-650 which dropped said Bentley engine into a custom widebody Golf at the 2007 Worthersee. JP has already made a tribute to that with a mid-engined Mk7, and now he’s attempting the Mk3.
Built between 1991 to 1999, the 3rd generation is maybe the least loved Golf. This was VW’s first attempt to make the Golf civilized and upmarket. They added a lot of features, began integrating bumpers into the overall design, and adopted the rounded look of 90s cars. The Mk3 was the first to have a wagon option, came in the crazy Harlequin colors, and brought two spicy engine options, the GTI with about 150 hp from a 2.0-liter and the VR6 with up to 190 hp.
JP’s mid-engined Mk3 Golf: the changes
These photos are actually all renderings from the German artist richter.cgi. Although “mid-engined” is never mentioned by any of the parties involved, the massive air intakes on the sides of the car obviously give it away. The body has been modified with new fenders at the back and a widebody kit at the front. Like on a race car, the doors don’t go all the way to the bottom because the tubular chassis needs that area for rigidity. It’s a very interesting redesign.
The headlights have been redesigned to dual lenses with a halo LED ring and dual Hella rally lights in the bumper. The Rotiform NFN wheels have been confirmed for this build by the company which makes them. They’re usually found on old 911s, and there’s another possible hint to Porsche here: the mirrors. They’re tiny and tucked right up against the door, like the 993 aero mirrors or whatever RUF was using in that era.
Again, JP is a huge Porsche fan, and he’s got this amazing Pink Pig tribute with a custom air-cooled powerhouse.