"The intention from the start was always for this to be a project car"

Like most of us, Ryans' obsession with cars stems from his father, spending time watching Top Gear and F1 on the television, before moving up into the world of car ownership. Being a mechanic by trade; Ryan is not one to shy away from working on his cars - beginning at an independent garage on an apprenticeship scheme and now working as a BMW technician, his skill set has been vital for the work done to the MK2f Polo you see here. Having had previous experience with the Polo platform proved invaluable, with his first car being a MK2 Breadvan on a set of CBR600 bike carbs.

The G40 was not always a certainty however, as Ryan explains "I was looking into a few different older hot hatches, such as 205 GTIs and Renault 5 Turbos" - it was the love affair with his breadvan that swung it however, and an upgrade to the G40 model only made sense, allowing him to transfer some parts over and stay within the VW scene.

"I completely rebuilt the car from top to bottom in the time I have owned it."

Initially the plan was to simply restore the car to its original state and enjoy it, after all, a supercharged hot-hatch that weighs very little will always be good fun - however the further Ryan got into the restoration the more issues he found. It was at this point he decided to go all-in on the project - "I was getting more confident with modifying cars and understanding how everything works" - therefore it only seemed natural to put these newfound skills to the test.

After stripping the engine out the car and dis-assembling the block, it was discovered that the cylinder bores had been damaged by standing water as a result of failed gaskets. Ryan took this as a sign to upgrade the power for this pocket rocket, re-boring the block and upgrading to forged internals, allowing a much higher level of power to be pushed through the engine.

The chassis has received extensive modifications to transfer the uprated power onto the road, including GAZ adjustable coilers and Camber adjustable top mounts, re-enforced front chassis legs, front and rear scrub braces, a full PPP Stage 3 front subframe (with camber-adjustable from arms) adjustable TCAs and homemade front radiator support and bumper bar. To keep the car in a straight line (most of the time!) a Quafie LSD has also been fitted, along with a helix 4-paddle clutch, uprated driveshafts, short-shift gear mechanism and a lightened and balanced flywheel.

The underside of the car has been fully restored and detailed, with any rust patches eliminated, and a coat of black stone chip applied to the entire underside of the car. Take it from us when I say the underside of the car is as clean as the rest of the bodywork - everything has been powdercoated or zinc plated (as appropriate) and it looks like this Polo has just rolled off of VWs production line!

 "I have tried to keep it looking standard with a sporty retro look to it."

Wanting to keep to the sleeper theme of his build, Ryan chose to keep the external modifications to a minimum; choosing instead to restore and make period-correct and OEM changes to the exterior, including MK2 door handles, genuine yellow euro-spec fog lights, headlight protectors and and MK2 arch and door trims. In terms of wheels, a set of 14" Scirocco 'snowflakes' have been chosen to keep within the OEM feel.

Brake upgrades come in the form of a set of 256mm Audi 80 front brakes and a rear golf GTI disc conversion with ferrodo and brembo pads and discs, coupled to a MK2 Golf GTI 22.2mm master cylinder. Any hard brake lines have been replaced with coated lines and brass fittings, as well as replacing any flexible hoses with HEL braided lines.​​​​​​​

 "I decided to go turbo due to the improved reliability over the original supercharger, and the ability to gain a fair amount more power over the G40 charger."

Under the hood is where this build really intensifies - gone is the ethos of OEM+, rather a fully - tuned and turbocharged G40 block sits in the somewhat snug bay, taking up just about every available inch of room available. The bored-out G40 PY Block has been fitted with a set of 77mm forged Wossner pistons, PEC Forged H-Beam con rods and a 51mm ported throttle body, along with a ported and gas-flowed polo GT inlet manifold and G40 cylinder head with 2mm larger exhaust valves. A Schrick turbo-specific camshaft with vernier pulley and a lightened camshaft featuring knife-edged webs has also been installed. 

Fuel injection comes in the form of a set of Volvo T5 310cc fuel injectors and an uprated high-flow fuel pump. 

Perhaps the most striking visual change is the swapping out of the supercharger for a KKK-code K03 turbo (from a 20vt Passat) with custom home-made boost pipework along with a forge motorsport actuator, forge recirculating value and Forge FMIC. This is mated to a Roth Motorsport manifold, flowing into a 3-2.5” Stainless downpipe and Polo Performance Parts 2.5” Stainless exhaust system.

Keeping all of this cool is an uprated aluminium radiator and 13” slim fan and Mocal 13-row oil cooler.

In addition to everything mentioned above, Ryan has also fabricated his own baffled sump, as well as fitting uprated Magnacore HT leads, DevilsOwn Water/Meth injection, a K&N Cone filter and even launch control!

"I wanted a more aggressive look for the interior, compared to the stock looks of the outside of the car"

Inside the car hasn't escaped the onslaught of modifications either, having received a fully flocked dash, Sparco deep-dish steering wheel and just about every gauge possible! The radio headunit has been relocated to the glovebox to enable the fitting of the gauges within the dash without having to cut away at it, rather simply utilising space that was already built-in.

The battery has been re-located to the boot, as well as fitting the tank for the water/methanol injection. A custom-made headliner has been fitted (made by Ryan himself with a little help from a trimmer for the stitching) along with early MK2 Polo door cards to finish off.

"The Ford RS Turbo seats are incredibly comfy, but keep the retro look"

These offer far more support and comfort than the original polo, without ruining the retro feel of the interior - Ryan told me that he was searching for ages for a set with this colour pattern - it had to be red of course!

"The first drive after all the years of hard work made it all worthwhile"

Like any project car, there has been plenty of times when Ryan has been tempted to throw in the towel - not only that, but having ended up in hospital twice throughout the course of the build, it was a struggle to get back into it. Reflecting back on the experience however, there are plenty of things Ryan wouldn't have necessarily learnt if it weren't for building this car, and his efforts were rewarded by taking home two trophies from the Polo Social gathering - 'Best Engineering' and the 'Show 'n' Shine' trophy - not bad for a first outing!

"Future plans for the car at the moment are to just enjoy it and have a good time!"

Not one to be content taking his immaculate show car for a gentle drive and then locking it away in a garage for the rest of the week, Ryan has plans to take the Polo up the hill climb at Retro Rides Gathering this year - that will be one to watch out for and will no doubt surprise plenty of unsuspecting onlookers! Unfortunately growing up means less disposable income for car parts and projects, and the next big thing on Ryans' spending list is a house - thankfully the car was finished first!



K&N cone filter 
Homemade intake/boost pipe work 
KKK k03 turbocharger of a 20vt Passat with a Forge Motorsport actuator and AN fittings and pipework. 
Forge recirculating valve 
Forge motorsport FMIC
Devils own Water/methanol injection 
51mm Ported throttle body 
Ported and gas flowed Polo GT inlet manifold 
Ported and gas flowed G40 cylinder head with 2mm larger exhaust valves 
Volvo T5 310cc min fuel injectors
Updated high flow fuel pump
Ported and gas flowed Rothe Motorsport exhaust manifold
Homemade 3-2.5 inch stainless down pipe
Polo Performance Parts 2.5inch stainless exhaust system 
Lightened and balanced flywheel 
Updated turbo specific shrink camshaft with cat cams Vernier pulley
Lightened and balanced crankshaft with knife edged webs
PEC Forged H-beam con rods 
77mm Forged wossner pistons obtaining standard CR 
Original G40 PY engine re-bored to 1341cc (1272cc originally)
Uprated aluminum engine cooling radiator 
Larger 13inch slim cooling fan 
Mocal 13 row Oil cooler
Engine windage tray 
Homemade Baffled sump 
Magnacore Updated HT leads 
Omex Launch control with rev limiter 
Original ECU remapped with uprated MAP sensor 


Stitch welded seams in engine bay and front and rear suspension turrets
Front chassis legs reinforced 
Gaz adjustable dampening and height coil overs
Camber adjustable front top mounts 
Front and rear strut braces 
PPP Stage 3 Front subframe with caster adjustable front arms 
Adjustable TCA,s
Rear camber/toe shims 
Homemade front radiator support and front bumper bar
Quafie LSD
Helix 4 paddle clutch 
Updated right hand driveshaft 
Short shift gear mech

Audi 80 256mm front brakes
Mk2 golf GTI Rear disc conversion
Mk2 Golf GTI 22.2mm master cylinder 
All hard brake lines replace with copper/Nickle coated lines with brass fitting 
Hel Breaded flexible hoses 
Pads and discs ferrodo and brembo


Fully-flocked dash
Sparco Deep-Dish stering wheel
Engine monitoring gauges
RS Turbo front seats
Custom headlining
MK2 Polo door cards
Launch control on gear stick
Battery re-located to boot
Water/methanol tank in boot


MK2 Polo door and arch trims
Genuine Euro-spec yellow fog lights
Genuine headlight protectors
14" Scirocco 'Snowflake' wheels

Follow Ryan on social media:

Instagram: @ryan.chapple

Words and photography by Kieran Bicknell for Exhausted Photography.
All images Copyright Exhausted Photography 2017.

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