While Ultimate Dubs 2023 may have been light on reveals, two of the cars that were debuted each had the presence of a dozen Mk2 Golfs on BBS RS wheels.

Although I’m a religious student of the ‘less-is-more’ philosophy to car modification, there’s something about balls-to-the wall builds like this pair that will surely appeal to the inner child in all of us.

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With custom arch work that makes a Polo WRC look like a 1.0 Bluemotion, Curtis Hughes’ 6R VW Polo is more akin to a Japanese silhouette racer than it is a German pocket rocket.

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Curtis set out to fit stepped-up 17×10-inch OZ Racing Futura wheels under the car when laid out on its Air Lift Performance air suspension. In the quest for more dish at the rear of the car, Curtis went as far as to ‘invert’ the wheels by using a set of barrels as the outer lips and lips as the inner barrels, to achieve the most inset face possible.

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A nice, classic combination of metallic silver faces with polished lips and chrome-plated hardware prevent the wheels from clashing with the Polo’s vibrant colour scheme.

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Speaking of which, OZ wheels aside the paint is a contender for my favourite aspect of Curtis’s Polo. A deep magenta with hot-pink flake and gold pearl, the bespoke colour was chosen by the painter herself, Lucy Dent.

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The colour manages to highlight the sharper bodykit and swage lines, and it’s equally as effective in bringing out the curves in the Polo’s OEM panels.

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Curtis and some friends fabricated the steel body kit themselves, following on from a 3D model which he had commissioned before the build. The design works around a Polo R WRC front bumper and a facelift 6C Polo rear bumper.

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Golf R-style head and 6C facelift taillights take care of lighting front and rear, while the interior is certainly better lit in the day thanks to the VW ‘Open Air’ panoramic ragtop which has been grafted into the original roof panel. Carbon fibre mirror caps and a roof spoiler complete the outward modifications.

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Unless Curtis has the Polo’s bonnet off, because then I’d say the engine bay is as much a visual highlight of the car as the exterior.

The heart of the Polo is certainly a different beast to what it left the factory with. Its original 1.2L engine is long gone, making way for a 1.8L 20-valve turbo mill in the smoothed engine bay. This is affectionately known as a ‘1.8T’ swap in the VW community.

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Custom pipework – including the boost pipes and turbo-back exhaust – courtesy of Style Dynamics frame the engine in the minimalist bay, with a ProRam cone-filter on the intake manifold sitting next to the smooth ignition coil cover.

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A darker metallic purple windscreen scuttle bookends the engine bay, where you’ll notice an absence of windscreen wipers to further tidy up the Polo’s bonnet-off appearance.

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The interior hasn’t escaped the custom treatment, with a Renown USA Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, widescreen infotainment system and carbon fibre blanking panel now housing additional gauges to monitor the tuned engine up front.

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A pair of black leather/carbon fibre Porsche 997 GT3 RS seats keep Curtis and one passenger firmly in place; anyone else needs to take the bus.

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Just like a good mullet, the party is in the back of the Polo’s interior where a fairly substantial boot build sits in place of the rear bench seat.

Beneath the yellow half roll cage is a false floor, proudly displaying the subwoofer and hard-lined carbon fibre air tank for the Air Lift Performance system. Next to it sits the relocated fuel filler.

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Parked alongside Curtis’s Polo, and sitting rather menacingly, is Matt Clifford’s 981 Porsche Cayman S.

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I can only describe Matt’s Porsche as a Need for Speed end-level boss car in real life, such is its sheer presence and the absurdity of its proportions.

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Just take the size of the wheels, also OZ Futuras, but this time with diameters stepped up from 17 to 19 inches. The front wheels measure 12 inches across, with the rears a frankly ridiculous 13.5 inches wide.

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You’ll find the outer wheel lips have been carbon-skinned and the faces painted black with centre-lock-style caps. There’s little tyre stretch on the Cayman, as the Futuras have been wrapped in chunky Toyo Proxes R888R semi-slicks.

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And yet even with wheel widths that can be measured in feet and inches, the VAD Design ‘RSR’ body kit still swallows them up when the car is at its lowest air suspension setting. That of course is controlled by Air Lift Performance management.

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The body kit isn’t just some plastic bolt-on arches though. The front bumper and splitter, front wheel arch extensions, side skirts, rear quarter panel overfenders, the rear bumper and even the diffuser are all constructed from carbon fibre.

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Matt opted to have the carbon fibre exposed and visible, yet he didn’t want the kit to just appear stuck on. The solution? Have the Cayman’s black body colour faded into the carbon fibre, just enough to tie in the ‘seams’ if you will, yet with enough exposed carbon to easily catch your eye.

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The fade is particularly effective at the front of the car, exposing the symmetrical carbon fibre weave of the bumper and splitter. A carbon fibre ‘RSR’ bonnet completes the kit, while custom black and acid-yellow headlights add more menace to the front end. As if it needed to look any more menacing…

At the rear you’ll find a wing equally as outlandish as the rest of the body kit, as well as what’s probably my favourite angle to view the car.

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This is where the Cayman looks like the wildest in my eyes, with so much bodywork sticking out either side of the taillights and a lower bumper section. This works together with the enormous wing to really ‘square off’ the Porsche’s svelte, curvaceous rear end.

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It’s a caricature of itself in the best way possible.

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As with the front end, the carbon weave has been left exposed, while at the lower corners of the bumper you’ll find bespoke 3D-printed ‘rain lights’ adding another touch of motorsport flavour to Matt’s 981.

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The inside of a Porsche is a lovely place to be straight out of the box, so I’m not surprised Matt has taken a more restrained modifiying route here.

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A pair of Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren seats replace the tombstone-shaped OEM items, and these have been retrimmed in black Alcantara with acid-yellow inners, stitching, and embroidered headrests to match the outside of the car.

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When both of these cars made their first online appearances in the days leading up to Ultimate Dubs 2023, it’s safe to say that reactions were… mixed.

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At the show? I can honestly tell you that people were just as, if not more conflicted over the cars than in the various WhatsApp and Instagram group chats they’d been doing the rounds in. That’s not a bad thing by any means. In fact, I’d argue it’s quite the opposite, using myself as an example.

As I mentioned at the start of this post, I’m a fan of a simple, clean approach when it comes to car modification. These are the types of modified cars I’ve grown to love over the years. And yet, I have a soft spot for ridiculous cars with overfenders that just command attention. Why? Three words: Need for Speed. In fact, have a fourth: Speedhunters.

My formative years were spent playing video games, where the final modification to unlock was the wide-body kit. Magazines and web articles were filled with RAUH-Welt Begriff Porsches and Rocket Bunny Toyota 86s; my first-ever computer screensaver was a Chargespeed-kitted MkIV Toyota Supra.

I’m also fairly certain the vast majority of modified car enthusiasts have a black and orange VeilSide Fortune RX-7 burnt into their memories, as well as a certain silver and blue BMW M3 GTR…

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They’re ridiculous, unnecessary, and to many people serve absolutely no purpose whatsoever. Yet to me, it’s cars like these which inspire younger generations and show them there’s more to cars than mum and dad’s Kia Niro EV or BMW i4.

If that’s not serving a purpose in this day and age, I don’t know what is.

Mario Christou
Instagram: mcwpn

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