Piston Slap: Re-design This Golf R Interior!

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
piston slap re design this golf r interior

Ted writes:

Hi Sajeev,

I’m about to get a new Golf R and everyone complains about the boring VW Golf design thingamajiggit. Yes. I find the boring classic outside to be comforting. I’m in it for the longevity of the design and body, and want to keep this until it dies or 10 years; I intend to ceramic coat the Lápiz Blue. It’s a manual, of course, and when the clutch eventually dies I may replace with a tougher version and chip it.

What I don’t like, and a major strike against the R in my mind, is that the interior is so dark as to make the interior basically invisible.

The accents — silver stitching which isn’t prominent and will dull or fade, blue lighting accents which only pop up at night with the doors open — are too limited to make much of an impact. No sunroof in the Canadian R, which is okay by me, and it’s the Audi TFT digital dash, so, lots of lights.

However, how can I add an accent or two to the inside which fits and doesn’t ruin the elegant feel VW were going for? Does the silver really work?

Should VW have gone for this dark-leather look? I’m moving up from a cloth interior Mk VI. I wish there were a non-leather interior option.

How would you do a Golf R Interior Redesign?

Sajeev answers:

How I feel your pain…from a different angle!

My Lincoln Mark VIII LSC was fetching when new, as this cherry example from a long-gone eBay auction shows. But like many German luxo-sleds with soft-touch plastics, time was not kind to the vinyl coating. It peeled and even checked.

My solution?

Loooong swaths of “ Piano Black“: it suits my tastes, never blinded me via reflected sunlight, the passenger airbag seam remains unmolested, and chicks dig it too. (If that matters)

So here’s my plan: ditch Golf R’s stock Piano Black and integrate the Lápiz Blue exterior. Either paint inside or try hydro dipping.* The blue painted trim is understated(ish) while hydro dipping gives room for creativity. But don’t go nuts with fake carbon fiber, zebra wood grain, etc. I briefly considered brushed aluminum dip, should you?

Never seeing a Golf R in the flesh, I’m sticking my neck out to consider painting interior panels in Lápiz Blue (with acres of clear coat) kinda like an E39 M5’s sport interior. (Except more understated than that Bimmer.) Paint (and prep for perfect flatness) all this blue:

  • Everything currently Piano Black, including the steering wheel spoke’s perimeter trim
  • The upper door panel trim x 4 (the slab around the door handle)
  • The silver ends of each door panel’s grab handle x4
  • The headlight switch bezel
  • The long strip on the passenger dashboard
  • The overhead console door and bezel
  • The back half of the console (currently flat black)
  • Dye the seats/wheel stitches dark blue (yes, that stuff works)

And if this speaks to you, run harder via removing the soft vinyl (leather?) from each door, remove the center sections of each seat and stitch in something blue plaid instead. I mean, ceramic coating the exterior ain’t cheap to start.

If Singer makes the most desirable retromobiles, if Jack Baruth did a proper Lime Green Audi S5, what’s stopping you from the best GTI-homage interior?

*There are a ton of vinyl wraps that accomplish the same thing as hydro dipping, adding an element of texture not otherwise possible. Consider it, hopefully they last longer than the factory stuff I spent big $$$ removing.

[Image: Volkswagen, eBay, Sajeev Mehta]

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

Join the conversation
2 of 52 comments
  • Abqhudson Passenger seating in recent accords has been unacceptable with my 5’2” wife forced to look at the dash while sitting in the hole provided.
  • ToolGuy Real Subarus are green and coated with dust from at least three different National Parks (Gateway Arch doesn't count).
  • ToolGuy Good for them.(And their customers. $2500 first-year subscription on top of the system cost? That ain't me)
  • ToolGuy T E L L U R I D E is not on this list(I can keep my poster on the wall)
  • ToolGuy My impression is that Honda has been coasting on its reputation for awhile now.(To Honda's credit, they aren't standing on the Self Destruct button like Toyota seems to be)