Style Meets Power: Nik Preusser’s Bagged MK6 Jetta SportWagen with IE 2.5L Power Kit
Nik’s story is bound to resonate with many that have served a large portion of their lives in the Armed Forces. Throughout his Air Force life he lived in several countries including Turkey, Portugal, Guam, various regions of the Middle East, Japan, and several states in the USA.
After 7 years of active duty service as an air traffic controller, a career with the Federal Aviation Administration was pursued. This career has kept Nik busy, but it has also allowed him to support several hobbies that include cars, photography, and of course his family.
His first car was a 1988 Chevy Caprice, that as he puts it, “was about 10 different colors of gray, had a faulty power steering system (which wasn’t much fun when driving something that compares to a land yacht), caught on fire twice, and typically didn’t start”. It wasn’t until living in Japan, and the release of The Fast and the Furious movie, that he started to think about what other car possibilities may be out there.
A few months later, Nik purchased a Honda Prelude that eventually received the “full ricer treatment”. You name it, this car had it: underglows, interior neons, large Enkei wheels, an eardrum-popping sound system, and a full exhaust system with a giant “fart can” muffler.
Later on in Japan, at age 19, he purchased a 1991 Nissan Skyline GTS-T HCR32 which received a much more tasteful list of mods. These mods included: HKS coilovers, a full turbo-back Dart-Izumi exhaust, front mount intercooler, intake, boost controller, upgraded injectors and fuel pump, OS Giken twin-plate clutch, and a tune.
One interesting observation that we have made at IE from our customer spotlight series is that the influence of Fast and Furious has been monumental. Yes, the fact that you can shift 12 times during a ¼ mile race is ridiculous, but it truly converted a lot of young kids into car guys. We think that’s pretty cool result from technically way-off-base movies.
In 2013 Nik decided to purchase a MK6 Jetta SportWagen due to its good looks and overall utilitarian purpose. Like many 2.5L owners, he loved the exhaust note and engine noise the best.
With a newborn son and growing family, he and his wife also needed something with some space (no hatchback allowed in this case). While fairly docile at first, these engines respond quite positively to an improved intake and exhaust system.
It took Nik quite a while to find the SportWagen he wanted (Platinum Grey, 2.5L, and manual transmission) and eventually had one trucked from California to Utah.
Within a couple months of owning it, car parts starting showing up on his doorstep. One of those items were AirLift and Accuair air ride suspension components. Nik commented that, “Choosing to add air ride suspension was largely a result of my wife being pregnant. I had heard that they offered a more comfortable ride than most coilovers, which was important to us at the time. It was also a major bonus that it looked cool”. While he did add a lot of parts to make the car look better, the car is far from a dedicated show car. It’s primary use is a family hauler and a commuter. Although it’s not their only car, it gets driven every day—rain or shine (or a few inches of Utah snow).
IE came to know Nik when he decided it was time to add more power to his 2.5L. He already had the style aspect of the car well covered, but the car needed more get up and go. We then introduced Nik to our 2.5L Power Kit that fits MK5 and MK6 2.5L 5 cylinder cars with the electric power steering pump. The kit has proven to add gains in excess of 45 horsepower and torque on most applications, and is also a great aesthetic upgrade.
The 2.5L Power Kit includes the IE 2.5L Short Runner Intake Manifold, in-house developed IE Software, and an IE Direct Fit Air Intake. The kit was designed with a budget in mind, and in our opinion, delivers a great bang for the buck. It’s the only complete kit on the market that delivers the best horsepower to dollars ratio. Since Nik is a local customer as well, he received the added benefit of a custom tune on IE’s dyno.
The power numbers of Nik’s ride were fairly impressive considering it’s only naturally aspirated (not turbocharged). The following power charts are from our in-house Dynapack Hub Dyno:
After installation Nik reflected on the kit, “The Integrated Engineering 2.5L Power Kit far exceeded my expectations. The engine bay looks so much nicer and the car is a blast to drive. I didn’t expect to ever really enjoy driving the JSW, but I love driving it now. It sounds so nice and the added power makes the car much more responsive”.
The future plans for his JSW include the aesthetic mods of projector headlights, LED taillights, and some interior work (GTI seats, steering wheel, and so on).
On the performance side: an IE Dogbone Insert and IE Catch Can Kit will be installed, and possibly down the road a high compression bottom end build or even some forced induction. IE will certainly be here to help Nik with his performance needs.
During the course of the build Nik also took advantage of the military discount that IE offers. While it’s only a small discount, he was appreciative that IE supports the armed forces.
Be sure to keep an eye out for Nik and his ride along the Wasatch Front this summer! He’ll be attending several meet and greets with his stylish and now substantially quicker JSW.
- Integrated Engineering 2.5L Intake Manifold – Black Finish
- Integrated Engineering 2.5L Air Intake Kit for IE Intake Manifold
- Integrated Engineering In-house Dyno Tune
- Integrated Engineering Billet Fuel Rail – Red Anodized
- Integrated Engineering Billet Valve Cover– Red Anodized
- AWE Tuning Track Edition Exhaust - Polished
- VW OEM Plastic Battery Cover (swapped from cloth box)
- Porsche 911 OEM Oil Cap
- Porsche 911 OEM Expansion Tank Cap
- Bremmen Washer Fluid Cap – Black
Exterior & Style Mods:
- VW OEM Zubehör Golf Votex Front Valance
- VW OEM Zubehör Golf Votex Side Skirts
- VW OEM Zubehör Jetta Sportwagen Votex Rear Valance
- VW OEM Zubehör Jetta Sportwagen Left-Exit Diffuser
- Cleared Front Corner Lights
- BBS CH wheels - 18x8.5+35 –Custom Powdercoated Bronze
- AirLift Performance Series Front Struts with Camber Plates
- AirLift Double-Bellow Slam Series Rear Bags
- AirLift Slam Series Rear Shocks
- AirLift Shortened Front Sway Bar End-links
- IDF Adjustable Rear Upper Control Arms
- Accuair VU4 Manifold
- Accuair E-Level ECU
- Accuair E-Level Rocker Switch
- Accuair iLevel WiFi Module/Controller
- VIAIR Dual 444c Compressors
- Airlift 4-Gallon Air Tank – Polished
- OEM VW RNS-315 Touchscreen Navigation (swapped from RCD-310)
- OEM VW GTI Interior (front and rear seats with door cards)
- Broadway Rearview Mirror
Bonus video coverage that Nik produced himself: