For a little over a year I have had the pleasure of running a Unibrace XB on my GTI. The XB continues to be one of my favorite mods to date. The install took a bit of time, but every moment has now paid off (its not difficult, just take your time to do it right). Not only is it a wonderful part, but its always refreshing to work with a wonderful small business owner, like Bruce.
On Friday, my Unibrace UB arrived.
One thing you will notice about any Unibrace product you order is the design. Its beautiful enough to be a piece of modern art, but clearly designed with function in mine. Think of an Apple product, form follows function, but it is still highly important. Build quality is top notch, and its clear that both will last for the long haul. As I didn’t want to crawl around on wet pavement, I took my UB to my local mechanic for the 5 minute bolt up. He too commented on the design and build quality. Though it would look great in my basement, mounted behind my bar, that is not what the Unibrace UB is for. The Unibrace is intended to stiffen the vehicle, and that is exactly what it does.
One of my complaints about the GTI from day one has been the numbness from the corners. In stock form, loads are transferred wonderfully and predictable (something that is only improved with a slight increase in sway bar size and spring aggressiveness) but though you KNOW where they are at any given time, and they will react exactly as predicted, they are woefully under communicated. Previously, I thought that this was intentionally designed to provide for ride quality. Now I confident that is not the case. This lack of communication is a result of the underbody not being appropriately "linked."
The addition of the Unibrace UB has not only eliminated body flex, but has allowed for you to be able to FEEL how the suspension is reacting in any given situation. I want to be clear, this is not a negative for ride quality, if anything it improves it. But, as stated, the feel for specifically what corner is loaded and how weight is transferring (both laterally and fore/aft) is an amazing feeling.
In a coming post I will be discussing modifying on a budget, but the Unibrace UB and XB will be close to the top of the list.