• Oct 8th 2009 at 1:04PM
  • 8
Gale Banks is a name that should be very familiar to many diesel aficionados. Though Banks and the tuning company that bears his name usually work their magic on the biggest diesel pickups in the country, the technology that makes big rigs capable of pulling houses off their foundations works on smaller oil-burners just as well.

Proof of such can be seen in the Banks-tuned Volkswagen Jetta Sidewinder. The car is reportedly very similar to the Jettas that VW uses in its TDI Cup series, and the powertrain modifications include a cold-air induction system, a free-breathing exhaust system sans mufflers and a reprogrammed computer module. Inside, a 4.3-inch touch screen displays all kinds of useful data to keep track on the works.

Suspension bits are upgraded as well, as are the wheels and tires. The best news, though, is that the improvements have a positive impact on performance while not affecting fuel efficiency. Plus, the car remains 50-state emissions compliant. We'll soon be getting some seat time in the Jetta Sidewinder, so stay tuned for our initial driving impressions.

[Source: Motor Trend]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I used to have (and love) a Skoda Fabia vRS. I had it tweaked via the EMU from 130BHP to 180+ by AmD (no relation to the chip fab). Didn't open the exhaust though (it's illegal here due to emissions rules). It had a scary amount of torque through the front wheels: acceleration and roundabouts (traffic circles?) was an interesting experience :)
      6 speed manual box is the only reason I no longer drive it. I spend too long in traffic to want to continually stir the box on a narrow (but extreme) power band. It was a VERY fun drive though.
      • 5 Years Ago
      more info NOW! ; )
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm not buying the hype until more details are released. The 09 TDIs have pressure sensing glow plugs to monitor and balance cylinder pressures. If you try to turn up the fueling and boost (standard way to make more power) the ECU will sense abnormally high combustion pressure and dial it right back out.

      Furthermore if you increase fueling, you're producing more soot which clogs the DPF faster and leads to more frequent regens = worse fuel economy.

      If hes getting more power simply through increased rail pressures, then I fear for the longevity of the common rail system that already runs at enormous pressures.

      Basically it's a fancy 4" screen to sit on your dashboard. Until I see acceleration or dyno results I'll call it pointless.
        • 5 Years Ago
        VW already produces a 170hp version of the 2.0TDI overseas in the GTD and it's the same engine that was in the TDI Cup cars here. Since the article did mention that the upgrades were similar to what VW offered with the TDI Cup Series cars, it's a safe bet that the upgrades will result in similar power increases.

        Since VW has already pulled it off, I'm not sure why you think that an aftermarket company could not?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Some in-car video of the Gale Banks modified Jetta TDI on the track at Pocono:

      • 5 Years Ago
      Interested, only question is with the 4.3" screen, can I retain my Bluetooth and steering wheel mounted audio controls?
      • 5 Years Ago
      This looks interesting! One thing to note about Banks: he is anti-smoke. In other words, he is all about efficiency with performance, and he puts down all the other performance companies that use over-fueling programming (and pump black soot out of the trucks tailpipe/stacks).
        • 5 Years Ago
        Good to know - I've seen a couple of so called "performance" diesels which spewed a huge cloud of smoke every time they stepped on the throttle. Disgusting.
    Share This Photo X