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Volkswagen’s Citi Golf has been one of South Africa’s most popular cars since its humble beginnings back in the late seventies with sales still continuing as strong as ever today some 30 odd years down the road.

It was with this in mind that the team at Steves Auto Clinic, who ironically are also heading towards the 30 year milestone as the country’s leading performance enhancement specialists, decided to subtlety tweak a brand new 1.6i CitiROX.

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SAC have enhanced thousands of VW’s over the years at their branches situated around the country and many Citi Golfs in that mix too. But the thinking behind this particular car was to demonstrate some of their capabilities within an ever decreasing motoring budget that is the unfortunately the norm these days. Over the years, the Citi Golf has been constantly upgraded, in fact the interior of the latest derivatives are a far cry from the original in terms of look, and the ROX was chosen because its sporty dark interior aptly harks back to that of the first GTI.

But this upgrade treatment was not only the reserve of the interior; the powerplants keep getting stronger too over the years.

So much so that the current 1.6 litre on test here makes 74 kW at 5 400 rpm and 140 Nm at 4 400 rpm and this is good enough to see the ROX hit 100 km/h in a shade under 11 seconds, cross the ¼ mile in almost 18 seconds, go through 1 km in 33 seconds at just over 150 km/h.

Top speed, which is academic in an aerodynamically challenged vehicle, comes in at 175 km/h.

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But adding some serious bite to the cool new bark that the 70mm stainless steel De Graaf mandrel bent free flow exhaust, that was developed specifically in conjunction with SAC, and the De Graaf performance branch now delivers, comes courtesy of a cylinder head that has been gas flowed to perfection and fitted with SAC custom big valves and a camshaft that has been cut to SAC’s own special requirements.

A Sportflo air filter, air box mod and adjustable rising rate fuel pressure regulator also do duty.

This somewhat grumpier and 20% stronger Citi Golf now romps to 100 km/h in just over 10 seconds, gets through the ¼ mile in the low 17’s and only stops when the top speed has passed the 180 km/h mark.

In fact to put the sprinting difference into proper perspective, the standard car got to 160 km/h in a tardy 46 seconds, the SAC ROX gets there in 32 seconds, a massive 14 seconds difference at the oxygen deprived altitude of the Reef

This impressive trend continues in the in gear acceleration tests that see the SAC car romp through the gears way quicker that the standard car without having a negative effect on fuel consumption when driven normally.

Finally using a UNI Q Chip to merely show off the technology and functionality that can now be applied to an everyday street car, the team at SAC set up the ROX with a natty adjustable launch controller for lightning quick starts, a lower rev limiter option and even an immobiliser selection all via the supplied rotary switch that forms the final but non essential part of this upgrade that would suit the absolute enthusiast.

As always, all workmanship is backed by a 6 months / 20 000 Why Worry Warranty and SAC can offer you various stages and packages starting from around R6 000 for the Stage One exhaust, branch, air filter and regulator mod, to the full house version.

The long term plan for this Golf is to transform it into a 2.0 litre street racer with a limited slip diff, upgraded suspension and big brakes, so be prepared to ROX’ed in the Citi as the journey for this car is far from over.

To find out more or to get a salesman to call you, just take a drive through the comprehensive and informative SAC website at .


Standard SAC
0 – 100 km/h: 10.99 sec 10.16 sec
0 – 160 km/h: 46.06 sec 32.39 sec
¼ Mile Time: 17.70 sec 17.28 sec
¼ Mile Speed: 124.09 km/h 129.29 km/h
1 Km Time: 33.04 sec 31.90 sec
1 Km Speed: 151.60 km/h 158.62 km/h
60-100 in 4th: 11.61 secs 10.82 sec
60-100 in 5th: 16.70 sec 14.82 sec
80-120 in 4th: 13.06 sec 11.22 sec
80-120 in 5th: 18.93 sec 16.37 sec
True Top Speed: 175.12 km/h 184.86 km/h

All testing was independently conducted at Gerotek using Racelogic VBOX test equipment using ordinary 93 octane pump fuel and standard factory fitted street tyres.

Bolt on exhausts

Gone are the days that you take your half a million-rand Bakkie to a corner exhaust shop for a cheap free flow exhaust. It’s fair to say that the bolt-on free flow exhausts of today at SAC have been revolutionized and are becoming more and more popular amongst the enthusiasts. It is no longer just a poorly welded and routed exhaust that rattles and knocks over every bump, it is a properly engineered, big bore, mandrill bent stainless steel-low restriction exhaust system.  It is manufactured in such a way to be a bolt-on fitment in a workshop with very little effort to ensure perfection. Seeing the exhaust system in its raw form, packed and laying on a shelf – it is clear to see that this is an export quality product that will be installed on your vehicle, and it will compliment without any doubt – the performance enhancement plug and play kit and or upgraded intercooler system in many ways – most of all the sound and power will be much improved.  The bolt-on exhaust system is routed along the exact same rout under your vehicle and hangs with similar brackets on the standard rubbers.  The heat protection that has been provided by the manufacturer under your vehicle to protect the undercarriage is still effective and useful with the fitment of these bolt-on exhaust systems. So, if you want the ultimate Bakkie performance enhancement package speak to our sales and service advisors about a bolt-on exhaust system. Contact us today for your free quotation.