This was a pretty quick project inspired by the recent iPad Mini install in our 2011 MK6 GTI. A friend of the company saw the GTiPad Mini installation last week and just had to have one for himself! We're no strangers to the MK4 GTI here at 2point5, having done both a Mac Mini and an Apple TV in our own company vehicle a few years ago, but how times have changed - instead of having to piece together multiple complex components to integrate these devices into a car environment, the iPad Mini is a self-contained powerhouse, requiring only a few tricks of the trade to tie into the existing system for a "should have come from the factory" end result.
The dash trim was made from a piece of 1/4" aluminum routed, sanded and polished to perfection like we've done before, and all that was really necessary from a mounting perspective was removing a good amount of plastic from the factory radio support to allow the iPad to be mounted from behind, with the trim panel mounted from the front. Electronically, we had to add a small amplifier to run all the speakers, and we used the same trick as we did on the GTiPad Mini project to trigger the hidden home button with a Satechi Bluetooth remote. The button for activating the remote is a factory traction control switch modified with a laser-cut and engraved home button icon that illuminates just like the factory switch does.
Of course charging is handled by connecting a modified USB charger to the Lightning port on the iPad so that it stays topped off. One thing we learned from the last project was that the ideal candidate for such a project is an iPad Mini with LTE - while tethering works great for internet connectivity, the LTE iPad models also have a dedicated GPS chip for more accurate navigation. That said, one of my favorite parts of this finished product is that the main user interface is the Drive Assist app for iPad by Eugene Shvedov. This elegant front-end gives you heads-up speed, navigation, iTunes control, compass and much more in a really attractive package.
The car itself is certainly no slouch either! Starting life as a 20th Anniversary GTI, the owner added genuine Votex R bumpers and sideskirts, HID lights, 19" BBS 2-piece wheels, coilover suspension, a full APR stage 4 turbo setup, a sueded headliner and a lot more.
As always, we hope you enjoy our periodic forays into the car integration world, and you can count on there always being more just around the corner!