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Volkswagen 2.0T FSI Tuning Guide

Paul Piola Looks At Tuning Options To Get The Most Out Of Your 2.0t Motor.

By Paul Piola

If the release of the 1.8T engine made some noise in the aftermarket, the arrival of the 2.0T FSI (Fuel Stratified Injection) motor in '05 was a seismic shockwave. Starting life with a hefty 200hp, the turbocharged two liter four cylinder can be found in the Audi A3, A4 and Volkswagen's Passat, Eos, Jetta and GTI. This month we're focusing on the GTI and GLI applications, but most parts listed here are also available for the other models.

Since numerous companies already have their hands dirty on these cars, we can expect to see new parts arriving on a regular basis. And although the 2.0T has only been around for a relatively short time, some tuners have already doubled the horsepower, so the future looks very bright.

We've compiled a list of what's currently available, as well as what's soon to be released.

To level the playing field, we've assumed a 185hp baseline to the front wheels (whp), which is what an average car shows on a chassis dyno. As with all our recent engine tuning guides, bear in mind that dynos and cars can vary.

We don't use flywheel guesstimates because they're usually quoted with different assumed transmission losses and are rarely backed by engine dyno figures. Prices listed here don't include installation costs.

The cheapest mod is a drop-in K&N filter element. Available through K&N dealers, you can find them for about $50 online. ITG also sells a drop-in filter for about $60.

Abt Sportsline, the respected German tuner distributed through Doral in Miami, FL, offers an ECU upgrade with a flat torque curve. It retails for $699 and you could see over 215whp.

UPsolute (formerly Chiptronics) has some of the lowest priced software available at $300, and you can expect 210-215whp from this.

Revo Technik sells a stage 1 software upgrade for stock cars or those with a cat-back and intake system for $499. For cars with a turbo-back exhaust, Revo's stage 2 software costs $549.

AEM sells a cold-air intake (CAI) for $453. It's powdercoated silver and uses their Dryflow filter. Up to 195whp is said to be possible on a stock car.

APR sells the Carbonio intake system that uses a carbon airbox to resist heat. Expect decreased turbo lag and a few extra hp for $279. APR also has software for $599 that's claimed to give 215-220whp and 265 lb/ft of torque for its 93-octane software (210-215whp, 245 lb/ft for 91-octane). APR software uses a patented cruise control toggle switch to select programs.

Autobahn Designs (ABD Racing) sells a stage 1 intake for $200, which draws air through a 3" mandrel-bent pipe. It includes a K&N filter and retains the OE engine cover. Expect up to 4whp. For an additional $200, the stage 2 intake uses a ceramic-coated pipe to reduce intake temps and includes a new MAF housing. An 8whp is possible but the engine cover must be trimmed.

EIP Tuning's CAI starts at $250, but for an extra $70 you can have the pipe color-matched in GTI paint.

For $400 you can strap on Autotech's cat-back exhaust system. It should take a stock car to 193whp. The system also shaves 11 lb over stock.

Dahlback Racing has an ECU upgrade that's good for over 210whp on 91-octane and retails for $499.

For $230 you can purchase Euro Sport Accessories' Cool Flo Race intake, in either in polished ceramic or black wrinkle finish. Euro Sport will soon release a 2.5" exhaust for $500-700; expect its 3" downpipes to retail between $400-500.

If you've already got software, ATP Turbo's 3" intake and cat-delete downpipe retail at $295 and $369, respectively. The intake includes a CNC-machined MAF housing and is made from stainless 304 tubing. The downpipe is mandrel bent with CNC flanges and V-band clamps. ATP saw over 230whp on a car with GIAC software and a factory cat-back.

Evolution Motorsports (evoms) sells the $299 V-Flo intake, utilizing patented venturi molding and CNC machining.

To squeeze more boost, Forge Motorsport sells a silicone hose kit with CNC alloy couplers that will withstand higher pressures and temperatures. They're available in black, blue or red for $229. Forge also sells a GTI front-mount intercooler (FMIC) that's shown a 20F reduction and gained an extra 12whp on a modified car. It sells for $925 and fits cars with the additional "Hot Climate Spec" radiator behind the wheel arch. Meanwhile, Forge's intake will set you back $291 and features different color silicone hoses and alloy piping. Due to the location of the filter, it's not recommended for severe wet weather use.

Software specialists GIAC has a 91-octane chip good for 37whp and over 40 lb/ft. It retails at $550 through its dealers.

Even GReddy decided to develop a stainless exhaust for the 2.0T. The G2S features 60mm (2.36") polished piping with 3" tips for $700-750.

Neuspeed's P-Flo intake showed a 50% improvement in flow-benching over stock, and includes a stainless heatshield for $270. Give them another $200 and you can have the extension kit, which converts the P-Flo into a full CAI, drawing colder air from below. Their $340 Hi-Flo turbo discharge conversion increases the internal diameter of the discharge pipe from 44.5mm to 53mm to improve compressed air flow. A Hi-Flo intercooler pipe is also available for $170, replacing the kinked OE pipe between the intercooler and throttle body. Neuspeed also has a power pulley to replace the crank pulley with a lighter one made from T6 6061 aluminum, then anodized for durability. This $200 piece should net you 5whp.

Usually Sideways Rally Team has distilled water and alcohol injection systems from Snow Performance to suppress detonation. The kits help cars with unavoidable heatsoak at track events or in very hot weather. They start at $389 for its load-based stage 2 kits.

Thinking about track days or drag racing? ECS Tuning offers a Peloquin differential for $950, which improves traction by applying power to both front wheels instead of one.

Twenty Squared is a Eurojet distributor and its stage 1 CNC'd and TIG-welded intercooler-to-throttle body pipe retails at $160. It eliminates air restriction and heat loss by providing increased flow through 2.5" piping. Stage 2 retails for $289 and adds a turbo discharge pipe. They also have Eurojet's $829 FMIC. With an 8x3x22" core, coupled with 2.5" mandrel-bent, polished stainless piping, it's attributed with up to 12whp gains.

At the time of writing, VF-Engineering is about to release new products, including a short ram intake with heatshield for $300. A cold air extension should also be available by the time you read this. VF will also have silicone hose kits with factory-style quick-release for the factory intercooler and turbo. It will be available in several colors and should add a few hp once the restrictive factory piping is replaced, with better response and reliability to boot. Although VF reports it hasn't needed to replace the intercooler under 300whp, it'll have an upgrade available. Its own design will use a bar and plate core and include pipes to the stock turbo. VF will supply piping for a larger turbo if needed. The kit will retail about $1000, and the mandrel-bent steel piping will come in a black wrinkle finish.

ABD sells an FMIC that provides up to 12whp gains on mildly modified cars. The kit's a direct fit and includes 2.25" coated tubing and red silicone couplers for $1195.

APR has a 3" turbo-back exhaust system using a 100-cell catalyst. Featuring stainless, mandrel-bent tubing, it retails for $1299. On a chipped car, you can expect up to 16whp over the stock exhaust.

AWE Tuning has a 2.5" turbo-back stainless exhaust for $1100, which includes a 400-cell ceramic cat - they found 2.5" was better than 3" during its testing. For an extra $250, you can upgrade to its German-made HJS 200-cell metallic cat, which provides an additional 8whp. With this option, AWE's full exhaust has netted 17whp over stock on a GIAC-chipped car.

Give EIP $1700 and you can have its stage 1 upgrade comprising software, CAI and slip-fit 2.5"turbo-back exhaust with cat. They're also working on an intercooler, with EIP claiming up to 20whp gains and intake temps of no more than 5-10 over ambient.

For GTI only, Evolution Racewerks sells its Competition FMIC that uses a hefty 24x10x3" core. The kit includes aluminum 2.25-2.5" piping and a front reinforcement bar. ER found intake temps stay within 5-10 of ambient. Available soon, the MSRP will be $1595, but their dealers will sell it for less.

Neuspeed's cat-back exhaust is polished T304 stainless and features TIG welded 70mm piping (2.75") throughout, with twin 80mm (3.15") tips for $1000. For an additional $1200 you can have its stainless downpipe, including flange, flex-joint cat and piping. A 200-cell cat is included and piping sizing starts at 80mm, tapering down to 70mm to match the cat-back system.

Techtonics Tuning's 2.5" cat-back stainless exhaust retails for $690, but for an extra $55 you can get dual-angle tailpipes. TT also has a 2.5" downpipe to compliment for $475. It uses a 400-cell cat, or you can get a TT downpipe that works with the factory cat-back.

Twenty Squared offers two Eurojet turbo-back exhausts. Both are a true 3" with CNC flanges and Performance Industries high-flow cats. One retails for $1099 and fits the factory bumper. If you've got an R32-style bumper, Eurojet's second system places twin 3" tips in the middle and retails for $1149.

GHL Motorsports sells a 3", TIG welded 304 stainless turbo-back exhaust for $1099, including a resonator and high-flow cat on the downpipe. If you plan to use a Rieger rear valance on your GTI, GHL's $1499 quad 3" tips were designed to fit it.

EIP has a big-turbo upgrade using a T3 turbo. It's supplied with a custom manifold and downpipe, external wastegate, intake extension pipe and was reportedly tuned for a linear power curve. At $2500, this kit should net around 300whp. EIP reports more powerful turbo options will also be available.

APR's big-turbo kit comprises a K04 turbo, exhaust manifold, hardware and gaskets. For $4300 you can expect over 260whp and 280 lb/ft with a good exhaust. Its stage 3 kit should retail between $6000-7000, and will include a fuel pump, injectors, FMIC, Garrett Ballistic Series ball-bearing turbo that attaches to an inconel exhaust manifold, oil and coolant lines to the turbo, a cast stainless downturn off the turbo to a downpipe (sold separately), all hardware and a recalibrated ECU. Even though APR's project car is seeing more power, this kit will be "detuned" to 350whp for everyday use.

Dahlback will soon release its big turbo, which uses a K-16 turbo and includes its exhaust manifold, turbo-back exhaust with a racing cat, hoses, pressure pipes and software. Expect it to retail between $5k-6k and net around 275whp.

VF should have its RS/S GT28RS turbo upgrade available as well. The kit will include a cast manifold, injectors and fuel pump. Additionally, the GIAC software for 91-, 93- and 100-octane fuel will be supplied. Power will start at 300whp for 91, its estimated price $5500. VF reports even the stock intercooler will be enough for street use. However, you'll need a bigger intercooler with VF's RS/R kit. It comprises everything in the RS/S, with the addition of cone rods and pistons for strength and lower compression. The kit will include VF's intercooler upgrade and should retail around $8000. What you'll get is around 350whp with 310 lb/ft to the wheels on 91-octane. With the 100-octane program, VF's project car has run at 414whp for several months. All VF's turbo upgrades are compatible with the stock exhaust, but a turbo-back is recommended.

While you're at this power level, don't forget to add a clutch for longevity. VF clutches come with a lightweight flywheel, throw-out bearing, torque plate and hardware. Its stage 1 organic clutch costs $1260, and is rated to over 300whp. The stage 3 kevlar clutch is stronger but requires a break-in period. The stage 4 clutch is ceramic and only requires a 10 mile break-in. Stages 3 and 4 retail at $1555 and are rated to over 400whp and 460whp, respectively.

K&N Engineering
1455 Citrus Ave.
CA  92502
Techtonics Tuning
Dahlback Racing USA
EIP Tuning
Doral (Abt)
ATP Turbo Forge Motorsport
Euro Sport Accessories Autotech
GReddy AWE Tuning
Revo Technik ITG
Autobahn Designs
Evolution Motorsports
Usually Sideways Rally Team
Advanced Engine Management
2205 126th St., Unit A
CA  90250
GHL Motorsports
Evolution Racewerks
Twenty Squared Tuning
ECS Tuning
APR UPsolute
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By Paul Piola
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