It's been a couple of years since we tested a range of products on the 2.0T engine - comparing three different setups on our GLI and GTIs. Since then, software has been updated and new products have been developed. So we thought we'd take another plunge into the 2.0T to discover whether there's more power to be had from basic upgrades.
To help in our quest, we enlisted the assistance of Michael Kondo at Canyon Racer Motorsports in Mission Viejo, CA. He's been at the current location almost two years but has been in business since the '80s, specializing in European car dyno tuning and parts installs - he's a dealer for AWE, Forge, Revo and Techtonics. The shop has a loyal following in the area and Michael offers plenty of advice to customers who drop in, as we discovered during our visit.
Our plan was to upload the latest software from Revo Technik, then add a Techtonics Tuning exhaust and Euro Sport Accessories intake, taking dyno readings as we progressed. We'd also fit a Forge Motorsport diverter valve because the stock ones were prone to failure, especially once the boost is increased.
Revo's SPS Select module has laptop-programmable settings for different ECU settings, vale
So That Was The Plan...
Before we could start, Michael strapped our FWD '07 Audi A3 2.0T DSG to his Dyno Dynamics dyno - with limited space he's cleverly positioned it in a corner of the workshop. The stock A3 spun the rollers to 185.5hp and 200 lb-ft in fourth gear. The ambient temperature in the morning was 80 with only 30% humidity, but all subsequent readings would be corrected for temperature.
In Michael's opinion, this 2.0T was down about 10hp from where he'd expect it to be based on previous cars on his dyno. He explained that sitting in traffic and cruising on the freeway on a daily commute can cause the ECU to retard power, whereas hard driving can release it again.
Installing the software was the simplest procedure of the day. Michael simply plugged his laptop into the serial port on the car, found the correct program and pressed "send".
Uploading the software took about 20mins. We tried several different maps but the first on
He was uploading Revo's stage 1 software that boosts the car to 19-21psi at peak and costs $499. It's a flexible system where the dealer can set the boost, timing and air/fuel ratio within specified tolerances depending on octane available, etc.
Using the optional $199 SPS module, the owner can then switch back to the stock settings or arm an anti-theft program, for example. For $349, the SPS Select has three additional laptop-programmable settings for things like a valet mode, race fuel or water/meth injection, etc.
After about 20 minutes, the car was back on the dyno. This time delivering 193.9hp and 245 lb-ft with the temperature at 83.
Since he was expecting slightly more power, Michael uploaded different fuel maps to see if the ECU preferred them. Doing so, he was able to increase the power slightly but didn't like the power curve as much, so reverted to the first map.
In Michael's experience, the Revo software would normally give around 210whp, so we were scratching our heads a little. But the 9whp gain at peak doesn't reflect the gains from 2800rpm to 5000rpm - with as much as 30whp seen from about 3000-4000rpm. This was accompanied by a jump in torque - as much as 48 lb-ft gained at peak, with improvements from 2900-5000rpm.
"This huge mid-range spike in power and torque will make the A3 feel exceedingly quick," Michael commented, "but it's possible the ECU has to learn the new software. I'll bet if we test this car again in a week we'll find more power," he said.