Super Street Network

 |   |   |  VW EA888 1.8t and 2.0t Performance Buyers Guide
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

VW EA888 1.8t and 2.0t Performance Buyers Guide

Add power and performance with simple bolt-ons

Anthony Gelinas
Sep 20, 2016

When VW and Audi released the four-cylinder 1.8T in 1997, they unknowingly revitalized the brand and ensured more than a decade of success after their failed attempts with the VR6. Now they have evolved from the 1.8T engine that produced 150 hp to the new EA888 Gen 3 2.0T in the Golf R and S3 that pump out nearly 300 hp directly from the factory.

I was recently reminiscing with a friend about the 1.8T days and how you would have to spend a fortune to get anywhere near the 300hp mark with upgrades that were not always the most reliable. Now all you have to do is buy a Mk7 GTI and with a few basic mods you can get a car to do a 13-second quarter-mile. Yes, I am getting old... Back in my day, I had to walk 10 miles in the snow to get to school, and movie theaters offered student discounts.

It's a great time to be an enthusiast on a budget. You can get a reasonably priced car and with a small investment, turn it into an amazing ride. As the owner of a '15 Golf R, I can personally attest to the fact that even the simplest mods make a huge difference on the newest-gen 2.0T. This guide is the first in a series that focuses on the "intake" side (versus the "exhaust" side) of the EA888 Gen 3 1.8T/2.0T and will help you navigate through the available options.

Software and Plug-N-Play Modules

As soon as Volkswagen and Audi started turbocharging engines, manipulating the engine control unit (ECU) to coax more horsepower and torque has been a mainstay of the tuning industry. The EA888 Gen 3 is no different. In fact, the results for the latest-generation Simos ECU controlling the 1.8T/2.0T have been impressive. Keep in mind the new hardware and motor design have much to do with these impressive results. Manipulation of the ECU can result in increased horsepower, torque, throttle response, and overall enjoyment.

APR

Vw ea888 performance buyers guide ecu Photo 2/22   |   Vw Ea888 Performance Buyers Guide Ecu

For the latest Simos 12 and 18 engine management systems, APR offers its Stage 1 ECU upgrade as a starter and Stage 2 options to go with additional vehicle mods. The software is installed with DirectPort programming via the OBD-II port, which completely eliminates the need to open the ECU. The software increases boost pressure, optimizes ignition timing, and recalibrates the air-to-fuel ratio and is designed to work on 91, 93, or 100 octane. Horsepower and torques figures vary by application and engine, but in addition to increased horsepower and torque, the APR ECU upgrade increases the speed limited and left foot braking.

Applications: Audi 8V A3/S3, VW MK7 Golf/GTI/ R
Engines: 1.8T, 2.0T
MSRP: $599.99-$699.99

GIAC

Vw ea888 performance buyers guide giac flashloader Photo 3/22   |   Vw Ea888 Performance Buyers Guide Giac Flashloader

One of the most recognizable names in running, GIAC offers multiple stages of software packages for the latest MQB EA888 Gen 3 2.0T-equipped vehicle. The Stage 1 option is installed via the OBD-II port and features a proprietary boost control system to optimize airflow for a smooth boost curve and precise calibrated air/fuel ratio for maximum horsepower output. To ensure you don't loose traction, GIAC created an engagement delay when using launch control to improve gear 1 to gear 2 transition. The GIAC optional Flashloader allows you to easily switch from regular to race fuel with just a push of a button. Contact them for additional price details.

Applications: Audi 8V A3/S3, VW MK7 GTI/ R
Engines: 2.0T
MSRP: $550-$750 (software only)

BK Motorsports

Vw ea888 performance buyers guide bk motorsports tuningbox Photo 4/22   |   Vw Ea888 Performance Buyers Guide Bk Motorsports Tuningbox

The TuningBox is the evolution of plug-and-play modules. The auxiliary unit uses factory-style AMP plugs and a CNC-machined housing for precise fit and durability. The box increases boost to increase horsepower and torque. To ensure there are no issues with reaction time, the system has been enhanced with the latest-generation microcontrollers for immediate transfer of the data to the ECU. The external adjustment lets you select different modes depending on your power needs.

Applications: Audi 8V A3/S3, VW MK7 GTI/ R
Engines: 1.8T, 2.0T

Neuspeed

Vw ea888 performance buyers guide neuspeed power module Photo 5/22   |   Vw Ea888 Performance Buyers Guide Neuspeed Power Module

Not to be confused with a chip, this plug-and-play module system can be taken on and off in minutes with no change to the factory ECU programming. Using modes for either 91 or 100+ octane fuel, this wire harness system modulates MAP and boost sensors to increase horsepower and torque with two settings-one for a 5-psi increase and one for a 7-psi increase. It's on its way to being street legal with CARB pending status.

Applications: Audi 8V A3/S3, VW MK7 GTI/ R
Engines: 1.8T, 2.0T
MSRP: $399.95

Intake Upgrades

It is rare that an OEM manufacturer designs an air intake system that is perfect. During the design process, they are too overwhelmed with "frivolous" concerns like noise, weather, and emissions while trying to make a system that is a universal fit for engines with varying horsepower and torque. The end product is an air intake system that is too restrictive. Increasing airflow helps increase throttle response, performance, and acceleration. Plus, you get aggressive sound and that sweet blow-off noise when you let off the throttle.

APR

Vw ea888 performance buyers guide apr intake system Photo 6/22   |   Vw Ea888 Performance Buyers Guide Apr Intake System

This carbon-fiber intake system was designed with advanced CFD optimization, flow-bench, and real-world testing and is capable of supporting 500+ horsepower. The unique shape is designed to reduce turbulence while internal directional vanes direct the airflow across the entire length of the filter element for maximum flow and filtration. The sealed carbon-fiber design retains the factory engine bay cooling ducts, providing direct access to the cooler outside air.

Applications: Audi 8V A3/S3, VW MK7 Golf/GTI/ R
Engines: 1.8T, 2.0T
MSRP: $449.99

Vw ea888 performance buyers guide apr turbo inlet pipe Photo 7/22   |   Vw Ea888 Performance Buyers Guide Apr Turbo Inlet Pipe

Designed to work in conjunction with the APR intake system is the optional turbo inlet pipe, which replaces the restrictive factory piece that goes from the airbox to the turbo. Manufactured from carbon fiber to complement the intake, the pipe features flex couplers to compensate for the engine's movement.

Applications: Audi 8V A3/S3, VW MK7 Golf/GTI/ R
Engines: 1.8T, 2.0T
MSRP: $149.99

Autotech

Vw ea888 performance buyers guide autotec copmposite intake system Photo 8/22   |   Vw Ea888 Performance Buyers Guide Autotec Copmposite Intake System

The composite intake system is in stealth mode-featuring an OEM look with increased performance and efficiency. The kit replaces the factory turbo inlet pipe and features a composite ram-style tube to increase airflow to the turbo. The new composite lid boasts a larger plenum and exit opening. Combined with a high-flow K&N filter, it will optimize airflow and add 10 hp.

Applications: VW MK7 GTI
Engines: 2.0T
MSRP: $349.95

AWE

Vw ea888 performance buyers guide awe tuning mqb s flo carbon intake Photo 9/22   |   Vw Ea888 Performance Buyers Guide Awe Tuning MQb S Flo Carbon Intake

The fully enclosed AWE Tuning MQB S-FLO carbon intake is constructed from high-grade 2X2 carbon fiber plus a UV stabilized resin and clearcoat to prevent yellowing and ensure maximum durability. The MQB S-FLO carbon intake uses all of the OEM mounting locations and retains the factory cool air inlet ducting. AWE stuffed the largest S-FLOW possible in the box to maximize flow, increase throttle response, and provided a more aggressive intake note.

Applications: Audi 8V A3/S3, VW MK7 Golf/GTI/ R
Engines: 1.8T, 2.0T
MSRP: $599.95

Forge Motorsport

Vw ea888 performance buyers guide forge motorsport carbon fiber intake kit Photo 10/22   |   Vw Ea888 Performance Buyers Guide Forge Motorsport Carbon Fiber Intake Kit

With more than a year in R&D behind the design, the fit and finish of the carbon-fiber intake kit from Forge Motorsport is truly a unique piece. While it looks as though it belongs on your mantle, its true home is in your engine. The dry carbon-fiber construction and shape take full advantage of the unused factory cold duct, and the intake system is able to direct more cool air into the Pipercross air filter. These elements combine to increase throttle response and create a pleasing tone from the engine.

Applications: Audi 8V A3/S3, Mk3 TT, VW MK7 GTI/ R
Engines: 2.0T
MSRP: $TBA

Vw ea888 performance buyers guide forge motosport induction hose Photo 11/22   |   Vw Ea888 Performance Buyers Guide Forge Motosport Induction Hose

To complement the Forge carbon-fiber intake kit or to be used as a standalone upgrade, the Forge induction hose eliminates the restrictive OEM plastic hard pipe and provides a nice visual upgrade. Manufactured from reinforced silicone, the hose is available in red, black, or blue.

Applications: VW MK7 GTI
Engines: 2.0T
MSRP: $102.72

Volkswagen Racing

Vw ea888 performance buyers guide vw racing r600 cold air intake kit Photo 12/22   |   Vw Ea888 Performance Buyers Guide Vw Racing R600 Cold Air Intake Kit

The R600 cold air intake kit was spawned by Volkswagen's own motorsports division for use in factory-sanctioned races around the world. The new larger capacity airbox assembly uses the twin air inlets to feed cold air through new double-sized filters to increase horsepower and torque.

Applications: Audi 8V A3, S3 Volkswagen MKVII GTI, R
Engines: 2.0T
MSRP: $449-$499

Neuspeed

Vw ea888 performance buyers guide neuspeed p flo intake Photo 13/22   |   Vw Ea888 Performance Buyers Guide Neuspeed P Flo Intake

The Neuspeed P-Flo intake replaces the OEM airbox with a 3-inch mandrel-bent pipe and swaps the turbo inlet pipe with four-ply silicone hose. Directing air in to the multi-layer cotton gauze air filter with built-in velocity stack for smooth and even airflow is a heatshield that mounts to the original factory airbox mounts. The Neuspeed P-Flo is street legal (its California Air Resource Board exemption makes it legal for use on public highways), so you can growl and pffff past any highway patrol. The P-Flo is available in black, red, or blue.

Applications: Audi 8V A3/S3, VW MK7 Golf/GTI/ R
Engines: 1.8T, 2.0T
MSRP: $399.95

Intercooler System

As the air is compressed by the turbocharger, it becomes super heated. Given its namesake, the sole function of the intercooler is to reduce the temperature of the air before it enters the intake manifold. On the EA888 Gen 3 1.8T/2.0T, this task is accomplished by a moderately sized air-to-air intercooler sandwiched between the radiator and A/C condenser, which is not an optimal location, but it makes it easier to assemble the car. As outside temperatures and horsepower levels increase, the OEM intercooler becomes easily heat soaked, reducing the efficiency of the system and leaving the driver with decreased power and fuel efficiency. Aftermarket intercooler upgrades are designed to increase efficiency and support higher boost levels with increased power output.

APR

Vw ea888 performance buyers guide apr intercooler system Photo 14/22   |   Vw Ea888 Performance Buyers Guide Apr Intercooler System

Designed to support 500 hp, the APR intercooler system is designed mount to the OEM location. At the heart of the intercooler, a high-quality staggered/offset bar-in-plate core design minimizes pressure loss and maintains flow. The CNC-machined one-piece end tank features slip-resistant inlets and a precise mounting surface to ensure OEM fit. When compared with the stock OEM GTI intercooler, the APR intercooler gives 78 percent increase in volume.

Applications: Audi 8V A3/S3, VW MK7 Golf/GTI/ R
Engines: 1.8T, 2.0T
MSRP: $899.99

Vw ea888 performance buyers guide apr silicone boost hose kit Photo 15/22   |   Vw Ea888 Performance Buyers Guide Apr Silicone Boost Hose Kit

Volkswagen/Audi uses a combination of OEM rubber hoses and hard plastic pipes to direct the boost coming out of the turbocharger, through the intercooler, and eventually the throttle body. Over time, the stock rubber hoses can degrade or, in higher boost situations, start to leak. Designed to work in conjunction with the APR or stock intercooler, APR's silicone boost hose kit features an EZ-Flow stepped design for max flow and Clampco T-Bolt clamps to make sure everything stays in place under heavy boost.

Applications: Audi 8V A3/S3, TT/TTS MK3, VW MK7 Golf/GTI/ R
Engines: 1.8T, 2.0T
MSRP: $199.99

Vw ea888 performance buyers guide apr turb muffler delete Photo 16/22   |   Vw Ea888 Performance Buyers Guide Apr Turb Muffler Delete

Bolted to the discharge of the turbo is an OEM muffler designed to hush the amazing sound boost makes as it exits the turbo. The APR turbo muffler delete is a two-piece CNC-machined billet aluminum part with a straight-through design that eliminates the sound chambers found in the OEM piece. This increases sound and helps the turbo spool up faster.

Applications: A Audi 8V A3/S3, TT/TTS MK3, VW MK7 Golf/GTI/ R
Engines: 1.8T, 2.0T
MSRP: $149.99

Forge

Vw ea888 performance buyers guide forge twintercooler intercooler Photo 17/22   |   Vw Ea888 Performance Buyers Guide Forge Twintercooler Intercooler

The Twintercooler Intercooler is a truly unique concept. Instead of eliminating the stock intercooler, the kit is designed to work in conduction with the factory unit. Upside: it sits behind the lower radiator grille to take advantage of the cold air coming through the front bumper of the car. Downside: If your car is equipped with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), it will not fit your application.

Applications: VW MK7 GTI
Engines: 2.0T
MSRP: $825

Vw ea888 performance buyers guide forge motorsports upgrade intercooler Photo 18/22   |   Vw Ea888 Performance Buyers Guide Forge Motorsports Upgrade Intercooler

The Forge Motorsports uprated intercooler mounts in the factory location and features a satin black finish for that stealth look. During the dyno testing of a stock MK7 GTI, Forge engineers noticed temperatures in the stock intercooler core spiking to 140 degrees Fahrenheit on just the first run. After the installation of the uprated Forge unit, there was a consistent 77-88 degrees Fahrenheit temperature drop over stock, which resulted in a 16hp gain.

Applications: Audi 8V A3/S3, VW MK7 GTI/ R
Engines: 2.0T
MSRP: $899.99

Wagner Tuning

NewImage Photo 19/22   |   VW EA888 1.8t and 2.0t Performance Buyers Guide
Vw ea888 performance buyers guide wagner tuning competition intercooler Photo 20/22   |   Vw Ea888 Performance Buyers Guide Wagner Tuning Competition Intercooler

The Competition Intercooler is designed to replace the factory unit, with a core that measures out at 25.2" x 9.45" x 2.6"and can the can accommodate a charge volume of 4.5 gallons. Cast aluminum end tanks and high-speed core combine to offer a lightweight product (18.6 pounds) with excellent cooling properties. The intercooler is finished in an anti-corrosive black coating and includes a pair silicone hoses to replace the factory rubber units.

Applications: Audi 8V A3/S3, VW MK7 Golf/GTI/ R
Engines: 1.8T, 2.0T
MSRP: $899.99

Neuspeed

Vw ea888 performance buyers guide neuspeed front mount intercooler Photo 21/22   |   Vw Ea888 Performance Buyers Guide Neuspeed Front Mount Intercooler

The Neuspeed front mount intercooler (FMIC) kit for the VW MK7 Golf R and GTI features massive bar-and-plate core design with computer-modeled cast end tanks with oval inlets for optimal flow. The Neuspeed kit replaces the factory unit and relocates the intercooler to the front to ensure maximum cooling without any cutting of the metal bumper structure or bumper cover. To ensure movement is not an issue, the kit comes with silicon hoses and billet mounting brackets with rubber isolator mounts. Like many of Neuspeed's other products, this FMIC is CARB exempt and totally street legal. Neuspeed offers an optional black heat-emitting coating for increased heat dissipation and a stealthier look.

Applications: VW MK7 GTI/ R
Engines: 2.0T
MSRP: $799.99-$899.99

Vw ea888 performance buyers guide neuspeed turbo discharge pipe Photo 22/22   |   Vw Ea888 Performance Buyers Guide Neuspeed Turbo Discharge Pipe

Part of Volkswagen MQB's concept is making everything modular. The EA888 Gen 3 is designed as a compact, modular package, so it can easily fit into any vehicle. But this has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, the turbo discharge system had to be routed up and over the engine for clearance, which forces the stock discharge pipe to have a flow volume of 302 cfm. The Neuspeed mandrel-bent aluminum turbo discharge pipe mounts to the factory support brackets and boasts a flow volume of 500 cfm. In addition, it features a billet aluminum turbo adapter to optimize flow and give that nice turbo sound. That increased flow volume reduces lag and increases horsepower and torque.

Applications: Audi 8V A3/S3, VW MK7 Golf/GTI/ R
Engines: 1.8T, 2.0T
MSRP: $899.99

Sources

Neuspeed
Camarill, CA 93012
800-432-3623
http://www.neuspeed.com
GIAC USA
Irvine, CA 92614
949-724-0014
http://www.giacusa.com
APR
Pelika, AL 36801
800-680-7921
http://www.goapr.com
Forge Motorsport
Orlando, FL 32809
407-447-5363
http://www.forgemotorsport.com
Autotech
www.autotech.com
BK Motorsport
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
657-256-1058
http://www.bk-motorsport.com
Wagner Tuning
Fresno, CA 93727
559-412-4868
http://www.wagner-tuning.com
By Anthony Gelinas
55 Articles

BROWSE CARS BY MARKET

MORE HOW TO

A chance encounter with an old friend gives Jofel the opportunity of a lifetime.
Jofel TolosaNov 22, 2017
We test winter and all-season tires back to back to determine if changing tires out for harsh weather is worth the effort and expense.
Bradley IgerNov 21, 2017
Lambda and AFR are two paths to the same destination. However, understanding the difference can save time and maximize efficiency
Mike MagdaNov 13, 2017
Improved handling and a lower stance were welcome additions to the Civic, but now it's time for a new set of wheels and tires,
RodrezNov 8, 2017
S-Tec Motorsports builds a 1,000HP Pro Drift 2JZ-GTE for RAD Dan's Toyota.
Bob HernandezNov 7, 2017
Sponsored Links

SEARCH ARTICLES BY MAKE/MODEL

Search
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP