[ ChipIt ]
S4 GIAC X Chip Install
The Numbers: Baseline HP: 227.6
Baseline TQ: 249.5
GIAC HP: 261.7
GIAC TQ: 323.3
Tech Facts: GIAC X chip for Audi S4
If you want more power and have less then a thousand dollars to spend, then a chip is the way to go. On a turbo car, this will show the largest gains in horsepower short of going to larger turbos. The GIAC X chip bumps the boost up to around 20 psi. If you have a Tiptronic car, then you'll also need to buy the Tiptronic software to keep the transmission from sending itself into limp mode. The software (if purchased with the chip) is only $300. If you don't have the cash to spend, GIAC has less aggressive maps that you can use to keep your tranny from entering limp mode.
Torque Factory, 310/386-0208, email@example.com
Sometimes you just need more power, and once you get some, it never seems to be enough. I'm sure we can go into psychobabble about why we're like this (it's most likely a kind of dysfunction), but I don't care, as I'm sure neither do you. If you happen to be one of the proud owners of an Audi S4, a sure-fire way to get inexpensive power from your car is to chip it. Chipping a turbo car gets the most bang for the buck you'll ever see while modding it. Most of the mods that follow don't give the large gains or personal satisfaction you'll see with a chip. With this in mind, we set out in an '00 S4 with an RS4 upgrade to visit Jeff Moss at Torque Factory.
Torque Factory specializes in GIAC chip programming and installation. GIAC's latest and greatest chip is the X series; according to GIAC, this chip out-performs the previous S series of chips. Since the S chip, the following changes have occurred: the rev limit was upped to 7,050 rpm; the speed limiter was removed; fuel has been remapped; advance timing has been remapped; mass air was recalibrated; load was recalibrated; and the boost was increased from 1.0-1.1 bar to 1.2-1.3 (the XR averages 1.3-1.4). What that translates to is about 20 psi of boost (if we take 1 bar to mean 14.7 psi).
Since we didn't have access to a four-wheel dyno, we decided to use a VAG and do the tests ourselves. With a VAG and any car that has DBW (drive by wire), you can get torque figures, and as we all know, horsepower is just a figure derived from torque. The one problem is that the VAG reads out Newton meters (crazy Germans), and in order to get the pound-feet of torque, we had to do some math. I know right now you're thinking to yourself, "Great. A bunch of monkeys at a magazine are trying to do math. Is the world ending?" Never fear-I used a calculator.