VF Engineering's Supercharged GTI
Still wet from its recent birth, VW enthusiasts have already set out on the quest for more power from the 24-valve VR6 engine. One of the easiest methods to achieve that goal is the addition of a supercharger, a technology the crew at VF Engineering have been perfecting for nearly a decade.

I was a fan of Nik Saran's work back when he was utilizing the Z Engineering centrifugal supercharger. I like him even more now that he is using the Vortech supercharger, a locally grown unit with a reputation for bulletproof reliability.

"VF-Engineering designed this kit from the ground up using the tough Vortech Engineering V9 supercharger unit," said Saran. "The key to the design of this supercharger kit is the simplicity with which it can be bolted on. The kit is supplied with every part needed to get your car up and running supercharged on the same day. The kit is set up in three stages to give you an increasing amount of horsepower and torque. Each stage is a bolt-on kit and can be added on to the previous stage."

Performance, reliability and factory correctness were major factors during the R&D carried out over a period of 2 years in California. Custom, proprietary GIAC software is supplied with this kit to safely realign all fueling and engine management parameters. The materials and manufacturing processes used were selected to match the OEM components as closely as possible. The VF kit includes a Vortech V9 centrifugal supercharger, a proprietary billet mounting bracket system, a replacement OEM serpentine belt, GIAC software with the rpm limiter increased to 7000 rpm and soft rev limiters completely removed, Bosch pressure relief bypass system, and polished ceramic aluminum-coated pipework. The kit features a 1-year unlimited-mileage warranty on major parts or an optional 2-year warranty extension to 3 years total for $150.

We tested Robert Wang's 2002 GTI VR6, a nicely done car with a Dietrich RS4 aerodynamic package, Bilstein PSS coilovers, Autotech swaybars and 330mm AP Racing brakes with Performance Caf big brakes out back. Wang used ECS hard bushings throughout the suspension with D-TEK S-2 running gear sized at 7.5x18 and shod with Pirelli P Zeros. Set up in Stage I trim, Wang's car was running a modest 6 psi with a Milltek cat-back exhaust, which bumped up the output to 229.6 hp and twist to 201 lb-ft at 3400 rpm.

The power comes on fairly smoothly once revs are up (about 3500 rpm) and pulls decently to six grand. It's also pretty darn quiet, a result of Vortech's new bearing design. It's a good first step. We'd really like to see more boost, however, and Saran is developing a Stage II kit comprised of bigger injectors, modified pulleys and new software. The 24V engine can certainly handle the extra load.

Saran has done his homework here-the entire system is nicely engineered from solid stock. The VF supercharger should provide many miles of trouble-free performance, if you can remain under the authorities' radar.

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