When factory engineers design an intercooler system for a turbo-charged engine, the main focus is supporting set horsepower and torque figures over a wide range of driving and environmental conditions. When boost levels are increased, such as by adding a chip, the stock intercooler becomes less efficient. In an effort to return the system to OEM or greater efficiency levels, we tested an aftermarket intercooler.
Peak wheel-hp: 202 @ 4874 rpm/peak wheel torque (lb-ft): 242 @ 3030 rpm
Testing Octane: 91
Milltek 70mm turbo-back exhaust with 200-cell metallic HJS catalytic convertor
Forge vacuum-operated bypass valve
Neuspeed High-Flow Turbo Discharge
Dyno Type: Clayton chassis aka 'Mustang'
Temperature: 78 to 86 degrees F
Humidity: 24.7 percent
Transmission Test Gear: third
Notes: Graphs were compiled with data gathered from the factory sensors using VAG-COM diagnostic software from Ross Tech. As well as diagnosing problems, VAG-COM software allows the engine to be monitored. The 2007GTI requires a CAN interface, from $249.
Neuspeed Front-Mounted Intercooler Upgrade
Peak wheel-hp 209 @ 5279 rpm
Peak wheel torque (lb-ft) 245 @ 3483 rpm
Bar and plate
Core size (in.): 24x6.5x3
Supported turbos: K03, K04, K16 GT28RS
Intercooler core is mounted using rubber isolators Supports up to 450 hp.
The combination of silicon and aluminum piping ensures engine flex is not a problem under hard acceleration or deceleration.
No cutting, 100-percent direct fit with no modifications.Cast end-tanks feature oval inlets for optimal flow.
Slight torque shift caused by increase in intake system volume.
Intercooler assembly, silicon hoses, horn bracket, aluminum pipes, billet adapter, OEM-style hose clamps, mounting brackets, rubber iso-mounts, screws
T20, T25, T30 Torx, flat and Phillips screwdriver, spray lubricant, 10mm and 13mm sockets, extension and ratchet
Notes: On the dyno, we observed a shift in the power curve causing torque to peak at a higher point. While easily detectable by the numbers, it is not noticeable on the street. The intercooler kit fit with zero modifications to the bumper and no interference with the fog lights. The constant-tension OEM-style hose clamps have a tight fit, keeping everything in place.
Driving around in traffic, the GTI's stock intercooler would easily heat-soak. When traffic cleared, the car would have some initial lag, but it would soon pass. A few weeks after the Neuspeed intercooler was installed, Los Angles experienced a heatwave, with temperatures in excess of 100 degrees F. The benefits of the upgraded intercooler were apparent even with the A/C running at full blast. There was no drop-off in performance. The new unit eliminated this heat-soaking tendency. An intercooler upgrade for the 2.0T is by no means a necessity, but there are benefits, one of which being that it looks really cool through the grille.
Neuspeed Intercooler Stock Intercooler
Reducing air charge temperatures is the main reason for upgrading the intercooler. Using data gathered from the intake manifold temp sensor, this graph demonstrates the difference in air intake temperatures on the third consecutive dyno run.
Monitoring the factory boost sensor is a good way to determine the effects of an intercooler upgrade's increased capacity. This graph shows how greater intake volume can affect boost levels and delivery.