Although the rear brakes remain stock, the fronts have been replaced with a Brembo GT kit. Its 328mm (12.9-inch) rotors are squeezed by Ferodo brake pads, by way of four-piston calipers (powdercoated red in this instance) and Goodridge braided stainless steel lines. The Le Mans-winning R8 racer has Brembos, so they were an easy choice for this car. In front of the brakes are handsome black die-forged BBS RG-R wheels, sized 8.5x19; Dunlop SP Sport Maxx 235/35 tires provide the grip and traction.
Clambering into the cabin reveals front seats from a 2006 S4 (a nice touch) and AWE's anodized aluminum pedals. These have been shaped for easier heel-toe maneuvers and more effective shoe clearance. They also sport rubber grips to keep wet soles from slipping. Clever, but not as clever as the vent-mounted boost gauge.
Sitting in the driver's side of the center vent, in perfect view, is this color-matched dial. The whole piece comes from AWE with slats included, and the gauge has been designed for fresh air to flow around it. The metering reads from zero to 30 psi and zero to 30 in.Hg of vacuum.
To run the quarter-mile takes this A4 12 seconds and change, with a terminal speed of 108 mph. And that's in full street trim, full weight and pump fuel (impressively, the six-speed manual transmission hasn't required beefing up). To reach this point has taken AWE Tuning 18 months, with thousands of miles covered and numerous dyno sessions undertaken in the development of this turbo kit. Surely it deserves an award of its own.
Longitudinal front engine, all-wheel drive
2.0-liter I4, dohc, 16-valve.
AWE Tuning/Garrett GT28-71R turbocharger, front-mount intercooler, diverter valve, sport exhaust and HJS catalyst, AWE/GIAC software
Bilstein PSS9 adjustable coilovers
Brembo front brakes, Ferodo pads, Goodridge lines
Wheels & Tires
BBS RG-R, 8.5x19
Dunlop SP Sport Maxx, 235/35
2006 Audi S4 front seats,
AWE vent-mounted boost gauge
Peak Power: 377 hp @ 6500 rpm
Peak Torque: 317 lb-ft @ 5475 rpm
VW GTI 2.0T
The new generation of four-cylinder engine from the VW Group bears the initials TSI (turbo stratified injection). And yes, versions of it have also won awards, including Engine of the Year more than once. Adding a bigger, better turbo would be an easy way to make improvements, right? If only life were always that simple.
AWE Tuning knew that getting the right balance of ballistic acceleration and benign road behavior in its 2008 MkV VW GTI 2.0T would take a canny collection of OEM and custom parts. The company started with a KKK K04 turbo, as found on the Audi S3. But it's not a straightforward bolt-on installation with this CBFA engine. It took some in-house smarts to keep things sweet.
"AWE is the only company in the U.S. to offer a K04 for the 2008.5 GTI/Jetta 2.0T," says Sager. "Special machining of the turbo was required to make it fit. The kit is available with or without software from GIAC. With the software, it's $2,495."
Migrating from the aforementioned A4 is the same Porsche-derived diverter valve. It's been relocated here, higher up in the engine bay. This makes it easier for servicing and replacement, and has the extra benefit of helping to cool the intake air. The front-mount intercooler is also from the S3, and efficient enough to put crank readings on the dyno up another 10 hp, says AWE. A claimed eight crank-hp can also be had with AWE's Cold Cone Box carbon-fiber intake. Capitalizing on the amount of incoming fresh air is 2.75-inch piping, situated after the mass airflow sensor. AWE also claims improved throttle response.
Adding to the ultimate horsepower figure (a claimed extra 20 hp and 14 lb-ft) is an R32-style, 2.5-inch diameter, T304 stainless steel exhaust system, housing an HJS metal catalytic converter and finished off with 3.5-inch beveled tips.
When all these instruments are orchestrated by GIAC software (again with multiple modes such as Race Fuel, Valet and Security Kill) the grand finale on the dyno is 360 hp at 5750 rpm and 355 lb-ft of torque at 4650 rpm (measured at the crank and burning 93-octane fuel).
The kit is also available in two lower states of tune-335 hp/345 lb-ft with the OEM airbox and intercooler; 342 hp/349 lb-ft with the S3 intercooler and stock airbox-but the numbers above apply to this particular car with these specific parts.