Vehicle Data
Audi A4 2.0T
Mileage: 16,750
Engine: 2.0-liter I4, dohc, 16-valve, turbocharged and intercooled, direct injection
Transmission: Five-speed automatic
Testing octane: 95

Current Modifications
APR 93-octane software
Carbonio intake system

Peak wheel-horsepower: 190 hp @ 5000 rpm

Dyno Data
Dynojet 424x
Ambient temp: 78 F
Intake air temp: 100 F
Coolant temp: 194 F
Humidity: 17%
Test gear: Third

We previously tested this Audi A4 2.0T FSI engine with a software and intake system, which netted more than 50 all-wheel horsepower on the 93-octane pump gas setting (see ec July 2007). During the test, we witnessed the intake air temperature (IAT) soar from 100 to more than 130 degrees F in a single third-gear pull. That got us thinking of what the temperature might reach on the highway or at the track. It was obvious the stock intercoolers had become inefficient at this power level.

Heat not only kills power but compromises engine longevity. AWE Tuning sells a large front-mount intercooler upgrade that's a bolt-on replacement for the twin side-mount cores. Its all-aluminum CFD (Computer Flow Design) construction offers extreme durability with maximum efficiency. The kit also features a power steering hard-line relocation kit, which includes a heat exchanger.

For testing and installation, we took the car to Modified By KC Performance, a tuning shop in Kansas City with an all-wheel-drive Dynojet 424x dynamometer. The hardest part of the install was removing the front bumper assembly, solved with a quick call to an AWE technician. There are two hard-to-find 10mm bolts sitting behind each headlight that you must reach from inside the wheel well. With the bumper off, the rest of the operation went smoothly.

On the AWE website you'll find plenty of test data on this upgrade kit, which our own test results have found to be accurate. But with a claimed 27-degree temperature reduction and a 10 hp increase, we felt this was likely the result of a single-gear pass, and AWE was selling itself short in showing the potential gains of such a system. While our single-gear runs yielded similar results, we saw staggering differences with more rigorous, yet realistic, testing that left the car heat-soaked.

Test Notes
To keep testing results accurate, MKC Performance let us use its Snap On OBD-II scan tool to monitor ignition timing as well as ambient, intake air and coolant temperatures for accurate testing. This way we didn't worry about the DME retarding timing due to high initial temperatures. We also added a few gallons of racing fuel to not only minimize the chance of any damaging detonation-given our stringent test-but also to prevent further ignition timing being pulled due to detonation, which would further skew the results.

On the first pull, the IAT already rose from 100 to 136 degrees, which triggered a slight drop in power around 5300 rpm (70 mph). With a second pull just one minute later, the temp soared to 181 degrees, causing a huge power drop at redline. A third pull took the IAT to a blistering 203 degrees, and the power kill grew worse. In just three pulls the car had a peak loss of 50 hp, which at redline equates to over 30 percent.

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