GIAC Race Gas

Performance Program/Sunoco 260 GT Plus 104 Octane


Test 2

Performance

Peak power: 294 hp @ 5295 rpm
Peak torque: 306 lb-ft @ 4480 rpm
Peak power gain: 23 hp @ 6300 rpm
Peak torque gain: 13 lb-ft @ 4910 rpm

GIAC Flashloader Hand-held loaded with race gas performance program

Pros

• Very easy to use-with a simple push of the "read' button the LED illuminates the current program setting, thus reducing confusion
• A variety of additional features and programs offer increased security, eliminate prying eyes, and manage power output levels
• Race gas-specific programming maximizes power gains by taking full advantage of the increased octane
• Will also work on street-legal 100 (slight reduction in power gains)

Cons

• All the bells and whistles add up to a nice chunk of change

Flashloader Hand-held: $150
Race gas performance program: $100
Installation time: If purchased separately, the upgrade takes approximately one hour

Sunoco 260 GT Plus 104 octane 5-gallon can

Pros

• Prevents excess timing retard that can reduce power
• Helps maintain power in extreme temperatures
• Contains no metal compounds that can destroy catalytic converters or oxygen sensors

Cons

• A pricey addiction
• Not street legal

Price: $54.95

Test Notes

The race gas performance program was installed at the same time as the original 91 octane software. So all we had to do was drain the remaining 91 octane from the vehicle's gas tank and pour in the entire five gallons of Sunoco 260 GT Plus 104 Octane.

Conclusion

Upon starting the stone cold GTI for its maiden voyage test drive, I heard a deep and almost troubling rumble emanating from the car's backside-approximating the sound your body makes after some bad Mexican food. But after the car warmed up, the exhaust note mellowed out and the exhaust under idle was more regular and less rumbly. Under acceleration the exhaust had a nice, even tone and deceleration was also smooth, following a classic bell-shaped sound curve. Though there was no raspiness or droning, the overall sound was on the verge of being too loud for my tastes. Right on the cusp-enjoyable to drive but definitely noticeable and could attract unwanted attention.

The GTI was equipped with 18-inch BFG g-Force T/A KDW tires and from a standstill they were able to grip the asphalt and propel the GTI forward. First gear disappeared instantly; in the blink of an eye I found myself easily shifting to third. With a solid, smooth pull to redline even with the A/C on, there was no noticeable performance drop. In low speed, higher gear situations (a great test for power and torque), I hit the accelerator and the car was still able to pull solidly-the GTI passed with flying colors.

Sometimes when you drive a modded car, it's fast but doesn't really feel like it's fast. I now know why they wanted me to put on all the bells and whistles with the KO4. Now the car is giddy fast. When you floor it, the pit of your stomach drops a bit, and you find yourself giggling like a little schoolgirl.

The 104 octane and GIAC race program added another dimension to the GTI's already stellar performance, because let's face it: more power equals more fun.

COSTS SUMMARY

AWE TSI K04 $2,495
AWE Exhaust $1,339.90
AWE CCB Intake $379.95
AWE DIVERTER Valve $129.95
2.0T TSI Boost/Vacuum Tap $39.95
S3 Intercooler $695
Additional Supplies $73
GIAC Flashloader $150
GIAC Race Gas Performance Program $100
Sunoco 104-5 Gallons $54.95
MSRP total $5,457.70

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