I'm not one of the lucky few who were able drive both the U.S. and European spec Mk VI GTI. From a performance standpoint, the European version is simply better and comes equipped with a more precisely tuned engine, and its transmission and suspension are geared for driving pleasure. Ours is tailored to a more general public who might not always be true driving enthusiasts-people who might complain about a "rough ride" or tires breaking loose on hard acceleration. This has caused VW to detune our suspension, reduce throttle response, and add a delay from the time you release the brakes until the transmission engages.
The Mk VI GTI is an amazing piece of technology limited by bureaucracy. Thankfully, companies like Neuspeed listen to the enthusiast, cut through the red tape, and make products to transform the timid U.S.-spec GTI into more than just a daily driver.
2.0-liter I4, turbocharged, direct injection
Six-speed DSG automated manual
Rear Wheel Drive
Dyno type: Clayton Mustang dynamometer with Virtual Test Track Software
Transmission test gear: Third
Fuel grade: 91 octane
Temperature: 78° F
Peak power: 173 hp @ 5467 rpm
Peak torque: 181 lb-ft @ 2875 rpm
All horsepower and torque numbers are quoted at the wheels. Of importance is that the "Mustang" dyno, when properly calibrated, produces very accurate horsepower and torque numbers. At first look, these numbers might seem low when compared to those of a Dynojet (usually 10 percent or more), or a test performed in fourth gear. However, it is the difference between the experimental runs and baseline that prove or disprove the validity of the manufacturer's horsepower and torque claims.
Baseline vs Neuspeed Flash
Graph 1: Baseline vs. ECU flash
212 hp @ 5,881 rpm
238 lb-ft @ 3,314 rpm
Max power gain:
40 hp @ 5,739 rpm
Max torque gain:
63 lb-ft @ 3,955 rpm
Parts: Bench Flash
Installation time: 45 minutes
• Completely reversible
• Retains all of the factory safety protocols
• Free lifetime upgrades and free re-flash back to stock programming
• Does not block factory flash updates and is 100% compatible with all diagnostic software
• Fuel, timing, and electronic throttle settings have been optimized to take full advantage of the increase in boost pressure
The boost graph represents the difference in boost levels between the factory software and Neuspeed Flash. Boost and rpm data used in the graph were extracted from the ECU utilizing VCDS HEX-USB+CAN interface and VCDS 10.6 software. Boost data was converted from mBar to psi using a standard conversion formula.
P-FLO Intake Kit
Graph 2: ECU flash vs. Intake
217 hp @ 5521 rpm
245 lb-ft @ 3137 rpm
Max power gain:
9 hp @ 5501 rpm
Max torque gain:
14 lb-ft @ 3137 rpm
Parts: Intake pipe, stainless steel P-Flo bracket, intake filter, silicone hose, rubber isolator, rubber grommet, plastic hose support clip, clamps, nuts and bolts, (mini air pump filter and billet pump fitting, if required)
Tools: Philips screwdriver, 7/16 wrench, 8mm nut driver, T25 Torx, 5mm Hey Key wrench, spring clamp pliers
MSRP: $339.95 w/air pump, $299.95 w/o air pump
Installation time: 30 minutes
• Street legal in all 50 states
• Retains the factory mass air flow sensor housing ensuring that the ECU gets precise air flow readings
• Stainless steel mounting deflects air from the grille toward the air filter
• Kit retains the OEM tapered plastic pipe after the MAF-specifically designed to increase the velocity of the air entering the turbocharger
• Reusable multi-layer cotton gauze air filter features a integral velocity stack that allows a smooth transition of air into the 3-inch pipe
• Billet air pump fitting ensures a precise seal and fit with plastic hose support clip that prevents excessive movement
• Increased throttle response
• Increased intake system size caused a negligible torque loss
Graph 3: Compare all
Acceleration performance from a standstill in first gear depended on whether the GTI's traction control was on or off. Traction control on created interference in the vehicle's momentum and a short pause at 3500 rpm. For the most part, the stock ContiProContact all-season tires held their own. Traction control off made the tires bark and spin, but after quickly recovering and regaining their bite, the GTI pulled all the way to its 6900 rpm before shifting up into second gear. To get the full benefits out of the Neuspeed programming, a tire swap to sportier rubber is recommended (ContiSportContact 2s should do the trick).
With the increased power and torque afforded by the Neuspeed software, the GTI developed a slight tendency to torque steer. Not a real problem though. At part throttle, the noise from the intake was slight and at full throttle it was noticeable but not overly dramatic. Under light throttle shifts, the slight induction psst was only apparent if you listened for it and if the radio was on, you'd never hear it at all. At full throttle and subsequent off throttle, that familiar intake sound that makes the intake experience was audible and enjoyable. After adding the intake, the torque steer problem increased and this time pulled the car to either side. The gains afforded by the chip and intake combo warrants a suspension upgrade and larger tires.
My only real complaint is the need to constantly shut off the GTI's traction control, which then creates a warning light in the instrument cluster. This is yet another complaint I have with VW, since it's a marked change from last model's solid light to a blinking annoyance. The latest Volkswagen adverts tout their vehicles' superior DNA. While the GTI may be higher up on the European food chain, it's kill or be killed in the U.S. Neuspeed has rewritten the genetic code and made the GTI more fit to survive among other vehicles in its class.
|NEUSPEED P-FLO INTAKE