Intercooler Sandwich – Performance Intercooler R&D, Part 6 – Production Sample

We last left you off with the scaffold and tales of what our new intercooler design would be. Now it’s time to put our money where our mouth is since the production sample of our new MK7 intercooler has arrived here at Mishimoto. This arrival gives us the tangible fruits of our prototyping labors.


Typically, these new intercooler production samples show up like a wrecking ball. No, not like a scantily clad Miley Cyrus, but rather with size-doubling volume increases figuratively smashing the stock unit to smithereens. This time around, though, given our extremely tight build envelope, our new design might look mostly the same to some. We can assure you that much like the subtle outward appearance of the MK7 GTI and Golf R, looks can be deceiving.


The end tanks for our MK7 GTI’s intercooler have taken on a more supporting role than usual. If it wasn’t already mentioned enough, build space was a huge limitation when it came to this intercooler. We started from the ground up with these end tanks, creating a design that looks similar but with a sleeker profile for increased airflow. The first step was to abandon the plastic that originally made up the stock tanks and replace it with a sturdy aluminum construction. Since the typical use case for an upgraded intercooler is for vehicles touting extra boost, we wanted to make sure that these end tanks could handle the pressure.


Smooth and strong aren’t the only ways to describe these new end tanks. In the name of increased flow, we bumped up the size of the inlet and outlet sizes to 53.5 mm to allow this intercooler and the rest of the charged air system to breathe deeper while still being able to fit the stock couplers. Given the towering height of this core, we wanted to make sure that none of the bars were going to waste by adding a pair of diverters inside the hot-side tank.


It's a tight fit, but it's worth the squeeze. You can also see our specifically designed mounting brackets for a sturdy installation.
It’s a tight fit, but it’s worth the squeeze. You can also see our specifically designed mounting brackets for a sturdy installation.

Even though it’s a bit cramped in the front of the MQB platform, Ye was still able to make improvements over the stock core. For starters, the tube-and-fin layout is a thing of the past, and in its place is the more robust bar-and-plate configuration. This hearty construction might pack on a few extra pounds to the overall weight of the unit, but the gains help even that out.

MMINT-MK7-15_4Our new core might technically be shorter than the stock unit, however the updated construction combined with the more densely packed fins allowed Ye to give this new core two more rows of cooling power. While this intercooler inevitably gained some weight in the redesign process, it more impactfully bolstered in overall width. We didn’t think such a feat would be possible given our tight build envelope, but our engineer managed to give this design an 89% core volume increase over the stock intercooler.


On paper our shiny new production sample lives up to the challenge and is still able to cast a shadow on the original equipment. Even though we might not have been able to give this intercooler the tube-and-fin shattering size increases, the updates to the design will still yield cooler charged air for your VW or Audi, with the specifics on that soon to come.

Thanks for Reading!


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