Renew, Reuse, Refresh – 2015-2021 Volkswagen MK7 Golf TSI/GTI/R Performance Intake

The cycle of innovation moves at different speeds for everyone involved. It might pass by unnoticed for some, but for those keeping a keen eye on progress, it can seem excruciatingly long. No matter the lens you’re viewing it through, though, this cycle of renovation for the MK7’s intake system has finally come full cycle, with testing on our donor vehicle. This is the moment that we’ve all been waiting for, so let’s dive right in. 

Testing this intake comes in two stages, starting on our flow bench. One of the main reasons to upgrade your intake system is to improve the flow through the system, especially for vehicles demanding more air from tunes or big turbos. 

The flow bench can either push or pull precise volumes of air, measured in cubic feet per minute, or CFM, through the intake kit, which allows for an accurate comparison between the stock kit and our design. Our engineer, Dan, placed an array of sensors throughout each kit to pinpoint the areas that pose the most restriction, measured in IN of H20, and generate an overall flow reading. Since the amount of air flowing through this kit will vary as you drive the car, Dan blasted 200, 400, and 600 of air CFM through each kit to simulate the vehicle’s full powerband. From this test, we determined that we could reduce the intake system’s restriction by 51.7%%, giving the MK7 much bigger lungs.

Next up is the main event, the power pulls. Intake upgrades are for the neverending quest to cram more ponies under the hood of your hot-hatch, so we strapped our donor GTI to our Dynapack system to see just how much extra power we were able to squeeze out of the Gen-3 EA888. We wanted to ensure that our testing simulates the harshest of driving conditions and delivers an accurate portrayal of the kit’s performance. So, instead of cherry-picking a few of the best results, we run a series of power pulls to collect a large enough sample size for a more accurate average between the pulls. Here are the power figures we saw in the comparison test between our kit and the stock unit.

At first glance, this doesn’t appear to be an impressive feat, but if you recall back from our first post and in our full-length technical article, the MK7’s speed density tuning comes into play here. With a MAF-based fueling system, slight adjustments to the MAF sensor housing can trick the vehicle into delivering additional fuel and increasing power. However, with a MAP-based fueling system, it’s trickier for an intake to have the same effect. Due to the operation of this particular style of fuel management, the ECU detected airflow change in the manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensor and adjusted the fuel delivery to compensate, resulting in a 5.27HP and 9.23TQ power gain, which might seem low in comparison to a MAF-based vehicle. That said, an upgraded intake is not useless on this vehicle. With more aggressive tunes or bigger turbos, our intake will provide a better platform for flow and enable those modifications to reach their full potential.

The quantity of air isn’t the only contributing factor to power; it’s also the quality. Cool, dense air is ideal for combustion since it can be easily compressed into the cylinders. Our sweeping airbox design is the perfect combination of form and function since it looks right at home under the hood while also shielding the fresh air from residual engine bay heat.

The automotive industry is a constant cycle of innovation. Since we’re part of the machine that turns that neverending wheel, it was only a matter of time before we circled back to the darling of the hot-hatch segment. There’s a changing of the guard for VW’s compact powerhouse, so what a better sendoff than a fully revamped intake system. Our new design helps the 2.0T breathe deeper and adds some pep to its step without calibration. So, make sure you keep up with the times and get your intake today: 

Performance Intake, fits Volkswagen MK7 Golf TSI/GTI/R (MQB) 2015-2021

Thanks for Reading!

-Nick

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