Mk7 GTI Modified Stock Airbox Components - aFe Filter - MST Hose and TIP

Ultimate Mk7 GTI Air Intake

Comparing various Mk7 GTI suitable intake systems has been the purpose of several months of airflow testing.  With a collection of some of the “best” aftermarket systems now tested a question of how well the stock Mk7 GTI intake, when modified, can compare is up for determination.

With several aftermarket parts available to enhance the stock GTI intake different combinations were tested to evaluate the “best” combination for improving airflow.

Mk7 GTI Modified Stock Airbox Components - aFe Filter - MST Hose and TIP
Mk7 GTI Modified Stock Airbox Components – aFe Filter / MST Hose & TIP

The aftermarket aFe air filter and MST Performance inlet hose and Turbo Inlet Pipe (elbow) proved to be the top performing combination on the flow bench.

Note: Later testing with a 034 Motorsport “Insuction Bundle” shows it flows slightly more (9 CFM) than the MST / aFe combination

Note: The grate inside the stock airbox has been removed based on previous results showing a slight improvement in airflow when it is not present.

Mk7 GTI Modified Stock Airbox Flow Testing
Mk7 GTI Modified Stock Airbox Flow Testing

The chart below shows a summary of the airflow readings from the stock GTI air intake along with aftermarket intakes.  All tests are using an adapter that simulates the IS20/IS38 turbocharger housing inlet.

Mk7 GTI Modified Stock Airbox Flow Testing
Mk7 GTI Modified Stock Airbox Flow Testing

The modified stock Mk7 GTI intake does not surpass the airflow capacity of the top performing aftermarket intakes, but it gets close.

The modified stock intake flows approximately 97.5% of what the top performing aftermarket intake flows.

Note: These results may not apply to turbochargers with compressor inlets that are designed differently from the IS20/IS38.

MST-Performance Turbo Inlet Kit
MST-Performance Turbo Inlet Kit
aFe Magnum FLOW Pro DRY S Air Filter & Stock GTI Filter
aFe Magnum FLOW Pro DRY S Air Filter & GTI Stock Filter

At a combined cost of approximately $250 the MST inlet kit and aFe filter deliver top level airflow performance.

034 Motorsport Insuction Bundle vs MST / aFe combination post.

034 "Insuction Bundle" and MST / aFe Intake Compariso
034 “Insuction Bundle” and MST / aFe Intake Comparison

36 thoughts on “Ultimate Mk7 GTI Air Intake”

  1. I was considering if I needed to upgrade my modded intake vs VWR, but the gain is not worth the price. Thank you for your hard work.

  2. Thank you Jeff! This is what I’ve been waiting for as well, as I have this exact MST/afe combo on my R. Just so I’m clear on the testing, I assume the “modified” stock airbox only mod (or delete rather) is the snow guard removal? Thanks again for this incredibly valuable data!!

    1. Hey Mark, that is correct about the stock airbox, all that I did to the box was remove that grate and swap in the aFe filter.

  3. Awesome job! I have been wanting to see you do this one and it confirms I’m sticking with this over aftermarket.

    1. I can if you will send one to me. The majority of parts I test I have purchased and I need to consider the likelihood of being able to resell them to fund more testing, or it needs to be something I intend to use. I already have an air filter and I don’t have any idea of what the demand for an unknown brand product like that is if I wanted to resell it.

    1. I’ve done a test with the Integrated Engineering intake and the Induct Performance intake, I would be surprised if the Neuspeed P-Flow performed much differently given the similarity of the designs.

      1. Hi Jeff, I am currently running a Neuspeed P-Flow intake but was debating on going back to the stock airbox for lower air temps. Is this a big enough issue to switch back? or is keeping the Neuspeed a better idea? I have an upgraded IE intercooler as well. Thanks

        1. Mike, I don’t think you’d notice the difference going back to the stock intake. There may be a small difference in the air temperature prior to the turbo that would possibly be measurable during boost onset, but I suspect the difference would be small, to the point that you would not feel any difference even if it could be measured.

          1. I understand. I will keep the Neuspeed also for the sound. Thank you for doing all this testing for us it is a big help.

    1. I think the tests shown by Jeff are ample,you can buy a factory part to cover the hole that goes towards engine a plate of some sort from VW then I would drill holes on passenger side and use pipe and elbow pipe Jeff recommends ,if you put a larger turbo on then maybe a cold air intake might work better than oem.

    2. I’m willing to test additional intakes if others would like to supply the product. I don’t think the Revo intake will perform appreciably different from the the collection already tested, and that makes it hard to justify the costs of purchasing an intake.

  4. Great info Jeff! Just wondering would the flow test results change much from stock boost to higher tuned boost situations. You’ve probably covered this is your tests?

    1. Thanks Paul! The relative standings would stay the same, the airflow numbers would just be higher.

  5. I have been on the fence as well re: upgrading to a full intake, and this was very helpful. nice work!

  6. Jeff – Have you installed the MST TIP and hose to a stock airbox in the car? If so, did you have any trouble getting the hose to fit well to both the airbox outlet and the TIP? I installed this setup a few days ago and the angle the hose approached the airbox seemed a bit steep. Once everything was was tightened down the hose wants to kink slightly at the sharpest bend. I popped up the rear-most airbox mounting point which seemed to improve the kink but not eliminate it. Curious of your experience.

    Thanks – Chris

    1. Chris, I’ve not used the stock airbox with the MST parts. I’m presently testing out the Eventuri intake and I am using the MST hose/TIP with it and haven’t encountered any problems with the fit. I’ll be re-installing the stock airbox soon and plan to continue using the MST inlet so I will see how it goes.

    2. Chris, I installed the stock airbox with the MST hose and TIP this evening. It fit on my car fine but I was doing a fresh install of all of the parts. Initially I had left the TIP and hose in place after removing the Eventuri intake and when I tried installing the stock airbox I also had the hose coming down at a bit higher angle than was ideal. I needed to pull all of the parts out and afterward when I put them back they aligned fine. It might be the position of the hose on the TIP, perhaps try seating it a bit further and see it that shallows the angle at the airbox.

    3. I installed the same setup yesterday and had the same issue. The MST hose is a couple of cm too long and I’d venture to say, a couple of mm to big in diameter at the TIP. After multiple tries I ended up resting the hose all the way to the joint of the PCV neck and clamping at the thickest part. Fits fine, though I might cut a bit off and readjust it at some point. The PCV hose rests on the turbo cold side so I would raise that a couple of mm to clear physical contact if I could. Overall it is fine comparing its pricing vs other options out there, but fitment can be improved on a little bit.

  7. Hey Jeff,

    I would love to see what difference between TIP+HOSE+STOCKFILTER vs the (already tested) TIP+HOSE+AFE. I know you tested the AFE vs STOCK filters before without the TIP+HOSE, but I’m curious what difference/benefit the AFE drop-in actually confers when taken in consideration with the TIP+HOSE upgrades.

    1. Hey Mike, I’m currently driving with that setup including stock filter. In the next couple of weeks I’ll be changing some parts out and will likely do a comparison like you are proposing.

  8. Austin Tutwiler

    Hey Jeff awesome work! I’m going to do this mod asap. Just purchased my 17 GTI s less than a week ago and ran a full apr carbino intake on my mk6 Jetta and I’m glad to know people like you are out there saving folks like me from spending the money I did on my old apr set up. Also do you think I would see any benefit from a aftermarket inlet scoop kit? On a final note do you have any other testing or ways I can follow your build?

  9. Hey Austin, thanks for the feedback. I’m in the process now of looking into one of the scoops that fits into the driver’s side of the grill. It will probably be a few weeks before I am through. I try and keep all the testing that I do on the website so I know where to look to reference results in the future

  10. Just wanted to say thank you for your work on this. This is my first VW and coming from a Japanese and domestic background I was a little lost with all the available options. You’ve given me a couple of things to add to my parts purchase list. Out of curiosity, will you be doing more temperature tests on other intercoolers?

    1. Hey Fernando, thank you. I do plan to look into the intercoolers a bit more, I’m not sure how extensive that will be due to the significantly higher cost of obtaining the products, but I have a few lined up that I want to take a closer look. For now I have some other parts that I’m trying to evaluate and once that effort is through I’ll be moving onto the intercooler evaluation.

  11. Hi, if you have the time can you test the BMC drop filter.
    A lot of BMW and maclaren owners use it, so I think it is the best drop in filter.

    1. Hey Mousa, I can if somebody provides me with one. Most of the parts I’m testing I have had to acquire through purchase so I chose what I test based on the information I want to collect. If I am provided with parts I’m willing to consider testing them if I think it will be a worthwhile use of my time.

  12. Any recommendations on what the best silicone stock airbox to TIP (I have the CTS) hose would be for me to purchase? 2019 GTI Mk7.5 here with an AFE dry filter and snow grate removed.

    Thanks for all the great testing and MK7 GTI content!

    1. I’ve had the chance to try the APR carbon fiber, MST, and Racingline. The difference with any of them was in the range of 8-10 CFM more than the stock accordion on the flow bench. The results are too similar to be able to rank them with any confidence. From the samples I have had access to it does not matter which particular one is used, the gain is essentially equal, to the degree that I can measure with accuracy.

  13. First of all, apologies if this is too out of scope for the spirit of this test 🙂

    I am someone who tends to keep their car for long periods of time, I am often concerned about replacing the OEM paper pleated filter with aftermarket. I did this once on an older car, and oil analysis shows my silicon content skyrocketing.

    I found a couple posts on bobistheoilguy about these aFe filters (specifically the “dry S”) and they SEEM to be about as good as it gets for an aftermarket filter … on filtration. I was just curious if you had any thoughts of your own on this. I am definitely not some max effort racer, so just trying to decide if its even worth swapping filters beyond the other intake mods I’ve done.

    Anyway, thank you for all of the testing and data you’ve shown!

    1. Thanks for the feedback. I can’t address tradeoffs between airflow and filtration performance. When I use the stock airbox I use the stock filter but for day to day driving I’m not worried about a couple HP difference. I also like to keep the aFe filter clean in the event I need to use it for testing.

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