Mishimoto Mk7 GTI Intercooler

Mishimoto Intercooler Bench Cooling Test


The next Mk7 GTI intercooler to undergo testing is the stock location replacement made by Mishimoto.  The purpose of the test is to generate data under well controlled conditions that can be used to compare different IC options for the Mk7 GTI.

The bench cooling test does not replace testing on the Mk7 GTI, but provides information about the heat exchanger performance that can be used along with data gathered through other means to assess the various products available.

Mishimoto Mk7 GTI Intercooler
Mishimoto Mk7 GTI Intercooler

The Test:

Briefly recapping the bench cooling test, the Mishimoto intercooler will be attached to the flow bench to help regulate hot airflow through the IC.  A pair of hot air sources (heat gun and hair dryer) will supply air to the IC inlet, and at the IC outlet there is a temperature sensor that displays the output air temperature.

Air is run through the core for 2 minutes after which a cooling fan is turned on to force air through the IC cooling fins.  The temperature continues to be monitored for one more minute.

Mishimoto Mk7 GTI Intercooler Bench Cooling Test
Mishimoto Mk7 GTI Intercooler Bench Cooling Test


The results of the Mishimoto cooling test are shown below along with the stock GTI intercooler.

Mishimoto IC vs Stock GTI IC Bench Cooling Test
Mishimoto IC vs Stock GTI IC Bench Cooling Test

The Mishimoto IC cools the outlet air significantly more than the stock intercooler for the period of evaluation.

The next chart compares the Mishimoto intercooler with all of the other intercoolers that have been tested up to now.

Mishimoto IC and all other intercooler results
Mishimoto IC and all other intercooler results

Looking more closely at the results by scaling the temperature axis to exclude a portion of the stock IC results:

Mishimoto IC cooling close-up
Mishimoto IC cooling close-up

Adding the Mishimoto temperature performance, along with previous flow testing results, to the composite performance chart:

Mishimoto Composite Performance
Mishimoto Composite Performance


The Mishimoto intercooler output air temperature at the conclusion of the bench cooling test is the lowest of all of the intercoolers that have been tested up to now.

Post-Test Investigation:

The bench cooling test so far has looked at how the different intercoolers compare over a three minute time period with hot air being flowed through the intercooler.

Data was recorded for some of the intercoolers for a longer period of time after the heat source was removed at 180 seconds.  At 180 seconds the heat source was removed and the flow bench continued to pull outside air through the IC with the cooling fan continuing to push air through the cooling fins.   This was done to observe when the output temperature would begin to drop.  The extended measurements are shown on the next chart:

Extended Temperature Data
Extended Temperature Data

The data line ends when the first reading is taken showing the outlet air temperature decreasing.

For example, the outlet air temperature from the AMS intercooler begin to increase at approximately sixty seconds into the test.  The temperature continues to increase and peaks at 240 seconds into the test at approximately 31.5F degrees above the starting temperature.  The next sample reading at 250 seconds indicates the outlet temperature has gone down to 31F.  Because the temperature has begun to decrease the data line is stopped at 250 seconds.

This phase of the test might (emphasis on might because at this point it is just speculation) give some insight into how well each of the intercoolers recovers after a boost event on the GTI.


As bench data is recorded and can be compared with vehicle data logs for different intercoolers how well the two correlate will be better understood.  It is possible the performance criteria obtained during the bench test will be adjusted to better correlate with vehicle data logs. 

The criteria for comparison on the composite chart is airflow at 28″ of H2O and degrees of temperature increase in output air after two minutes with high temperature internal airflow and no external cooling airflow.  Other criteria could have been selected and while probably would not alter the results of the airflow comparison, the cooling comparison would be different depending on the criteria chosen.  For instance, had 60 seconds been selected as the time to record temperature rise then the AMS IC would have ranked higher in cooling performance than the other intercoolers.

Another consideration is that the tests are not being made under the same conditions that the vehicle operates.  Use of these results to draw conclusions about on vehicle performance depends on the confidence each person gives to the test methods.  With six product data points for the bench tests and one product data point on my GTI there isn’t sufficient information to determine how well the bench cooling test correlates with on vehicle cooling performance.

6 thoughts on “Mishimoto Intercooler Bench Cooling Test”

  1. Hi Jeff, better airflow equals less pressure drop, is that the correct understanding? Also, can we expect to see IE intercooler in the tests? Again kudos to all your work!

    1. You’re welcome, thanks for the feedback! Yes, I primarily test with the flow bench by setting the pressure drop to be the same for all of the intercoolers, or intakes etc. to be tested, and measure the airflow. The test could also be performed by holding airflow constant across the products and measuring the differences in pressure drop. The challenge is that way creates a situation where the airflow needs to be set to the lowest of all products, otherwise I run into the possibility of operating the test at an airflow that causes the pressure drop to exceed the maximum input of the bench pressure sensor (digital manometer).

      I do have an IE intercooler for testing with.

  2. With the data currently available, do you think the Mishimoto intercooler will be “better” than the APR?

    Thanks for all of your research!

    1. That will depend on the criteria you have for a better IC and how well the bench tests correlate with driving data. I don’t have enough information for how the intercoolers perform on my GTI to gauge how well the bench tests correlate. It’s not uncommon to start testing and have the results reveal interactions or aspects of performance that hadn’t been anticipated, which then leads to modifying the test procedure or re-evaluating how the results are being used. The 2 minute temperature rise measure was a guess. Now that I have the APR IC installed and can compare how it does versus Unitronic, under conditions I’m interested in (which may be different from what you’re interested in), I’ll be re-evaluating if temperature rise at 2 minutes is a suitable measure for my interests.

      1. Any new info regarding Mishimoto vs. APR? I’m on the fence as we speak. The APR is about $90 more and I’m trying to determine if it’s going to be worth the extra between the 2. Your bench test shows the Mishimoto to be quite promising.

        1. I don’t have any additional information about the Mishimoto IC. There hasn’t been much difference between the stock location ICs that I’ve installed and tested. I doubt there’s any difference between the two that you’d be able to detect.

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