Intercooler Test Trends

Background

To compare intercooler performance I try to create a standard set of conditions. Due to the length of time that has passed while testing different options, it isn’t practical to try and create the exact same conditions.

The test procedure is repeatable, the GTI is accelerated at full throttle in third gear from approximately 2,000 RPM to approximately 6,500 RPM. The Intake Air Temperature and the Ambient Air Temperature are recorded at 6,000 RPM and the delta is calculated.

Mk7 GTI Intercooler Lineup
Mk7 GTI Intercooler Lineup

Several intercoolers have been installed on my GTI and have been tested for temperature delta following these procedures.

Results

Intercooler test results are shown on the summary chart. This shows the temperature delta average for all of the intercoolers, and combinations of intercoolers, I have installed on my GTI for testing.

IC Test Trend
IC Test Trend

Notable outliers on this chart are the Mk7 GTI stock IC, the Treadstone TR8L which is a high airflow FMIC, and a bicooler setup that paired a very high airflow Treadstone TR8C with stock aftermarket stock location IC.

Overall, as the distribution of colors indicates, these three different configurations perform similarly using the data collection method described above.

Products Tested:

  • AMS (SMIC)
  • APR (SMIC)
  • CTS (SMIC)
  • do88 (SMIC)
  • IE v1 (SMIC)
  • IE v2 (SMIC)
  • GTI – Stock (SMIC)
  • Unitronic (SMIC)
  • Wagner (SMIC)
  • ARM (FMIC / Bicooler)
  • Majesty (FMIC / Bicooler)
  • Neuspeed (FMIC)
  • Treadstone TR8C (Bicooler)
  • Treadstone TR8L (FMIC)

6 thoughts on “Intercooler Test Trends”

    1. If you cross reference the data on this page you should be able to determine which IC ranks where.

      If you’re interested in how individual products perform I suggest looking at the linked page instead, as showing those details is the purpose of the charts on that page.

      This post was solely to illustrate the general relative performance of the stock location, front mounts, and bicoolers that I have measured.

      1. Joejoedancer

        I tried that. Still can’t figure out which is which. Any chance a quick edit can be made explaining which is which? I haven’t found anyone that can even decipher it for me using the link u provided. Sorry for being a bother

        1. The intent of this post was only to show how categories of products compare. I can help to explain the summary chart on the page where individual products are shown with their performance if you can explain what you do not understand about it.

          1. Joejoedancer

            That’s awesome of u thanks! I really appreciate it

            I just wanted to know which products were 1-17

            Looking at how the data is arranged I figured 18 = stock intercooler

            Having it laid out the way u did, clearly anything is an upgrade from stock

          2. The summary chart is better for comparing individual products since I try to keep it more current. Some results on this lineup chart have changed after using the products longer and under different conditions. I purposefully left off labeling the data points because the chart is only to illustrate trends between major groupings of intercooler types.

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