Best Mk7 GTI Air Intake

1. Background

This project is a continuation of the Turbocharger Inlet Pipe airflow test and evaluation and expands the range of system components under test to include the Mk7 GTI air box, air intake pipe, and turbocharger inlet elbow.

Mk7 Turbo Inlet Elbow Inventory
Mk7 Turbo Inlet Elbow Inventory

The TIP test demonstrated that there are gains in airflow measurements over the stock Mk7 GTI turbocharger inlet elbow through the use of aftermarket options.  The TIP test also demonstrated that there are minor variances in measured airflow between aftermarket turbocharger inlet pipe options.

2. Purpose of Test

This project will evaluate various pre-turbocharger intake components available through the aftermarket to determine if there is a combination of intake parts that provides superior airflow and temperature performance versus the OEM parts equipped on the Mk7 GTI.

The project will seek to determine if there is an optimal combination of stock and/or aftermarket intake components for increasing system performance.

3. Description of Equipment

3.1 Test Items

The air intake components under evaluation connect the grill to the turbocharger compressor inlet.  These parts are the airbox, or in the case of some aftermarket options an open filter, possibly used conjunction with a panel system to isolate the filter from the engine compartment.  An intake hose or pipe, typically made of silicone, plastic, or carbon fiber, that joins the airbox to the turbo inlet elbow, and last the turbocharger inlet elbow.

3.2 Test Vehicle

The vehicle that will be used during recording of intake air temperatures will be a 2015 Mk7 GTI.

Mk7 GTI on ST Coilover Mid-Upper Setting
Mk7 GTI on ST Coilover Mid-Upper Setting

3.3 Test Instrumentation

The intake air temperature readings to be made inside the intake components will done with a pair of Auber Instruments resistance temperature detectors (RTD) relayed through Auber digital thermometers with analog output to a DATAQ data acquisition and logging system.  Intake air temperature at the intake manifold along with vehicle speed will be recorded using a Ross-Tech VCDS cable that attaches to the vehicle OBD2 port and is logged via the accompanying Ross-Tech software.

Data Measurement and Collection
Data Measurement and Collection

Airflow measurements will be recorded using a PTS orifice style flowbench and PTS digital manometer.

4. Scope of Test

4.1 Test Envelope

Road driving to collect intake temperature data will take place during a daily commute at speeds ranging from 25 mph to 45 mph.

Airflow testing using the flow bench will be done at a test depression of 28″ of H2O.

4.2 Test Conditions

Road testing is taking place in a geographic area where morning temperatures are around 60-70F and afternoon temperatures are between 70-85F.  Depending upon how long testing of the intakes continues these typical environmental conditions could change, becoming warmer as summer approaches.

Airflow testing will be performed inside a garage.  The orifice style flow bench readings are unaffected by daily changes in environmental conditions.

4.3 Test Configuration

The turbocharger inlet elbow will be fitted with a RTD probe to measure air temperature at the end of the pre-turbocharger intake path.

RTD probe inserted into Mk7 GTI Turbo Inlet Elbow
RTD probe inserted into Mk7 GTI Turbo Inlet Elbow

A second RTD probe will be located at the entry to the airbox to measure the temperature of the air as it enters the intake system.

RTD probe at air intake entry point
RTD probe at air intake entry point

More information about the temperature reading setup can be found at this link.

For measuring airflow all intake systems will be attached to the PTS flow bench by an adapter that replicates the intake to the turbocharger compressor housing.

Leyo Turbo Inlet Pipe being Flow Tested
Leyo Turbo Inlet Pipe being Flow Tested

4.4 Test Criteria

Temperature data sets will consist of at least two morning drives and two afternoon drives.

Flow bench testing will entail a single measurement made at 28″ of H2O.

4.5 Completion Criteria

The following systems constitute the minimum set of articles to be tested:

  • Stock Mk7 GTI Airbox and stock accordion hose
  • APR Carbon Fiber Airbox and Carbon Fiber Intake Pipe
  • Integrated Engineering Filter and Intake Pipe
  • Induct Performance Filter and Intake Pipe
  • S&B Airbox and Intake Pipe

4.6 Limitation to Scope

Operating envelope of the vehicle will be limited to public roadway posted speed limits and maximum drive times of approximately 30 minutes.

There are numerous product vendors selling air intake systems that claim to provide performance gains over the stock system but it is unlikely all of the available systems will be tested and evaluated.

5. Method of Test

5.1 Preparation

The RTD probes will be calibrated prior to testing to an accuracy of +/- 2 degrees F of each other.

Airflow measurements using the flow bench will have a calibration plate tested before test articles.

The air intake will be configured for flow testing to replicate the configuration on the vehicle for temperature measurements.

5.2 Operational Procedure

Air temperature readings will begin being recorded when the vehicle is started and will continue until the engine is shut off.  The difference between temperature probe one and two will be calculated and will be used as the basis for assessing the ability of the air intake setup to provide cool air to the turbocharger.

When testing with the flow bench, airflow through the intake will be increased until a test depression of 28″ of H2O is achieved.  The airflow at 28″ of H2O will be used as the basis for the comparison of flow performance between the different intake configurations.

6. Project Management

Test ItemVendorVendor ResponseOwner DonatedTest Status
Stock GTIVWn/aYesComplete
APRAudi Performance & Racingn/aYesComplete
InductInductDeliveredn/aComplete
IEIntegrated Engineeringn/aYesComplete
S&BS&B Filtersn/aYesComplete
VWR R600Racinglinen/aYesComplete
EventuriEventurin/aYesComplete
MSTMST PerformanceDeliveredn/aIncomplete

Intake systems have been found being offered by the following:

034 Motorsport, aFe, AMS, APR, Autotech, AWE, Burger, CTS, DFG, ECS, Eventuri, Forge, IE, Induct, Injen, K&N, Mishimoto, Neuspeed, Racingline, Revo, S&B, Spulen, Unitronic, USP

7. Results

Links to test activities will be posted as testing progresses.

Integrated Engineering Cold Air Intake Tests

IE CAI Airflow Test

IE CAI Temperature Reading – Initial

IE CAI Temperature Reading – Second

IE CAI Temperature Reading – Composite

Induct Performance Air Intake Tests

Induct Performance Airflow Test

Induct Performance Temperature Reading – Initial

Induct Performance Temperature Reading – Composite

Mk7 GTI Stock Air Intake Tests

Stock Intake Airflow Test

Stock GTI Intake Temperature Reading – Initial

Stock GTI Intake Temperature Reading – Composite

S&B Filters Cold Air Intake Tests

S&B Filters Intake Airflow Test

S&B Filters Temperature Reading – Initial

S&B Filters Temperature Reading – Composite

APR Carbon Fiber Intake System Tests

APR Intake System Airflow Test

APR “Naked” Intake Airflow Test

APR Intake System Temperature Reading – Initial

APR Intake System Temperature Reading – Composite

APR PEX Open Intake Flow Test

APR PEX Open Intake Road Test

Mk7 GTI Modified Stock Air Intake Tests

Modified Stock Intake Airflow Test

Modified Stock vs APR Closed Intake – Street Test

Racingline VWR R600 Intake System Tests

Racingline R600 Intake Airflow Test

Racingline R600 Temperature Reading – Initial

Racingline R600 Temperature Reading – Composite

Eventuri VW GOLF MK7 GTI Intake

Eventuri Intake Airflow Test

Eventuri Temperature Reading – Initial

Eventuri Intake Temperature Reading – Composite

MST Performance Cold Air Intake System

MST Intake Airflow Test

034 Cold Air Intake Airflow Test

034 Airflow Test

034 Carbon Fiber Intake Flow Test

034 “Insuction Bundle” Airflow Test

034 Insuction Bundle Airflow Test

Forge Motorsport Intake Airflow Test

Forge Intake Airflow Test

USP Tear-Duct Intake Airflow Test

USP Intake Airflow Test

Injen Open Intake Airflow Test

Injen Intake Airflow Test

CTS Turbo Intake Airflow Test

CTS Intake Airflow Test

CTS Intake (Modified) Airflow Test

CTS Pre-Turbo Air Temperature

do88 Intake System Airflow Test

do88 Intake Airflow Test


Consolidated Airflow Results

Mk7 Intake Flow Test Results
Mk7 Intake Flow Test Results

Forge Motorsport Intake Only Flow Test
Intake Airflow without Turbo Inlet Elbow

Mk7 Stock Airbox Commute Temperatures
Mk7 GTI Airbox Commute Temperature and Airflow

Note that the following intakes have NOT been flow tested:

  1. 42 Draft Designs
  2. AEM
  3. aFe Power
  4. Agency Power
  5. AMS Performance
  6. ARMA Speed
  7. Autotech
  8. AWE Tuning
  9. Blaze Performance
  10. Cobb
  11. DFG Tuning
  12. ECS Tuning
  13. Injen EVO
  14. Integrated Engineering V2
  15. K&N
  16. Mishimoto
  17. mountune52
  18. Neuspeed
  19. Revo
  20. Unitronic

16 tested intakes, 20 untested intakes.