Did you know that the 1.8T engine found in Audis and Volkswagens is one of the most modified engines? The engine is reliable and robust enough to handle all kinds of performance upgrades.
Because of that, there are many different kinds of performance upgrades available for the 1.8T engine. It’s pretty easy to get overwhelmed by all the options out there. Some upgrades don’t add as much value as others, so it can be pretty difficult to get the most bang for your buck. To help make it easier for you, we put together a list of performance upgrades that are definitely worth every cent.
1. APR ECU Upgrade
If you’re anywhere near Toronto, you might want to consider this upgrade. You can bring your 1.8T car into our shop for a personalized ECU upgrade. Our experienced technicians will flash your ECU to add more horsepower and torque to your 1.8T engine. This upgrade will also:
- Increase acceleration
- Increase fuel economy
- Raises the speed limiter upper limit
- Enable left foot braking
Read more information about this upgrade: APR 1.8T ECU Upgrade
2. Air Intake Kit
Installing an air induction system is a great way to give your engine a little more power, as well as spruce up your engine bay’s appearance. The best way to push more air into your 1.8T engine is to install a full air intake system. This Luft-Technik Intake System kit is specifically designed for the 1.8T engine. It contains everything you need, including:
- CNC Bent Aluminum Dual Air Inlet Duct
- Black Powdercoated Aluminum Induction Tube
- 5-Ply Silicone Turbo Inlet Coupler
- Complete Installation Pack
3. Resonator Delete
Removing your resonator increases horsepower and provides a louder, throatier sound. When you buy a resonator delete kit, you’ll replace your stock resonator with an X-pipe.
This 034Motorsport Cast Stainless Performance Downpipe is a high-quality direct bolt-on solution for Audi A3 and S3s. It’s made of 304 stainless steel, lighter than the factory resonator, and a fraction of the cost of an entire cat-back exhaust system. *1.8T models may require a separate 76mm to 60mm reducer (not included) for proper fitment with the factory exhaust system.
NOTE: This product is sold for off-road use only.
4. Performance Exhaust System
With the purpose of improving horsepower, a performance exhaust system increases airflow. You want to go with a system that offers large-diameter mandrel-bent pipes for optimal performance. This upgrade is necessary if you do the air intake system upgrade because when your engine pulls in more air, it needs to push out more air.
If you need a performance exhaust system for your 1.8T engine, take a look at the following top-notch exhausts:
- AWE Tuning 1.8T Track Edition Exhaust
- AWE Tuning Exhaust Kit For 2002-2005 A4 Quattros
- Milltek Cat-Back Exhaust
5. Dog Bone Inserts
When you add more power to your engine, it’s a good idea to make sure that the engine and transmission are mounted properly. The factory dog bone mounts (or torque arm bushings) found in Volkswagen and Audi cars are not equipped to handle extra torque and horsepower. As a result, the engine and transmission movement will move excessively. That’s why we recommend installing dog bone inserts.
A good set of dog bone inserts will fill the large voids left by the factory dog bone mounts and limit engine and transmission movement. We recommend the 034 Motorsport mounts. Their dog bone mount inserts (version 1 and version 2) are made from high-quality billet aluminum. They’re precisely machined to fit into Audi and Volkswagen rubber mounts.
6. Lowering Springs
Tweaking your suspension system can do wonders for your car’s performance. Lowering springs are the best way to do this because they enhance your car’s handling on the road. More specifically, lowering springs:
- Reduce body roll while cornering
- Reduce weight transfer under braking
- Reduce drag at higher speeds
If you’re looking for a great brand for lowering springs, look no further than Dynamic+. We carry Dynamic+ lowering springs for 2015-present VW Golf, eGolf, and GTI. If your car doesn’t fall into that category, check out all the lowering springs we have in our catalog and see if we carry one for your car.
7. Skid Plate
Did you know that the Gen 3 1.8T/2.0T engines have plastic oil pans? This was done to save weight, which has many benefits. But, when you lower your car, the plastic oil pan is more vulnerable to road debris.
A good solution is to install a sturdy skid plate on your undercarriage. The best ones are made of thick aluminum. Despite their beefiness, they only weigh 16 or 17 lbs. We highly recommend the ECS brand, specifically these two skid plates for cars with the 1.8T engine:
- ECS Tuning Aluminum Street Shield Skid Plate Kit – For manual transmission Golfs
- ECS Tuning Aluminum Street Shield Skid Plate Kit – For Jettas
8. Steel Oil Pan Conversion Kit
The plastic oil pan found in cars with the 1.8T engine is pretty fragile. When you treat your car like a performance car, your oil pan has a greater risk of getting cracked or punctured. If you don’t want to install a skid plate on your undercarriage, you can replace your fragile factory oil pan with a steel one. This stamped steel oil pan kit is as sturdy as can be.
9. Short Shift Kit
Another performance pick-me-up that works quite well is a short shift kit. It’s a kit that’s designed to reduce the time it takes to shift gears. A casual driver probably won’t notice a difference in the shifting performance. But, it’s definitely noticeable to a performance oriented driver. Installing a short shift kit improves your car’s performance in many different ways, the most notable ones being:
- Faster shifts
- More precise shifts
- Reduced throw
Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about any of the upgrades listed here.