Your Audi doesn’t deliver the performance you want? You want to change that and are looking for a good solution that will work great in the long run? For this purpose we have looked into the topic of chip tuning at the Audi – be it Audi A4, Audi A6 or even TT – and answered the following important questions for you.
Which performance improvements are possible?
Realistically, up to 25% performance increase is possible for Audi. Experience has shown that you can count on 20% – but because of the spread of your car in series production, it will also “only” be 20% instead of a maximum of 25%.
Theoretically, increases of over 30 up to 60% are possible – especially with the turbocharged models from Audi, which can be adapted by software to the performance level of the “more powerful” engine with the same displacement (e.g. the 1.9l models, which are available in different PS versions with almost identical construction). However, the entire engine circuit must then be adapted (keyword: conversion costs!), e.g. to withstand the higher pressure of the turbo in the long run.
Moreover, the lifetime of the vehicle drops rapidly with such a high performance increases, which is why 25% of all acceptable top brands should be considered.
Which products are available? Which suppliers are good based on experience?
The best known providers are SKN Tuning GmbH, ABT Sportsline, PP-Performance and DTE Systems.
The latter provider in particular offers innovative solutions: In addition to the installation of performance-enhancing software, a smartphone app is provided for the car with which you can easily select the driving program (sport, dynamics, fuel economy) while driving (with the corresponding newer audio models). So to speak “variable Chiptuning to go”.
DIY: Do it yourself and see which models are really worth tuning
If you own a not quite up-to-date Audi model, e.g. Audi A4-B6 (Type 8E), you can chiptune it relatively easily with a little automotive knowledge. There are enough tested (!) solutions on the market, especially for models that are not quite up to date, and the Audi forums are full of experience and tips so that the installation works smoothly.
With the completely new models (with the A4 from B9) it is on the one hand more difficult to access the electronics (since the manufacturer makes this as difficult as possible in order to sell his “own” tuning solutions, see S series), on the other hand the experience values of other users are smaller.
In addition, the previously rather generously measured “safety reserve” between factory output and maximum technically possible (without enormously increasing wear) has become significantly smaller.
Rule of thumb: The older your Audi, the more tuning potential it has.
Your advantages in engine tuning
On the software side, the Audi models often don’t exploit the potential performance.
There are two reasons for this:
- The manufacturer wants to plan for “safety margin” for processing errors and durability and
- to be able to offer quasi “identical” models with different performance.
With a Chiptuning one can tap relatively simply these power reserves. Audi (especially with the turbocharger models) relies on a very excessive safety margin, which is why engine tuning doesn’t have to affect the service life of your car. Audi is also happy to provide a small PS update for its facelifts of the (current) model series. Thanks to a tuning chip, you can also release this potential for a pre-facelift model and enjoy driving.
Minimize disadvantages: Here you should pay attention
When engine tuning, it is important for you that the product used doesn’t change the performance characteristics unfavourably: Cheap tuning chips usually increase the maximum performance significantly, but often at the expense of the performance curve.
The result: Especially in the case of the audio models with a turbocharger, a pronounced “turbo lag” or a power output that is unsuitable for everyday use. Therefore it is often better to use high-quality tuning chips. These “promise” you a little less power increase – but this is noticeable in all driving situations and not only on the test bench or the race track (when turning the car off).
These model series can be tuned particularly well
Audi A6, Audi A5, Audi A4, Audi A3 and the Audi TT series are well covered by the relevant tuning chip manufacturers. This is particularly important in order to have the appropriate approvals for the Technical Inspection Association – so that the nasty awakening does not come at the due general inspection.
Models such as the A2 or A8 are rather less well covered due to low demand in terms of quantities and their overall design. The same applies to the S-models, which are already very well developed by Audi in terms of software technology.
Beware of taxes: Why you have to be careful when tuning
Cars registered after July 1, 2009 will be taxed differently: CO-2 emissions will apply, not pure cubic capacity. The consequence of this with chip tuning is that of course your engine capacity remains the same, but the performance – and thus the CO-2 emissions – doesn’t.
Result: The motor vehicle tax increases a little. As a rule, this is not a problem if you report it immediately and have it entered. If you “forget” this, usually nothing happens for a long time – until an accident happens and the expert determines that the vehicle is no longer original. Then it can become expensive and even the operating license completely expires, if for the installed chip no release (regarding CO-2-measurement) is present. Therefore only buy chips WITH registration papers!
Remember to check your local laws on the topic!
What are the costs?
For 200 EUR you’re in. In addition, the working time of the workshop of your choice may also be included, which will cost you 30-100EUR. Upwards everything is possible. Realistic offers remain however under 500EUR. Our recommendation: Spend at least 300EUR (total) for the tuning and pay attention to the necessary certifications. You should avoid supposedly favorable 150EUR offers or similar.
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