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Best MK6 GTI Mods and Upgrades to Increase Power and Performance – The ECS Tuning Guide
The VW MK6 GTI, which ran from the 2010 to 2014 model years with the 2.0T TSI engine, is incredibly popular among tuners for its availability and potential for some incredible power. With the newest update just hitting dealerships and the last iteration showing up more frequently in used car markets, the MK6 GTI has just entered that sweet-spot for affordability. The earliest model years are less than a decade old, which means even the highest mileage examples of these cars are still realistic to purchase with a hope for reliability and minimal required maintenance. If you are one of the number of enthusiasts jumping to capitalize on the MK6 GTI bubble, chances are high the modification itch will begin shortly after purchase. Thanks to our knowledgeable Volkswagen team here, we have some ideas to help get that modification process started for your MK6 GTI that will make the question of ‘where do I begin’ much easier.
An effortless and affordable modification to make your MK6 more livable and unique is to update the interior lighting with our Ziza Interior Lighting Kits. These LED kits are incredibly popular because they install in minutes with nearly zero required skill while giving the interior a much more modern feel. Luxury vehicles with standard LED interior lights have a soft illumination that is neither too harsh nor too dim. Our kit will give your MK6 GTI a similar feel.
While interior lighting kits on their own are less than impressive in terms of actual modification, you will find the brighter interior more convenient on dark mornings and evenings with added enjoyment from the modern color bathing your interior. Among the simplest of our suggested modifications addressed, we can move on to more fun improvements sure to add enjoyment to your driving experience.
Induction systems are quite common initial performance modifications. They are a simple way to add some power and noise at a low cost and are incredibly available. Nearly every performance company with VW parts has an intake system with their name on the box. What makes the ECS Luft-Technik Intake System your optimal choice is our dedication to providing proven power results and equal attention to aesthetics and fitment. We take pride in our incredible commitment to precision in all of our kits. This and every other ECS kit include all mounting accessories and hardware to make your afternoon in the garage that much easier.
Our Luft-Technik Intake System boasts a hefty maximum power of 31 WHP on APR Stage 2 software and some simple supporting modifications. The intake will make an unimaginable difference in performance as you modify your engine and software accordingly. Initially, you will find the noise, appearance, and power amplification are incredibly satisfying. Further down the road as you improve your exhaust and software tuning, the performance difference will be more noticeable thanks to your induction system choice. Before making further power additions, however, key suspension upgrades should be made to optimize the efficiency, and enjoyment, of your future modifications.
While suspension modifications do nothing for your actual power output, they allow you to use your power more effectively by keeping your tires in contact with the road longer. This will allow fewer horsepowers to escape as a result of the vehicle’s shifting weight through corners. By upgrading the rear sway bar of your MK6 GTI you can assure less body roll and experience a more planted rear end. The ECS Ultimate Rear Sway Bar Upgrade Kit is a 23mm sway bar and a set of billet mounts and polyurethane bushings attached to adjustable end links.
The bar itself is more rigid and grants you a stiffer feel. Paired with those polyurethane bushings, the sway bar gives up the supple feeling rubber bushings and makes the increased rigidity of the sway bar more effective. Our adjustable end links included in the kit are incredibly important as well. Not only are they sturdier than the factory links which they replace, but they allow you to adjust the position of the sway bar to clear driveline components when you alter the vehicle’s ride height. The adjustability to account for ride height conveniently brings us to our next area of improvement.
Car modification tends to lean toward either form or function. Ideally, the form will follow function. When lowering your MK6 GTI, important aspects to consider are how you will drive the car most often and whether looks or drivability are more important to you. Most would recommend improving a daily driver with lowering springs and possibly changing the dampers. This cuts down on cost and gives you a more ‘flush’ look, but does not improve your handling to the degree we would prefer.
With affordability and performance considered equally, we have found the Solo-Werks S1 Coilovers to be the best choice. They carry a 3-year limited warranty, offer ride height adjustability improved handling, and demonstrate significant benefits over stock suspension components. Additionally, Solo-Werks S1 Coilovers are not any more expensive than replacement OEM parts. Since your second-hand MK6 GTI will be due for refreshed suspension, this kit and our Ultimate Sway Bar Upgrade kits will increase your performance, give you a more enjoyable driving experience, improve your car’s stance, and take care of some necessary maintenance concerns all at once. If you want to check out an installation for these, we have a convenient document outlining the whole process in a downloadable .pdf!
After taking care of some early modifications, the best way to tie everything together for a good first stage is to improve your engine management software. COBB Tuning is the preferred choice in nearly all forced induction cars for their highly successful Accessport. The V3 AP is their most recent update and features a larger screen for displaying a range of customizable gauges. By using their off the shelf mapping, drivers are able to determine the optimal software tune for their fuel octane level, existing modifications, and make overall efficiency changes in the total function of the system.
The COBB AP is more than just a chip; it is a handheld device that has an incredible amount of power while also simple to use. Being a standalone system, the AP gives you total control over the vehicle’s computer should you want to make any changes to your tune, monitor system functions, troubleshoot issues, and optimize the overall performance of your car with a few clicks on the device. Your first modifications should certainly include this powerful device.
This list includes our top recommendations to take your MK6 GTI from completely stock to unbelievably fun, engaging, and interactive. With these modifications, you are able to address performance output, handling, some maintenance, and convenience features that will completely change how you drive (and admire) your MK6 GTI. Stay tuned for more tips on modifying your MK6 GTI in the near future and please let us know in the comments if you have any questions, concerns, or advice!
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