In most cases, everyone loves having options. When you can choose between different selections, you feel a sense of freedom, of control. Whether it’s different entrees on a menu at a restaurant or car parts, it’s important that a variety of combinations exist so more people can ‘have it their way’ rather than feel pigeonholed into a cookie cutter mold. We know that not every budget or preference is the same when it comes to building your idea of the perfect MK7, which is why we have so many options for cold air intake setups. This week, we’re looking at a few different configurations of our popular Luft-Technik intakes, popular additional modifications, as well as some OEM+ setups for you ‘keep it stock’ folks.
ECS performance intake options:
The most direct and affordable approach to more power is the Luft-Technik intake by itself. The kit offers a choice between either red carbon, black carbon, or silicone inlet hoses that mate to a powdercoated aluminum intake tube and 3” filter. The kit also factors in the secondary air injection system and can include at your discretion our aluminum SAI adapter for the OEM SAI hose. This kit is the most basic, simplest, and still quite attractive way to add power. On our Dyno, we measured gains of +6.0 Wheel Horsepower at 5,300 RPM and +6.0 Ft/lbs of Wheel Torque at 5,200 RPM with a 27% increase in airflow over the stock intake. For a quick and affordable upgrade to your MK7/MK7.5, our Luft-Technik intake is quite attractive.
If you want an extra improvement to power and consistency, this kit can be selected with an optional aluminum heat shield. This shield is designed to seal the intake off from the rest of the engine bay to dramatically reduce intake air temperatures for colder, denser, more explosive air delivery.
Our kit is also modular, which allows you to include some of our other intake upgrades that we’ll mention in a bit. If you want to step up your intake game even further, you can select some of those optional performance parts in your kit or add them later. It’s all about options, y’all!
Kohlefaser Luft-Technik Intake
We didn’t just add a fancy German word to this intake setup, (it means Carbon Fiber, btw,) we created what can only be called art. This intake is a step up in style over the standard Luft-Technik intake and features a gorgeous carbon fiber enclosure for a striking under-hood appearance and the functional benefit of fully separating your intake from your engine bay and drawing in more air from the integrated inlet scoops. The major difference between this kit and the basic intake is that carbon lid, which can be either red carbon kevlar or traditional black carbon fiber, and the additional ducting that lid offers. This difference is not only easily visible but also noticeable in the improved performance. We measured gains: +12.0 Wheel Horsepower at 6,000 RPM and +9.0 Ft/lbs of Wheel Torque at 5,200 RPM. The Kohlefaser Luft-Technik intake isn’t just a pretty face, after all.
Turbo Muffler Delete
If turbo noise is your thing (and it should be,) this is the perfect little addition to maximize those whooshy sounds with your other intake upgrades. From the factory, the turbo muffler helps reduce noise from the turbo spooling for occupants inside the cabin. That’s the opposite of what enthusiasts want! Naturally, we had to do something about this. As an optional addition to any of the kits we offer or available separately, our Turbo Muffler Delete is a simple billet aluminum replacement for the factory muffler that offers a straight through design to let the turbo whistle to its heart’s content. If you want all the noise, this is one little addition you don’t want to skip.
Big Bore Turbo Inlet
With MQB intakes there’s still a restrictive point between the intake itself and the turbo. That just won’t do. If you want the full benefits of your upgraded intake, you need to consider our Big Bore Turbo Inlet. This aluminum inlet pipe replaces the cheap molded factory plastic pipe and improves the available airflow to the turbo. An added benefit for those of us who prefer to hear the turbo as much as possible is a significant increase in noise. More turbo sound is never a bad thing, especially when it means more power. Our inlet produced excellent mid-range power increases of +10 WHP and +15 ft/lbs of wheel torque between 3,700 RPM – 4,200 RPM, however our development car did feature a Cobb Stage 3 AP Tune, Milltek 3.0″ Turbo Back Exhaust System, ECS Intercooler Charge Pipes and an ECS Air Intake System we must disclose.
Air Inlet Scoops
If you want to check all those air intake upgrade boxes and toss in a bit of style to boot, the final parts for your MK7/MK7.5 are our Air Inlet Scoops. It’s all about driving as much air directly to the intake as possible, which is exactly what these scoops do. They’re like snow shovels, but for air! Our inlet scoops direct air that would otherwise flow nowhere straight into your inlet ducts in either your factory air inlet or our upgraded carbon fiber enclosure for maximum air volume. These are a simple install and once again give you a few options with either black or red powdercoated finishes on the scoops themselves to either show prominently behind your grille or blend in for that stealthy look.
So maybe flashy aftermarket upgrades aren’t your thing, but you still want a bit more power from simple intake upgrades that won’t look like you’ve done anything? If you want to hear more intake and turbo noises, feel a few more ponies under you, and do it all without affecting the factory appearance of your MK7/MK7.5, these upgrades are just for you.
Genuine European VW Air Inlet Duct Block-Off Plate
From the factory, US-spec MK7/7.5s have a dual air inlet that channels air from the grille to your intake, but it features an opening on the back of the inlet that lets in hot engine air, too. European-spec vehicles have a block-off plate on the engine side of the inlet, which helps prevent that hot air from contaminating the fresh, cold, air your engine needs to perform its best for longer. Fortunately, we have a kit for that. The Genuine European VW MQB Air Inlet Duct Block Off Plate kit is an affordable way to reduce intake air temperatures without compromising the factory-ness of your engine bay.
MQB Dual Air Inlet Duct
While it isn’t a genuine part, the MQB Dual Air Inlet Duct inspired by the factory equipment and designed to look right at home in your engine bay. The factory duct (at least in the states) allows hot air in the intake air, especially at higher RPMs, which decreases your engine’s efficiency and performance when you need it most. While you can modify it with the block-off plate we mentioned, you can also replace the whole unit with our version that mimics the factory look but improves on their design for better airflow and eliminates the ‘hot air inlet’ featured on the OEM unit.
Snow Guard Removal
A popular modification is the removal of the Snow Guard, which is designed to trap snow, grime, and debris from entering your intake filter. Of course, the filter itself is designed to trap anything that shouldn’t enter your engine by way of the turbo, but this Snow Guard is an added measure of protection. However, if you don’t live somewhere extremely sandy or snowy, many owners commonly remove this snow guard for a sleeker look and better airflow to the intake. Even if you do drive your car in winter weather, you can always reinstall the snow guard after removal.
OE Performance Induction Package
A healthy blend of aftermarket upgrades and OEM styling, our OE Performance Induction Package is designed for owners who are willing to replace a few factory parts for better aftermarket versions, but don’t want it to look like they’ve made any modifications. This kit features a drop-in K&N performance intake filter that helps improve airflow and power with the stock airbox. Behind that factory airbox, our silicone air inlet hose helps reduce restriction and improve efficiency for better performance without standing out as an upgrade. If you want to fly under the radar with a factory-looking intake setup, but want the full benefits of an upgraded system, this is your perfect choice.
More Turbo Noise
Whether you want to keep your MK7/MK7.5 stock or upgrade it to your heart’s content, a common complaint is that you can’t hear enough of the turbo noise. This is partly due to the materials and design of the intake system, which can be circumvented with the modifications on this list, but it can also be improved by disabling that pesky Soundaktor fake noise maker. VW from the factory included what they call a Soundaktor system that pumps fake engine noise into the cabin through a weird little puck thing in the dash. It’s intended to make the car feel more ‘sporty’ inside without being actually louder or more aggressive on the outside. Naturally, this has many owners wondering if they can disable the thing. Fortunately, you can! Simply remove the windshield cowl right below the windshield and you’ll see the Soundaktor on the passenger side (LHD cars) of the horn. Unplug it and no more fake engine noise! With it disabled, you’ll hear the actual noise from your engine, which is even better with some lovely intake upgrades and turbo inlet upgrades we outlined here today. Hear ALL the turbo sound you deserve with no fake noises in the way.