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APR Intercooler Upgrade: VW MK7 Golf R

APR Intercooler Upgrade: VW MK7 Golf R | Image 1

The MK7 Golf R's have been on the market for a short while and now the aftermarket is starting to catch up!

One of or Performance Partners, APR, has just released a trio of new products for the 1.8T / 2.0T MQB Platform. They aren’t exclusively for the Golf R but we happened to document the installation of their new High Flow Intercooler and Boost Hose Kit on this gorgeous 2016 model last night.

Although the car only had a few hundred miles on it the owner hasn’t been hesitant to make improvements where he saw fit. Just like the engineers down at APR, the owner understood the value of improving the intercooler and took advantage of this new release. Before installing any hard parts on the Golf R, our Team got going on the APR Stage 1 Flash as well as taking the time to extract the Box Code from the TCU as this one hadn’t been cracked by APR’s engineers.

APR Stage 1 MK7 Golf R | Image 2

We start by removing the front grille and bumper:

VW Golf R APR MQB Intercooler | Image 3VW MK7 Golf R Performance Upgrades NJ | Image 4

You can see the two small auxiliary radiators that support the main front and center unit on either side of the front end. VW has done an amazing job packaging a Radiator, A/C Condenser, and Intercooler into a very tight space, but one of the downsides is that the radiator doesn’t get that much fresh air. To supplement this VW has added the two small ones on each side of the front bumper.  Here is the one on the other side!

VW Golf R Tuning Green Brook, NJ | Image 5

When turning up the power of a stock turbocharged vehicle often times the temperature of the air the turbo is forcing into the engine is much hotter than when at stock power levels. As boost levels are increased all other things being the same, the air gets hotter and hotter, hotter air makes less power, so almost all modern turbocharged engines are intercooled, to reduce these losses.

APR has done a wonderful job of putting a LOT of R&D into this product. When you have the chance to install one yourself you can see the amount of extra brackets, and fittings that are machined and cast into the end tanks. In addition to the detail work the core is of a high quality. They obviously did their home work with the designs, when compared to the OEM core you can see how much more substantial the cooling matrix is.


OEM Golf R Intercooler | Image 6


APR MQB Intercooler | Image 7

Side By Side Comparison of Intercooler cores. Note the consistency of the APR welds, the thickness of the bar/plate design:

VW Golf R Intercooler Upgrade from APR | Image 8Golf R MK7 Stock intercooler | Image 9

APR also appears to have done their homework when it comes to the shape of the end tanks, which very closely mimic the OEM ones.  Obviously doing their best to distribute the air evenly throughout the core, top to bottom.

APR Intercooler vs. Stock Golf R Intercooler | Image 10APR MQB Intercooler vs. Stock VW Golf R Intercooler | Image 11APR Audi S3 Intercooler vs. Stock S3 Intercooler | Image 12

One detail that you cannot perceive through the photos is how heavy and solid the APR unit feels. Yes, the intercooler does add some weight, but when it comes to horsepower versus a small amount of added weight we will take the additional horsepower every time!

Once the stock unit has been replaced this is how the APR Intercooler looks before having the a/c condenser re-attached:

APR MQB Golf R Intercooler Installed at RSW | Image 13

In addition to the APR intercooler, they also have released their Boost Hose Kit. Typically OEM hoses are sufficient enough to contain the pressures and volume of air the car pushes in stock situations but whenever raising the boost pressure on a vehicle it’s also prudent to replace the hoses and hardware responsible for keeping this charged air in the intake system.

APR MQB Boost Hose Kit Installed VW MK7 Golf R | Image 14

In order to minimize the chance of blowing off intercooler hoses, and to maximize air flow these hoses are a great additional modification for that person looking to eek the last bits of performance out of their current setup or looking to further upgrade their vehicle in the future to maybe a Stage 3 Turbocharger System! (More on this coming soon!)

Unfortunately or fortunately depending on your perspective when the unit is installed there is nothing to see!

2016 VW Golf R APR Intercooler Installed by RSW in New Jersey | Image 15

We personally like the stealth angle, let the car do the talking, not some big shiny grille!!!

If you have any questions regarding these APR parts for your Golf R, S3, or other MQB Platform VW/Audi Contact our Performance Team now!


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APR , Golf R , MQB
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