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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Neuspeed ECU Upgrade 2nd impressions - Audi A4 2.0T

This may be the last article I write in the short term about the recent upgrades to my 2006 B7 Audi A4 2.0T FSI front wheel drive car. I have had a couple of weeks with it thus far and feel I have a pretty good handle on the pluses and minuses of the upgrade.

I am still 100% positive on the upgrade. The power increase as well as the consistency in the power delivery through the RPM band is as advertised. It is really how the car should have come and the performance is undeniable.

In addition, the gas mileage has not changed, or better put – has not decreased with the upgrade. While I have seen a slight decrease (5-10 miles) in the miles I get on a tank of premium unleaded gas (running nothing less than 91 on a tuned car), it is because of a change in driving habits rather than a change in the car. I definitely will have heavy acceleration 1-2 times a tank more than I used to and that easily explains it.

The biggest note I should make about the upgrade is that if you have a front wheel drive B7 Audi A4 2.0T, this is the only upgrade you should do to the car. Why? Because the car simply cannot take any more. Putting in a cold-air intake, better exhaust, or other performance parts may result in more engagement of the traction control and understeer.

A few things that I have distinctly noticed thus far:
If I accelerate hard in first around a corner, the traction control engages
If I am on a slight upslope and accelerate hard, the traction control engages

The reality is that with the added horsepower you really should be driving a Quattro. That would enable more consistent power distribution and should help keep the tires glued to the road. In general, that has been the only regret about my car, even before the upgrade – that I did not wait for the Quattro. Rather, the fact that a 6-speed A4 2.0T in black was available in Southern California at all took me by surprise.

The only negative I have on the ECU upgrade with the performance management software is when the engine is cold. What I have found is that in the morning, when the engine is still warming up for the first two blocks that the delivery of power is inconsistent during slow acceleration or driving at less than 25 mph. It causes a little bit surging which is annoying. However, after running for about a minute, the sensations drop. Even when cold, it is only noticeable in first gear and lower RPMs in second gear.

I would definitely advise anyone looking for a little more horsepower to think about getting the ECU upgrade via the performance software for the engine management. Just beware that if you think you can go much beyond that with a front-wheel drive A4, then you would be wasting your money.


Anonymous said...

Understeering is common on 2.0TQ also its more of a suapension setup than car dynamic. Audi builds what I call the Safesteer into their cars common since the B5 1.8tQ cars. I've been in a K04 upgraded B7 car and the weight just didn't do the upgrade justice as in the old B5 chassis. As far as upgrading, the best thing you can do for traction is wider tires no bigger than 17" unless your on tarmac all the time with no potholes. 19 and above are purely cosmetic, and inhibit faster accelleration. A waste of money are things like blowoff valves and turbos meant for upper RPM running. Some of these carbon fiber intakes are a waste, just put in a K&N or ITG dropin filter and youll be fine. With turbos is more the amount of air you can get out than let in such as a NA engine.

Ken Hanscom said...

I'm waiting anxiously for the Audi B8 body-style and am looking forward to more 60/40 or better rear-wheel to front-wheel ration in the quarter. I've beem in a couple of quattros and the understeer is not as bad as the FWD - front trak.

Anonymous said...

hi ken, i just bought a 2006 used A4 2.0T quattro and was thinking about chipping it with Neuspeed and came across your blog. would like to know your experience thus far with it and any advice you can give. and what size tires do you have? thanks!

Ken Hanscom said...

I'm running 235/45 R17 ties on the Audi A4, and still really happy with the Neuspeed upgrade. Definitely worth the money!

Anonymous said...

sweet!!! thanks and happy new year!!!