Volkswagen 1.8 TSI Stage 1 ECU Upgrade from APR is Money Well Spent – Video, Photo Gallery

If you own a 1.8 TSI-powered Volkswagen Jetta, Beetle or Passat, then this APR ECU upgrade for the EA888 Gen 3 motor is just what the horsepower doctor ordered. And good golly, the latest version of the Stage 1 upgrade supports Simos 18 ECU-equipped vehicles. This, however, is only the beginning of the goodies list that comes with this little modification.
Volkswagen 1.8 TSI ECU Upgrade from APR 8 photos
Photo: APR
Volkswagen 1.8 TSI ECU Upgrade from APRVolkswagen 1.8 TSI EA888 Gen 3 engineVolkswagen 1.8 TSI ECU Upgrade from APRVolkswagen 1.8 TSI ECU Upgrade from APRVolkswagen 1.8 TSI ECU Upgrade from APRVolkswagen 1.8 TSI ECU Upgrade from APRVolkswagen 1.8 TSI ECU Upgrade from APR
According to the tuning company, the presented ECU upgrade works without any changes to the car's hardware whatsoever. Of course, rewriting the ECU code automatically cancels the factory warranty of your Vee-Dub, but APR's modification was specifically developed with reliability in mind. With this upgrade, calibration experts measured peak output figures of 293 lb-ft (397 Nm) and 242 horsepower with the car running on 93 octane gasoline.

The biggest gains seen throughout the power band include an extra 99 lb-ft (134 Nm) of get-up-and-go and 68 horsepower. That's not shabby at all for a mere ECU tune. Using GPS measuring devices, APR conducted an acceleration test from 62 to 124 mph with a Passat equipped with the APR Stage 1 ECU tune. The car crossed the line 9.845 seconds quicker than the standard model, which translates into a 35% improvement.

Before you ask about internal stress levels, don't forget that a Stage 1 tune isn't aggressive on the engine or drivetrain. It's only when you start swapping the turbo for a bigger unit that things will certainly go sour. Furthermore, the 1.8 TSI EA888 Gen 3 motor has forged internals as standard. So what does this tune do?

According to the tuning company, the Stage 1 kit ups boost pressure, optimizes the ignition and cam timing, lambda, and more of the same to produce the previously mentioned output gain. Ignition delay has been reduced as well, resulting in a more responsive pedal response by altering throttle sensitivity and lag.

You can find out more about the 1.8 TSI exclusive APR ECU Stage 1 upgrade by following this link.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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