THE APR PROGRAMMING
Whereas the stock ECU programming keeps the turbo's boost to around 11 psi, the APR 93-octane program allows up to about 19 psi. The biggest gains are mostly in the midrange - at very high rpms, the turbo can't move enough air to maintain the boost levels. Even as the engine nears redline, however, boost is higher in 93-octane mode than in stock mode.
When stock, the GTI scrambled for traction in first gear; now it simply ignited the front tires. Full throttle in second-gear was now a traction challenge - not that you felt it through the steering wheel, as torque steer remained minimal.
APR's programming has one really cool feature - it allows up to four different programs to be loaded onto the engine's ECU. The driver to can switch between them using the cruise control stalk. As our two programs, we chose stock mode and high-boost 93-octane. APR also offers a a high-boost 91-octane program, a valet program (which limits power), and a 100-octane race fuel program.
We put about 5000 miles on the chipped GTI and experienced no problems whatsoever - no hiccups, no check-engine lights, or problems. The verdict around the office was unanimous - everyone loved the extra power. A few staffers initially balked at the modification, saying they preferred the stock programming's linear torque. Putting it back in stock mode shut them up real quick - they all wanted the extra torque more than we wanted the linear response.
The end result? The fastest traffic-beater in the world. Or so road test editor Marc Noordeloos said - and no one here disagrees with him. The 2.0T's insane midrange punch and DSG's ability to shift without losing boost work together to create an unbeatable combination when squirting through holes in traffic.