B8/B8.5 Power Upgrade Path Help
Ultracharging? Stage 1? Dual Pulleys? Here's what it's all about.
We're upstate NY's premiere APR dealer, and we get a lot of calls about software and hardware upgrades for the S4/S5 and A6/A7. It used to be relatively simple, and then our pals down in Opelika launched the 'UltraCharger' kit for the cars, along with a slew of other new hardware.
First thing we are going to quickly discuss is Power Figures, and how they're attained. For the sake of the discussion, the 3.0T Supercharged V6 in the S4/S5 is listed as 333hp by Audi. Excellent. Fine. If you take a brand new car to a "Mustang All-Wheel Dyno" to measure the cars power output, it will tell you exactly how much power the car can put to the ground. This is relevant because our lovely quattro drivetrain has some mechanical drag on the delivery of power. This is normal. Generically speaking, a front-wheel-drive car will have about a 10% power loss; rear-wheel drive cars about 12-15% loss, and AWD cars see more of the 18-25% power loss range. This is all normal. Typically a new S4/S5 will put down around 280whp, or wheel horse power. That shows about the 17-18% loss, which is pretty good. Ok! (((add images here of fwd rwd awd layout for showing the powertrain losses))) ((car on dyno image))
Now, dyno testing is a fickle thing, but it can be very scientific if done right. What does that mean? It means a single run doesn't give you a lot of information. It means two runs, a year apart, at different dynos, still doesn't tell much. Dyno information is not apples to apples if on different dynos. We also shouldn't expect to see identical numbers for two cars on the same brand of dyno on opposite sides ofthe country. Maybe close, but not identical. If you want to quantify power upgrades, you have to do apples to apples. Same day, same weather, same location, thats the perfect way. That's how we do it for our product. And, to further eliminate variables, all we look for is the DELTA, or the change between runs. So if run one is 280whp, and run two is 300whp, we don't actually care about the "300", we care about the 20whp GAIN from whatever modification we did. Ok - moving on. ((caption image highlighting gains))
Sometimes in the quest for power, we find that the 'peak' horsepower number does not increase, but more power is available through a single gear pull. This is called "Area under the curve" and in a perfect world, we want all of it. This is essentially how 'soon' in the rpm range the maximum power comes on. [Electric vehicles like Teslas have nearly 100% power available from near-zero rpm, so they have great area under the curve. That's why they're so damn fast off the line.] Many modifications will not 'add' horsepower, but will increase the available horsepower sooner than without the modification. Power down low means better ability to get moving from a stop. Mid-range power is how snappy or responsive the car is while you're cruising along in gear. Upper end power is your ability to wind out each gear towards recline because you're still making power. ((image showing low end torque improvement))
A quick point about shifting and knowing your power range: it is not always the fastest to stick a gear to redline. If your car redlines at 7000rpm but you make peak power from say, 4000 to 5500, it may be better to shift at 5500 as the next gear will drop back to 4500, which still in peak power. So if you have 300hp from 4000 to 5000, but power drops off to 260 at 7000, then you're not accelerating as quickly as if you took the next gear and had your 300hp available again. Look at it this way- if you're working on a project all day, sometimes its better to call it a night at 6p and hit it full strength in the morning, than it is to stay up all night struggling to complete it.
[Sidenote for the S-tronic owners - for straightline performance, put the car into sport mode and leave the paddles alone. Your transmission has protocols to shift on its own near redline, and often times if you try to do it manually, you'll click for the next gear at the same moment it sends a signal to shift itself.. and you'll find the car drops two gears seemingly out of no where. APR's transmission tune can disable auto-upshift and auto-downshift, but there is a protection written in for 1st and 2nd, which means the computer can still override and shift those gears for you to prevent potential transmission damage. At the circuit, manual mode. At the drag strip, leave it alone.]
Alright, lets get on to what we offer specifically. We use APR software because it is reliable, upgrade friendly, adapts to various levels of hardware changes, and is reversible. Software is quick to install, taking about 30 minutes, and we never charge for tune install. We are also happy to remove the software completely before a dealer service trip, at no charge. For the following information, we're going to use a 2013 S4 as a reference.
Stage 1: Requirements- None. $1299.
This is the start. No hardware required for these power gains. A bone stock car can come in and 30 minutes later, leave with 134hp and 98tq over stock. It is an incredible difference and it is immediately ready to rock. Power delivery is just like stock but lightly accelerated, and substantial gains are noted in the upper rpm range. We recommend our intake kit here as it can easily add another 15whp. It also sounds great. [[show stock v S1 overlay]]
Stage 2, Single Pulley: Requires Stage 1, and Supercharger OR crank pulley. $550+labor.
Now for stage 2 single pulley, we exclusively recommend using the smaller supercharger pulley, rather than the crank pulley. This is because there is overlapping labor later on - keep reading at you'll see.
This smaller crank pulley is $225, and once installed, needs the Stage 2 file update to be utilized. That software is $325. Technically you can provide any 57mm aftermarket pulley, but after a few extremely time-consuming and frustrating installs of other brand pulleys, we will only install the APR unit. Typically this takes 2hrs and is done at a discounted labor rate. Saving $20 on some other brand pulley only to find yourself staring down a 5hr install bill is not a good plan. The pulley is an interference fit and requires substantial precision in manufacturing to fit easily and thereby, correctly.
This gains you a peak of 14hp and 10tq over stage 1 - this increase is primarily 'under the curve' as we discussed before. Peak power increased, yes, but your total available power from idle upwards jumps a solid 20hp. Notable during highway passing and off the line. [[show S1 v S2 overlay]] [[include link to pulley/intake]]
Stage 2, Dual Pulley: Requires all above + Crank Pulley/Belt. $420-1420 + labor.
For this, installation includes a labor process which matches another hardware install. APR's Cooling Protection System is recommended from here forwards, and required for upgrades beyond here. This helps your vehicle run cooler, and cooler means safer and more consistent. Installation of the crank pulley means removal of the front bumper support during install. This runs about 3hrs of labor. Some pulleys can be installed on some cars without this step, but for global consideration, it's coming off. Now - installing the CPS kit mentioned above requires the same labor costs. If you can swing it, you should install the CPS and the Crank Pulley at the same time because it saves you about $320. Moving on- no additional software is required here as the file we put on during the supercharger pulley recognizes when the crank pulley is installed. Now this shows only a 9hp and 7tq gain over the single pulley file, BUUUUUUUT, offers a 40tq gain over that same file from 2000rpm on up. Now the car really boogies down low. No low end lag at all. [[include link to pulley]][[overlay S2v1 S2V2]]
Stage 2+ UltraCharger: Requires all the above + UC Kit, compatible intake. $1599, free install* at RocEuro.
Alright, we're here at maximum power. Get ready, we're gonna truncate some fluff: Did you get our intake up at Stage 1? Smart move. UltraCharger kits purchased through us include an upgraded RocEuro intake tube compatible only with this setup. As our intake makes more power over the APR intake at stock, stage1, 2, etc.. power levels, we felt there was no reason to leave potential power on the table here either. If you have the APR intake, the UC kit will mount up. If you got the CPS kit installed during the lower pulley install, there is no labor or software charge here. The UC kit itself is a quick install and quick software update. Fun parts: peak power increases 30hp and 22tq peak, and peak torque down low sits roughly 20pts above Stage 2 dual pulley.
As a quick reminder, on 93 octane pump gas, you are now 187hp and 137tq over stock. Which also means... If you are an S-Tronic car, you're going to need APR's TCU tune ($999) to hold the power without damaging your trans. 6MT cars are likely to need a clutch upgrade ($975-2200 + labor) to hold at upper rpm's without slipping. APR also suggests not running this top tier configuration on the factory catalysts as it can degrade them over time. If you're considering this and not sure, give us a call. [[include UC link, UC intake, Exchange info and overlay power. Again overlay stock V UC]]
Related notes! Not in our area? No problem. We ship all over. Already purchased your UltraCharger through your local APR dealer? Nice, we can still set you up with our UC specific intake tube for your existing RocEuro intake. That tube is $149, and if you send back your old tube we credit your order $50, OR we can send you a brand new replacement filter. Don't have a RocEuro intake and want one for your new UltraCharger? We offer the kit ready to go in UC configuration.
NOTE: EDIT 1, REVAMP INBOUND with typo's corrected lol.