MK7 GTI Intake Info

MK7 GTI Intake Info

Everyone needs air to breathe, but so does the engine on your MK7 GTI.  The engine takes in outside air for combustion through the air intake.  On a stock vehicle the air intake is designed to work quite effectively, but some compromises are made in order to keep engine noise down and to minimize cost.  Replacing your stock air intake removes these compromises and increase the performance of your MK7 GTI.  By installing a performance oriented cold air intake on your MK7 GTI you will not only get more horsepower and torque from your engine, but you can also improve your vehicle's fuel efficiency, saving you money at the pump.

Mk7 VWR 600 Intake

Justin Harrington's Mk7 looking great with a VWR R600 Intake System (and other beautifications!)

Why Upgrade your Intake?

Cold air intakes are easy to install and provide multiple benefits at a relatively low cost.  Cold air intakes work by allowing air to flow more efficiently to the engine through a larger and more free flowing filter than the stock air intake.  Cold air intakes also use a larger sealed airbox that aids in keeping unwanted heat away from the filter, lowering the air temperature near the intake.  This higher volume of cooler air means more oxygen can be pushed into the combustion chamber, and thus greater combustion for not only better power, but efficiency.  You can expect to generate 5 to 10 horsepower, increase low end torque, and reduce turbo lag with a cold air intake.

Breathing deeper is louder than normal breathing and the same follows suit for your engine.  The combination of a turbo and a more free flowing cold air intake system will also provide the driver with increased aural feedback from the engine and turbo under acceleration.  In addition to gaining power and giving your MK7 GTI a little extra soundtrack, a cold air intake will also give your engine bay a nice aesthetic touch.  There is one final benefit to adding a cold air intake to your MK7 GTI; cold air intakes generally come with lifetime air filters, with proper care you won't have to replace the filter that comes with your cold air intake, unlike that of the factory intake.

Intake Components

Mk7 Intake System Components

Intake Duct (blue) – This is the piece which routes air into the intake system. The factor piece is actually very restrictive and is either removed or replaced by most aftermarket intakes.

Air Box (red) – The airbox’s main job is to keep the air cold after the intake duct. While open intakes are very simple literal “boxes”, closed intake systems can vary significantly both in material used and design. Unique designs such as Unitronic’s and Integrated Engineering’s can further improve airflow.

Piping to Turbo Elbow (purple) – While literally just pipe, aftermarket silicon or carbon pipes work as better insulators. This ensures that air isn’t heated up as it travels through the engine bay.

Filter Types

Air Filter  – The air filter is the big bottleneck of the whole system. Without a good filter, you can’t suck in air. The factory filter is quiet, but restrictive. Upgrading the filter alone can net benefits, but a better option is an intake system which replaces the panel-style filter (also called drop-in filter) with a conical filter. Conical filters have a much larger surface area, thus improving airflow.

Mk7 Turbo Elbow Comparison

Turbo Inlet Elbow – This piece routes air from the pipe directly into the turbo. While not generally part of most cold air intakes, it is a critical component at higher power levels, with as much as 10hp gains seen from upgrading it.

Types of Intake Upgrades

Drop-in Filters are a good option for those looking to improve intake performance at minimal cost. Drop in filter upgrades boast a mild performance increase, but at a very appealing price.

K&N High-Performance Drop-in Filter

VWR High-Performance Drop-in Filter

Open Intake Systems are the best option for those looking for turbo sounds! They expose the air intake filter resulting in strong induction noises. They also replace the panel filter with a conical filter improving flow rate. While open systems are known for only mild improvements at low RPMs (with good sounds), they really shine in the high RPMs.

AEM Open Intake – Airbox (small), Conical filter, intake piping.

CTS Turbo Open Intake – Airbox, Conical filter, intake piping

VWR Open Intake – Airbox, Conical filter

Integrated Engineering Open Intake – Air box, Conical Filter, and intake piping

Closed Intake Systems are the best option for those looking to maximize performance. These systems maintain cold air and offer excellent flow due to conical filters. As noted early, these intakes also incorporate other design features to ensure maximum airflow.

VWR R600 Intake – Air duct, air box, and conical filter

Unitronic Carbon Intake – Airbox, conical filter, and intake piping.

Unitronic Complete Carbon Intake System – Air duct, airbox, conical filter, and intake piping.

Misc Parts: We also sell intake upgrade components individually.

Unitronic Carbon Air Duct – The air duct!

Carbon Fiber Intake Piping – Piping from Intake to Turbo Elbow

Here we have a great DIY showing you how to install the intake on a MK7 GTI


How a MK7 GTI Sounds after an intake install

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