Having owned my MkV Golf GTI for just over two years, I finally plucked up the courage to have it remapped for greater performance.
As I suggested in my original review of the car, the TFSi engine in the GTI is very impressive, but it does lack something above 5000rpm. A remap offered the opportunity to address this without spending a lot of money.
I’m a pretty cautious soul at heart, so when considering a remap, I had the following concerns:
- The remap should have been sold for some time, and I should be able to find forum postings from people who’ve put some decent miles on their remapped cars without problems
- Any remap should be conservative, and the shape of the power curve shouldn’t be significantly altered. If I wanted a car with monster turbo lag, I’d sell the GTI and buy an FQ400 Evo or equivalent
- I’m too lazy to travel far
- The ability to update and remove the remap myself would be a big plus
- It would have to be insurable for a reasonable cost
Based on these criteria, I decided to give the Superchips Bluefin remap a go. It ticked all of the boxes above, and came with a 7 day money back guarantee if I didn’t like the result. It supposedly lifts the GTI to about 241bhp, from the original 197bhp.
Delivery was next day, and through a discount from the UK-MKIVS forum, I paid £509, instead of the usual £599. I switched my insurance to Greenlight (also via a UK MKIVS discount), and actually got my cover cheaper (post remap) than I was paying with my previous insurer (pre remap).
Installation was very easy, using the supplied Bluefin handset. The only issue was it takes about 20 minutes to load and unload engine maps from the car; I assume this is a limitation of the OBD-II port on the GTI.
Right, onto the fun stuff, the driving impressions:
Initially I was a little disappointed. Whilst I wanted a remap that preserved the character of the GTI, I was half hoping to be blown away by the car transforming into some sort of Impreza killer. It was definitely quicker, but just a GTI with the volume turned to 11, not some Group B monster.
Now I’ve had the remap for almost a month, I’m far more impressed:
- Most importantly, I’ve had no issues with the remapped car. No pops, bangs, misfires etc.
- Low down the rev range, the GTI is very little changed. It’s just as drivable before, and although it’s a little more responsive, it doesn’t spend its time exercising the traction control at every junction
- Mid range the car feels more muscular. Half throttle is more enough for any occasion, and the tendency of the DSG gearbox to change into 6th at every opportunity in D, is less of an issue due to the extra torque. D has become more like the “brisk mode’ I wanted in my original review
- The best bit is that 5000rpm to the red line is no longer a breathless zone of restricted performance. The car just keeps on pulling all the way to the redline. The harder you drive, the faster it goes.
Basically this is the GTI the way it should have been from the factory. The wide expanse of power, but minus the iffy top end, and with a new set of running shoes. And it’s still just as usable day to day.
In case you haven’t guessed, I never got round to asking Superchips for a refund.