Superchips Bluefin for my Golf GTI

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.

11 thoughts on “Superchips Bluefin for my Golf GTI

  1. Steven Post author

    I’ve just been very busy with other things (work mostly).

    I’m planning some time off over Christmas, so hopefully I’ll find time for some decent posts then.

  2. Mike

    I have just brought the Bluefin having read your review before hand, and yes I am to very impressed. I didn’t quite expect such a huge change in performance. It’s much more turbo heavy now, but still nothing like an Impreza.

    Talking of which, I chased my brother in law in his 300bhp Subaru yesterday and he was not going anywhere, when before he would gain ground on me. Ever since I brought this car I have felt that it is a brilliant car, but having come out of more powerful cars that were also less composed, I found the GTI still a bit dull on the limit. What the remap has done is turned a very good car into a very good car that is a beast.

    Fuel wise I have been from London to Cornwall and back in the last three days a trip that normally I would average 28 to the gallon, and I got 27, so I have lost 1 mpg, but that was with an average speed of 75mph on the A303, so it was being driven swiftly.

    My only early concern is engine longevity, to pull that kind of power out of what felt before like a warm hatch does worry, I think its because it feels more than 240bhp.

    Insurance wise I did struggle initially but with a bit of juggling with a joint policy with my wife at Admiral my premium went from £464 last year to £551 this year (36 years old, sp30 4.5 years ago, living in London parked on the street, max no claims,15k a year) so I was happy.

    So if you want to move your GTI into another performance league this will most definitely work for you. For me it is now the perfect amount of power for the chassis, and the great thing is no one knows how quick it is!

    Yes the wheels will scrabble for grip if you put all the power down in the first two gears, but that is all part of the fun in balancing power.

  3. Steven Post author

    Great to hear that you liked the results of your Bluefin. Over a year later, I’m still very happy with my GTI and the Bluefin remap.

  4. Steven Post author

    No problem Barry,

    Thanks for the kind words, and for doing a great job with the GTI remap.

    If I hadn’t remapped my GTI, I’d probably have itchy feet by now and be looking for a new car. With the Bluefin, I think I’ll be hanging onto the car for at least another two years, and maybe more.

  5. Jon Price

    I too went for the Bluefin after reading your [post (and other reviews) and had the first opportunity to see what she could do today after several days of rain. My requirements was to have more usable and tractable power, with the power/torque curve profiles the same as standard. For me the Golf GTI Mk 5 is the right car for me = understated but

    I agree that just normal running the GTI feels the same as before with a little more urgency but importantly just as drivable. MPG is actually better than before on mixed roads……bonus. Before you read on i want say I am 40 and most definitely NOT a boy racer!!

    So got to a quiet straight, engine up to temp, snicked the DSG into sport and waited for the lights…………..OMG! Unbelievable! slight wheel spin and then gone. Pulls like a train right up to 7000 rpm, into 2nd up to 7000 into 3rd wow this is quick. 60mph came and went, didn’t time it but the difference is huge.

    With a massive grin on my face up the slip road I joined a Dual Carriageway. Thought Id see what she is like through the gears. The answer is simply awesome!! It just pulls and pulls, superb, better than my old Porsche or Impreza WRX. I cannot believe the transformation that can be obtained for so little investment. Bluefin is highly recommended, no in facti would say that if don’t do it you’re nuts!!+

    Got a great insurance deal with Greenlight (£100 cheaper than my existing policy) and they really understand what sensible modding is all about – again definitely recommended (Much cheaper that Adrian Flux).

    The final thing to mention is how professional and helpful the guys at Superchips are. Tip – if you have a DSG you should let them know on the phone quoting the Bluefin serial number before you use the returned map and it is different to the manual.

    I hope this is helpful

  6. Steven Post author

    Hi Jon,

    Great to you hear you liked the remap as much as I did. It’s almost three years for me now, and I’ve still got the GTI, complete with Bluefin. Occasionally look at other cars, but it’s hard to beat the Bluefinned GTI for everyday performance.

  7. Steve Gill

    Thanks for taking the time to do a write up and for fellow posters to share their experiences.

    I’m getting itchy feet with the Mk5 GTI after a year of ownership (having come from a M3) but think I might give bluechip a go !

    Thanks once again.

  8. Mike

    Hey guys,

    have just ordered the bluefin for my ’12 Gti DSG and having read all your reviews only reassures me that i have done the right thing. Will get back with my impression as soon as it gets installed.

    Thank you.

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