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The Audi A6 C7 is the successor to the A6 C6 and was the fourth generation Audi A6. It was first introduced in 2011 and produced until 2018. It was built on the Volkswagen Group’s MLB platform and offered many different engines. However, in this guide, we will specifically focus on the 3.0T TFSI quattro engine. The 3.0T TFSI engine is supercharged and boasts an impressive 296hp (221 kW) and 310 lb-ft of torque. With a few bolt-on mods, the C7 A6 can be a truly impressive piece of engineering.
Ignition Coils & Spark Plugs
Before getting into the mods, let’s cover ignition coils and spark plugs. Older or high mileage ignition coils and spark plugs can dampen an engine’s performance dramatically. Factory coils and plugs are built for stock engine performance, and can’t sustain too much extra power. Typically for any bolt-on mods, excluding tunes, factory coils and plugs should be able to sustain the added power. However, when you start pushing 30hp over stock levels, you’ll want to get high-performance coils and plugs. Another rule of thumb when modding an engine is if the ignition components are older than 10,000 miles, we would advise changing them before adding any mods.
We recommend anyone running above stock boost levels to run 1-step colder spark plugs. These spark plugs burn cooler, which keeps engine temps lower and prevents any engine knocking, pre-detonation, or misfires.
Purchase Here: Audi A6 C7 3.0T 1-step Colder Spark Plugs (Sold individually, but recommended to buy all 6 at once)
If you need assistance in looking for parts on another C7 engine, reach out in the comments and we’ll give recommendations. We will be focusing on only two companies, APR and Integrated Engineering, because we believe these systems get the most out of the 3.0T engine.
How to Make Your Audi A6 C7 Faster
Surprisingly, it is pretty easy to get a C7 in the 500hp range with the following Audi A6 C7 mods listed below. We have them listed in the order we would advise purchasing the upgrades.
- ECU Tune
- Ultracharger/Throttle Body Upgrade Kit
- Heat Exchanger
- TCU Tune
As a disclaimer, make sure the parts listed below fit your exact engine.
1. Audi A6 C7 ECU Tune
The biggest bang for your buck when it comes to modding a vehicle is going to be an ECU tune. We view tunes as a great foundation to build off of. Although they tend to be a little more expensive, they will surely give your engine the most power to start with. Stock ECUs are optimized for efficiency and reliability, which tends to be quite a bit less power than the engine can handle. There are many benefits to an ECU tune:
- Increased engine performance
- Increased engine efficiency
- Customized to your driving needs or wants
- Provides a cleaner engine burn often times
- Easy to install, for the most part
IE’s tunes allow you to tune your vehicle in minutes from the comfort of your own home, which is why we may favor IE over APR when it comes to Audi A6 C7 mods. With just the stage 1 ECU tune, it adds 83hp and 66 lb-ft of torque on 93 octane, and no other bolt-on mod is required. You will have the ability to remove the top speed limiter, increase the rev limiter, and return to stock at any moment. We will touch on the TCU tune in the section below, but we advise going with it right off the rip.
For stage 2 with a dual pulley, a TCU tune, air intake, and a heat exchanger are required. The Stage 2+ tune with all the supporting mods, including the throttle body upgrade kit, adds 123hp and 137lb-ft of torque on 91 octane. This would put the Audi A6 C7 at 452hp and 462lb-ft of torque. With E40, this same setup adds 215hp and 200lb-ft of torque.
APR offers a direct port stage 1 ECU upgrade, but your vehicle must be brought to ECS’s tuning facility to tune. This is why we prefer the IE setup over the APR setup. Now, if you have the time to drive to Ohio or the resources to send your vehicle there, it could be a great option. This stage 1 tune adds 135hp and 51lb-ft of torque on 93 octane. APR offers many stages depending on what mods have been installed. For example, there is a Stage 2+ ultracharger software that requires the dual pulley upgrade and ultracharger that puts out 153-214hp and 124-173 lb-ft of torque.
2. Audi A6 C7 Pulleys
The next two upgrades will push your Audi A6 C7 to Stage 2 and even are required. If you are unfamiliar with pulleys, this could be a strange thing to include on the list. There are two pulleys on the 3.0T engine, a crank pulley and a drive pulley. Stock pulleys are made for efficiency and longevity, not to get the most power possible. However, aftermarket pulleys tend to be lighter which increases the supercharger’s RPMs by 26%, depending on which brand you go with. As stated, aftermarket pulleys do a lot more than you would think. Put in simple terms, aftermarket pulleys increase the rotational speed of a supercharger. Therefore, more rotational speed = more boost = more power.
Stage 2 software is required before IE’s dual pulley setup. The IE drive pulley is 6mm smaller in diameter than the stock pulley and the crank pulley is 25-44.75mm bigger in diameter. This setup allows the supercharger to spin 26% faster than the OEM.
Stage 2 software is required for APR’s aftermarket dual pulley setup. The APR drive pulley is 6mm smaller in diameter than the stock pulley and the crank pulley is 25mm bigger in diameter. This setup allows the supercharger to spin 26.5% faster than the OEM.
3. Audi A6 C7 Ultracharger
An ultracharger, or often referred to as a throttle body upgrade kit, is the next step to unleashing more power out of your C7 A6 engine. A throttle body is a crucial component in the air intake system because it regulates air flow into the engine. It is located between the intake and the intake manifold. Believe it or not, this is one of the most restrictive pipes in this 3.0T engine. The throttle body upgrades listed below increase airflow by 20% or more over the stock unit. Depending on your state rules, this could cause emission issues and they are only legal on racing vehicles.
IE’s throttle body upgrade kit increases throttle body airflow by more than 20%. With the proper tune and dual pulley upgrades, this setup would push 548hp. With the purchase of the IE throttle body upgrade, there is a complimentary tune calibration for IE stage 2 dual pulley owners. Also, the air intake inlet included will require custom adapter work to fit a stock or aftermarket intake, unless you already own an IE air intake.
APR’s ultracharger system, or throttle body upgrade kit, dramatically increases airflow to the engine. The cross-sectional area is 28% larger than the stock unit and the supercharger inlet is 5% larger than the stock unit. With APR’s dual pulley upgrade and proper tuning, the A6 C7 will be pushing 542hp. Like the IE complimentary tune, APR also offers a complimentary Stage 2+ upgrade.
4. Audi A6 C7 Heat Exchanger
This could be a bit of a hot topic, but once an engine starts pushing over 500hp proper cooling mods are necessary to avoid the inevitable heat soak. Some enthusiasts question if getting an upgraded heat exchanger/intercooler is worth the money. Our belief, is it is WELL worth the money. A heat exchanger is similar to an intercooler because it lowers intake air temps (IATs) over time and reduces heat soak. The longer a vehicle is driven, the more susceptible an engine is to experience heat soak because of how hot the engine runs at optimal levels. When heat soak occurs, power slowly tapers off with multiple pulls. With added power/more mods, brings more heat.
Therefore, we would view a heat exchanger as a reliability and efficiency mod, rather than strictly a performance mod.
APRs coolant performance system is 140% larger than the OEM unit, which means more coolant is stored for reduced heat soak and increased IATs. This system specifically replaces the tiny OEM front-mounted radiator. It continuously self-bleeds, which increases its effectiveness automatically. As APR states it, “More horsepower over a much wider operating range”. If you happen to have a pre-facelift A6 C7 model, this is required for complete installation.
5. Audi A6 C7 TCU Tune
Similar to an ECU tune, a TCU tune is a transmission tune. With more power, a TCU tune is very beneficial because this IE tune specifically has these benefits:
- Increases torque limits
- Increases transmission shift times
- Reduced engagement lag
- Remove manual shift delay
- Increased line pressure (to protect against transmission slippage)
- Variable launch control
When paired with an ECU tune, the TCU tune takes the A6 C7’s driver experience to the next level.
Conclusion – Audi A6 C7 Mods
To repeat, there are a lot of aftermarket brands out there that service the Audi 3.0T engine. We just feel that the products and kits provided by APR and IE are superior, although expensive, products. If you are wanting to push 500hp+, you’ll have to pony up a few thousand dollars. However, once your A6 C7 is pushing over 500hp, you won’t have any regrets. To get this bad boy to stage 2, all it takes is a stage 1 tune and a dual pulley upgrade. We would advise going with a dual pulley upgrade and a heat exchanger upgrade to support the stage 2 power. If you, or you know someone pushing 500hp+ with a C7 A6, let us know your/their experience in the comments below.
If you want to read up on more Audi content, here is “The Ultimate Audi A6 C7 Guide”.