MK7 GTI Intake Upgrade Guide
Upgraded MK7 GTI intakes are the first mods that we suggest performing on your MK7 GTI, because they will allow for increased airflow which is the foundation for max horsepower output. The goal of this is to flow more air into your MK7 GTI to support increased boost. Increased boost = increased power, which is the ultimate goal, right? However, not only does it increase airflow, there are a few other added benefits: better sounding engine and better looking engine bay. An upgraded air intake is one of the best bang-for-your-buck mods if you’re looking for a slight boost in performance, better sound, and better look.
As expected, there are many options to choose from when it comes to upgraded air intakes. We will try to limit them down to our favorites when it comes to performance, sound, look, and installation difficulty.
MK7 GTI Upgraded Intake Performance Benefits
- 2-4whp (10-15hp) gains depending on manufacturer
- Cool acceleration noise
- Slightly better throttle response
- Provides an increase of up to 50% airflow
Something worth mentioning for the MK7 GTI platform, intakes will not supply that much horsepower out of the box. Intakes mainly are for looks and sound, aside from the increase in airflow, which will allow you to go Stage 1 and Stage 2 if that’s what you’re aiming for. Where you will get the most out of your intake, is when you combine it with a tune.
We’ll be covering these brands more in-depth:
- K&N Cold Air Intake (CAI) Kit
- Injen Short Ram Intake
- Neuspeed Cold Air Intake Kit
- Integrated Engineering Cold Air Intake Kit
If you think of cold air intakes or filters, you probably think K&N. The K&N cold air intake is one of the most well-known intakes for the MK7 GTI. It is known for being a relatively cheap and reliable system. K&N pledges on their low maintenance design and claims you only need to clean the filter every 100,000 miles. The system comes with a heat shield and a high-flow air filter and also accommodates the factory vacuum hose and the secondary air hose.
Coming in at $349, this is priced in the middle of the pack for upgraded air intakes. Although it is not the flashiest in your engine bay, it really is a very reliable plug-and-play intake.
Injen, like K&N, is another well-known brand in the auto industry for their cold air intakes. Everything from the flanges to the air filters are meticulously tested in-house at an Injen facility. The durable T-6061 aluminum tubing is CNC mandrel bent and it comes with a functional heatshield housing a super nano-web dry filter.
At a price of $238.82, this will provide you with the biggest bang for your buck with a price per 1hp of $18.30. It’s polished finish also gives your engine bay a flashy look.
Price: $238.82 + Free Delivery
Performance Gains: ~13hp and 17tq (Dyno)
Installation Guide + Sound Clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPdHVexoEZA
Sound Clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kRx04KC2tA
This is probably one of our favorites as far as looks and sounds go. The system contains a heat shield that mounts onto the original factory airbox, has a washable and reusable air filter, and is made of a 4-ply silicone hose. This system, and Neuspeed, has a great reputation in the Volkswagen world. The thing we like most about this intake is the ability to choose 3 different tubing colors: black, red, or blue powder coated. As you can see in the image above, it really makes the engine bay come alive.
Coming in a $399.95, it is actually the most expensive out of the bunch. However given it’s price, if you’re willing to pay this much, it will be well worth it because of the power out of the box. The sound, look, and performance (coupled with a tune) will make you not regret purchasing this system.
Integrated Engineering, IE, is a well-known aftermarket manufacturer that focuses on German automobiles, mainly VW and Audi. IE is known for the R&D they put into their products because they are so precisely made. The system includes the best heat shield since it spans the entire radiator support. They also add in a stealth coolant line at no extra cost.
Coming in the middle of the group at $349.99, you can rest assured purchasing an IE system. With the carbon fiber lid, pictured above, we think it is definitely the most aggressive-looking intake for your engine bay. Also, assuming a tune is your next mod, IE optimizes their systems for tuned engines, hybrid turbos, and big turbo kits.
MK7 GTI Intake Conclusion
While scrolling through forums to write this, we read a lot of comments saying the MK7 GTI stock intake system is just as good as any aftermarket intake on the market. People claiming that all aftermarket intakes provide your vehicle is sound and looks. Some even go to say, save the money and put in a K&N drop-in filter.
With that said, we do agree the stock system is extremely good out of the box. However, if you are looking to take your vehicle’s power to the next level and add a tune or further mods, we highly suggest purchasing an aftermarket intake due to the increased airflow perks. There really isn’t one brand that we suggest, it all comes down to preference and what you plan on doing with your vehicle later on down the road.
To read more up on what mods we suggest for your MK7 GTI, go to “The 5 Best Mods for the Volkswagen MK7 GTI“.