Friday, 3 April 2009

Golf GTI Edition 30 APR Stage One remap review

I have now completed 8k miles on this remap and feel I have enough info to comment

Because you can :evilgrin:, if you need to ask why, I cant tell you anything that will make you understand.
Seriously though the ED30 with its K04 turbo was heavily 'detuned' from the factory.
There is significant available power 'headroom' should you want it.
The engine can take it reliably so dont worry.
As a standard car the ED30 is a balanced package, brakes/suspension/grip/power etc
For many of us though, you've just got to scratch that itch.
For me I had just come from a 343bhp E46 M3, so I really felt I could do with a bit more power

Which remap ?
Heres a list of criteria you may wish to consider when deciding on a remap :

Customer base (size)
customer feedback
type of customer profile
distance from you
development time and resource to produce product
are they VW specific or other makes too?
time in business for this specific car make
dyno plots (both from company and from forums , they differ greatly). shape is as, if not more important than ultimate numbers
AirFuelRatio data, EGR temp data etc
ability and type of switching , stock vs mapped mode
adjustable (only REVO can do this)

For me APR and Awesome combo gave me the match.
Remember its not just the map but the person/company putting the map on that matters especially if you have an issue.

Supplied and fitted by UK APR dealer : Awesome GTI Irlam Manchester :
Remap = £499 (std like map + 98 Octane remap), includes throttle body align and fault code reset and security lockout
Cruise Control = £199 (available cheaper from a VW dealer OR fitted by vrstu on this forum but given my location I trusted Awesome to do it all)

TODO : APR site + info links
APR map is flashed which contains 2 side by side maps (one OE like , one APR), these can be selected through the cruise control stalk.

Awesome ECU flash by cable
Before and After Dyno if requested
Included Cruise Control fitting

I had chosen to run my car in, and had completed 10k miles before remapping

Other versions
There is so much choice so I will leave it up to you, but others to consider are

Plus Points
Over 300 bhp
Over 300 lb/fts throughout a wide band
Fuel economy virtually OE 30 mpg average commuting
Huge spool torque peak = fab overtaking urge 6th gear
after initial peak subsides , it still pulls hard to the limiter too if thats your thing
Works well with ESP (WALK fitted at same time too)
Controllable on the throttle like OE map within reason
Very smooth , no known 'glitches' / 'hiccups' for accel/decel and usual driving styles
Pulls from idle just like OE map
Switchable to OE equivalant map using Cruise Control (its not an OE map though), drives just as OE
OE map used for dealer visits and problem diagnosis
Flash count not incremented on successive changes (my understanding is that its incremented once the first time but not after)
Maps can be locked out with a security code for dealer visits (but in depth analysis WILL show a remap)
Other options available , fault code erase , throttle body alignment etc (I got them free as part of a deal at the time)
Future tuning upgrade path Stage 2 . Stage 2+ (APR HPFP) available
APR Well respected company, large customer base
Awesome have also proved there worth 5 times over when I had issues , this was worth ££££ to me.
Forum trawling indicates APR have chosen specific way to map ED30 for EGR , AFR values etc.
Protection maps still enabled for AFR/EGR
Its bloody quick

Minus Points
wheelspin is available on demand at relatively high speeds 70mph, car in the wet can be tricky and requires caution.
wear on other components in the drivetrain will be accelerated.
For manual owners budget for a clutch (VWR paddle) is a must (mine has survived so far.....)
DSG owners may want to have more regular oil service + consider gearbox remap (increases clutch plate clamping load)
LSD would be a distinct advantage and would allow full use of the 300+ horses
Good tyres are mandatory and they wont last very long either (8k miles for Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 = bald!)
Huge spool torque peak shocks tyres loose, can hamper progress and can be counterproductive (but can be worked around mostly by throttle progression) APR choose to do this type of spool for some reason.
brakes are now not up to the job for medium / continuous use.
Increased insurance premiums (done on a power basis you are looking at +30% premium)
Not adjustable in any way (yet! there is talk of this changing soon)
Map is 98 + RON only
You will be doing + 30 mph more than you expected, be careful
you wont be able to stop just at a remap...

What a difference , night and day doesnt quite cut it, its dramatic :driver:
The sheer urge is seriously addictive, you can be a loon or just surf the wave of torque...
Although its hard on the clutch I love the pull in 6th gear at 70 ish mph , instant urge.
The big thing is that the increase is so dramatic it disturbs the 'balance' of the car.
Ideally you will also need LSD , clutch (manual), suspension , brakes to restore that balance, where each component is a match for the others and not overwhelmed.
I'm happy without these for now, but I know the car could be so much more with them.
If you can only afford the remap then you are still going to be more than happy, I know I am
Highly recommended remap.
Highly recommend Awesome for customer service (just shop around and haggle on prices )
Yes , given the choice again I would buy APR again
For me the future holds restoring the 'balance' plus maybe adding a HPFP to flatten the torque curve out.

Do the research, make your own choices, but most of all get a remap (std GTI or ED30) its definitely worth it

Facts and Figures
(all data is taken from an in dash DEFI gauge)

standard ED30 : Awesome dyno : 98+RON fuel
11-12 psi peak , 10 psi hold
255 @ flywheel
230 @ wheels
230 lbs/ft , 200 lbs/ft plateau

Ed30 APR stage 1 : 98+RON fuel
22 psi peak , 17 psi hold
310bhp @ flywheel
280bhp @ wheels (roughly?)
376 lb/ft peak , 300 lbs/ft plateau

Boost levels can vary on fuel type
(Tesco 99 RON gives best 'hit', other high octanes give best economy with a reduced hit)

Rough estimated gains from the graphs are
+50 bhp
+70 lbs/ft (
peak value is increased by + 146lbs/ft!)

Additional info
whoosh.....stutter.....CEL my remap story and how it was resolved


Golf GTI Edition 30 APR Stage 1 : Shell Optimax fuel : 22k miles
27 deg C 1021 mb 3 runs back to back

275@wheels (298@flywheel) 344 lbs/ft
279@wheels (296@flywheel) 333 lbs/ft
279@wheels (298@flywheel) 337 lbs/ft

slightly down on after the remap but much smoother repeatable curves.

EDIT Sept 09 to add some comments from Keith@APR
This was after some questions about remapping in a recent thread

Quote from: Keith@APR on September 11, 2009, 11:56:27 PM
I am not really sure how it works with Revo or Bluefin but I do know how it works with APR

We are the only company in the world that adds additional coding architecture to the ECU. This new coding allows the ecu to flash itself much like the dealerships, Bluefin and others flash the ecu's through the obd 2 port except it all happens internally.

ECU files are typically 2mb of total size including some marked and addressed but unused space. It is in these unused spaces that we insert our flashing coding and our operating maps or modes.

When you use your cruise control to select the mode you want, the ecu completely reflashes itself with a completely independent set of maps for that operating mode.

For example, going from 98 ron performance to stock requires the ecu to reflash itself with all of the operating maps that are different from your exact oem code. The 98 ron performance maps that are different than your oem code is then compressed like a .zip file and stored in the inactive memory locations until you use the cruise control to tell the ecu to reflash itself back with the performance maps. This means that other than the coding it takes to flash the ecu and the performance maps that are compressed and stored in an unused memory location, your ecu is 100% OEM operating maps and code. Not maps that we've inserted that have been detuned but completely stock mapping. In fact, the first part of installing an APR ecu upgrade with DPP is to extract your OEM performance mapping to be compressed and stored in the unused memory location. This means that not only are you getting an exact OEM stock mode, you are getting YOUR EXACT OEM STOCK MODE.

The performance mapping and flashing code that is stored in the unused memory locations is less than 2% of the total file and the total file size remains the same OEM 2mb.

It is technologically impossible at the dealership level to detect APR ecu modification as long as you are in stock mode and security lockout is turned on. The only way that the 2% of different coding can be detected is by Bosch Engineers or VAG calibration engineers that can completely extract the code on your ecu and compare it line by line to a version of the OEM code to find that 2% in difference. It takes alot of man hours and expertise to be able to do this and chances are you will never see this technology available at the dealership level.

Furthermore, some percentage of the Bluefin flash must not be OEM as well or you would be able to use you bluefin flasher on any ecu. The bluefin device must write a piece of code like a key or identifier in your ecu the first time it flashes it to know that the device belongs to that particular ecu. So, bluefin is less than 100% exact OEM code as well. Unless they write the code in the bluefin device which would make it very easy to unlock and use on every ecu you run across.

From what I understand by reading Revo's patent info, they do detune the performance map back to stock like behavior.

more info in reply to my questions

Quote from: Keith@APR
Quote from: john_o on September 12, 2009, 04:57:23 PM
Have to say thats added a bit more data to my memory banks thanks Keith
I thought it was switched not reflashed each time!

which brings on my questions.........
1.When I select std map it takes 10 seconds at most to select the map via the cruise.
So why does it take longer when 'flashing' at Awesome etc? (or is it always 'seconds' to flash the ECU code?)

2. Surely switching between maps would have been 'safer' ?
I guess youve chosen this method so it is OE in stock mode but is this reliable and safe?
The ecu memory will also have a flash limit for the number of times you can do this, any idea what it is?
(I assuming Id have to switch to and from stock each day for 10yrs + to even get to this limit???)

1. The first step of DPP is to completely read out your entire ecu and our server compares your oem binary to other oem binaries' and verifies the integrity of your ecu. This takes about 2-3 minutes depending on ecu.

Once the binary is read and verified, our DPP server compiles our performance data with the remaining maps of your oem code that we don't change like start up maps, some part throttle mapping, etc.

When the compilation is complete, another 2-3 minutes, your entire ecu is reflashed.

Add in another 3-5 minutes for internet data transfer and any que in the DPP servers from others flashing and there is your 10-15 minutes of actual DPP flash time. The installer spends another 10-15 minutes entering in your customer data, setting up the flash and using a diagnostic tool to verify the flash, etc.

When our engineers use an internal flashing tool that is much like the EMCS works internal to the ecu, we only flash the calibration sectors of the ecu which is only a portion of the 2mb, don't have to compile the total OEM binary, don't have to wait for any internet or DPP ques, it takes about 10-15 seconds.

2. There are several flashing counters and other protocols in the ecu that can limit the number of flashes or alert the oem dealership to more flashes than the ecu should have. Part of reading your oem binary is to determine the number of flashes your ecu has seen prior to coming to us. This allows us to rewrite your flash counters back to their same number of flashes before you came to see us so noone will know your ecu has been flashed off of the OEM dealership network. EMCS doesn't have to worry about the counters as it flashes the internal memory of the ecu in a way that the counters aren't designed to record as a flash.

Internal ECU flashing is a more elegant and powerful solution and keeps the OEM code exactly OEM. Its a more advanced way of doing it and also provides some code integrity and security protocols. Almost every tuners' code can be stolen and from what I understand our product is more secure than most and we go to great lengths to insure it stays that way and internal ecu flashing helps with that as well.

[EDIT : Nov 09]
Heard that there were some updated files ready from APR, so
I have just had the v2.2 stage 1 APR file flashed onto the car by Awesome.
Its free (as part of your original payment). No idea what the changes are but so far feels stronger and smoother

[EDIT : Oct 2010]
Awesome GTI Manchester have ditched APR products and gone REVO!
there will be a months amnesty for customers to transition across, which I will probably do.

[EDIT : Nov 2010 : switched over to REVO , see my review
Golf GTI Edition 30 REVO Stage 1 review]


Chris Baldwin said...

Hi mate, how you getting on with you re map? ive got a ED30 DSG with bluefin and although quick not as quick as i thought. Just wondering what your views are on this or anyone else out there!! Cheers mate!

JohnO said...

Hi Chris,
remap is still running great :-)
get yourself over to
and do a search on bluefin.
SC have done different power maps over the years.
Theres also an inbuilt torque reduction for the DSG box near change up points.
Id also consider some logging via VAGCOM to ensure you are getting the required boost levels etc
Its possible you may have blown your diverter valve or had an existing issue you didnt know about which means you arent getting the full benefits of the remap
Either that or take it to a rolling road specialist.

A remapped ED30 should feel night and day to the original car.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I have an E46 M3 and a standard (i.e. non edition 30) mk5 GTI - would you rather have an M3 or a remapped GTI?

JohnO said...

M3 !