Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bluefin on Golf GTI MK V DSG

A quick review of the superchips bluefin for Golf GTI MKV

UPDATE: I tested to pit pm the 1/4 mile. Results are in this post.

The golf MK5 is a good car, quick enough, comfortable and well behaved. Easily driven as a daily driver with a fun streak when you want it. The only real issue I have had is it's "doughiness" driving in suburbia, where there is a lag between the accelerator and car response and the need to shift down gears at low speed. I investigated the installed of a "software upgrade" to increase the torque curve and hopefully bring it closer the the 1500rpm mark where the 60km/h speed limit lines up with 6th gear.
Summary: The bluefin upgrade makes a good car, great.


You buy the module, plug it into the connector under your dash. The on screen prompts you to turn on and off the ignition a few times, after which it'll start downloading your car's ECU software. This takes around 15-20 minutes.
Once that is done, you connect it to your PC with the software installed, and it'll communicate to the module and download the software to your PC and send it to superchips server in the UK, this is another 10 minutes.
It says that it'll take 8 hours to receive the new software, but mine came through immediately. Once you have the software, you reconnect the module to your pc and load the software, which will download the new software to the module.
Now your module has both your "Original" and "Upgrade" softwares.
You plug the module back into the car and after following the instructions a few times, the software will be uploaded to your car, another 15-20 minutes. Then some more instructions at which point it'll ask you to disconnect the device.
Upgrade complete!

First Impression

Definite increase in torque, my standard, "hurried" take off caused the traction control to interfere.
Drivability is the most significant improvement for me. Gone is the "lag" between the accelerator and the cars response. The best way to describe this is the "doughiness" is gone. It's very impressive, feels like a brand new car. Shifting feels a whole lot better and smoother, although at hard acceleration the 2->3rd shift can be a bit harsh.
General acceleration is more responsive, and it feels like you are being pushed back into the seat. The acceleration is strong right to the red line, it will now break traction going up the gear if you have enough throttle, even in "D" mode.
6th gear is far more drivable at lower speed, the "D" mode's insistence on getting to 6th gear as fast as possible is no longer a pain, as you have enough torque in that gear to speed up and down. On the highway it's defiantly better and resists shifting down gears for speeding up.
Noise wise, there is an increase in turbo whistle, it's not annoying and you can't hear it with the window up, but just cruising around suburban street, accelerating you will hear the turbo working.

Immediate Thoughts

According to the dealer, the software will take a few days to fully kick in, as the ECU needs to relearn the settings based on the modified parameters. But for now, the results are extremely satisfying. No longer does this car feel like it could be that little bit better. Responsiveness is well up, and as an added bonus it's a bit quicker and stronger at accelerating.
To be honest, the tuning (based on claims) is far less aggressive than some of the competitors, especially APR but to be honest, it is almost a third of the cost, and the benefits are substantial especially for a daily driver on Australian roads. Don't get me wrong though, there is definite performance increases that I am sure you would be happy with.
The added benefit with the bluefin module, is that you can upload your Original (as in the original software you downloaded in the first step), back to your car and no one is the wiser. APR software as far as I know, isn't user removable, something I'm not willing to accept.
For $700AU, this upgrade is a no-brainer. Couple that with the fact you can get a free/low cost upgrade from Superchips to Stage 2 if you ever fit a CAI and Exhaust system on it.
In the end, once you drive it after the upgrade, it's like you've just jumped into a turbocharged car again for the first time.
I will update this entry as time goes by. I am hoping in the future to upgrade to a Milltek turbo back exhaust and have the DSG reflashed, so I will report on those finding when they come.


More responsive, throughout the rev range, and gears
Faster shifting, smoother
Lag between downshift is gone, less need for downshifting in suburban traffic.
Stronger acceleration
Cheap ($700AU)
It's fun.


Tuning isn't as agressive as competitors claims ("claims")
Really, nothing to note.

Conclusion: Stop thinking about it and go get one, and enjoy your new car.

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