The Best Audi TT modifications

"Thanks for reading my TT tuning guide."

The TT represents a bit of a departure from the norm for Audi and they created a great and fun sports car.

Styling on the Mk1 was quite revolutionary for Audi and the car was fantastic to drive, a good quality fun cheap to run sports car with many practicalities you won't find on similar cars from other manufacturers.

The Mk2 TT was even better than the original , and Audi have made great strides to improve every aspect of the car with each update and revision.

This includes better and stronger engine revisions, and we now have a track capable sports car.

The legendary TTRS is one of the most desired cars among TT owners and an inspiration for many tuning projects and shows what can be done with the TT platform.

Audi can now put their excellent range of engines and Quattro drive train to good use in a chassis that has been designed with fun and handling in mind.

The TT is a very comfortable car to drive and flatters even the most inexperienced driver. The Quattro adds grip and traction where most cars would be starting to slide around.

The big benefit is that many of the parts and platform are shared with other VAG group cars, so upgrades, swaps and aftermarket parts are readily available.

The standard suspension is actually quite well setup, if a little harsh, but works really well. The Mag Ride suspension is a positive dream and would be what we would specify if we could.

Avoid high mileage neglected cars, they will usually have many waiting bills.

Regular servicing and oil changes are a must, brake discs and pads need regular checking and turbos can be quite expensive to replace if they go, although it's a good excuse to drop in a turbo upgrade and release a little more power.

See our video which covers all the principles of tuning your Audi.

Audi TT modifications.

Increasing the power output on the engine and a few choice suspension tweaks goes a long way to address most owners desire for improvement, and with some good exhaust mods you can make the car sound and feel as good as it looks when on the road.

So let's look at tuning this stunning Audi and see what the best mods and upgrades are for it.

Please watch our video which covers the principles of Audi TT tuning. Be sure to keep up with our latest YouTube content and subscribe.

Best Engine Mods for your Audi TT

  1. Suspension upgrades should be quite high up on your TT mods priority list.
  2. Engine Tunes - engine tuning/remapping provides the most advantage in terms of cost savings with gains in the region of 30% very achievable.
  3. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they're doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
  4. Intake and Exhaust - Note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction.
  5. Upgrades to turbochargers -  the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. It is one of the most costly upgrades but provides the largest power gains.
  6. Intercooler Upgrades - whilst it won't add power, it will allow you to make maximum power over longer periods of time resisting heat soak.

Audi TT tuning stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Lighter flywheel, Sports exhaust, Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm), Panel air filter, Engine Tunes/Remapping, Alloy wheels.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: high flow fuel injector, Power/Sport clutch, Ported and polished head, fuel pump upgrades, Fast road cam.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Sports gearbox, Competition cam, Engine balancing, Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves).

Turn your TT into a supercar beater with some very simple modifications.

TT Handling/Suspension upgrades

Many TT owners uprate the handling of their cars with coilover suspension mods as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car.

We found that most TT factory suspension setups need tweaking, a few degrees of toe out for cornering or toe in for stability, -0.9 to 1.5, and some negative camber will usually enhance your cornering and handling.

Drop the car optimally somewhere in the region of 29mm - 37 mm and fit modified stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

The Magnetic suspension option is probably one of the best suspension setups in the world and we would find it hard to improve on this. However if your TT has conventional springs and dampers you have a wide choice of aftermarket options. Don't lower the car by too much and we strongly advise you to get fully adjustable shocks allowing you to tweak things to suit your driving style.

TT Engines and power mods

Increasing the power is generally the first port of call. The 1.8T engines comes in a number of power levels and is actually good for around 350bhp on stock internals.

There are also some really good NA (naturally aspirated) engine options but as the 1.8T is most popular we will focus on this. Our forum members are happy to help out if you have another engine in your TT or if you want to discuss engine swaps.

The later TFSi engines really push the boundaries and give good performance and fuel consumption. The 2.0 Tfsi engine offers a great base to tune up and the later 2.5 version adds more power and greater torque throughout the rev range.

The EA888 was added to the line up and again offered more power and better economy/reliability.

All VAG group engines we've covered in detail are linked below.

To get anywhere near this power figure you will need to uprate the diverter valve, get a larger capacity turbo, fit a properly ported and polished head with a 3 angle valve job and then finish this off with a remap.

Audi TT remapping

Why tune/remap your TT?

If you have an Audi TT with a turbo, a tune/remap is the first and most beneficial alteration you can do to your vehicle. The appropriate map may make a significant difference in the performance and power output, and if you've done other mods the gains are even greater.

It's hard to pinpoint exactly what it is with OEM maps that makes them so awful. Typically, a single configuration for everyone entails some parameter tweaking and compromise, with local fuel emission standards and temperatures taken into consideration when the ECU map is created.

Temperature changes, tiny flaws, and adverse weather are all taken into consideration while creating timing maps. It is fairly uncommon for the CO2, HC, and NOx emission goals for each location to match so this variation also needs to be baked in.

The fact that different countries utilise different gasoline grades and have differing degrees of adverse weather necessitates the usage of an ECU with a fudged configuration in order to keep things functioning well for the benefit of the manufacturer.

The output of each TT might vary by up to 20bhp depending on the quality of the components and the way they are installed. Instead of customising timing maps for each car, they use a one-size-fits-all approach.

Manufacturers use tunes or remaps to increase engine power and ensure that engine standards are met in order to reduce insurance costs and improve fuel efficiency, among other things. For example, a system that can withstand late or missed normal maintenance, dirty plugs and leads, clogged air filters, and partly blocked injectors would be required in this situation.

Be wary of promises about the peak power of your TT's map provider.

In comparisons of maps, peak power should be ignored since certain tuners are known to manufacture a power blip or spike in order to attract attention and grab those headline power numbers.

See the graph below for an illustration of what we're talking about.

Increasing power is seen in the red plot above, but the increase is not constant across the RPM range, while the green trace shows an increase in power that is consistent throughout the RPM range.

So the headline of 200 horsepower is appealing until you see what it looks like on a dyno plot. Despite the lesser power output of 175 horsepower, the green plot is a far superior map for your TT.

Despite the fact that it produces "only 175hp" peak power at 3500 to 5500 rpm, it is still an ideal choice for an engine that redlines at 7000rpm, since it provides a decent distribution of extra power where you need it the most.

There are many different types of mapping firms.

Often, they are just providing a franchised map, with the installation having little or no expertise of your vehicle. Reviews and opinions from our forum members are both helpful in determining how individuals have fared in your region.

To find out if the map has ever been tested or examined, you'll have to visit to the company's headquarters to learn more about it and see if they set these up on a rolling road or are just "theoretical tuners".

You don't want someone just playing with the fuel and spark advance tables, hoping for the best but never really seeing the motors they're working on. And to make matters worse, they may not even have the necessary skills to optimise your car and will just buy generic maps and flash these to your TT.

Upgrade possibilities for the TT intercooler

It is possible to mitigate the issue of heat soak by installing a double intercooler in the TT, similar to those seen in the S3. In order to benefit from a front mounted intercooler, a new intake system must be installed, such as that found on the 225 horsepower TT and TTRS, which has an inlet on the right and so makes it simpler to attach a front mounted intercooler.

According to reports, the latest 2.0 TFSi engines suffer from cam follower attrition as well as carbon buildup in the intake system. For further information, please see our 2.0 TFSi article.

Audi TT turbo upgrades

Turbo limits - the safe maximum should retain factory reliability and longevity, whereas the Maximum is pushing it to the limits and will certainly shorten the turbos lifespan.

TurboSafe MaximumMaximum

KO3 and the KO3s Differences

Each turbo has a different number of blades. This is the most important thing to look for when you buy one. Unlike the K03, which has 11 blades, the K03s has only 8 blades, which is less than the K03.

When the turbine bypass valve is opened by an actuator, it's different for each turbocharger. A two-port actuator was used in some variants. It can be between 65N and 85N, but some had two ports.

Due to the increased boost pressure generated by 180-horsepower engines, they often employ actuators that are stronger/greater opening force providing a smooth power delivery and avoiding overboosting.

Power usually goes up if you make the compressor on the side that takes in air from a hybrid turbo bigger. When people make things, they usually do this in the same way.

Your K03 can get up to 180 horsepower with the right mods and upgrades, as long as you do everything the right way!

This is true, but if you push the turbo too hard, its life will be cut short.

The K03s are more powerful than the K03. Most people don't want to make more than 215 bhp with K03s, but if they do, they run into trouble.

Turbo: You can get up to 250 horsepower out of this turbo, but you should not expect to get that many horsepower out of it.

Powerful K03s are at least 25 bhp more powerful than K03s. As long as you're willing to cut back on turbo life or do more maintenance, you can get even more out of your car.

K04 is even better than K03.

The K04, compared to the K03 and K03s, is a lot bigger and does a lot better work.

In order to make the K04 run better, you need the right hardware. The safest speed for the KO4 is 220 mph.

One of the two turbos was called the K03 and the other one was called the K03s. Both of these turbos were bigger than the K04, but the K04 was bigger than the K03. In spite of the K04's power output a little less than the K04's, the K04 took up a lot less space to set up than the K04.

The KO4 turbo, even though it's not a simple bolt-on upgrade, is the easiest way to make your car faster. You'll need to make a few changes to the manifold and the oil feed. For more peak power, you'll need to get a hybrid turbo or a new turbo. This would need to have its turbines match your needs for power delivery. A KO3s is a good bolt-on option, and with this and a remap, you should be able to reach 250bhp.

A High-Performance Replacement For IS12 & IS20

Because of its performance improvement, many car enthusiasts have replaced the IS12 and IS20 turbo with the newer IS38.

New IHI IS38 & remaps.

With the right tuning, this turbo can make up to 370 horsepower, which will be great for the Audi TT.

The IS38 is a turbocharger for both Audi and Volkswagen that is very well-known and popular so upgrades and mods are plentiful. When it is remapped, it performs at the top of its game. It's possible to talk about turbo improvements in our forum. You could also share your knowledge with the rest of our audience in the comments.

It means a lot to us and allows me to write these posts and make sure they are the most up-to-date and accurate information possible.

Audi TT fast road camshafts

Another internal engine mod for the TT is to fit a fast road cam. As the 1.8T exhaust only has 2 valves you will find this to be a bit of a bottleneck and strongly recommend you get this ported allowing a much greater exhaust rate.

The later 2.0TFSi engines and 2.5 are great propositions for power upgrades.

Fast road camshafts commonly boost the bhp and torque through the rev range, you could drop a little low down torque but high end rpm power will improve.

Race camshafts, boost the high end rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

On a road car should ideally to optimize your torque band to your preferences.

I'd be shocked if you'd have ever thought a TT Motorsport cam is a pleasure to live with when in heavy traffic.

Audi TT fuel mods

Don't forget to uprate the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty.

Uprating the injectors is another beneficial modification and will deliver sufficient fuel. When increasing your fuelling with bigger injectors you will also need to get a bigger fuel pump to supply it.

An aftermarket fuel pressure regulator on pre TFSi models will almost certainly give a snappier throttle response than the standard Audi one especially if this is worn but it is probably not worth doing this mod alone or if your existing fuel regulator is in good condition!

Audi TT Flywheel Mods

The DMF flywheel is a bit of a pain and you can really transform the car by fitting a lighter flywheel. This will allow the car to rev more quickly and the engine will seem a lot more responsive.

If you are changing your clutch then it would be worth considering a slightly lighter flywheel upgrade at the same time.

Audi TT brake upgrades

Brakes should also be upgraded and you can increase the discs and pistons to the larger ones used by Porsche or the Golf VR6, providing your offset and stud pattern matches and you have sufficient clearance in your alloys. There are also a number of quality big brake conversion kits for the TT. When it comes to PAD's we recommend Mintex and Pagid although there are many other good pads out there.

Upgrades to the TT's braking system

Upgrades to the brakes are a smart idea. It is important not to overlook the brake pads, which are even more important than the discs, and selecting the incorrect pad material might have a significant influence on the braking capabilities of your TT as well as the longevity of your discs.

What is the mechanism through which brakes operate?

Brakes are necessary because going at a fast pace needs the capability to decelerate at a high rate! A brake works by pressing a friction pad on a disc, causing kinetic energy to be converted into heat as a result.

The dissipation of this head causes the forward momentum of the automobile to decelerate. Excessive braking causes brake heat, which may be seen in nighttime racing when the brakes begin to flash brilliantly as a result of the heat generated after prolonged use.

When you apply pressure to the brake pedal, the force is communicated to a "magical box" known as a servo, which uses the engine's power to magnify the force applied to the brake pedal.

Through the use of a brake fluid-filled tube, the increased pressure is transmitted to the friction pad surface (liquids do not compress like air).

Consequently, specify a suitable brake fluid, with glycol-based dot 5.1 being a good choice for the hot brake pad end since the brake fluid itself may get rather hot to the hot brake pad end, increasing the demands placed on the brake fluid.

Upgrades to the TT's brakes may be found in the VAG parts bin.

The VAG group used large and small disc sizes, depending on the hubs, so the smaller hubs used 256 or 288mm discs and these cannot be swapped for the larger dics so measure them to make sure they are compatible before purchasing an upgrade. The 2.8 Golf has a 312mm bore and the R32 has a 334mm bore, both of which are good options for upgrading your TT but you could also look at Porsche, and Brembo brake upgrades for some serious stopping power.

However, there are other variations to pick from, including vented drilled and grooved models as well as conversion kits for four- and six-pot callipers, among others.

Because these can be obtained from breakers yards and the secondhand market, they will not cost a lot in comparison to an aftermarket configuration for the majority of drivers of a high performance tuned TT with a slightly bigger set from the S or RS series will be more than sufficient.

Don't overdo it with your brake modifications; you just need to stop the automobile, not alter the earth's spin!

Because the pad transmits braking heat across the discs, the colder the discs stay, the greater the braking performance of the vehicle. Installing larger discs may improve the stopping capability of a vehicle, but this will need the purchase of new callipers and pads to fit the larger disc.

Normally, you'd replace the discs and pads with new ones. Because a larger disc generates more friction and dissipates more heat, you will feel an instant benefit from using one.

The central channel of the vented disc enhances the surface to air ratio of the disc, resulting in improved and faster cooling.

In order to maintain pads "clean and sharp," drilled discs increase the air ratio between the pad and the disc while simultaneously decreasing gas vapour accumulation between the pad and the disc. The use of larger discs results in better cooling; nevertheless, they may need the use of a different alloy wheel.

The benefits of bigger braking discs on the Audi TT

The increased surface area provides for better heat dissipation, allowing them to withstand higher temperatures than a smaller disc would. The addition of vents and grooves enhances the cooling effect (despite the fact that the surface area is decreased) and will benefit the pads by enabling gases and vapours to flow away rather than creating a cushion between them.

You'll get more tactile feedback, and the pressure used by your foot will have a greater impact on the pace at which the automobile slows. Because you'll have more exact control over your brakes, you'll be able to reduce the time it takes to complete your track day laps.

We assume that this is because you don't have to be as heavy with bigger discs, which is why most drivers report that they last longer.

It is also possible to utilise the larger discs from the S3, RS3, and RS4 as an upgrade, provided that the stud design is accurate and that you have sufficient room inside your wheels.

If your TT is equipped with either 256mm or 288mm discs, the hub carriers for the two sizes are different and will not enable you to use the bigger discs.

The installation of Porsche 996 callipers on the automobile and the use of a Porsche brake system are two further options for a more extreme improvement.

Brake Pad Mods & Upgrades for your TT

Simply upgrading your TT's brake pads can enhance its braking performance. We discovered that pad friction worsens as they age, which we attribute in part to the high number of heating and cooling cycles. As a result, avoid changing pads before they are completely worn down since this is a false economy.

Remember that racing spec pads are intended to operate in a far wider temperature range than street grade pads. This guarantees that they remain effective on the track even when it is very hot.

The disadvantage is that they lack bite when they are cold; although it may only take a second or two for them to warm up and begin biting, this results in a longer braking distance, which is why TorqueCars does not suggest them for road usage.

Another source of aggravation is brake dust, with certain pads causing a significant amount of dust to gather on the wheels. This also poses a significant environmental concern, which road lobbyists are beginning to recognise. As a result, anticipate legislation to be passed to regulate the amount of dust particles produced by a car's brakes.

The majority of low brake dust pads produce excessive noise, while there are some excellent options available. The cheapest method of eliminating dust is to make them more difficult to wear, hence diminishing their overall performance.

Pagid pads were installed on my Audi, and I have found them to be very efficient on the road while being somewhat effective on the track. However, our members have tested a plethora of different products that they have found to be excellent and suggestions can be found in our forums.

Performance Pad construction and materials.

High friction brake pads, on the other hand, are essential, despite the fact that they generate noise and dust.

Highly friction racing brakes use a high-temperature compound that is less efficient at lower temperatures, making them more demanding to use on the road and resulting in more noise and braking resistance.

Given that racing grade brake pads are designed to work only when they are very hot, they are impractical for use on the road, where braking is often done on cold pads or in short bursts.

TorqueCars has discovered that fast road pads from Pagid, Green Stuff, and Black Diamond offer a good mix of braking and wear thus far and we encourage you to let us know in the comments below which pads you use and recommend.

Always replace the brake fluid and test any modifications you make to your brakes; if you are hesitant about doing mechanical repair on your automobile, it is better to leave the brakes to a professional.

The most hazardous changes we encounter are usually connected to brakes, or a braking system that has been improperly setup or balanced.

Audi TT Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Breathing mods are usually next up. Induction kits sound great but from experience on the 1.8T engine you seem to end up with a flat spot around 3000 rpm. A good panel air filter and smoothed out air box are the best intake mods you can do.

The airbox gets its feed from the inner wing and you could fit a larger pipe like that fitted to the VR6 Golf which has a better flow rate.

Contrary to popular belief there is often a small power gain obtained by fitting an induction kit, they only work well and are recommended after you boost the engines power to the point where the standard air intake box cannot cope!

Sports exhausts balance the flow of air throughout the engine. But if your exhaust is too large, ie it is over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose a lot of the flow rate and lose power on most engines in the TT range. A sports catalyst will help to free up some top end power and the engine will be a lot more flexible.

A good fast road power clutch (double or triple plate) will help to keep that power going where it should. Never skimp or expect a standard clutch to cope when you push large power figures through the transmission.

The single best mod you can do on a turbocharged TT has to be a remap! It can easily give you another 30% power and makes the car a lot more fun for relatively little outlay. The only real downside to a tune/remap is that you should service the car more frequently

A tuned/remapped turbo will give phenomenal power gains and take full advantage of the strength of the block.

Audi TT Wheel modifications.

Alloy wheels will help the brakes cool down and are usually lighter than the steel ones.

The downside to large alloy wheels on your TT is that you alter your effective final drive ratio and this will generally have a detrimental effect on acceleration and performance.

Larger wheels are prone to tram lining and you really need to keep the unsprung mass as low as possible.

Aim to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the same as supplied from the factory. In all cases we do not recommend going above 18 inches.

Replacing your 18's with 17's will improve your handling and driving on the daily commute, most people notice how sharp the turn is and appreciate the softer ride. On the track a low profile tyre on an 18 will probably improve grip a little, but braking is not as sharp due to the higher unsprung mass.

You really need to join our forum and discuss the options for the TT with our other members to get an unbiased overview of what mods will work best on your car. Please join us in our friendly forum . It would also be worth reading our unbiased Audi tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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3 Responses to “TT Tuning”

  1. thunderman says:

    my audi tt is a 2000 1800cc
    (225). it has a vw super racing chip fitted & ive fitted a ram air filter, is there any other simple mods i can do,,?

  2. James Maupin says:

    Is there cam upgrade for 2005 Audi TT Quattro 225 HP 1.8 engine ?

  3. Mr Grant says:

    I have remapped. mk1 TT (VAS Dorset)..looking to fit intercooler..(Airtek)..can you advise..Billy

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