The stock 2.7T intercoolers become a power handicap at high boost levels, which is not surprising considering that the stock 2.7T boost level is just 8-9 psi. Every performance software on the market, let alone an upgraded turbo kit, runs almost double this boost level. This results in tangible power losses, especially when outside temperatures rise.
When investigating intercoolers, ask for data that demonstrates how the kit will perform at 20psi boost levels, which is the norm for most current 2.7T turbo kits. If you are running less boost than this, then you can rest assured that there is sufficient headroom in the design should you decide to upgrade turbos one day.
The tested AWE Tuning Audi 2.7T Performance Intercooler Kit design uses a closely stacked bar and plate type core, to minimize pressure drops while maximizing heat transfer. The design target was to exceed the cooling and flow capabilities of Audi RS4 intercoolers -- and through this proven design, AWE has accomplished this. In summary, the AWE Tuning Audi 2.7T Performance Intercooler equals the RS4 intercooler flow rates, and definitively conquers the RS4 intercooler temperature drops.
The construction of the AWE Tuning Audi 2.7T Performance Intercooler Kit is of the highest quality - Efficient cast end tanks are used to ensure maximum flow, and each intercooler assembly is pressure checked before it leaves our manufacturing facility. And in 2012, AWE Tuning introduced carbon fiber shrouds to the mix, producing a lighter, and more aesthetically appealing kit as well.
The bulk of the side mount intercooler testing was conducted on S4s with the AWE Tuning RSK04 kit installed. This is important to consider, given that as boost rises, so will boost drop due to core restriction. Thus, an intercooler can perform well at relatively low boost levels, but can begin to perform worse than stock if the boost drop is high enough to negate any gains seen from temperature drops.
Note: minor trimming may be required.
The RS4 intercooler units are made to fit the Europe only RS4, and mating them to a US spec 2.7T model requires significant cutting of both the intercoolers and the vehicle itself. AWE's design can be fitted in less than half the time of the typical RS4 kit.
Since RS4 units were never intended to be used on the US S4 chassis, extensive modifying or tweaking of the areas around the intercoolers is needed to force fitment. The AWE Tuning Audi 2.7T Performance Intercooler Kit was designed and built to fit the US S4 chassis, resulting in a much better, cleaner fit with very little modification required.
Some key fitment detail differences between the AWE Tuning Audi 2.7T Performance Intercooler Kit and the RS4 "kits:"
100% coverage of the core face with AWE Tuning Carbon Fiber air ducts. RS4 kits leave gaps around face that lets cooling air escape
No modification needed to the engine belly tray with AWE's design
Cores are secure and supported