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The Ultimate Guide to VW Performance Upgrades

Volkswagen has been a popular car brand for decades, with many models offering drivers a fun and reliable driving experience. But for those who crave a little more performance out of their VW, plenty of upgrades are available to boost power, handling, and overall driving enjoyment. This guide will explore the best VW performance upgrades available, from simple bolt-on modifications to full engine swaps, and provide you with everything you need to know to take your VW to the next level. Whether you’re at a casual stage one performance or a serious stage 3 racer, this guide will help you understand the options available and make informed decisions about how to upgrade your VW’s performance.

Intake Tuning

For those seeking to optimize their engine’s performance, upgrades to the intake system can deliver impressive results. By increasing the diameter and flow of the piping, intake can introduce more air into the turbo, which means more power output. And for those concerned with the temperature of the incoming air, some systems boast heat shields or intake boxes that can help keep the ambient intake air at a lower temperature. This added step helps to ensure that the air enters the engine as cooler, denser air, providing an even greater boost in power. With some tuning and the right intake system, drivers can take their engine’s performance to the next level.

High Flow Fuel Pumps

When it comes to upgrading your Volkswagen engine, one factor that often gets overlooked is fueling. However, taking care of this aspect early on in the upgrade process can significantly impact performance. In particular, introducing a high-pressure fuel pump can make a world of difference, particularly for older models that may not have had this feature from the factory. By doing this early on, you will see an immediate improvement in power and set yourself up for success when it comes to more substantial upgrades down the line. So if you’re serious about taking your car to the next level, consider fueling among your top priorities.

Exhaust Performance

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To truly maximize your car’s performance, it’s important to take a holistic approach to the upgrades you make. While your engine may already be benefiting from modifications that improve airflow, there’s still work to be done when it comes to the exhaust. Factory pipes are often too narrow, and emissions control equipment can heavily restrict the flow of exhaust gases, compromising your engine’s power potential. That’s why it’s essential to upgrade to a larger diameter downpipe at minimum. Full turbo-back exhaust is the ideal choice for the ultimate performance boost and a seriously aggressive growl. Allowing air to flow freely before and after the engine will unlock your car’s true potential and never look back.


Among the most effective alterations involves upgrading suspension components. The shocks, lowering springs, or coilovers you choose can deliver a stable center of gravity that keeps your vehicle flat as you navigate through challenging twists and turns. Upgrading your sway bars can minimize body roll, making your ride less susceptible to rolling over. An added bonus? You can also achieve a flexible ride height through certain suspension modifications. With all the options available for Volkswagen models, the potential to transform your ride into a lean, mean, corner-killing machine is right at your fingertips.

Clutch Kit and Handling

When it comes to high-performance driving, manual transmission vehicles can offer an unparalleled driving experience. But for those looking to push their vehicle to its limits, a factory clutch may not be enough to handle the increased power and torque. Enter the performance clutch – an upgraded option that allows much higher levels of power to be transferred to the wheels without slipping. Whether you’re tearing up the track or simply seeking an enhanced driving experience, a performance clutch can make all the difference. With its ability to handle the abuse of hard driving far better than a factory clutch, it’s no wonder why so many auto enthusiasts opt for this upgrade.

ECU Tuning

In the world of engine tuning, nothing compares to the benefits of a remapped ECU. Not only does it offer cost savings compared to other alternatives like replacement ECUs or inline tuning boxes, but it also provides a range of advantages that make it the most popular choice amongst gearheads. With the ability to fine-tune the engine’s performance, the remapped ECU ensures that the vehicle delivers optimal power and torque, better fuel economy, and improved driveability. Furthermore, a professionally remapped ECU can also enhance the overall engine longevity and reliability, providing an unbeatable combination of performance and durability. So, if you are looking to take your ride to the next level, a remapped ECU is the ultimate choice that ticks all the boxes.

Turbo Kits

When it comes to increasing the power output of your vehicle, there are many approaches to consider, but none are quite as efficient and effective as a new turbo. This upgrade essentially supercharges your engine, allowing it to take in more air and, in turn, burn more fuel. The result? Increased power, torque, and acceleration that you can feel every time you hit the gas. And while a new turbo can be one of the more costly upgrades you make to your vehicle, the big gains it offers in terms of performance and overall driving experience make it a worthy investment for any serious motorist.


Have you ever wondered how your turbocharged car gets that extra power boost? Well, it all comes down to the fact that the turbo compresses air, allowing more of it to be shoved into the engine. But with all that compressed air comes a not-so-great side-effect: heat. That’s where intercoolers come in. These handy devices efficiently cool the charged air before it’s introduced to the engine, bringing those temperatures back down so that you get more power without overheating. It’s like a science experiment happening under the hood of your car. And just like with cold air intakes, colder air means better performance. So if you want to upgrade your turbo game, ensure you have a reliable intercooler to keep things cool and in check.

Trafton’s Foreign Auto Does Volkswagen Performance Upgrades

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When it comes to your vehicle’s performance, settling for average just isn’t an option. We understand that your VW means more to you than just a way to get around town. That’s why at Trafton’s Foreign Auto, we’re committed to providing high-level performance upgrades. Whether you’re looking for a lower-budget upgrade or an all-out racing motor, we’re the experts you can trust. With over 40 years of experience, we’ve built a reputation as the most trusted name in Portland for VW performance upgrades. Let us help you get the most out of your vehicle. Contact us today to learn more about how we can take your ride to the next level.

Other auto services we provide:

  • Auto Repairs
  • Regular Maintenance
  • Air-cooled Volkswagen

Visit our About Us page for more information about our auto shop.

Posted on by Trafton's Foreign Auto
The Ultimate Guide to VW Performance Upgrades

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