VW 1.8T - APR ECU Upgrade

Automobile Magazine Review of APR Software

engineAPR is pleased to present the ultimate engine control unit (ECU) upgrade for the 1.8T. APR’s ECU upgrade is available in octane-specific variations and is conveniently flashed to the vehicle’s factory ECU through the OBD-II port without any physical modification to the factory ECU. APR’s EMCS functionality puts the control of the engine’s operation at your fingertips and allows for additional features and options to be installed to the OEM ECU.

The ECU’s Bosch ME7 engine management system is responsible for proper operation of the engine during constantly changing environmental and load conditions. With built in compensational data for environmental variables and varying load conditions, the factory ECU is far more complex and intelligent than units found in other vehicle makes and marques.

APR's Calibration Engineers spent months calibrating the engine management system, including many hours of chassis dyno development. With a thorough understanding of the ECU’s torque structure, APR’s Calibration Engineers properly increased engine load to produce more power and torque across the entire power band. APR’s ECU Upgrade increases turbocharger boost pressure and optimizes ignition timing, lambda and more to produce higher output. Using APR’s proprietary high-speed data logging suite, the calibration team closely monitored the effects of these changes to help ensure an enjoyable driving experience.

APR’s ECU Upgrades provides an excellent leap in horsepower and torque while retaining OEM knock control sensitivity and other built in safety features. This results in an exciting and powerful upgrade, optimized for various fuel grades found around the world!

Dyno Performance

Stage I ECU Upgrade Guide
Engine Code Stock 91 Oct
Performance Mode
93 Oct
Performance Mode
DirectPort Available Pricing  
AWD 150hp / 162lb-ft 196hp / 240lb-ft 204hp / 242lb-ft N $499.00 Buy One Now
AWW 150hp / 162lb-ft 209hp / 242lb-ft 215hp / 247lb-ft Y $499.00 Buy One Now
AWP 180hp / 173lb-ft 209hp / 242lb-ft 215hp / 247lb-ft Y $499.00 Buy One Now
Program Switching Technology
Options Pricing
¹Prices applicable to the North American market only.
²Due to many variations between ECU's some programs/options may unavailable.
For a total of 2 programs (i.e. - Stock and Chipped)²$149¹
For a total of 3 programs²$219¹
For a total of 4 programs²$289¹
Other Available Options
Options Pricing
¹Prices applicable to the North American market only.
²Due to many variations between ECU's some programs/options may be unavailable.
Security Lockout²$59¹
Fault Code Erase/Throttle Body Alignment (FCE/TBA)²$59¹
Anti-Theft System²$199¹


EMCS is APR's revolutionary Enhanced Modular Chipping System. EMCS is an industry leading technology that brings many new features to the automotive enthusiast. This technology was developed exclusively by Audi Performance & Racing, LLC and demonstrates APR's continued commitment to lead the industry with the most technologically advanced products available.

Want chipped mode? Want to be able to switch back to your stock settings? Want a race mode to run 100 octane fuel at the track? How about a valet mode that limits power? EMCS is the lone technology on the market that can give you all of these options. No changing of the chip or ECU is required. These programs are available at the touch of a button.

Others have attempted to imitate EMCS with external switching devices that only replace portions of a "base" calibration. EMCS is still the only Bosch Motronic Engine Management System enhancement that gives the ECU the ability to completely rewrite the entire operating map data when selecting different programming options. This allows for completely new and independent calibrations for each program selected giving you the best, most powerful and complete Stock Modes, 91, 93 and 100 octane Performance Modes and Valet Modes.

APR's EMCS features and program modes are activated via your OEM cruise control buttons. Your cruise control will continue to function as normal, but will give you the ability to scroll through the programs you have purchased with your APR ECU Upgrade. The procedure is simple and involves only two steps.

How EMCS Works

Step 1

Press and hold the "set" button on your cruise control. After approximately five seconds, the "check engine" light on your dash will begin to blink once per second. This will tell you that you are activating program one. This blinking sequence will continue for approximately five seconds.

After this five second interval, the "check engine" light will begin blinking twice per second. This will indicate that you have activated the second program. This process is continued to access any remaining programs you may have purchased. (three blinks = program three, four blinks = program four).

Step 2

Once you have activated the desired program, simply release the "set" button. The "check engine" light will stop flashing. Turn the ignition key off for 10 seconds, turn the key back on, and you will be locked in that program until you change it again.

It's that simple.

Available Features

APR's EMCS is a truly modular system that allows for future enhancements and features to be added as they are developed without the need for additional hardware. EMCS makes the following advanced features possible:

  • Program Switching Enables you to swap between two or more engine programs using the cruise control stalk. All cars have stock and standard chipped program versions available. Valet, race-gas, and other specialty programs are available for most models.
  • Fault Code Erase/Throttle Body Alignment (FCE/TBA) Fault Code Erase allows you to erase and reset engine related trouble codes without having to use a specialty tool. Throttle Body Alignment allows you to manually perform throttle-body adaptation.
  • Security Lockout Prevents unauthorized personnel from accessing EMCS functions. The user may select any 2 to 4 digit security code. The security code is entered using the cruise control buttons.
  • Anti-Theft You can render your car immobile to thieves, even if there is an attempt to start the car with your own key! For more information about Anti-Theft, click here.
  • V-Tune Designed for the advanced users, V-Tune allows adjustments to the boost, timing, etc. of the ECU Upgrade to optimize the programming for certian variables such as gasoline octane, different modifications, and atmospheric conditions. For more about V-Tune, click here.

How to purchase

APR DealerPlease use the APR Dealer Locater Tool to locate an APR Dealer, confirm availability and schedule an appointment.

Please note vehicle manufacturers issue many ECU part numbers and revisions throughout their vehicle lineup. As such, some ECUs may be temporarily unavailable as new parts and/or revisions are released. If the vehicle’s ECU part number and revision is known, availability can be checked at any APR Dealer.

Security, Warranty and Money Back Guarantee

All APR ECU Upgrades include a limited lifetime warranty against defects in the software and to provide free updates and reflashes as they become available. Installation may be additional and is not included in the warranty.

All APR ECU Upgrades offer a 30 day money back guarantee with no questions asked. If for any reason you are unhappy with your APR ECU Upgrade you may return the upgrade to your place of purchase for a full refund provided you are within a 30 day period from your time of initial purchase. Installation is not included in the guarantee and is at the discretion of the place of install.


  • Ryan K. - I originally purchased your stage 1 (93 octane) program in 2001 from a company in Lisle, Illinois called Moto Persona which has since closed. The quality of the program is wonderful and I have had many smiles along with the 155,000 miles now on the car without a single issue related to the software!
  • John M. - I recently had the APR Stage 1 Software installed on my '03 A4 1.8T Quattro. The installation was done very quickly by your authorized dealer - it was kind of funny to see the 23% bhp increase done without lifting the hood, with only the Cat 5 cable running to the car for about 20 minutes. The results are fantastic, just as advertised. The car feels transformed with power and torque where you need it. I don't drive the car very hard, but you don't need to in order to appreciate the Stage 1 upgrade. The motor feels sooo much stronger with none of that sluggishness that is present with the factory tuning - especially with my automatic transmission and Quattro. I went for the 91 octane version to allow a margin of safety, and I do not wish for more power. There are no negative side effects what-so-ever, even with fuel mileage. Kudos on the software.

  • 1.8TOer - Got my new APR complete ECU Upgrade over the weekend. This chip is smooth and powerful. No pinging, no high rpm idle, nothing "bad" so far. I can't believe the extra power this engine can produce, it is amazing. Anyone standing on the line, this ECU swap should push you over, best of both worlds - have your stock ECU for warranty & dealer work, have the APR ecu for using the motor the way it was meant to be used & fun. I think i need a radar detector upgrade, looks like V1 will get 400 bucks of my money as well. Just wanted to post my info, plus i had too vent somewhere, this car & ECU Upgrade are just too fun.

  • Sean - CHIP it CHIP it but call APR! Their 1.0bar chip is OUTSTANDING! The torque is right where you need it most and when the HP catches up... HOLD ON! It's a totally different car. Combined with an exhaust, I'm sure it would sound mean! APR's customer service is "TOP NOTCH" Stephen and crew know their business. My $.02

  • Thomas P - Just got my APR Chip and its is great. Very good power, torque, and throttle response. My best friend had the Wett 1 bar chip and we both agree that the APR 1 bar is a notibly faster chip by the seat of the pants. All I can say is good things about it. Besides the actual performance of the chip itself, I got great service from APR. I had a slight problem with the first chip they sent me. Car would not start. I called at 8pm knowing that no one would be there to answer my call. Got answering machine. Let message with my problem. No more than 10 minutes later, my wife tells me that APR is on the phone. They next day aired me another ECU and no problems what so ever. That is what I call service. Who do you know would call you back at 8:30 at night to remedy a problem. Most shops have closed three hours ago. All I can say is that I am a very happy customer!

  • Pips - Finally bought APR and am happy with it. I have been following this forum for more than 8 months. Initially when I read about Wett here, I thought I am going wett and was waiting for some problems with my car to get fixed. After sometime Nneuspeed came and it sounded like a better deal to me, but didn't order it. This was the time I saw Garett and few more and totally confused about deciding on a chip. I convinced myself to not to think too much about new chips and go with Wett. Then came Autothority and I see people kicking their butt about this chip. I thought I am cent % sure about going with this chip and paid a visit to them. I was about to order, but then saw people talking about APR. Finally bought APR and am happy with it. I think it's not new here to praise a chip the first time they install (or until they get some problem when it's in). but what is making difference here is APR's customer service and their patience to explain things.

  • Anonymous D - Kudos to APR. I'm new to Audi but not to high performance tuning...so here's my 2 cents...I'm choosing APR for many reasons:#1 and most importantly they have incredible customer service, no matter when you call they are always ready and willing to help, and I haven't as yet purchased any of their products...#2 they are friendly and knowledgable in their field I have asked them quite detailed and technical questions and got straight answers not "what i wanted to hear" to sell me a product, like I did from other(to remain nameless)companies...#3 when confronted with a problem ie: cruise control, they didn't rest on their ass...they worked overtime, late nights and weekends to resolve the problem...#4 they refuse to compromise long term reliability for a few hp, I've been in touch w/ many of the other tuners and things are being done that put your engine and turbos at risk. (wide open wastegates- overboost, tuning off the knock sensor) #5 and the major deciding factor is if i have a problem or need "custom tuning" they are only a phone call away, MTM is in Germany aNd TAP gets their chips from England, Autothority is U.S. based but Audi is clearly not their specialty or on the top of their list. Garrett is very knowledgable but its damn hard to get in touch w/ him... bottom line is I am driving a $40k car if I have a technical problem I want it fixed STAT and honestly only 1 company can do that... I have no ill feelings about any of the other tuners as a matter of fact I've purchased various products from others and will continue to do so...

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Phone: (800) 680-7921 Local Phone: +1 (334) 502-5181 Fax: (334) 502-5180 Address: APR LLC, 4800 US HWY 280 West, Opelika, AL 36801

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