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49 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi guys given the choice of s/c or turbo for the mk5 what would you go for,more kits are out there now & choice is getting better,storm phoned me today and said there ruff/comp s/c
kit is out very soon.then theres hpa / jbs / & im sure others any input would be great thanks

7,822 Posts
ive thought long and hard about this, and ive done extensive research.

This is my opinion based on the mk4.

Alot of experts believe that the VAG V engines respond better to decent supercharging. Hence why MTM chose to supercharge the new RS4. Having said that, turbo systems are alot more common for the R32. Im yet to find out why, but really, when the likes of HPA and C2 are coming out with kits that feel OEM+ there is nothing really to question.

Looking into it, id get a supercharger. Going for whats available and rated? Id get a turbo.

Wierd choice really, both have pro's and cons. The only thing that puts me off VF supercharging systems is the low torque figures, but thats down to the way the Vortech charger works.

Rotrex would be nice ;)

.:R32OC Site Contributor
2,548 Posts
This is the $1,000,000 question. I'm a big fan of S/C (linear delivery suits the R32 image) but for the MKV, HPA's FT Series looks the best product at the moment. S/C's are few and far between for the MKV. Apparently the engine position doesn't make it an easy fit. There is an S/C offering from Novidem (PDF). Anyone know of any others?

Senior Member
1,084 Posts
Different strokes for different folks.

Personally I prefer linear power delivery, and enjoyed my supercharged Polo far more than my turbocharged Subaru.

Turbo's are a bit 'all or nothing' (not to mention lag) unless your talking about a sequential twin turbo setup.

Some people like the BANG factor when you come on boost. Just doesn't do it for me that's all.

Senior Member
616 Posts
Tricky question....
I had my R32 MK4 Supercharged and it did give it a healthy kick in the butt. It sounded awesome, the delivery was very smooth, and it's a fairly simple bolt on kit. I had a couple of issues with the belt but it's something that can be cured. Some people don't seem to have any problems at all.
However.... My VF supercharger has been removed and an HPA FT kit has been installed (I haven't got it back yet) But, to start with, it's nowhere near as simple as just bolting it on. The engine came out, spacer plate installed, gaskets etc and I knew a couple of pipes had to be custom made etc but I've had to have a more than I expected made up.... It's not that hard but it's something you may want to be aware of as most of these kit's are made for left hand drive.
The reason for the change was simply due to the torque of the turbo. I went out in a mates after he had some problems ironed out and the HPA FT400 really is a piece of kit! I'm hoping it's going to be 100% reliable (but none of these kits really are 100% as your sticking a lot of power through it that's not meant to be there). I can't personally comment yet, but since my mates HPA returned from getting a few thing tweaked it's been 100% (as far as I know). The HPA sounds like a stock R32 when it's ticking over, maybe a bit louder as the fans are constantly on, it get hot in there, but when it gets going it's turns into a beast.
Here is a clip of my exhaust with the SC installed (I will do another when I get the HPA back).
Power wise… despite what people say there really isn't a lot in it. I had the race file installed on a stage 2 kit (400bhp) and it went! And my mates was an FT400 but around 420bhp. The VF SC pulls from low down all the way through and keeps going and going but you need to keep in the right gear to keep up with the HPA. The HPA has a huge surge and although it's still got power up top and keeps pulling it's not as hard as lower down, probably best to change gear than carry on if you get me.
Here is a quick vid of me going up a hill, I had to slow but you get the gist.
Anyway, I hope this helps!

61 Posts
This question has been occupying my thoughts a lot recently too. I'm in four minds (bearing in mind I have a mk4):
(a) Leave the car as it is, and save the money to put towards a quicker car
(b) Get cams and a CAI and be happy with 270-280hp. This is still an awful lot of power for a Golf really.
(c) Get a Supercharger
(d) Get a turbo charger (twin turbo?)

I really don't know between these choices, I change my mind daily. I was all set for the Supercharger root, as I like the idea of a easy bolt-on-kit and the FMIC showing through the grill. However, Deckedr32's recent pulley issues have put a big questionmark on the reliability of the kit.

The pros and cons of the two FI roots from my own research is:

Supercharger Pros:
(1) Easy bolt on kit, which is removable.
(2) Gives a linear power boost, which is much friendlier on the clutch and gearbox than the big torque boost of the turbo kits.
(3) Keeps the exhaust system open to allow that lovely noise to come out un-impeded.

Supercharger cons:
(1) Questionmark over reliability of the kit given possible belt issues.
(2) Doesn't give as much of a increase in peak power than a turbo, without spending considerably more money.
(3) Belt requires regular maintenance (to maintain tension).
(4) Have to fanny about sending your ECU off to the USA, (or entrust your pride and joy with the boys at Regal). This just seems rediculous really.

Turbocharger pros:
(1) Big torque increase, which would probably better suit my lazy-arse no gearchange driving style.
(2) A lot of power available relatively cheaply once the kit is installed (I'm including lowering the compression ratio in the initial kit).
(3) Makes use of "free" energy from the exhaust gases. In theory this should be a more economical solution, in practice I suspect there's little in it.

Turbocharger cons:
(1) Questionmark over reliability of clutch given the power delivery.
(2) A LOT more heat under the bonnet. This is of particular concern given the heat problems which the inline V-shaped engine has anyway. Plus watching that video of the American GTi going up in smoke when the turbo caught fire gives me nightmares at night.
(3) Considerably more difficult to install.
(4) More expensive than supercharging for the initial stage 1-2 FI path.
(5) Noise reduced due to Turbo insulation. I notice DeckedR32 says his mates sounds about the same on tickover, I presume its muted on full chat though? This is something the Americans seem to complain about a lot on Vortex anyway.
(6) Looks a blooming mess under the bonnet imo. All those pipes all over the place - although I appreciate this won't bother many people.

As you might be able to tell, I'm in a Supercharging preferred mood today ;) tomorrow it will probably be the opposite, then the next day "its fast enough I don't need to make it faster". Regardless I'm going to sort out the rest of the car first - brakes, wheels, suspension in that order which will certainly chew through my 2008 budget (and then some I suspect :( ).
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