R600 Intake by RacingLine.

The R600 Intake System is surely one of the best-known products in RacingLine’s portfolio of performance upgrades. And for good reason. With OEM-standards of appearance and build, plus a genuine capacity for airflow to 600bhp and beyond it’s one of those rare products that you can buy with your heart and your head. Here’s the story of RacingLine’s R600.

It's been true for as long as the internal combustion engine has been in existence. The more effectively you can get quantities of cold fresh the air into the cylinders, the more power and efficiency your engine will achieve.

So, starting from the basics, your internal combustion engine is basically a pump. Air and fuel goes in one end. Then you get exhaust gases, heat, and a spinning crankshaft out from the other. As a rule of thumb, an engine needs about 14 times as much air as fuel. So add more fuelling (as most remaps do), or rev it higher and you can easily imagine how much the corresponding airflow needs to increase by.


Let’s Start With the Factory Intake

The good news for any Volkswagen or Audi owner of a stock 2.0/1.8 TSI EA888 gen.3 or gen.3B car is that the factory intake is pretty reasonable. But as always with factory parts, there’s a compromise involved. When Volkswagen Group’s engineers specify their air intakes, their priorities are different to us ‘car people’: they want something that is cheap, quiet, and tolerably efficient when flowing at the factory power levels. Which is just fine for most customers, on most cars, most of the time.


So do I need a Cold-Air Intake System?

There’s the question we get asked more than any other.

If your car is stock then the answer is no, you don’t need an intake at factory power levels. Naturally, us car enthusiasts being car enthusiasts, many owners still want to upgrade. A nice aftermarket intake will look great under the hood, sound good when you drop the throttle, and you’ll be well-prepared for any future upgrades that come your way.

But the higher you take your car’s power beyond what the factory blessed it with (and why would you not…?) that factory air intake system starts to become more and more of a restriction to the engine’s breathing. Stage 1 cars are reaching that tipping point at which you need to either fit an intake system to make the most of your remap. Typically you’ll see a 16-20 bhp difference on a Stage 1 car, in fact.

Then once you reach Stage 2 you’ve got no choice, you need that intake, period. Do the job properly, choose yourself an R600 – which is still the intake chosen for the vast majority of the Stage 3 500+bhp cars out there – then you’ll be sure to have the ‘headroom’ for any future mods, however far you go.


Why do I need a Cold-Air Intake System?

1. Size Matters

Size matters. That’s the truth. And RacingLine made size their priority for every aspect of their development.

It all started with some advanced 3D scanning of the engine-bay. The scans defined the precise packaging space they had to squeeze in the largest airbox possible. The result - it’s simply the largest airbox volume on the market for MQB cars.

At the same time, their CFD work quickly showed that breathing in through larger, twin frontal air inlets across the width of the car’s grille area would achieve a higher airflow rate, and lower intake temperatures. The factory’s choice of single-sided intake aperture is just too restrictive a gap for the mass airflow of cold, fresh air needed for our big power outputs.

So that’s the R600 airbox – what about the size of filter itself?

The R600 houses a (more than) double-sized Trifoam® dome filter, or a Pleated Cotton unit if you prefer. It's this giant, double-size filter that enables minimum pressure differentials, yet gives maximum filtration protection to your engine. Take a look at these numbers:

Standard filter area = 43,200mm² R600 filter area = 96,477 mm²

We’re pretty certain that’s the biggest filter surface area of any intake on the market for the MQB TSI. And ask any fluid dynamics engineer, surface area is the single most important factor in airflow capacity - and therefore power outputs.


2. Keeping Cool

It’s so critical to draw in air from outside the car. Whatever the ambient temperature on the day, this air is “cold” compared to the hot air inside the engine compartment. And never forget that precious truth: as intake air temperatures increase, so your engine’s power decreases. No way around it.