VW Turbo Conversion: Boost Your Aircooled VW
What is a turbo?
A turbocharger, or turbo for short, is a device that forces extra air into the engine for
increased combustion. A turbine is placed in the exhaust stream, which spins when exhaust gas
flows through it.
This turbine is mechanically connected to a compressor in the intake path (when the turbine
spins, the compressor spins). The compressor pressurises the
intake manifold, forcing extra air into the engine. This pressure is referred to as "boost".
How does a turbo benefit my VW?
Turbocharging, without a doubt, provides the biggest increase in performance
for your aircooled VW. Power gains of +50% to over +100% are possible
with a properly setup turbo system. Through the use of turbocharging, we have extracted
over 450hp from our VW Type 4 performance engines. The benefits of turbocharging your
aircooled VW include:
- Substantially increased power
- Substantially increased low end torque
- Fuel economy benefits (a small turbocharged engine can produce the same power as a larger
non-turbocharged engine while consuming less fuel)
- Boost control (power can be increased with the flick of a switch)
- Even bigger performance gains if tuned on E85 (flex fuel)
To see what difference a turbo can make for a VW engine, please use our VW turbo conversion
Please note this calculator assumes that the relevant upgrades are made
to strengthen and optimise the engine for the level of turbocharging selected. There are many
variables that affect the amount of power produced, such as boost pressure, cylinder heads, camshaft,
turbo selection, intercooler selection, fuel type and more. This calculator should be used as
a guide only to see the power gains achievable with aircooled VW turbocharging.
Turbo selection is an important aspect of any VW turbo conversion. The size of the turbo
must be carefully considered in accordance with your requirements. A turbo that
is too small will make the engine responsive at slow engine speeds, but will
"choke" and lose power as RPM increases.
Conversely, if a turbo is too big, it can provide good high RPM power, but will
struggle to build boost at low RPM, giving the car a "sluggish" feel.
This may be desirable for a drag car but undesirable for
a street car where the engine is mostly operating in the low RPM region.
We have turbocharged engines
for the VW Beetle, VW Kombi, VW Karmann Ghia, VW powered Trike and more!
With over 35
years of experience in VW performance, we know the perfect combinations that will give
your VW the power you desire, without sacrificing drivability.
To see an example of the power we can extract
with a turbocharged VW Kombi engine, see
The Ultimate Street Engine.
How can I turbocharge my VW?
To enquire about a WPVW turbo engine, or for turbocharging your aircooled VW engine, please