At least for me, I had a hard time justifying a coilpack purchase. A number of active members in the MK7 community had shown that there exists no measurable difference between stock GTI, R or RS3 coilpack. Nevertheless, when your car is tuned chancing anything ignition system related isn’t a recipe for long-lasting motors. Around after 50K miles of track and canyon-carving abuse, my GTI started displaying a few symptoms of bad coilpacks. I first noticed in my logs that cylinder 3 was much more prone to knock than others despite fresh spark plugs. As the seasons changed, cold starts were especially rough, with lots of pops and gurgles. While I didn’t mind the sounds, I don’t have the APR rice crispy tune to justify them. Alas, it was time for new coilpacks.
Gregg from AA ignition reached out to me about demo’ing a new set for the MK7. After a quick read through his site, I was convinced enough to give them a shot. Despite my usual “performance-only” mantra of my build, I was too enticed by the brilliant red to turn down the RS3 flavor of the part. They arrived in an OEM-like box, each coilpack shrouded in safely in bubble wrap. Unveiling one showed an OEM-like part, but with that nice red accent that screams performance. Because that’s a thing red does--right?
Installation of coilpacks is generally more annoying than it should be. If you’re me, trying to loosen the ground strap will instead spin the stud. Normal 10mm wrenches won’t fit between the flange nuts, so you’ll either need some needle-nose vice grips, or a bench grinder and a sacrificial wrench. Once you’ve got the right tool, it’s a piece of cake. Of course, anyone who works on cars knows that 90% of it is just finding tools.
Once installed, it really surprised me how much I liked them. The color just really pops in the engine bay. Look—I know it’s cheesy as hell, but I dig it. Oh, and I apologize for my overly bland engine bay, but I warned you, performance only mantra…maybe I’ll have to rethink that. Hopefully the pictures do it some justice, as there’s something rather enticing about the whole thing.
Performance is well… that of new coilpacks. It confirmed that there was in fact a failing coilpack in my car. Cold starts sound much less “cammed V8” and much more “European 4-cylinder”, which I suppose is a good thing. The car is noticeably smoother on throttle, and datalogs should soon confirm the butt-dyno.
Moral of the story – if you want some great looking and performing coilpacks, check out AA Ignition. The owner Gregg is a pretty awesome guy, too.