To performance pack or not to performance pack?

1y ago


If you've read my earlier posts, you know I drive a 2015 GTI S, non performance pack (PP). I actually really wanted a performance pack, but I also needed a car, so, that's what I got. I also regretted that so much, I went back and installed an aftermarket WaveTrac ATB (automatic torque biasing) differential and full Performance pack brakes. So, was it worth it?

For starters, consider this. The performance pack (MY 15-16), was a $1500 option. I bought all my brakes used for $1100. The differential, without install and hardware is $995. We're already above performance pack costs, and we haven't even paid for installation. Realistically, think of this aftermarket performance pack on my car as double the cost of the OEM option. Do you get "double" the performance?

Well, no. I'm not going to beat around the bush. The performance pack is a stupidly good, stupidly under-priced option. That electronic diff is worlds ahead of the XDS+ crap that's been on VW platforms, and makes the base model look like a joke. For most people (including myself), those big 340x30mm front rotors are enough for track duty with the right pads and fluid. The performance pack is a freaking steal. It's loads of performance. But -

The WaveTrac is better. It's not that the PP diff is bad, maybe it would even be better with a re-tuned software that increased the dynamic locking. But here's the the thing:

"The PP electronic differential works great under IDEAL conditions: A loaded corner, with good pavement. It also works great under proper operating temps. However, the mechanical LSD doesn’t give a shit about pavement quality, operating temps, or constant changes in steering angle, it just wants both wheels spinning at the same speed." -- Full review available here:

I always try to end with a takeaway, so here it is. If you're building a stripped out race car, and you want to eat the competition, buy a base model. Upgrade everything. Live life to the fullest. But if you want that canyon carving goodness, without the aftermarket headache, buy the performance pack. It's worth it. Every. Damn. Time.