Choosing Performance Software on your Volkswagen

October 8, 2012

Which Vendor?

APR, Revo, Giac, Unitronic…….

Often times you will find spirited online debates about who offers the best performance software for your vehicle. You will find opinions and facts that state why one is better or the other. When forming an opinion of this keep in mind you are looking to find facts. They only real facts you can find will be dyno numbers. Doing some research on dynos you will find that there are many variables that can create inconsistencies on dynos. Different brands can often yield different results. Another variable would be weather conditions, cooler weather will yield higher dyno numbers than warmer weather. Yet another variable in this equation is the vehicle. My experience in the automotive field has taught me when flashing a car no 2 cars feel the same, or dyno the same. If you look at a large sample size of dynos on the same car with same engine and all software brands you will probably see how often one car with APR software(just as an example) will dyno higher than another car with APR software. For this reason I recommend to people don’t spend a lot of time worry about which software is going to get you the most power. Just something for you to think about on that subject. Do you believe that the people who design the software for lets say Unitronic understanding the engineering of automobiles so much more than a software designers at GIAC?

My thoughts on that are no, there is not one software engineer that understands so much more than another that he has a significant advantage. With all software you are limited to the ability of the components in the vehicle. For this reason it is always my suggestion to make your decision based on convenience, price, support and functionality.

Important Factors When Selecting Performance Software

  • Convenience
  • Support
  • Price
  • Functionality

These factors should be carefully considered when selecting the performance software you would like in your vehicle.


A great example about convenience would be to look at who works on your car, and or how close is the installer to your house. If your car is under warranty(find out about software and warranties in another article) you would most likely be best suited to find a dealership who offers software nearby you. If this is not an option then choose a facility that has been around a while and can offer you support if you were to have any issues. There may be a time where you will need to have the software removed from the vehicle to rule it out during a diagnostic repair process(this is 100% legitimate). If this happens you will want the person who installed the software on your car to still be around to help facilitate this.


In the unlikely event that you have an issue with your software, where does each company stand in terms of customer service. It is rare that there are ever issues when having your vehicle flash, but keep in mind that rare happens every now and again. Should you be the unlucky person its best to make sure you have a great vendor there to help you take care of any issue that may have come up. This includes the people performing the software installation and the brand of the software.


The price on most software is all about the same, but this should be kept in mind as some are slightly more than others. See below in ascending order.

RevoTechnick $499.00 Stage 1
Unitronic $550.00 Stage 1
GIAC $550.00 Stage 1
APR $599.00 Stage 1

FunctionalityMost performance software functions the same way. The only major difference in functionality is what different programs are offered(valet, anti-theft, 104 octane, stock mode, and 93 octane), and how you select the programs. The options listed above are usually ones you will find on APR’s software, and you would switch the programs through the cruise control stalk by pressing the the buttons in a certain series. RevoTechnik also offers similar programs, but you use a device that is plugged into the OBD2 port under the dash to switch programs. GIAC offers a similar design to RevoTechnik, and Unitronic does not offer switching. In all instances switching is sold separately, so this is a choice you must consider. While APR sells each program individuallyRevo and GIAC sell the device needed to actually perform the switching. When thinking about this subject it is best to think about the value that these functions represent to you. If you have a vehicle that his 6 months old and plenty off warranty left switching might be important to you. Maybe your local dealer is the one who is installing the software on your new car and you have no need for the switch. Consider that this will cost you money so you will want to ensure you are getting some use of this function.

With all these points considered choose the Performance Software that best fits what you’re looking for instead of what people tell you is the best online. No one knows what fits your needs better than you do.


Paul Barrett


CEO | Ex Dealer Technician | VW Audi Parts Savant | Father | Husband | Chipotle Enthusiast
Creating a VW and Audi Parts Company that Cares

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