Product Reviews

APR Stage 2 Review & Dyno – 2.0T Audi A4 B7 (2006)

Audi 2.0T Engine with Covers

I had a fully loaded APR Stage 2 ECU tune installed last December and after a few months driving it, I feel it’s time to do a formal write-up and review. Overall, I’m very happy with the modifications, as it definitely made the car more responsive, peppy, and more enjoyable to drive in high-performance driving situations, yet very mild mannered & fuel efficient during normal driving and commutes. The car now feels like a “sports sedan” that drives like it should, as opposed to more of the economy car feel to it from the factory. Here is what my APR Stage 2 setup consists of:

  • APR Stage 2 ECU with stock, 91, 93, and 100 performance tunes
  • Carbonio Air Intake
  • APR Test Pipe
  • Billy Boat Quad Tip Exhaust

Driving in the 91 Octane performance tune definitely delivers the power earlier in the power band and more consistently throughout acceleration. Unfortunately, my car has Fronttrak (FWD) and the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) so the transmission isn’t the best for the added power because the CVT shifts in pre-set ratios and won’t stay at (or even go all the way up to) redline,  so you can only stay at peak power for a brief moment before the transmission automatically shifts for you. It’s also difficult to dyno the power output with this transmission, because you can’t keep the car at redline long enough to get a full power reading without the transmission shifting as well. So my dyno graph shows 225 hp, but probably would have shown another 10+ hp had the transmission let us go all the way up to redline and hold it there a few more seconds. Stock is 200 hp, so although 225 only seems like a +25 hp increase, it’s probably closer to a 35 hp increase. This was performed on a MAHA dyno, which returns more conservative numbers than the more common Mustang dyno, so I’d be interested to see what numbers it could put out on a different dyno. APR’s estimates claim 232hp / 273lb-ft for Stage 1 on 91 octane, but their estimates are difficult to interpret since they use a unconventional dyno that doesn’t measure wheel horsepower directly.

Here is the chart: Nick’s A4 Dyno Chart

Audi A4 B7 APR Stage 2 DynoThe one unfortunate side-effect of going APR Stage 2 is that it made me really wish I had Quattro, as that would have given me the better non-CVT transmission to get more power out of it, as well as added traction to handle the power – my front tires will spin a bit accelerating from a stop at full throttle. But overall I’m very happy with it as the car now performs to its full potential and is a lot more enjoyable to drive. I wouldn’t call it a “beast” but it’s certainly a much needed and very noticeable improvement. I’m also happy that reliability isn’t really affected, especially since I chose to use all APR parts that are designed to work with each other, and APR’s products have been tried and tested by thousands of A4 owners, all with nothing but good things to say.

The car does seem to be at it’s limit, performance wise. I don’t really want to add any more power for fear of causing increased wear on the CVT transmission, and I don’t think the CVT transmission will really deliver that added power to the wheels anyway. If there is one downside to Stage 2, it makes me really wish I had bought a different transmission.

Nick Roshon

Nick has been an Audi owner and fanatic for the last 10 years, and started Nick's Car Blog in 2009 to share DIYs and pictures of his A4. Currently he drives a 2012 Audi TT-RS, and has previously owned a B7 S4, B7 A4, and an 82 Audi Coupe (GT) LeMons race car. In his day job, Nick is a digital marketer and lives in San Diego, CA, USA.


  1. those number sound very low… I have the quattro and was hoping to be more like 265hp after stage II?

  2. The transmission was definitely holding it back, I’m sure it could have put out a lot more if we kept it at red line. It’s hard to know what you’ll get since APR’s numbers are based on a dyno that measures power at the hubs – not at the wheels or the crank. IMO thats kind of a worthless number, and usually ends up being inflated relative to most dynos.

  3. What you have to know is that I’m most cases the full exhaust and intake will not make much more peak power(stage2), these items help keep the power for longer and help spool the turbo sooner (power under the curve). APR Hp # would have been achieved had the cvt allowed the car to reach red line as one can see the power was continuing up, proving that the MaHa dos not read low, Just accurate. Also in this case running 91 AZ gas and stock intercoolers was a hindrance.

    🙂 Jon

  4. Hey Guys,
    Currently, I have stage I software installed on the car and about to get a HFC delivered soon. Does anybody know the difference between stage I and stage II software? I read somewhere that it only disables the secondary O2 sensor to avoid CEL. I am going to put a spacer in between the HFC and the sensor to avoid any CEL.
    does it make sense to go back and get the ECU upgraded to stage II?

  5. That’s a good question. It was my understanding Stage 2 was tuned for an engine equipped with an intake, exhaust and test pipe/HFC setup, so if thats true Stage 2 does more than just eliminate the CEL as those mods would substantially change backpressure and the amount of air being pumped through the engine.

    If I were you, I’d locate the nearest official APR dealer and ask them their two cents. Or call APR directly. APR doesn’t publish dyno numbers for Stage 2 vs Stage 1 so it’s hard to tell. I do believe if you already have an APR tune, they only a charge a small amount to upgrade to a higher stage tune (like $75 I want to say, but not totally sure).

  6. Nick,
    I think youre numbers are very good. I have exactly the same car. You have to make the difference between de HP and the WHP. This car has 200 HP at crank, that means 166 WHP. WHP is the number you get in the dyno to the wheels and the HP is at the crank. In a conservative dyno you should use 1,2 factor, or 1,25 because the CVT
    I have unitronic stage II and DP’s and get 200 WHP in dyno, about 250. You also have intake and exhaust, 225 whp means about 280 hp. A beast.
    Finnaly my opinion about the quattro, with same mods than yours you should be faster because of wheight, if you are thinkin to put a bigger turbo like the K04 (S3 turbo) you will need a stronger gear box (tiptronic) and the quattro for the launch
    Id like to get those numbers soon!

  7. Nick – I too have a B7 2.0T CVT. Currently at stage 1, considering stage 2. Do you still think the CVT can handle stage 2 in the long term? Thanks for the great write-up!

  8. Yeah I think CVT is certainly capable of handling Stage 2 long-term – I’m no mechanic, so I can only speak from experience as well as hear-say from Audizine and other Audi forums, but I am very confident that I will be okay – I’ve been stage 2 well over one year now and never had an issue, never had the dealer complain, and frankly think it is quite capable of handling more abuse. My CVT with Stage 2 has also done 4 track days, a few road trips, and definitely not drive lightly either (nor have I abused it either, but I can definitely say I’ve appreciated the car at its full performance threshold). I wouldn’t go upgrading the turbo to something bigger, but I think a Stage 2 tune is certainly within the transmission’s capabilities.

  9. I have a 07 a4 with a tiptronic transmissio stock
    I’m think of upgrading to stage 1 or 2 which one u recommend I
    Start with and how much money will cost

  10. Well it’s really just a matter of what you can afford – the main difference of Stage I vs Stage 2 is that Stage 2 requires you to have an aftermarket exhaust, test pipe, and intake, and then the tune is more aggressive to compensate for the added airflow. So Stage 2 is definitely the way to go, but if you can’t afford to add all of those mods at once (figure an exhaust + test pipe to cost at least $1,000 installed, plus another $400 for the intake), then go with Stage 1 now and then you can always upgrade the tune later (APR does upgrades for $100 if you already purchased the tune, IIRC).

  11. Eric – it depends on where you live. You can find an authorized APR dealer on the APR website:

    As far as who is better between STaSIS and APR, they’re both great companies with great reputations. STaSIS tends to be more expensive than APR, but I know a lot of S4 owners with STaSIS that are happy with it. I have only used APR products so that is all I can really speak for. I know APR will let you try a “trial flash” where you can demo the tune for 30 days for free, then buy it if you like it, so that might be worth considering for you.

  12. I live here in California will any of the stages make my car fail it’s smog check

  13. Yeah I think Stage 2 might since it requires a test pipe or high flow cat converter – I’d check with a local tuning shop to confirm though, I’m not too familiar with California’s emissions laws.

  14. i’m planing in getting stage 2, APR testpipe and carbonio intake or evo tec intake. i have a quattro and after extended researched i believe the obtained HP will be between 260-280HP. if someone can give me feedback it will be great. 0-60mph should also go from 6.7(stock) to about 5.2-4.9(apr stage II).

  15. That seems possible – definitely let me know how it goes! Your HP will definitely vary depending on what kind of a dyno you are using.

  16. my friends<

    the stage 1 APR to stage 2 flash is not a different or more agressive tune. Boost levels,spark timing, fuel trims etc…are the same as stage 1.

    The only difference is that stage 2 will not make your check engine light go on when u run a test pipe or HFC, stage 2 has a electronic cel fix..

    The added power comes from the hardware.

    The stage 1 apr flash will compensate for added airflow when air mods are added like most off the shelf maps.
    Stage 2 will do what stage 1 does with the addition of a cel fix file attached.

    Just chiming in,
    Fellow Gear Head

  17. How did they dyno your cvt in drive s-mode or tip and in what gear do you remember just curious before i go out and spend some money on it and there not sure how to do it. Thanks Nick for your help.

  18. I love the quad tip B&B exhaust you had on your B7 and wanted to know where did you get it? I have been looking everywhere and all I seem to find is just the dual. Did you customized the B&B exhaust with quad tips or buy them as is? Thanx

  19. I ordered it from B&B directly, they basically just mated the front half of a FWD B7 A4 exhaust to the rear half of a B7 S4 exhaust to build it. Give them a call and see if they can still make it, don’t see why not!

  20. Hello,

    Due to your experience with the s4, do you think it’s better to put a filter in the oem air box or to put a cai on the b7 2.0 t?



  21. I’ve heard an aftermarket CAI can help the A4 much more, since it is a turbo car and thus forcing more air in there has a greater impact. I’m pretty sure there is dyno charts backing that up, but not 100% sure. Since the engine is entirely different, what works on an A4 won’t necessarily work on an S4 and vice versa – for one thing, much more breathing room for the A4 since the engine takes up much less of the engine compartment, relatively speaking.

  22. Hello,

    Sorry for answering so late (I couldn’t remember where I posted…)

    OK, I will search for dyno about it. For the moment I have a filter in the airbox because I noticed that the cai from carbonio is not fully closed and didn’t want it to breath hot air.

    I was thinking of going stage 2 but I’m afraid of having a farty sound with a hfc and the stock exhaust (I want to keep it). Am I right for the noise ?

    Did you noticed any difference for the consumption between stock and tuned for “daily driving” ?

    thanks and sorry for my english,


  23. @Matthieu – I actually ran a test pipe on stock exhaust for a little while when I was parting out my car, and it does make sort of an odd sound when you let off the gas and start breaking or idling (basically when you go from some boost to no boost) but it’s not that bad. I think for Stage 2 you need to have an exhaust though, they rely on the piping to help support the more aggressive tuning and whatnot, so you might want to check with APR on that.

    Fuel consumption wasn’t much different, if anything slightly better.

  24. Hello,

    Thanks for the advice. I will probably choose stage 1 because I like the sound of the oem exhaust system. I discovered that I pass every day in front of a tuning shop wich is suppose to be an APR dealer here In France, but
    it’s the double price compare to usa. They also do mrc wich is famous here in Europe.

  25. Hello,
    Thanks for the advice. I will probably choose stage 1 because I like the sound of the oem exhaust system. I discovered that I pass every day in front of a tuning shop wich is suppose to be an APR dealer here In France, but
    it’s the double price compare to usa. They also do mrc wich is famous here in Europe.

  26. Nick I’m a big fan of your blog!
    – In regard to the Stage-2 tune; We would appreciate if u told us about the 1/4 mile time & speed, 0-100/KPH time/ or 0-62 time, & if the top speed of the vehicle has increased or still the same?
    Thanks bro. (excellent & classic write up by the way – from 2010 to 2014 & still relevant!)

  27. Hi Lescix – I’m afraid I never recorded a quarter mile time or 0-100K before selling the car, so I can’t help there. In terms of top speed I believe it did, I never hit a speed limiter anyway 🙂 Thanks for the kind words!

  28. It depends on your state’s particular emissions laws, but in most cases it helps it – as the Stage 2 tune deletes the Check Engine light from having a test pipe or high-flow cat, and usually a CEL will cause you to fail emissions.

  29. Hi I’m looking at buying a 2008 s-line a4. I read a review on this site and you mentioned the cvt is a ticking grenade and is uber expensive to replace. Almost all of the a4’s I can find are fwd only and like none with Quattro. Should I hold off until I can find a Quattro a4? Sorry for the sum question but I’m assuming the cvt is all fwd b7 automatics?

  30. From a reliability standpoint then run as fast as I can from cvt?
    Does Quattro (tipronic) or the manual have major major concerns?
    I’ll probably be buying between 60-80k and keep it until 140-150k. I plan on bpu mods including chip

  31. Quattro/tiptronic doesn’t have any major concerns. Technically FWD will have slightly more HP and speed in a straight line since it is lighter (less gearing/weight to only run two wheels versus four) and less drivetrain loss with only two wheels versus four…but you don’t really get to enjoy the extra power if your front wheels are spinning and your understeering every apex. If you’re going to keep the car for close to 100k miles I would recommend you take your time and get a Quattro Manual (or Quattro Auto if you don’t like to row your own gears). I sold my A4 specifically because it was a CVT, had it been a manual or quattro I would have kept it but the CVT is just crummy unless all you want is good MPG and a smooth ride…now I have a S4 which has neither good MPG or smooth ride and couldn’t be happier, lol.

  32. Thanks for the ton of info. I’m much more focused on reliability at this point. Have a 500+awhp car in the garage so I’m not concerned with excessive performance. This site has helped a ton. I’ll definitely go with anything not cvt.

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