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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi All,

I thought it would be a good idea to post an ‘all in one’ post with all the information I have gathered over my time owning a CLA45 AMG in Western Australia. The point of this is to make it easy for a new or existing owner to find everything they need in one location.

Please feel free to add any info, as I want to keep this as reasonably accurate as I can, and I’m sure there are things that will be missed.
Firstly, this is the current setup I am running, and the costs I paid including postage to Western Australia. My goal was simple, I wanted the best performance possible, without spending an unreasonable amount of money.

I should disclose I am not advertising any of the below, this is my own research/opinions, with my own experience to potentially help you make a decision.
GCG5452R Turbocharger AUD $2150

Scorpion 3.5” Catless Down-Pipe (Includes mid-pipe) AUD $1240

Mishimoto Air Intake Kit AUD $604

Cost of parts: AUD $3994
Installation Costs: AUD $1000
Cost of ECU Tune: AUD $1799
Total Combined Cost: AUD $6793

I chose the Mishimoto intake as it replaces the entire intake and surrounding hoses, including the corrugated intake pipe. Additionally, they have provided lots of R&D for the kit. I’m not saying the others haven’t, I just can’t find the info and match the amount of effort that Mishimoto has put into the R&D of the kit.
Check the 5 Part Testing here:

You will notice I am not running an aftermarket Charge Cooler / Heat Exchanger, this is because I have found no factual information / dyno graphs to show this increases performance in any way. Again, there is no info to support this is worth the money. Remember these don’t work the same as ‘air to air’ intercoolers, so far this upgrade appears to be a waste of money!

I had a few people question my choice of the GCG5452R, likely because at the time there wasn’t much information available to show how well this turbo performs. But the previous Gen GCG3071R worked just fine, the new revised turbo will simply be an improvement, additionally why would I spend between $6000-$10,000 on a turbocharger, if a $2150 turbo sold in Australia, with Australian warranty, could potentially produce the same power? (I realise some of the parts assembled may not be Garrett / Borg Warner etc. they are aftermarket, but part of this is paying for a brand name, and will ultimately achieve the same goal)

I had reports that the older version GCG turbo, the GTX3071R was a ‘laggy’ setup from multiple tuners, So i sent an email to GCG to find out a bit more, here is the reply I received:

Hi Luke,
The new GCG5452R bolt on is a re-designed version of the previous 3071R bolt on turbocharger. With a new 6 + 6 billet wheel designed to be more efficient and work better in the lower rev range.
We have had customers do testing on both versions, and also against stock, and have found the latest version is more efficient and responsive than the 3071R, but even more impressive it is more responsive than the stock unit. So much so that fuel needs to be added to the lower rev range to stop the vehicle from leaning out. Many customers have recorded 280-300kw at all 4 wheels with a tune.


I chose to continue with the purchase as their customer support seemed great, and the cost compared to all of the other turbochargers was excellent, additionally the turbo was distributed in Australia, so I didn’t have to order a turbo from another country. If there was an issue I could contact GCG directly here in Australia.
Here is an example of the GCG5452R in Western Australia producing 310kw at the wheels on an A45 in October 2019:

Here is an reflection of what your car is producing stock: (Using a basic 10% drivetrain loss, these vehicles produce great figures in general, but I have based this on a worst case scenario of 10% loss (This is a rough guide)

Pre-Facelift Specifications: (2013 to 2015)
At the wheels (Drivetrain Loss of 10%): 238kw/405Nm (320whp Estimate)
Advertised at Engine: 265kW/450Nm (355HP)

Facelift Specifications: (2016 to 2019)
At the wheels (Drivetrain Loss of 10%): 252KW/427Nm (338whp Estimate)
Advertised at Engine: 280kW/475Nm (375HP)

AFTER MY DYNO TUNE:
With my setup installed and the tune completed, I produced 300wkw - 400hp at the wheels. (Or 440HP at the engine if we use the 10% loss example from above) Several Dyno runs where completed, one dyno run in particular read 303KW at the wheels, while the other runs varied between 293 -303kw at the wheels. So, it is safe to say 300WKW is easily achieved.
As you can see, with an upgraded GCG5452R Turbocharger + 3” Scorpion Catless Downpipe + Mishimoto intake I gained 62kW at the wheels (84whp). This was tuned by Ktec AutoHaus in Perth, WA (Who work closely with Allen from International Autohaus to complete the tuning (Evotech).

ISSUES WITH FUEL SUPPLY:
It is (so far) impossible to get more than 300kw (ish) at the wheels due to fuel supply in these vehicles. The A45 / CLA45 / GLA45 simply cannot supply the fuel demand for above 300kw (ish) at the wheels on your standard Australian 98 Octane fuel. Yes, you have other options like Water/Methanol injection to increase horsepower, or running e85, you also have Dyno’s that read differently, but here in Australia, you won’t see the vehicles climb much more above the 300wkw mark on 98 octane for reliability reasons.

POSSIBLE FUEL SOLUTION?:
To fix the above you could potentially:
(For More Power) Install a water/methanol injection setup, or run e85 (But is this really practical for day to day use?... probably not unless this is a dedicated track car). Additionally, your only going to add 15kw to your setup, is 15-20kw worth the additional costs?
Pay an absurd price for an AMS High Pressure Fuel Pump, but even then, no testing has been done in Australia, so nobody really knows if it even works, or if it’s worth the cost... I mean its AUD $2500 (USD $1700).... more than the GCG turbocharger. https://www.amsperformance.com/cart/alpha-mercedes-benz-a45-series-high-pressure-fuel-pump.html/

DYNO TUNING (ECU TUNING)
In regard to Dyno tuning, You have these options in Western Australia if you are looking for options:

Ktec Autohaus (International Autohaus - Evotech)
Unit1/37 Sarich Ct, Osborne Park WA 6017

Racing Dynamic (Evolve Technik)
43 Millrose Dr, Malaga WA 6090

MB Centre (Eurocharged)
76B Norma Rd, Booragoon WA 6154

I have had personal experience with Cade from Racing Dynamics, not only is he a gentleman, but he genuinely cares for his customers. He has a very good reputation here in Perth. My car ran an Evolve Technik tune for 12 months without an issue, and it was a great improvement from stock, and allot of fun to drive (Before I upgraded the turbo).

The only reason I didn’t go back to Racing Dynamics with the GCG turbo is that Evolve Technik do not appear to have much history/experience with the GCG turbo’s, while K-Tec Autohaus (And Allen from International Autohaus) had a huge amount of posts on facebook/Instagram with real results from the GCG5452R.

MB Centre (Eurocharged) I have only messaged these guys for info, they replied very quickly, but I cannot report on the tune as I have not used them. They seem to have an equally respectable reputation (I have heard nothing bad about them whatsoever). Eurocharged are popular globally.

Again, the reason I used K-Tec Autohaus, was that they had experience with the previous GCG Turbochargers (GTX3071R), as well as the new GCG5452R, and seemed to have the most knowledge with working with the GCG’s compared to the others. Allen also sells his own turbocharger for the vehicles (IAH Turbocharger), whereas the other shops do not, so it seemed he was experienced with multiple turbo upgrades for the platform. Allen has helped K-Tec Autohaus in Perth allot, so I figured that relationship was valuable.

It was nothing personal against the other shops, just my personal preference through real research.

SERVICING YOUR AMG:
I understand the desire to service your vehicle at a Mercedes dealership if your goal is to maintain warranty, but the honest truth is, if you are reading this post you are going to tune your car, or its already out of warranty. Do yourself a favour and service your vehicle at one of your preferred shops, much cheaper, more experienced, and you won’t get ripped off by the dealer.... Mercedes dealers are leaches here in WA. You are guaranteed to lose a limb once you see how much Mercedes Benz Dealers charge for servicing, and they never do anything to benefit the customer.

PLUG AND PLAY MODULES:
Don’t do it to yourself....Why would you put a cheap module on your $90,000+ AMG?? These modules are just ‘ECU trickery’ they never produce the results they claim. Although the information seems ‘hidden’ from the world, every educated tuner you ask will tell you to avoid them like the plague, even if they don’t want to write it in a forum due to fear of offending one of the retailers selling them. They are simply CRAP, too expensive, do the right thing and get a real tune. They NEVER produce the figures they advertise, and the quarter mile times do not match up. It’s going in half hearted, no matter what argument is thrown at you, a plug and play module will NEVER produce the performance of an actual ECU tune. Once the excitement wears off, you will be utterly disappointed if you jump in another AMG that has an ECU tune vs a shitty module.

CHARGE COOLERS / HEAT EXCHANGERS (NOT REQUIRED - PERSONAL PREFERENCE UPGRADE)
I did look at the following coolers before I made the decision to ignore this upgrade altogether.
Airtec Charge Cooler (Front Mounted)- AUD $850 shipped (If proven, it looks like it would be the most effective due to its size)
Forge Motorsport V-Mount Setup (Factory Position)
Agency Power Intercooler (Factory Position) Charge Cooler AUD $1000
AUTOX Side Mounted Charge Cooler (Factory Position) (AliExpress) AUD $300
Willall Racing Charge Cooler AUD $1300

TURBOCHARGER UPGRADES:
GCG Hybrid GCG5452R AUD $2150
GCG Garrett GTX3071R $2200 (Older model with more lag before they updated the turbo to the newer, faster spooling GCG5452R)
RENNtech Turbo AUD $7000
TTE450 (The Turbo Engineers) AUD $5400
TTE550 (The Turbo Engineers) AUD $5800
Bespoke Tuning Stage 4 Turbo AUD $6000
Weisetec Garrett GTX3071R AUD $10,000.... Ouch
PureTurbo’s M133 PURE Turbo AUD $5700
MAMBA GT2971R AUD $2500
AMS Alpha Turbocharger AUD $??
JP TURBO B550 AUD $??
IAH Turbocharger AUD $5890 (International Autohaus)

DOWN PIPES:
Scorpion 3” Catless Down-Pipe & Mid-Pipe Combo AUD $1240
RSE (REDSTAR) 3.5” Downpipe AUD $850
Milltek 3.5” Catless Downpipe AUD $900
Dyne Performance 3.5” Downpipe AUD $1150
Remus Catless Down-Pipe & Mid-Pipe Combo AUD $1550
Nortech Catless Down-Pipe & Mid-Pipe Combo AUD $1550
ARMYTRIX HYPERFLOW 3.5” Decat Downpipe & 3” Mid-Pipe AUD $1500

AIR INTAKE KITS:
Complete Air intake kits that replace the Air box and the restrictive corrugated inlet hose. (The logical choice)

Mishimoto Intake Kit AUD $604
MST Intake kit AUD $600

Air intake that replace the filter, retaining the factory corrugated turbo inlet hose & factory air inlet box) (Not worth it in my opinion)
Forge Motorsport Intake filter and adaptor AUD $?
Willall Racing Inlet system AUD $?
AMS Alpha PERFORMANCE AIR INTAKE AUD $600
Nortech Performance Intake AUD $400
ARMA REVHIGH V1 CARBON FIBRE AIR BOX AUD $1600...ouch (Replaces Factory Air Box but not the corrugated inlet hose)
Agency Power Air Intake AUD $550

BLOW OFF VALVES (BOV) & PLUMB BACK BYPASS VALVES (BPV) - (NOT REQUIRED - THESE TEND TO LEAK)
If you feel you want / need a upgraded BOV / BOV, (Or your vehicle never came with one) here are some options, although, based on conversations with several tuners, they leak at high boost (yes, even the aftermarket ones). Personally, I would stick with stock, I don’t personally have one at all, and have left the blanking plate installed on the turbo. (From factory the earlier model A45/CLA45/GLA45 did not have one at all, they were simply sealed off).
Turbosmart Kompact Shortie VR03 Plumb Back BPV AUD $315
Turbosmart Kompact Shortie VR03 Dual Port BOV AUD $345
Weisetec anti-surge valve AUD $450
Agency Power Blow Off Valve AUD $550

OTHER RELIABLE & PROVEN SETUPS FOR THE A45 / CLA45 AMG:
International Autohaus IAH Upgrade Turbocharger (some really great results shown in Australia) look up International Autohaus & Evotech Australia on facebook. This shows power figures at the wheels, with excellent gains (300-315WKW). This seems to be the build that yields consistent results but is ultimately $4000 more than the GCG Option.
eTuners (Based in VIC & NSW) are another tuning shop I know that have actively tested the new GCG5452R turbocharger here in Australia, you can read the info here: Mercedes A45 AMG W176 – Stage3 GCG Hybrid Turbo 98RON – eTuners I have not mentioned these for potential tuners, as I am specifically referring to Western Australian shops.
Both of the TTE450 & TTE550 turbochargers seem to be a popular option globally but are very expensive here in Australia once you convert EUD to AUD, add tax and shipping, and it gets real expensive. Additionally, I cant point you to links in Australia that show evidence of these installed with the gains achieved. There are a few links globally showing these in action, Specifically the TTE550 in the UK.

THE CONCLUSION(S) FOR OWNERS IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA:
Take this how you please, I realise some people will disagree no matter what I say, but here are the most cost effective options for anybody who owns a A45 / CLA45 or GLA45 AMG using the current information available.

OPTION 1 - TUNE, DOWN-PIPE & FILTER ONLY
Skip the turbo upgrade entirely (Tune costs vary depending on the tuner (use who you like, Racing Dynamic, Ktec (International Autohaus) or MB Centre) The tune will generally be slightly cheaper as it takes more effort / time to tune for a bigger turbo) AUD $1600
Mishimoto intake kit AUD $604
Scorpion Downpipe & Midpipe AUD $1240 (Or another equivalent)
Rough Installation Costs: $600
Total Cost: AUD $4044
Expect to see 260kw / 500nm at the wheels (350hp)
(Keep in mind this is MORE expensive if you plan on upgrading the turbo later, as you will be tuning twice)

OPTION 2: COST EFFECTIVE TURBO UPGRADE
GCG5452R Turbocharger AUD $2150
MISHIMOTO Intake $604
SCORPION Downpipe + Midpipe $1240 (Or another equivalent)
Tune through KTEC/IAH $1799
Rough Installation Costs: $1000
Total Cost: AUD $6793
Expect to see 300-315kw / 600-650nm at the wheels (400-420whp)

OPTION 3: MONEY IS NO ISSUE TURBO UPGRADE
IAH Turbocharger (Through kTec autohaus/International Autohaus) AUD $5890
MISHIMOTO Intake $604
SCORPION Downpipe + Midpipe $1240
Tune through KTEC/IAH $1799
Rough Installation Costs: $1000
Total Cost: AUD $10,533
Expect to see 300-315kw / 600-650nm at the wheels (400-420whp)

TRANSMISSION:
While you’re already reading, quite a few 45 Owners complain of transmission slipping, clunking into gear, and laggy acceleration, unfortunately the transmission in these vehicles is not the best DCT in the world, but its not bad either. With my car in particular I have done the following:

I had K-Tec Autohaus apply the latest Transmission Software
I then had K-Tec Autohaus Apply ‘Teach In Progress’ Adaptation software (Teach the car how to shift again / gear engagement)
Had Mercedes Benz Dealer adjust the clutch uptake from stand-still
Purchased an idrive module from AutoBarn to try to speed the accelerator pedal response time a bit.

All of these things have certainly helped, and it does feel more responsive with the tune as well, but keep in mind, nonmatter what you do to these transmissions, they are still slow compared to other European vehicles DCT’s….. It takes some learning to get use to these DCT’s.

I hope I have provided you some useful info, I have wanted to make a post like this for a long time to help people!!

65314


65315
 

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Thanks for posting! The thing with the intercooler. I don't think the main point of having one is for increased performance, it's more for sustained performance like at a track...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thats a valid point, and worth mentioning, i will update this as an upgrade based on track use, is there any useful posts showing better cooling over prolonged use on a track day with an upgraded intercooler / charge cooler? I can add this into the post. This was part of the reason i have not included any links, theres not much evidence to suggest it will improve cooling, i was under the impression a pump also played effect into the cooling, so changing the cooler alone would not achieve that much. But i could be wrong....
Thanks for posting! The thing with the intercooler. I don't think the main point of having one is for increased performance, it's more for sustained performance like at a track...
 
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