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Product Overview

APR is pleased to present the ultimate transmission control unit (TCU) upgrade for the DQ250 DSG and S Tronic transmissions! APR’s TCU upgrade is available for MQB platform vehicles and is conveniently flashed to the vehicle’s TCU through the OBD-II port with user definable options selectable at the time of install.

APR’s TCU upgrade goes beyond the overly simplistic norm of raising a few limiters, and offers a wide gamut of changes designed to enhance the driving experience especially when combined with APR’s performance engine software and hardware. With an in-depth knowledge of the transmission’s inner workings and control strategies, APR’s engineers have improved many aspects of the transmission from accelerative performance to daily drivability, while also incorporating new features including several typically reserved for higher-end Audi Quattro GmbH RS models.

Feature List

  • Faster Acceleration
    Increased clamping pressure, optimized shift points, and better launch control all result in faster acceleration.
  • Quicker Shifts
    Increased clamping pressure and optimized shift times results in a faster shift under various scenarios.
  • Optimized Shift Points
    Drive mode is optimized for fuel economy while sport mode is optimized for faster acceleration with APR’s various hardware and software upgrades.
  • Increased Clutch Clamping Pressure
    Increased clutch clamping pressure beyond factory torque levels to support higher output.
  • Smoother Daily Driving
    Optimized part throttle / daily driving shift maps to provide a smoother and more enjoyable driving experience.
  • User Definable 3-step Launch Control
    Launch control is enabled on all models featuring a traction control button. Three user defined launch control RPMs are set at the time of install. Launch control response is also optimized for faster engagement and stronger take-off.
  • User Definable Manual Mode
    The automatic manual mode upshift and kick-down switch downshift can be enabled or disabled at the time of install.
  • Quicker Paddle Response
    The time between clicking the paddle and the shift executing has been optimized.
  • Raised Torque Limiters
    Non-physical transmission torque limits are raised to allow for higher output while retaining critical protection limits.
  • Downshift Lockout Optimized
    Manual downshifts are permissible in all gears so long as the next gear is below redline.
  • Temperature Management Optimized
    Allows for limited torque during over-temp conditions vs total immovability.
  • Gear Display Activated
    Shows the current gear in the factory multi functional display in both drive and sport mode.
  • DirectPort Programming
    The TCU Upgrade installs in minutes without opening the TCU and can be uninstalled at any time.

***Please Note, increased clamping pressure only applies to Golf R, S3, Cupra and TTS models. Lower output GTI, A3, Leon, Octavia and TT vehicles to follow shortly.

Increased Clutch Clamping Pressure

APR’s Calibration Experts have recalibrated the transmission to continue increasing clamping pressure when clutch slip is detected. The transmission constantly monitors for clutch slippage, and adjusts clamping pressure such that the minimum amount of pressure is applied to prevent slip. This ensures clutch engagement remains comfortable under most driving scenarios. Unfortunately, this function is limited in its abilities. As such, clutch slip can occur when increasing torque. This often leads to overheating warnings, which are further exacerbated by low transmission fluid levels. APR’s TCU Upgrade reconfigures the clamping pressure routine to continue increasing clamping pressure to match the higher output from from APR’s various performance upgrades. Pressure steadily increases, preventing slip, but remains below maximum protection levels defined by the factory TCU.

On a healthy transmission, the result is easy to feel as it transforms the transmission. Expect crisper and faster shifts at wide-open-throttle, faster clutch engagement during take offs and launch control, higher max torque levels, more consistent back-to-back results, and faster acceleration!

Drive (eco) and Sport Mode

APR’s calibration experts found the factory drive and sport modes to be less than ideal when raising power above the factory limits. In drive mode, the transmission aggressively seeks sixth gear, earlier than necessary, leaving behind an anemic and lack luster experience for the driver. Likewise sport mode leaves a lot to be desired considering its seemingly exciting name. Under both modes, maximum shift points remain optimized for the factory power levels, which vary greatly to those produced using APR’s world-renowned catalog of performance hardware and software. As such, accelerative performance suffers due to non-optimized shift points.

To rectify this situation, APR’s engineers took a multi-step approach to custom tailoring the shift maps to sync harmoniously with APR’s performance upgrades and each platform’s gear-ratio configurations. While some may simply set wide-open-throttle, or WOT shift points to the vehicle’s max RPM limit, APR’s engineers chose shift points based on actual acceleration data. This result is gear dependent shift points typically below the engine’s max speed, but in doing so, the vehicle’s acceleration improves as axle torque is matched before and after shifts.

Under low-torque, low-rpm, part-throttle situations, both modes less aggressively seek the highest possible gear. Drive still has the benefit of economy, but stays within the power band more comfortably for a more enjoyable experience. Likewise sport mode has been optimized to provide a sporty feeling, worthy of its name. In both cases, the transmission seamlessly integrates with APR’s performance upgrades to provide an exciting driving experience.

Manual and Tiptronic Modes

APR’s user definable options allow the end user to configure how the transmission works while the gear selector is placed in manual mode.

The kick-down switch, which is responsible for an instant downshift, is enabled by default but can be disabled at the time of install. Likewise the auto upshift that occurs at the vehicle’s maximum engine speed can also be disabled at the time of install, allowing the engine to bounce off the limiter like a manual transmission. For safety’s stake, the auto first to second gearshift is still enabled.

The transmission does not lock out any manual downshifts so long as the shifting does not result in an engine RPM above the max shift point. In all situations, paddle delay is reduced, allowing for a more responsive shift to take place and furthermore, manual shift times have been optimized.


Max Shift Points with Stock IS20 Turbo Software
Auto Upshift On
Auto Upshift Off
First to Second Gear 6,350 RPM 6,350 RPM 6,700 RPM 6,700 RPM
Second to Third Gear 6,200 RPM 6,200 RPM 6,700 RPM Never
Third to Fourth Gear 6,000 RPM 6,000 RPM 6,700 RPM Never
Fourth to Fifth Gear 5,750 RPM 5,750 RPM 6,700 RPM Never
Fifth to Sixth Gear 5,600 RPM 5,600 RPM 6,700 RPM Never


Max Shift Points with Stock IS38 Turbo Software
Auto Upshift On
Auto Upshift Off
First to Second Gear 6,700 RPM 6,700 RPM 6,700 RPM 6,700 RPM
Second to Third Gear 6,450 RPM 6,450 RPM 6,700 RPM Never
Third to Fourth Gear 6,350 RPM 6,350 RPM 6,700 RPM Never
Fourth to Fifth Gear 6,250 RPM 6,250 RPM 6,700 RPM Never
Fifth to Sixth Gear 6,000 RPM 6,000 RPM 6,700 RPM Never

Launch Control

APR’s 3-Step launch control is unlike anything else in the market. At the time of flashing, the user chooses a maximum launching RPM. When activating launch control, up to three launching RPM’s are available, allowing the end user to choose the best launching RPM based on the current conditions!

At 100% throttle with the kick-down switch engaged, the vehicle will select the highest launching RPM. At 100% throttle with the kick-down switch not engaged, a lower launching RPM is activated. Finally, at roughly 50% throttle the transmission chooses the lowest launching RPM. When properly dialed in, the user is left with incrementally higher launch points ideal for the street, track and sticky tires.

Utilization of launch control results in the transmission entering the maximum acceleration mode. During this mode, intervention between a shift is minimized, resulting in faster acceleration that keeps the driver planted to the back of his or her seat. The delay typically present after lifting the brake and beginning of the physical launch has been improved for a more immediate response.

Note: Both ASR and ESP must be fully off and the vehicle in Sport Mode to use Launch Control. This is accomplished by holding the traction control button for a length of time.

Adjustable Launch RPM Profiles
6,000 RPM 5,000 RPM 4,000 RPM
5,500 RPM 4,500 RPM 3,500 RPM
5,000 RPM 4,000 RPM 3,000 RPM
4,500 RPM 3,750 RPM 3,000 RPM
4,000 RPM 3,500 RPM 3,000 RPM
3,500 RPM 3,250 RPM 3,000 RPM
3,000 RPM 3,000 RPM 3,000 RPM

Recommendation: APR does not advise setting the launch limiter higher than 4,000 RPM. When using launch control, excessive wheel spin will not improve acceleration and may cause undesirable behavior. APR suggests using lower launch limits under low grip situations, especially on FWD vehicles. A higher launch RPM is only ideal with drag slicks / radials on a well-prepped drag strip.

Temperature Management

Temperature management is an important part of the DQ250 transmission. While some may simply remove temperature protection routines all together, or mistakenly raise temperature protection torque limiters sky high and claim increased cooling performance due to zero transmission intervention, APR’s TCU upgrade only allows the maximum safe temperature levels before intervention.

Unlike the factory intervention routine, which allows for nearly no torque to be transmitted through the transmission at all after limits are crossed, APR’s over temp intervention allows for a limited amount of torque, enough so the vehicle can be safely driven off the track or pulled to the side of the road during intervention. In keeping the vehicle moving, airflow continues across the radiators, which in turn keeps coolant temps low and aids in removing heat from the factory DQ250 oil coolers to restore full operation.

Torque Limits

Various factory torque intervention limiters are raised to their maximum value to eliminate unintended torque intervention, across the rev range, during normal and spirited driving. However, important and critical limiters are kept in place or only slightly modified, such as those related to temperature protection, to prevent premature damage to the transmission in dangerous scenarios.

Gear Display Indicator

In drive (eco) and sport mode, the vehicle’s multi function display will now indicate the currently selected gear rather than a generic D or S.

Application Guides

For best results, APR advises against mixing non-APR ECU and TCU Upgrades. APR cannot guarantee full compatibility with non-APR ECU Upgrades as outlined above and as such offers a 30-day money back guarantee as outlined below.

Application Guide
Audi A3 / S3 - (MKIII / Typ 8V) 2.0 TFSI 6 Speed S Tronic - DQ250
Volkswagen Golf / GTI / R - (MK7 / A7 / Typ 5G) 2.0 TSI 6 Speed DSG - DQ250

IMPORTANT AVAILABILITY DETAILS:- Availability and TCU Compatibility: Some versions and features may not be available for all TCUs.- TCU Revision Notice: Multiple TCU revisions exist for each platform. APR software may be temporarily unavailable when factory updates are applied. An APR dealer can check availability in person, or over the phone if the TCU boxcode/revision is known.

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