Mishimoto® (15-23) EA888 Gen 3 MQB 1-Row Performance Aluminum Radiator

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    Compatible: (2.0L)

    2015 - 2023 Volkswagen Golf 

    2015 - 2023 Volkswagen Golf GTI

    2015 - 2023 Volkswagen Golf R

    2015 - 2023 Audi A3 8V/8Y

    2015 - 2023 Audi S3 8V/8Y

    2015 - 2023 Audi TT


    Help keep your hot-hatch cool with the Mishimoto Performance Aluminum Radiator designed for the 2015+ Volkswagen MK7 Golf TSI/GTI/R. The Golf GTI is the grandfather of the hot-hatchback, but even after seven generations, this sensational vehicle still needs assistance when it comes to keeping its cool. Here at Mishimoto, we are more than eager to overhaul the MK7's radiator design for more optimized performance.

    The stock radiator is adequate for daily driving in any iteration of the Golf and other MQB related cousins. The design struggles to keep up when under more harsh conditions. The thin core coupled with the plastic end tanks also sew the seeds of future cracks and leaks as the vehicle ages.

    We started from the ground up with the Mishimoto Performance Radiator, starting with a full-aluminum construction. From the mounting points to the inlet and outlet, the aluminum end tanks are sure to endure the test of time. Complete with precision TIG-welding to our core, the Mishimoto design is significantly less prone to leaks later down the road. To further increase our design's strength, we've incorporated struts into our core's coolant tubes, making this radiator much more resistant to twisting and flexing and effectively reducing the risk of a damaged core to nearly zero.

    Durability wasn't the only improvement on our mind, and we wanted to ensure a more efficient coolant temperature regulation for your Golf's engine. To do so, we expanded the core to 1.65", along with precision adjustments to the fin design resulting in a 56% increase in core volume and 76% bump in external fin surface area. Combined with our 4.5mm fin height and louvered fin technology, this radiator is capable of reducing global coolant temperatures for a consistently cool hot-hatch.

    The Performance Aluminum Radiator for the 2015+ Volkswagen MK7 Golf TSI/GTI/R is available in a natural finish and includes the Mishimoto Lifetime Warranty for a worry-free installation.

    • Direct fit for the 2015+ Volkswagen Golf TSI/GTI/R
    • 76% increase in external fin surface area
    • 56% increase in radiator core volume
    • Features a 1.65" (42mm) thick, efficiently brazed aluminum core
    • Core features 4.5mm fin height complete with louvered fin design for maximum heat dissipation
    • Full aluminum construction including durable, TIG-welded end tanks
    • Strutted tubes for maximum durability
    • CNC-machined inlet and outlet with OEM style quick disconnect fittings
    • Increased fluid capacity for optimal heat dissipation
    • Efficient temperature regulation for both stock and modified vehicles
    • Patent Pending
    • Mishimoto Lifetime Warranty


    (1) Performance Aluminum Radiator
    Mishimoto Lifetime Warranty


    MATERIAL Aluminum
    OUTLET OEM style quick disconnect
    ROWS 1
    INLET OEM style quick disconnect
    DUAL PASS False


    We couldn’t just mention reality makeover shows without building the tension somehow. It’s the unforgettable two-part season finale for the MK7’s radiator overhaul, and since I’m sure you’re already brimming with anticipation, let’s dive right in.

    Previously on the Mishimoto Engineering Blog, we left you with the first look at our design in its prototype form, along with some questions about the flow pattern. How many passes will the coolant make through our new design? Hang around to find out. But first, our production sample is in the house, and we’re eager to show it off.

    Here it is in all its shiny, all-aluminum glory. When we say all-aluminum, we mean it. This radiator was redesigned from the ground up for maximum durability. We swapped all the plastic from the stock design for aluminum from the core to the end tanks, mounting points, and the inlet and outlet. In fact, our inlet and outlet are CNC-machined for a perfect fit to the factory Volkswagen quick-disconnect radiator hoses. To improve the radiator’s lifespan, we also incorporated strutted tubes into the core. These supports formed within the coolant tubes help maintain the core’s rigidity. In other words, as the chassis flexes when you’re nailing that apex, the struts in the coolant tubes prevent the radiator core from twisting with the car. Less flex means less chance of blockages from crimped tubes or leaks from a cracked weld.

    Durability isn’t the only objective with our new radiator design; helping the MK7 keep its cool is also on the list. To achieve better heat management, we expanding the core by 15mm for a total thickness of 42mm and a 56% increase in core volume. The greater volume and increased fluid capacity improve thermal management and keep coolant temperatures more consistent. Our core features a 4.5mm fin pitch, coupled with our louvered fins that promote heat dissipation. Overall we were able to increase the external fin surface area by 76%, which we hope to prove useful in our testing.

    On paper, these improvements make for a much better performing radiator, but will they prove to be useful when equipped on the MK7? To find out, we called on the heaviest hitting MK7 variant there is, the Golf R. We chose one of the hottest hatchbacks in the US to put the new design under the heaviest stresses that the cooling system can see from the factory. We strapped the R to our Dynapacks and performed our continuous load test. This test consists of calibrating the Dynapacks so that we can hold vehicle at 3200RPM while at wide-open-throttle, or WOT. This simulates (and often exceeds) the harshest driving conditions that the MK7 Golf will ever see. We performed the same test for all three of the radiators.

    Wait, three radiators, you say? Correct. Before starting our testing, we were still questioning the coolant flow pattern through the core and felt it best to test each version before making a final decision.

    To make sure that we didn’t slow down production, we opted for fabricating our triple pass radiator. Our lead fabricator, Mike, evenly spaces the end tank dividers and tacks them in place to create the triple-pass flow.

    We found no discernable difference in performance between the single pass and triple pass designs in a head-to-head comparison. In some applications, forcing the coolant through the core multiple times allows for greater heat dissipation. However, a few factors can affect a multiple-pass core’s performance, including pump speed, pressure drop, and airspeed. For some applications, keeping the coolant in the radiator longer can prove detrimental, which is what we found in the MK7’s case. We found that a triple-pass core layout yields the same performance as a single-pass design.

    When compared to the stock unit, our radiator produced a significant increase in performance. With our single-pass radiator installed, we noted a 5°F drop in global coolant temperatures during testing. Five degrees might not sound like much, but in the automotive realm, every degree counts, especially when you’re hitting the track. A reduction in global coolant temps means we’re reducing the coolant temperature throughout the entire cooling system, which also aids in engine oil temperature management.

    Volkswagen launched the MQB with a one-size-fits-most mentality. However, if you’ve made it here, it’s safe to assume that your MK7 MQB based Golf variant requires more of a tailored fit. Something to help it stand out against the crowd. Something to keep one of the hottest hatchbacks of all time from losing its cool. An extra 5°F drop in global coolant temperatures thanks to a sturdy new radiator should do the trick. Make sure you get yours today:

    Performance Aluminum Radiator, fits Volkswagen MK7 Golf TSI/GTI/R, 2015+

    In the age of reality TV, it’s almost impossible not to have watched at least one of those makeover shows. Whether it’s housing, fashion, tattoos, or even cars, the formula is the same. Old and ugly comes in, and the fixers jump right into the action. Right away, there’s a plan to fix it, followed by some shots of the experts looking intently at the problem, making sketches, and diving into the project before cutting to commercial. If our MK7 Volkswagen Golf TSI/GTI/R radiator project was one of those shows, this is precisely where we would be. Our star engineer has evaluated the weak points, and now there’s a plan. So, before we hear from our sponsors, let’s take a look at the planning phase of our MK7 radiator makeover.

    One of the primary challenges with our new design is the available space. Like with any other VAG product or German vehicle for that matter, there is an efficient use of the engine bay, so nothing goes to waste. Also, the entire front cooling stack is designed to fit in a cage because of the modular design, which makes assembly into the other variants take much less effort. Still, it means our design envelope is severely restricted. Our engineer still has a few ideas in store to help improve the cooling capacity of the MK7 platform.

    Core thickness is the key element. Since we can’t expand the height or the length of the core, Jason focused on the final variable to increase core volume. With the stock core measuring in at 27mm, we had plenty of room to grow in terms of width. With the improvement of any component, though, it’s all a balancing act. Too thick of a core could be a detriment to the heat dissipation process, not to mention that we still need to leave enough room for bigger intercoolers too. On the flip side, not adding enough to the core’s width wouldn’t make significant increases to the performance. Jason found the sweet spot of a 15mm addition to this spec to help all variants of the Golf keep their cool. Also, to maintain balance with the thickness and heat transfer, we elected to retain louvered fins.

    When it comes to the end tanks, we plan on leaving the plastic design behind in favor of full aluminum construction for a vast improvement of durability. Our design will also slightly increase the end tanks’ size and a bump in the total coolant capacity while staying within the same general silhouette not to affect the fitment. We’re not ditching everything about the stock end tank design, though. We’re opting for retaining the stock mounting locations for ease of installation, so nothing needs to be permanently modified. Also, the quick disconnect fittings are remaining the same, so you won’t need to change out your hoses too.

    Even with careful planning and consideration, some things are unknown until tested. Specifically, for this project, it’s determining the flow pattern of our radiator. Since there is a limit on the core’s spatial increase, we can divert the coolant flow, so it stays in the core longer, thus exchanging a higher volume of heat. This is achieved with a dual, or even a triple pass flow pattern, essentially having the coolant snake it’s way through the tubes in an S pattern. However, as with the core size, there is a delicate balance. If the coolant stays in the core too long, it can have the opposite effect. For that, we wanted to run our own testing to determine which flow pattern best suits the MK7, so there’ll be some extra dyno testing on the way.

    It wouldn’t be a true reality makeover show without the perfect cliffhanger commercial break, so make sure to refill your snacks before settling back in for the first look at our full production sample coming soon.

    Think about the last time you bought a product that was “Universal” or “One Size Fits All.” How well did it actually fit your needs, and how much adjustment was needed for it to work correctly? When it comes to the flagship of Volkswagen’s MQB platform, it’s a similar situation. These days it’s almost impossible to go anywhere without spotting VW’s hardest working hot-hatch, the GTI or Golf R. Still, given that the modular platform means shared parts between the smaller Golf TSI, MK7 Jetta, Tiguan, and a myriad of SEATs and Skodas, there can be some things left to be desired, specifically when it comes to keeping the MK7s cool. Luckily, we here at Mishimoto are already hard at work on a fresh new radiator design.

    Before we get into just how we plan on improving on the MK7’s cooling system, let’s dive into the design that VW fitted to these vehicles. Depending on the year, and transmission in your MK7, just every system relies on the primary radiator to keep the temperatures down. By reducing the heat in the primary cooling circuit, the benefits ripple out through the oiling system, and early model DSG equipped vehicles. For later model dual-clutch vehicles, Volkswagen did make the update to include an independent cooling system, but this also meant that the primary radiator went on a diet, and lost a few MM in core thickness.

    When it comes to the radiator’s placement in the vehicle, it’s a tight squeeze in the front of this hot-hatchback, with the radiator being the bread in an intercooler sandwich. The proximity to other heat exchangers does mean that this radiator will have to work harder, especially if there’s a bar-and-plate intercooler in place. To see how the radiator copes with being last in line for fresh air, we decided to extract the stock unit from the vehicle.

    Under closer examination, we found the radiator from the VW follows most of the similar design cues for OEM construction, an adequately sized core crimped to a pair of plastic end tanks. This method of radiator construction is ideal for Volkswagen since it’s inexpensive on such a large scale production but still delivers good enough cooling for a majority of the driving styles that the various iterations of the Golf is subjected to. On the whole, a vast majority only see regular commuting, however, there are still some that will head to the track or even some twisty back roads where reducing temperatures is key.

    Volkswagen prefers these end tanks since they’re able to churn out thousands very quickly thanks to injection molding. While this plastic is sturdy, it doesn’t have quite the life span of a metal component, especially after thousands of heating cycles.

    Once we focus in closer on the different parts of the radiator, we were able to find a few more features that make this radiator stand out. For starters, as with other manufacturers these days, VW utilized a serrated fin design, which essentially gives the core extra thickness by forcing the air through diagonally, which increases the heat transfer, even when using the thinner core.

    Once you take a close look at the fins, you can see the serration, and get a clearer picture as to how the air flows through the core
    To properly corral the air through the core, VW added this rubber lip which seals the radiator in the stack and ensures that the airflow through the core rather than around it.

    Where the core shows potential, the end tanks reveal signs of weakness. As mentioned earlier, the plastic construction raises concerns for longevity given the numerous heating cycles these tanks will see. Quick disconnects seem to be popular with the German vehicles that make their way into our R&D facility. These make for quick and easy connection to the radiator; however, it’s essential that all parts of the connection are correctly maintained, otherwise resulting in loss of coolant.

    Jason “The MK7 Bandit” works on draining the coolant from our donor Golf R. In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, we’re making sure to stay safe while working on upgrades for your MK7.

    The MQB and “one size fits all” method is a manufacturing dream for VW when it comes to churning out vehicles, but it does mean that in some cases, there’s still some performance left to be desired. Make sure that you stay tuned to see our tailor-made plans to improve on the MK7 Golf TSI/GTI/R’s cooling system.




    Install Guide: