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Jo Hoppen's A4 1.8T CHIP 200hp - AWESOME

Some of you may have seen this post on the http://www.a4.org.  However, I
thought I would post it here also.

On 8/21/97 I was at Mr. Hoppen's shop in Sarasota, FL.  Mr. Hoppen took me
for a ride in his 1.8T that has the chip from engineers that used to work
at Audi Germany in it. The chip increases HP to 200. WOW! What a ride! This
1.8T hulls butt! Breaks the wheels WAY loose in 1st gear and when Mr.
Hoppen hit 2nd, they chirped like squealing pigs. Even at 65-70mph, this
1.8T really accelerates. What an experience to ride in a supped up Audi
with legendary Mr. Joe Hoppen!

I thought it would be nice to let everybody to know, "what's Up" with
Hoppen's 1.8T chip.  I have compiled a list of questions/answers to inform
everybody about it.   So here we go.  (If you haven't heard about Mr.
Hoppen's chip, look at archive #3 on http://www.a4.org .  There is a HUGE
section re: his chip at the bottom).

Q:  My A4 only has 700 miles on it.  Will the modified ECU void my

A:  NO!  I spoke to both Mike and Jo regarding this.  According to both of
them, the chip is an Audi chip with all of the original code except for a
few exceptions.  This chip contains the latest software download from Audi.
 There have been 5 revisions of the 1.8T software since it's release.  The
dealers DO NOT have the equipment to detect the modified ECU from Jo
Hoppen.  Mike and Jo know what equipment the dealers have. HOW? 

Mr. Hoppen worked his last years at Audi of America as Head Engineer for
Dealer Service.  What is this?  This means that when a dealer in America
had a problem with an Audi that they could not fix, Mr. Hoppen would fly
from AoA to the dealer to look at the problem car.  So, he has the
knowledge to design and develop a chip that is virtually "UNDETECTABLE" by
any dealer.

Q:  Who is modifying these ECU's and where are the software updates coming

A:  The ECU's are modified by a group of engineers that used to work for
Audi of Germany.  He would not say who they are.  However, these engineers
have the resources necessary to obtain the most current version of the ECU
software from Audi.  They also have the knowledge and facilities to
properly and professionally modify Audi factory ECU's.  I wonder why?

Both Mike and Mr. Hoppen seem to be very dedicated and concerned about
quality!  They told me that they receive and have seen a lot of ECU's that
have been modified and are butchered.  Mr. Hoppen actually went into some
detail to say that some of the modified ECU's they receive from customers
have very poor and substandard soldering welds.  They have seen chips with
missing prongs on them but still connected to the ECU.  He said he could
not believe that there are people in business that do such shabby
workmanship on such a vital piece of equipment!  

Q:  Is there a warranty with the chip?

A:  Yes!  There is a 1-year warranty.

Q:  How do I get my ECU Modified and how long does it take?

A:  You have 2 options.  Option 1, send in your ECU and have it sent to
Germany to be modified and then sent back to you.  This takes about 3-4
weeks.  Option 2, Mr. Hoppen will send you a modified ECU in which you swap
out with your original and then send your original back to him. Your total
down time with this option is about 10 minutes.

Q:  I live in Boulder, CO at 5,600 feet above sea level.  How will the chip
perform at this atmosphere?

A:  The altitude will not affect the modified ECU any differently than the
standard Factory ECU.  What he means is that the altitude will cause you to
have fewer horsepower because of the thinner atmosphere.  However, this is
true with any automobile.  According to Mike Hoppen, the A4 has an altitude
sensor and will work the same with the modified ECU as it does with the
stock/factory ECU.

Q:  Is there a "core" charge (deposit) required?

A:  Yes  Kind of.  Mike will send out a modified ECU to you and will also
run an "APPROVAL" through on your credit card for $1,400.  This IS NOT a
charge.  It is only an approval.   Mike Hoppen said he would like to get
your factory ECU returned to him within 1 week.  The longer you wait to
send him your factory ECU the more time it takes for other people to get
their modified ECU.   Mike and Mr. Hoppen send a group of ECU's at a time
over to Germany to be modified.  So if you wait 2-3 weeks to send your ECU
back to him, this means he has to wait 2-3 weeks before he can send the
next batch over to Germany.

Q:  Will there be a problem with the ECU serial numbers:

A:  No.  I asked Mike and Mr. Hoppen about this.  Mike said that the
dealers and the manufacture (Audi) do not keep records like this.  He used
an analogy of, what happens if your factory ECU had to be replaced by the
dealer because it was defective?  He said that the dealer just orders a new
ECU by the part number.  There is NO VIN to ECU serial number correlation
or verification done by the factory or by dealers.  There is a header on
the chip itself that the dealer can see with their testing equipment that
tells them (in laymen terms) if this chip/ECU belongs in a 1.8T.  Mr.
Hoppen, Mike and their engineers in Germany have addressed this in the
development of the 1.8T chip/ECU.

Q:  Can I keep my factory ECU?

A:  Yes, for $1,400.  This is something that you would have to work out
with Mike or Mr. Hoppen.  But if you do not send your ECU back to Mike, he
will send you an invoice for $1,400 (US).

Q:  Will the new chip/ECU reduce the longevity of my engine/turbo?

A:  No.  According to Mike and Jo Hoppen, the engine and turbo are actually
capable of much more than this.  However, Jo and the Engineers in Germany
have developed the chip to increase horsepower but not overwork the engine
or turbo. 

Q:  Why doesn't the factory (AUDI) make the 1.8T stock with 200hp?  (A lot
of you have asked this question.)

A:  Emissions.  Yes, Emissions.  According to Jo and Mike Hoppen, there is
extensive emission testing that goes on before Audi releases the car to
America.  This is NOT just hooking up a few wires to the engine and
sticking a thing up the tail pipe.  The car actually goes into a sealed
room and is run.  Sensors feed computer equipment that in turn provides
Audi's engineers with the information they need to specifically tune the
car perfectly to conform with emission standards here in the US.  This
testing takes about 1-2 weeks according to Jo and Mike.

Q:  Well than, will I still be able to pass my states annual emission test
with the modified ECU?

A:  Yes!  The testing equipment used though out America in garages and at
dealers is not even close to the type of testing that is performed on a new
vehicle from Audi in Germany.

Q: What happens if my ECU needs to be replaced by Audi under warrantee?

A:  Mike Hoppen stated that he would handle this on a case by case basis. 
However, he stated that you would have to ship the ECU to him and he would
have the modified chip removed and have a stock chip placed back in your
ECU and ship it back to you.  There would be a little fee for this he said,
but he would work it out with you if this happened.  Also, you are probably
wondering what happens to the error code in the ECU if he removes the
modified chip?  Well, when you reconnect the stock ECU and start your A4,
the sensors in the A4 will automatically reregister the error codes in the
new chip so that the dealer will see them.  

Also, Mike stated that the dealers change more ECU's than they need to. 
You see, when a problem occurs that "MIGHT" be ECU related, the dealers
automatically orders another ECU instead of investigating further.  WHY? 
Labor.  It takes 10 min to change an ECU.  And if it fixes the problem,
than it is cheaper for the dealer (in most cases according to Mike and Jo
it doesn't fix the problem).  Mike and Jo also said that it is VERY rare
that an ECU needs to be replaced.  Please remember that Mr. Hoppen was in
charge of Audi Dealer Service as indicated above.

Q: I remember reading that there is a different chip depending on whether
the car is manual or auto. Is this the case and if so why?

A:  The chips are different because in the Automatic the turbo is always
running.  So there is a change made to the ignition and fuel maps as well
as some other areas he would not go into.  In the manual version, when you
shift gears the turbo comes on and goes off more often than on the
Automatic.  The design of a different chip for Auto vs. Manual is to better
configure and more appropriately address each type of A4, according to Mike

Q: Will there be continuous improvements of the after market chip? If so,
can the v1.1 owners get a v1.5 update if there is significant improvements?

A:  YES!  Bet you never expected this.  Mike and Mr. Hoppen did this for
the S4 chip they developed.  There was a chip that came out later that
actually gave better performance.  So, they gave every owner of version 1.1
(if you will) an opportunity to upgrade.   This was a special price.  He
did not say what it would be if this happens.  

NOTE:  The stock turbo is not capable of producing more than 210 hp with
K&N filter and modified exhaust.  To gain more hp (efficiently and safely)
you must change the turbo and exhaust manifold.  This is according to Mike
and Jo Hoppen.

Q:  Will the 1.8T Chip work in the 1998 model?

A:  Yes, there are no engine changes in the 1998 model of the 1.8T.

Q:  Finally, how much does it cost?

A:  At this time, the chip costs $695 (US). 

Q:  How soon can I get a chip?

A:  There is a HUGE demand for his chip already and they are having a
little bit of problem meeting this demand due to people not sending their
ECU's' back in a timely fashion and the shipping to/from Germany.  I think
the waiting period is about 2 weeks.

One last thing.  I do not mean nor do I want to start a chip war.  But I
asked Mr. Hoppen and Mike about the Wetterauer and TAP's chip.  He did not
have much to say about TAP because he really does not know much about Ivor,
except that he has raced Audi's.  

On the other hand, the Wetterauer chip is a little different.  Mr. Hoppen
and Mike never heard about this company but have been to their web site. 
So Mr. Hoppen contacted 3 different Audi Tuners over in Germany.  He did
not want to say who the tuners were.  All of the Audi tuners he questioned
about this Wetterauer chip did not know anything about it.  Nor had they
heard about this company ever before in Germany.  Mr. Hoppen said he did
not want to comment on the quality of this chip because he and the Audi
tuners in Germany did not know anything about it.

I thought I would just let all of you know about what Mr. Hoppen's and
Mike's comments were on the other chips.  So all of you can make your own
informative decisions if you purchase a chip now or in the future. 


Greg Heidt
'97 2.8L A4Q 5m in Pearl