If you’re a regular reader of our email campaigns, you’ll already have heard the news that we now stock parts and remaps from Revo Technik! If you’re not signed up to our campaigns then why the hell not?
Revo are one of the most popular tuners of VAG cars (VW, Audi, Seat, Skoda, Porsche, etc.) around, and more recently they also started tuning Fords – they are able to get ludicrous power increases out of the Focus RS for instance. Turbocharged Veedubs are pretty popular in the staff car park here at Tweeks Towers, so plenty of us are excited about what’s been arriving in the warehouse of late!
A first-hand account – Dave’s Revo’d Mk5 Golf GTI
One of us (Dave) actually got so excited that he couldn’t resist the urge, and splurged on a Revo remap for his Mk5 Golf GTI on day one. Given that his Golf has gone from running a ‘puny’ 200 bhp and 281 Nm of torque to a much more respectable claimed 255 bhp and 386 Nm, he’s been walking around the office all week with a grin like a Cheshire cat (well he is from Cheshire)! Although he was thinking about selling the GTI, he tells us that he’ll now be keeping it for the foreseeable future. We’re also pretty sure that we heard him talking about a Revo air intake and a Quaife limited slip diff the other day … Yeah, working for the UK’s biggest tuning retailer is kind of a false economy at times!
Seeing as he’s been going on about his car so much since the remap (it’s actually starting to get pretty annoying!), we caught up with Dave to see how he feels about it one week on:
The Revo remap has completely given my Golf a new lease of life. After owning my GTI for 3 years prior to this, its performance had become a little mundane to me. Having previously owned an Alfa which almost begged to be revved right up to the 7000 rpm red line it was always a little disappointing in my Golf that the power just seemed to die off after 5000 rpm.
This has now been transformed and the car now has really smooth power delivery right through the range and on to the red line. Throttle response is now much sharper and the acceleration is just brutal when pushed hard. I’ve always considered my Golf to have been strong at accelerating in 6th gear on the motorway but with this remap it just eats through the speedometer without needing to ever consider dropping a gear. The car’s overtaking capability has been transformed and it now feels much safer and a more pleasurable experience to nip past vehicles when it’s needed.
So surely all this additional power on tap will have killed the fuel economy? Surprisingly not! Thus far I have found my mpg figure to have averaged out at exactly the same figure as I was getting before. Now obviously when you plant your right foot it definitely seems to sup at a considerable rate but because you are getting to your cruising speed much quicker so it seems to then even itself out overall. With the car now putting around 250 bhp through the front wheels then this obviously makes it pretty easy to break traction so you do have to be a little more careful when pulling away from junctions. With that in mind then fitting a limited slip differential would certainly have its benefits to managing that power a little smarter and this is something I may consider for the future but that is not to say that the additional power has made it too much of a handful.
I also purchased a Revo SPS switch which can be plugged in to the OBD2 port and I can select one of 4 mapping options including the main Revo map, a stock map and a valet mode that doesn’t allow the car over 3000 rpm. Having this has really taken any stress out of the process knowing that I can switch back to the stock map within seconds should I ever need to. I haven’t done this yet though as I’m loving the additional power so much and I can’t see that changing for some time!
But how does a Revo remap actually do all this? Why is it that Dave seems to be getting improved performance yet no real loss in fuel economy from his Golf GTI since it’s been breathed on by our technicians? Well for starters, you have to understand that when a company like VW write a map for a car, they do so with the whole world in mind. You could run your Golf GTI on anything from the finest premium go-go juice available in a country like Britain to the most dubious stuff you might find in a pump somewhere like rural Kazakhstan. Because of this, they build extra tolerance into their products – meaning that for enthusiasts like us, there’s generally a lot more that can be released from an engine without stressing it – especially if it’s turbocharged. You’ve also got to remember that manufacturers often have to work around their own marketing constraints when speccing an engine for a car – you can’t have your mid-range hot hatch getting too close in power output to your top of the range one now can you?!?
As Dave mentions above, Revo can even provide you with a plug-in box (the SPS) that allows you to adjust the map loaded onto your ECU. This can allow you to switch between different fuel types – e.g., 95 and 98 RON. This means that you can run premium high-octane petrol most of the time and benefit from that, but if you get caught out in the sticks where there’s none available, you can switch back to using the normal lower grade stuff without any risk to your engine. You can even put the car into anti-theft mode or have a rev-limited mode for when it goes into an unfamiliar workshop. For those of you who aren’t overly familiar with how a turbocharger works, we’ve included a brief rundown on this below:
Turbo-fu 101: how does a turbocharger work?
A conventional four stroke, fuel-injected, piston-driven petrol engine requires three things in order to run. It needs fuel (which the injection system delivers), a spark to ignite that fuel (which is made electrically by the spark plug(s) in each cylinder), and air so that the fuel can burn. On a naturally aspirated engine, that air is simply sucked in by the action of the engine itself – because the pistons create a negative pressure in the cylinder when they move downwards. This is the ‘suck’ portion of the four-stroke engine’s ‘suck, squeeze, bang, blow’ cycle.
A turbocharger is a device which uses a turbine to suck more air into an engine than it usually would – increasing its volumetric efficiency. So essentially a turbo is nothing more than a powerful fan! But in order to drive that fan fast enough to be of any use to us, the turbo needs something to make it spin. It gets this from the ‘blow’ portion of the four-stroke cycle – the exhaust gases ejected from the engine after fuel has been burned. These hot gases are expelled at a high-velocity – so by harnessing some of their energy to drive the turbo, engine designers ensure that it can spin extremely fast – with 200,000 rpm being quite normal. This is why those electric ‘superchargers’ you can buy on eBay don’t work. Quite simply, they can’t possibly spin that fast! The action of the turbo spinning is controlled by the engine management system, which ensures that it doesn’t produce too much boost and risk damaging the engine. For this reason a turbocharged engine has a ‘wastegate’ – which can be opened to allow exhaust gases to bypass the turbo.
Because a turbo allows you to increase the amount of air going into the engine, you can add more fuel to the mixture and create larger explosions – thereby driving the pistons down harder. This is how a turbocharged engine can produce so much more power than a normal (naturally aspirated) engine of the same capacity.
A supercharger is similar to a turbo in that it basically just squashes extra air into the engine, but it is driven in a different way. A supercharger takes its drive from a belt and pulley arrangement, rather than being spun by exhaust gases like a turbo. Some engines (like VW’s 1.4 TSI unit) even combine the two types of charger – meaning that they have both a turbo and a supercharger under the bonnet!
But what will a remap do to my fuel economy?
So, we’ve seen above that a turbo works by sucking more air into your engine – allowing more fuel to be injected and a denser explosion to take place. So if you increase that effect with a remap, you’ll get worse fuel economy then, right?
Well, yes and no. If you’re using the engine at maximum boost all the time, then yes – your fuel economy will be worse, simply because more fuel is being injected. But most of the time we don’t use our engines in this way. In your average commute, you’ll be lucky if you get to see full boost even once or twice – and much of your acceleration will be done in top gear anyway if you’re just cruising along the motorway. Because a Revo remap will increase the torque produced by your engine, you’ll find that when you’re not giving it beans, you’ll be able to stay in a higher gear for longer – which of course reduces the rpm that your engine will be operating at for a given speed. This is why so many people find that a remapped engine gives them no loss in, or even improved fuel economy.
The very respectable increase in torque that the 2.0 TFSI in the Mk5 Golf GTI will gain from a Revo remap isn’t an isolated instance either. To underline this, below we’ve compiled a table with a few popular Revo Stage One applications showing the claimed increases in power and torque from a simple stage one remap:
|Application||Stock Power (bhp)||Stock Torque (Nm)||Revo Stage One Claimed Power (bhp)||Revo Stage One Claimed Torque (Nm)|
|VW Golf Mk5 GTI 2.0 TFSI||200||281||255||386|
|VW Scirocco 2.0 TSI (200 bhp)||197*||280*||260||405|
|VW Golf Mk6 2.0 TDI (140 bhp)||138||319||168||390|
|Audi S5 3.0 Supercharged||328||440||411||513|
|Audi TT RS 2.5 Turbo||335||450||410||546|
NOTE: Power is dependant on fuel quality, performance settings and conditions. Performance figures taken in UK from Shell V-Power in UK conditions.
Please click these links for further information about peak power figures and rolling roads.
*Figures taken from parkers.co.uk
More than just remaps!
So, we’ve established that Revo’s range of remaps are pretty much the bee’s knees at this point right? But Revo didn’t stop there! There’s also a full range of tailored hardware options available to ensure that your engine is performing to its fullest. Revo are working together with well-known VW tuners Eurojet to bring a range of tuning parts over to the UK to increase those already impressive performance gains. Check out our range of Eurojet tuning parts over on the main site! Whether you’re after a Eurojet exhaust system or a Eurojet intercooler we can sort you out – and we’re also stocking a range of Revo tuning parts – including uprated air intakes and fuel pump internals (to deal with extra demand). A performance exhaust system is a really effective way of tuning a turbocharged engine – so this could be a useful step two for you unless you’re going for a stealth install! A word of warning first though: whilst Eurojet exhaust systems are designed to increase power, they are a bit noisier than most of the competition. If you’re after something a bit quieter, then check out the rest of our range of performance exhaust systems – including Milltek, Scorpion Exhausts and Akrapovic. These brands all offer some form of resonated system – which will lower noise levels whilst still sounding great.
Well to be honest, the sky’s the limit when it comes to tuning an engine. If you check out our guide on how to increase your bhp you’ll find that Revo and Eurojet have all the basic ‘bolt-on’ mods covered between them. After that … well, things get a bit more expensive! With something like the latest 2.0 TSI VW models, you’ll probably be looking at fitting a larger turbo (the K04) from a Golf R or Audi S3 unless you’ve already got one of those. This will allow you to run big power – and bigger turbos are a common theme throughout turbo tuning in general – because they let you squash even more air in! If you’re after a kit like this then talk to us – as we can source them from Revo.
Finally, one thing you definitely shouldn’t forget about is your car’s handling! Our beginner’s guide on how to improve your car’s handling goes through the basic steps you’ll want to take to keep things on the straight and narrow with all that extra power. Very soon we’ll also be putting up a guide on how to improve your car’s brakes – which is a subject of obvious importance – so watch this space!
So what do you reckon? Will you be paying us a visit for a Revo remap? As we say, Dave certainly doesn’t seem to be regretting his! In fact there’s a few others around the office now talking about getting one just so they can keep up! Until next time – take it easy!