We didn’t mention it at the time, because we didn’t want to send you into a fit of envy, but during our visit to Revo Technik’s British HQ last year, we didn’t only drive the 350hp stage 2 conversion for the VW Golf R that appeared in et 3/11...
In addition, we got to play with some other VW toys, including a stage 1 Revo Mk6 GTI and a stage 2 Scirocco.
We know many US enthusiasts are upset that VW of America chose not to sell the latest Mk3 Scirocco in North America. No matter what their penny-pinching reasoning might be, why should we be deprived of perhaps the coolest coupe to emerge from Wolfsburg since the Corrado?
The reasons we were given for its absence were that VW predicted poor sales performance and were afraid it would attract GTI customers, weakening GTI sales rather than adding to the company’s bottom line. Naturally, we disagreed voraciously but the outcome remained the same.
While we’d seen the Scirocco in the flesh, we never had the chance to drive one until our visit to Revo Technik. The company wanted to demonstrate its latest 2.0TSI software and provided cars with both a stage 1 and 2 tune for us to sample.
The stage 1 GTI was a great car but it became the redheaded stepchild in the company of the stage 2 Scirocco.
The latest 2.0TSI engines have been causing the software developers a few problems. The switch from the earlier FSI engines incorporated more stringent security measures to prevent companies accessing the software. However, it was only a matter of time before the code was cracked, and Revo’s lab coats were the first to do so. They apparently celebrated with an extra 30min on World of Warcraft
The first stage of Revo tuning involves software alone to increase power, torque and engine responsiveness. They also try to maximize fuel economy wherever possible and we’ve certainly experienced an improvement in economy with software in the past.
For the 2.0TSI engine, Revo is claiming gains of 35-45hp as well as 80-90 lb-ft of torque. Using the equivalent of 93-octane pump gas, the increase is instantly noticeable on the road. That glut of torque in the mid-range makes acceleration absurdly fast. In fact, we were astonished to see the performance figures spat out by the VBox timing equipment we were using.
While VW claims 0-60mph in 6.8sec for the stock Mk6 GTI, we saw a best of 5.71sec on a notoriously slick surface. Having tested here numerous times, performance figures are always poor, so goodness knows how the GTI would perform on a prepared drag strip. The new XDS electronic diff really comes into its own here to aid traction.
As you’d expect from stage 1 software, we couldn’t find any pitfalls, and the $499 purchase price seems like a small price to pay for this level of performance.
Contact Revo directly or visit the website to find you nearest US dealer to have the software uploaded via the OBD port directly into your ECU.
The stage 2 software was tuned to exploit additional engine mods like an exhaust, intake and intercooler, as well as either a sports cat or no cats at all. The company claims you typically see another 10-15% on top of the stage 1 gains, but this can depend on the hardware you use.
The software is also able to eliminate the Check Engine Light associated with a cat delete if you take that path, and the Scirocco 2.0T we sampled had a 3" turbo-back system from Milltek with a sports cat. It also boasted an ITG intake ( see separate panel) to fully exploit Revo’s more aggressive software.
With the European version boasting 210hp in stock form, this car was now delivering close to 265hp and around 310 lb-ft. As such, it would give a stock Golf R a run for its money.
The power delivery was progressive and superbly flexible. No matter what gear, the extra torque would pull you out of the hole with terrific gusto. However, it was most surprising when you ran it through the gears because it pulled so hard and revved cleanly through to redline. We definitely wanted a higher rev limit to continue enjoying the power for longer.
While the stage 1 GTI was loads of fun to drive, the stage 2 Scirocco had a greater sense of menace. The lower roofline and longer hood makes the driving position feel more purposeful. And the frantic acceleration leaves you in little doubt this is a very serious performance car. Furthermore, the mild chassis mods meant it cornered hard but with great composure. We can’t say enough about VW’s latest electronic diff, because it controls the ugly wheelspin and torque steer that plagued many modified GTIs in the past.
This composure is borne out by the phenomenal 5.56sec 60mph sprint we recorded on the same day, which makes it one of the fastest FWD cars we’ve ever experienced.
If you look at the performance table below, you’ll notice the Scirocco started to pull away from the GTI above 60mph, where the additional power and torque could overcome the low-speed traction issues and allow the car to fly. Reaching 100mph in under 14sec is the sort of freeway performance that will put you ahead of the jams every time.
At the back of our minds we’d hoped the Scirocco might be a fidgety, uncomfortable car with a bland character. This would allow us to justify its absence from the US. Sadly, it’s none of these things. It’s the GTI-plus we all imagined it to be. The sporty packaging and gorgeous body are everything we need in the US. Admittedly, it doesn’t have the practicality of a five-door GTI but it will always be the one that got away. The car we were denied.
As you might expect, Revo Technik also offers stage 2+ software for cars with fuel pump and turbo upgrades. However, its DSG transmission software might be more applicable to many of us.
Again, it comes in stage 1 and 2 formats and allows you to hold the selected gear until you decide to change, rather than the software changing for you mid-corner.
The stage 2 DSG software also gives you a choice of 3200, 4000 or 4500rpm for the launch control system, in addition to the enhanced shift maps to suit your set up.
For DSG-equipped GTIs with engine upgrades, this is definitely a modification you should consider if you ever get the chance to drive away from the freeways and city streets.
We don’t want to piss you off further, but look out for our next update from our visit to Revo, which will include a very rare car that’s again never turned a tire on US soil.
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Andy Waterman’s Scirocco 2.0T
Thirty-nine year-old Andy from Oxford in southern England is a huge VW fan. His ’08 Scirocco was among the first to be sold in the UK, such was his eagerness to buy it.
Talking to him, he clearly loves every aspect of the car and it didn’t take long before he started to enhance certain aspects. Under the hood, he has Revo’s latest stage 2 software, along with an ITG cold-air intake and Milltek turbo-back exhaust with ceramic tips.
To cope with the extra power, a Sachs clutch had been fitted, as well as VW R lower subframe mounts and short-shifter.
For the chassis, he fitted KW springs to reduce the ride height plus 18x8 lightweight VW R wheels manufactured by Team Dynamics, fitted with 235/40 R18 Conti CSC3 tires.
The only other additions were an R shift knob and some carbon wrap on the exterior trim for a touch of class.
Thanks to Andy for letting us abuse his Scirocco, and for being brave enough to actually watch it happen. There aren’t many owners with balls that big, but it’s a very impressive package he’s built.
According to Andy, he built it for fast road, and to be driven daily, not for the track or show. It certainly went extremely well and we’re grateful for the loan.