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2010 VW Golf GTI - Revoked

Driving Revo Technik’s 360hp stage 3 VW GTI with K04 turbo.

By , Photography by Matt Barnes

In winter 2010, we visited the very cold British Midlands in order to experience a number of modified cars from software tuner Revo Technik. Among the highlights were an impressive 330hp stage 2 Golf R (et 3/11) plus a 265hp stage 2 VW Scirocco (et 5/11).

Since then, we returned to England for a crack at several new developments, including its stage 1 2010 Audi S4 (et 12/11) and this stage 3 GTI.

Eagle-eyed readers might recognize this VW as the stage 1 car we drove. However, its silver paint has given way to a “frozen gray” vinyl wrap and it’s received more engine mods.

Chief among these is a K04 turbo upgrade, using the snail from the Audi S3 or TT S with a modified compressor housing to secure the diverter valve.

The stock K03 turbo has an integral DV, whereas the K04 uses an external one. So Revo, like several other tuners, modify the housing to simplify the plumbing and reduce the number of non-standard parts used.

Once installed, Revo flashes its latest stage 3 software. The 2.0TSI ECU was notoriously difficult to crack because of its internal protection, and it doesn’t allow the user-adjustability of the FSI software we tested on our Project A3, yet the company adds its switchable program for European 95-octane, 98 and race fuel. This would be equivalent to 91, 93 and race fuels stateside.

Unlike the earlier FSI cars, however, it doesn’t need bigger injectors or a different fuel pump to run the bigger turbo. So on the 98-octane we were using, the car is said to produce 360hp at the flywheel, thanks in part to the inclusion of Revo’s own cold-air intake that employs an ITG filter. The car also had a Milltek turbo-back exhaust with 100-cell sports cats that sounded menacing and undoubtedly unleashed a stable of ponies.

Throw in a THS intercooler, that uses cast end-tanks and is manufactured for Revo, and this GTI was ready for launch. But before we dropped the clutch we warmed up the 18" Michelin PS3 tires on Racing Dynamic wheels and made sure the Caparo AP six-piston front brakes were ready for action.

Fitted with KW lowering springs plus sway bars front and rear, we were slightly concerned the suspension might not be adequate for this level of power. But our fears were completely unfounded. In fact, the Volkswagen’s chassis was so supple and controlled, we didn’t want to pull over even when the low fuel warning illuminated.

On the airfield perimeter roads that comprise the Bruntingthorpe Proving Grounds in Leicestershire, England, everything about this car was GTI+. It had the same characteristics as a stock GTI but with so much more: the engine pulled like stock but much harder. However, it didn’t have any annoying flatspots in the power delivery or hesitation in the acceleration. It ran hard all day without complaint.

The car also braked and turned like a stock GTI, but with more power and poise. We could hammer on the AP brakes without a hint of fade or judder, then allow the car to settle through the turn before getting back hard on the power.

If there was one flaw, it was that we didn’t spend enough time in the VW, swapping to the array of other Revo cars available. You can read more about them in future issues but the good news is the tuner plans to bring this stage 3 K04 conversion to the US shortly – it’s currently creating an inventory of parts to be able to offer the upgrade to US owners of the GTI, Audi A3, Jetta GLI and possibly other applications of the 2.0TSI.

Final prices haven’t been established as we write, but we’re told it will be competitive will similar offerings. For what it should cost, I can’t think of many modifications that deliver this level of performance with such value for money. That goes for all the K04 conversions out there, but having driven Revo’s we’re certainly converts to its K04 club.

We honestly believe there are very few cars on the road that could live with this 360hp hatchback, with its great throttle response and a supple chassis, on any canyon road you care to nominate.

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