RE: Skoda Octavia vRS Revo Technik: Driven

RE: Skoda Octavia vRS Revo Technik: Driven

Saturday 13th February 2016

Skoda Octavia vRS Revo Technik: Driven

Heard the one about the sensible family estate car with 410hp? You have now.



"The first thing you're going to say when you drive it is that it needs a differential," said Revo Technik's Paul Farenden as he handed me the keys to the Octavia vRS development car. Actually not the case. The first thing I said was a tad more ... expressive. In fairness to Paul, once I'd calmed down a bit and considered what had just happened my attention did turn to the lack of differential. But let's rewind a bit and talk about what we actually have here.

Since starting out in 2002 Revo Technik has become well know in the tuning industry, predominantly focusing on VW Group and Ford vehicles. Pigeon-holing it as a re-map specialist actually does the firm a disservice, Revo also having considerable know-how in terms of set-up and dynamics too. Which isn't to say they don't have a bit of fun now and then. Like getting a bit Spinal Tap on this Octavia vRS and turning it up to 11.

What started out as a regular Octavia vRS 220 DSG estate now boasts a huge list of upgraded parts. Demonstrating what Revo can do if you have the money and desire to make your sensible family estate car go really, really fast.


Bigger is better
At the heart of all the upgrades is a bigger IS38 turbocharger, pinched straight out of a MK7 VW Golf R. This is combined with all the usual bits of hardware to make it work more efficiently - intakes, exhaust and so on. Tying all this together is Revo's Stage 3 performance software, which is really where the magic happens. Numbers are, as expected, fairly staggering, with 410hp and 380lb ft at your disposal. In an attempt to translate this power into useable performance, Revo has applied a few other bits and bobs to the car, most notably its very nice (and very light) 19-inch wheels shod with Dunlop Sport Maxx RT tyres.

But how does it drive? Well, we quite liked the standard Octavia vRS, so as a road car it was always going to be a capable and quirky starting point... There is however one issue, as accurately noted by Revo and mentioned by me at the start of this article. Being this project started before the vRS 230 (complete with its clever VAQ 'differential') was available, meaning that there is a huge differential-shaped hole in the capabilities of this car. To put that into perspective, Skoda claims the clever diff in the vRS 230 accounts for almost all of the 10-second reduction in 'ring lap time compared to the original vRS 220. And that is with almost half the amount of power to manage compared to the Revo car.


Differential is noticeable
Putting that to one side very few people are likely to go this far when it comes to tuning their Octavia, Golf or S3. Nor will they need to, both because Revo offers a range of baby steps for tuning your car but, perhaps more importantly, because this level of performance in an Octavia is simply unnecessary.

Actually, scrap that. Performance like this is never unnecessary. But you get my point. Every time you get a chance to stretch its legs, the Revo Octavia surprises you with way it piles on speed at supercar rivalling levels. Whilst that sounds like classic forum posturing, it isn't. In testing, this car performs the 100km/h-200km/h sprint in around nine seconds. OK, this is a test that flatters an over-powered front-wheel drive car. But even so that time puts it on a par with a Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera. Yes, it is that fast, and that alone makes it an exciting thing to drive. Incredibly, the chassis handles that power with alarming composure and even the standard ESP and traction control systems manage it surprisingly well. The engine is also helped the whole time by the updated DSG software, which has been mapped to keep the engine in its new-found sweetspot wherever possible. If only it had a differential...


Despite the outrageous performance, and putting aside the significant cost, there isn't actually a downside. Everyday driving is incredibly similar to the standard car, and even fuel economy seems unaffected in regular use. Indeed, Revo is proud of the all-round ability its tuning packages deliver. For example, this car has advanced torque management in first and second gears, the ECO mode still functions for frugal long distance cruising and you can left foot brake should you wish to trim your entry speed into a corner - or make your passengers headbutt the dashboard. Perhaps the most interesting feature is the "cold start protection". In simple terms, this limits the boost available and releases it in stages as the oil temperature comes up to its operating window.

There does remain a worry and a stigma about tuning like this - surely it'll just go pop after a few thousand miles? However at the end of our loan, before the car went back to Revo, I was fishing about in the glove box and stumbled across a little black book. Inside was a list of every one of the 13,000+ miles the car has covered, including who had driven the car and for what purpose. There was line after line of "calibration", "performance testing", "dyno testing" and "track testing". Put simply, Revo knows there will always be those scared that, like a night on the tiles, what seemed fun at the time can leave a nasty and expensive hangover. With thoroughness of that order however, it might just be able to convince a few more of us to take the plunge.


SKODA OCTAVIA VRS Revo Technik
Engine
: 1,984cc 4-cyl turbocharged
Transmission: 6-speed DSG, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 410hp@5,400rpm
Torque (lb ft): 380@2,900 - 4,000rpm
0-62mph: TBC
Top speed: 170mph+
Weight: 1,345kg (hatch), 1,367kg (estate)
Price: VW / Audi / Seat OEM "IS38" Turbo £1,200
Stage 3 Performance software: £958
DSG software: £478
High Flow intake system: £358
Scorpion Exhaust with Revo sport cat £718
Revo RV019 wheels / Dunlop Sport Maxx tyres: £1198
Revo Anti-Roll bar upgrade: £274.80
Revo Spring upgrade: £178.80

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Photos: Chris Teagles]

Author
Discussion

Norfolkandchance

Original Poster:

1,333 posts

130 months

Thursday 11th February 2016
quotequote all
I know it makes me sound petty but I can't stand people saying "differential" or "diff" to mean "limited slip differential". Its already got a differential!

Car looks like a laugh though.

davyvee

146 posts

66 months

Thursday 11th February 2016
quotequote all
150kg lighter than a golf R estate.

Are driveshafts that heavy?

kambites

54,366 posts

152 months

Thursday 11th February 2016
quotequote all
The price doesn't seem bad at all, considering the performance.

kambites

54,366 posts

152 months

Thursday 11th February 2016
quotequote all
Norfolkandchance said:
I know it makes me sound petty but I can't stand people saying "differential" or "diff" to mean "limited slip differential". Its already got a differential!
It's not as bad as "slippery diff" or "slippy diff" which is generally the exact opposite of what people actually mean.

James Drake

2,649 posts

48 months

Thursday 11th February 2016
quotequote all
I actually agree and I wrote the story... But it has become a common term and writing "Limited slip differential" every time is a bit long winded. Equally referencing LSD constantly can give the wrong impression!

Amusingly though yesterday we published a story about doing skids and jumps in a £100k range rover and the first comment was grammar related. Today, we drive 410hp Skoda Estate car and the first comment has a similar theme!
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James Drake

2,649 posts

48 months

Thursday 11th February 2016
quotequote all
kambites said:
It's not as bad as "slippy diff".
Agreed - that really gets on my nerves.

Dafuq

351 posts

101 months

Thursday 11th February 2016
quotequote all
Saweeeeeeeeeeeet Jeeeeeeeesus, that's a great package right there. Car for all moods/occasions. How does it fair on the rally-cross track James?

briang9

1,437 posts

91 months

Thursday 11th February 2016
quotequote all
James Drake said:
Amusingly though yesterday we published a story about doing skids and jumps in a £100k range rover and the first comment was grammar related. Today, we drive 410hp Skoda Estate car and the first comment has a similar theme!
Really sums up what PH has become sadly

J4CKO

24,549 posts

131 months

Thursday 11th February 2016
quotequote all
Wouldnt a Golf R estate plus a remap be a better solution for a fast VAG estate, 410 bhp and 380 lb/ft through the front wheels is pushing it, the Octavia is 25 grand and this lot costs 5 and a bit, you then arrive at 30 ish which is Golf R pricing pretty much and you get 4wd thrown in which realistically, you need with 410 bhp.


Mikeeb

203 posts

49 months

Thursday 11th February 2016
quotequote all
Amazed they didn't go to Quaife to sort out the LSD problem. May not be as clever as the one in the VRS230 that's available now, but miles better than an open one.

James Drake

2,649 posts

48 months

Thursday 11th February 2016
quotequote all
J4CKO said:
Wouldnt a Golf R estate plus a remap be a better solution for a fast VAG estate, 410 bhp and 380 lb/ft through the front wheels is pushing it, the Octavia is 25 grand and this lot costs 5 and a bit, you then arrive at 30 ish which is Golf R pricing pretty much and you get 4wd thrown in which realistically, you need with 410 bhp.
Not an estate, but we've already tested Revo's take on the Golf R http://www.pistonheads.com/road-tests/road-tests/v...

rob.e

2,813 posts

209 months

Thursday 11th February 2016
quotequote all
That's a great package, and given the relatively low starting price of the vRS it's overall not badly priced if you look at say an S4 or similar. Even the chassis and wheel upgrades look sensible and appropriate for the car - so often the tuner cars have a great engine but an overall package ruined by too-low ride height or overly stiff coilovers.

I'd guess that anyone wanting to re-create the Revo car would probably start with a 230 though to get the factory limited slip.

Did PH ask Revo what their position would be if the car was to develop a fault - do Revo offer their own warranty?

Fetchez la vache

5,060 posts

145 months

Thursday 11th February 2016
quotequote all
briang9 said:
James Drake said:
Amusingly though yesterday we published a story about doing skids and jumps in a £100k range rover and the first comment was grammar related. Today, we drive 410hp Skoda Estate car and the first comment has a similar theme!
Really sums up what PH has become sadly
I think there should be a comma after "become" wink

donkmeister

1,042 posts

31 months

Thursday 11th February 2016
quotequote all
Tyre scrub and wherl-hop during cornering will be shocking with that spool they've fitted into the transaxle. Why couldn't they just leave the standard differential in place at least?

I'd suggest the Skoda also needs a bodyshell, in order to improve the looks (am I doing this right?)

James Drake

2,649 posts

48 months

Thursday 11th February 2016
quotequote all
Fetchez la vache said:
briang9 said:
James Drake said:
Amusingly though yesterday we published a story about doing skids and jumps in a £100k range rover and the first comment was grammar related. Today, we drive 410hp Skoda Estate car and the first comment has a similar theme!
Really sums up what PH has become sadly
I think there should be a comma after "become" wink
And that, Sir, is post of the day. Take 1,000 PH points and pat yourself on the back.

JD

skidskid

117 posts

72 months

Thursday 11th February 2016
quotequote all
James Drake said:
I actually agree and I wrote the story... But it has become a common term and writing "Limited slip differential" every time is a bit long winded. Equally referencing LSD constantly can give the wrong impression!

Amusingly though yesterday we published a story about doing skids and jumps in a £100k range rover and the first comment was grammar related. Today, we drive 410hp Skoda Estate car and the first comment has a similar theme!
Its not what PH readers has become, its what PH journalism has become. As a professional writer there is no excuse for bad grammar, PH isnt exactly some random teenagers super wicked blog. If the cars your drive are badly developed you jump all over it, same thing here but for the articles.

Still, not as bad as the pics the other day in the Aston story.

Fr0d

13 posts

85 months

Thursday 11th February 2016
quotequote all
Be nice to see what they could do with the derv 4x4 vRS...

/Dons flame jacket wink

James Drake

2,649 posts

48 months

Thursday 11th February 2016
quotequote all
skidskid said:
Its It's not what PH readers has have become, its it's what PH journalism has become. As a professional writer there is no excuse for bad grammar, PH isnt isn't exactly some random teenagers super wicked blog. If the cars your you drive are badly developed you jump all over it, same thing here but for the articles.

Still, not as bad as the pics the other day in the Aston story.

  • edited, because we're nice like that and no one is perfect.
Point sort of taken. But today's debate isn't really about bad grammar. It's about the acceptance of a colloquial expression.

Can we get back to talking about cars with unholy levels of power now?

Edited by James Drake on Thursday 11th February 12:53

Harry Flashman

12,808 posts

173 months

Thursday 11th February 2016
quotequote all
We will need a sensible car soon, to augment a rather impractical garage. Lady F would like something that doesn't have 2 seats of a fabric roof. Something from VAG group in estate flavour and tuned by Revo could well be it.

I was going to buy an RS4/6 or AMG wagon, as I love fast cars, and I love V8s. But having recently driven some non-performance 4 cylinder rental cars, and having been astounded at how little they use at the pumps, I now like not having mid teens mpg, even if oil is cheap at the moment. (This may seem odd to many - but my car history for the past 10 years includes nothing that doesn't struggle to reach 20mpg...stupid, I know)

And if I can get three quarters of the performance of the V8 Audi/Merc from a Golf R Estate or Skoda VRs wagon, with twice (or better) the fuel economy when not pushing it, at half the price and ru8nning costs, well...


James Drake

2,649 posts

48 months

Thursday 11th February 2016
quotequote all
Harry Flashman said:
We will need a sensible car soon, to augment a rather impractical garage. Lady F would like something that doesn't have 2 seats of a fabric roof. Something from VAG group in estate flavour and tuned by Revo could well be it.

I was going to buy an RS4/6 or AMG wagon, as I love fast cars, and I love V8s. But having recently driven some non-performance 4 cylinder rental cars, and having been astounded at how little they use at the pumps, I now like not having mid teens mpg, even if oil is cheap at the moment. (This may seem odd to many - but my car history for the past 10 years includes nothing that doesn't struggle to reach 20mpg...stupid, I know)

And if I can get three quarters of the performance of the V8 Audi/Merc from a Golf R Estate or Skoda VRs wagon, with twice (or better) the fuel economy when not pushing it, at half the price and ru8nning costs, well...
For reference I did my usual Monday morning commute in the car (Leicester - Twickenham) and averaged 31mpg and I was just driving without taking any notice of the economy (I only checked it when I was stuck in traffic and bored as I neared the office in Twickenham). I'd say that is pretty respectable and on a par with the sort of average I saw from the Golf R I ran for 6 months.

JD