Guide to performance tuning the 1.8 TFSi and 2.0 TFSi (EA113) engine from VAG

"VAG 2.0TFSi Tuning"

When the 1.8T was retired the VAG engineers developed a direct injection engine offering more power, greater economy and emissions figures and produced the 2.0 TFSi or EA113.

The EA113 was later replaced with the EA888 engine which came as a 1.8 or 2.0 liter version.

The direct injection allows the engine to run higher compression, and adds greatly to the efficiency and design of the block.

We see factory power outputs ranging from 197bhp to 265bhp with the S3 and TT getting the more powerful versions.

The engine was managed by the proven Bosch Motronic MED 9.1 ECU

We provide a guide to EA113 tuning and show the ultimate upgrades. VAG EA113s really good project cars and with a few sensible motorsport enhancements you can maximise your driving pleasure.

History, Power & Specs of the 1.8 TFSi / 2.0 TFSi EA113 Engine

The EA113 was not retired when the later EA888 came out, which can make things quite confusing. Here are the main differences between the two engines, both had their pros and cons, and neither were completely without faults and issues.

Differences between the EA113 and EA888

  • EA113 had motorised flaps on the manifold flaps EA888 uses a vacuum operated intake system.
  • EA113 MAF & airbox were different designs
  • EA113 had different coils to the EA888
  • EA113 boasts  VCP variable cam phasing on intake only EA888 had this on intake and exhaust
  • EA113 was belt driven, with a chain between the exhaust and inlet camshafts the EA888 uses a chain throughout.
  • EA113 had an alloy sump wheras the EA888 sports a plastic lighter but more fragile sump.
  • EA113 uses a tappet setup on the high pressure fuel pump EA888 utilized a roller follower for this.

The 2.0TFsi used a BorgWarner K03 turbocharger (this was upgraded to a K04 on 227bhp versions upwards and makes a logical upgrade path for the KO3 engines)

  • 168 bhp at 4,300 rpm; 280nm 207 lbft at 1,800–4,200 rpm
    Audi A6 [C6], VW Tiguan
  • 182 bhp at 6,000 rpm; 270nm 199 lbft at 1,800–5,000 rpm
    2005 SEAT León
  • 197 bhp at 5,100–6,000 rpm; 280nm 207 lbft at 1,700–5,000 rpm
    AXX, BWA, BWE, BPY [North America]
    Audi A4 [B7], Audi A3 [8P], 2006 Audi TT, VW Passat [B6], VW Golf Mk5 GTI, VW Jetta Mk5 GLI, SEAT León FR Mk2, SEAT Altea, SEAT Toledo Mk3, SEAT Exeo, Škoda Octavia [1Z] vRS
  • 217 bhp at 5,900 rpm; 300nm 221 lbft at 2,200–4,800 rpm
    2005 Audi A4 [B7] DTM Edition
  • 217 bhp at 4,500–6,300 rpm; 350nm 258 lbft at 2,500–4,400 rpm
    Volkswagen Polo R WRC
  • 227 bhp at 5,500 rpm; 300nm 221 lbft at 2,250–5,200 rpm
    VW Golf Mk5 GTI Edition 30, Pirelli Edition
  • 232 bhp at 5,500 rpm; 300nm 221 lbft at 2,200–5,200 rpm
    Volkswagen Golf MKVI GTI Edition 35
  • 237 bhp at 6,000 rpm; 300nm 221 lbft at 2,200–5,500 rpm
    SEAT León Cupra, SEAT León Cupra Mk2 facelift
  • 252 bhp at 6,000 rpm; 330nm 243 lbft at 2,400–5,200 rpm
    Audi S3 [8P], Golf R [Australia, Japan, Middle-East and North America]
  • 261 bhp at 6,000 rpm; 350nm 258 lbft at 2,500–5,000 rpm
    Audi S3 [8P]
  • 261 bhp at 6,000 rpm; 350nm 258 lbft at 2,500–5,000 rpm
    Scirocco R
  • 261 bhp at 6,000 rpm; 350nm 258 lbft at 2,300–5,200 rpm
    Audi S3 [8P], Audi TTS, SEAT León Cupra R Mk2 facelift, VW Scirocco R
  • 267 bhp at 6,000 rpm; 350nm 258 lbft at 2,500–5,000 rpm
    Golf R [Europe]
  • 268 bhp at 6,000 rpm; 350nm 258 lbft at 2,500–5,000 rpm
    Audi TTS [Europe]

Best tuning mods on the 1.8 TFSi and 2.0 TFSi EA113

The ultimate parts on an engine are in our opinion the ones that give the best value for money.

We won't be swayed by popular EA113 parts, they need to be cost effective.

Altering your EA113 camshaft will make a dramatic difference to the engine engines power. Choosing a higher performance camshaft profile raises the engines power accordingly.

Fast road camshafts usually raise the bhp and torque through the rpm band, you might lose a little low down power but the top end will be higher.

Motorsport and race camshafts, raise the top end band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

In a car used daily you need to match your engines power to your cars usage.

I'd be surprised if anyone has found a Competition cam to be a pleasure to live with when on the daily commute so stick with a mild fast road cam.

Different series 1.8 TFSi and 2.0 TFSi engines respond better to extreme cam durations so view each engine as unique, do your research and then build your project.

The engine timing and fuelling also have an effect on the bhp gains you'll get.

A longer valve duration can alter the bhp band and on most engines the exhaust and intake durations do not need to match, although most cams and tuners use matched pairs there are some advantages to extending the intake or exhaust durations.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your car. Be sure to keep up with our latest YouTube content and subscribe.

Best Engine Mods for your 1.8 & 2.0 TFSi EA113

  1. Engine Tunes - engine tuning/remapping provides the most advantage in terms of cost savings, significant gains are possible but note the turbos safe limits.
  2. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they're doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
  3. Intake and Exhaust - Note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction.
  4. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - forced induction is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. It is one of the most costly upgrades but provides the best gains.
  5. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence

Stages of Tune on the TFSi

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Sports exhaust header/manifold, Fast road camshaft, Intake manifolds, drilled & smoothed airbox, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Panel air filters.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: fuel pump upgrades, Ported and polished head, induction kit, high flow fuel injectors, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, Fast road cam.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Engine balancing & blueprinting, Twin charging conversions, Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves), Competition cam.

The EA113 engines respond well to mods and we see that there are quite a few choices of upgrades and tuning parts about.

Remaps allow a tuner to release the full potential of all the tuning parts you've fitted to your 1.8 TFSi and 2.0 TFSi so it is best to leave the tune/remap as the last mod you do on your EA113 engine.

A tune/remap alone will push the 200bhp or 220bhp to around 240bhp and although an uprated diverter valve is recommended it

Remaps make quite a difference to your Quarter mile times.

We are assuming a 1400kgs kerb weight, & Manual transmission

Base power Quarter
Tuned to Kerb
115hp 18.27 140hp 1400kg 17.50
140hp 17.15 175hp 1400kg 15.95
150hp 16.77 225hp 1400kg 14.71
170hp 16.10 250hp 1400kg 14.22
270hp 1400kg 13.87

Larger gains will generally require a new turbo and other mods, but even tunes or remaps on the modestly powered EA113 engines can make a big difference to your quarter mile times.

(In some cases, as the factory ECU is locked flashing is not an option, so an aftermarket ECU is the route to take, and many of these will outperform factory ECU's but make sure it has knock protection and that you get it setup properly.)

It will usually give you around 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and 15% on NA (naturally aspirated) engines, but you mileage will vary depending on the tuning parts you've done and the condition of your engine.

It is the whole point to any car tuning job to feed more fuel and air into each cylinder

Air Intake manifolds flow the air from the air cleaner and allow it to be pulled into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

The size of bore and shape and rate of flow of the Air Intake manifolds can make a noticeable effect on to fuel delivery on the 1.8 TFSi and 2.0 TFSi.

Many mass produced engine plenum chambers are needing performance upgrades, although some OEM provide fairly well optimized plenum chambers.

Big valve conversions on the EA113, doing some EA113 port enlargement and head flowing will also boost bhp, & importantly will give you a greater bhp increase on other parts.

1.8 TFSi and 2.0 TFSi Turbo upgrades

Adding the other performance parts you should be able to hit the 280bhp mark and if you uprate the turbo to a KO4 unit you should reach around the 350bhp mark fairly easily. A bigger Garret turbo unit would be required if you want to achieve power figures around the 300-600bhp mark.

The TTE480 is basically a hybrid turbo based on the KO4 with Borg Warner K04-064 internals, also, most ancillary parts also get upgraded, so gives a nice easy power hike and is quite a popular option for most TFsi projects.

The GT45 and GT35 or GTX35 should get you over the 500bhp regions, but look at the power band and lag, the GT45 is quite laggy but does give bigger top end power, so it depends what you are looking for.

The more air to get into an engine, the more fuel it can burn and uprating the induction with a turbocharger upgrade makes massive power gains.

NA (naturally aspirated) engines need quite a lot of work when you add a turbo, so we have a separate guide to help you take into account the pros and cons of going this route on your EA113

However you'll find engines will need better parts at higher power limits

Discover these limitations and fit higher quality components to utilize the power. Generally speaking the 2.0TFSi internals are good for around 350bhp, the con rods are typical weak spots, but there are quality forged parts around for these engines that help you to lift the potential for power.

At 400bhp the cranks bolts typically reach the limits of their strength and we would recommend an ARP bolt is fitted. The main bearing supports are cast so if you want to push power beyond the 500bhp levels we would recommend high strength billet supports made from a quality steel along with a better bearing girdle, the key aim here is to reduce points of friction/wear and heat.

The stock ECU is generally replaced around 400-500bhp and we see many people going for the  Syvecs ECU which takes you to the next level in your TFSi tuning project.

Later engines seemed to have a 23mm piston pin, against the early ones 20mm, so this is a common issue when buying aftermarket upgrades, you must get the correct size. TorqueCars would recommend you replace the con rod and piston in one go affording an opportunity to match these and negating the need for future strip down and rebuilding.

We see many people spending a loads of money on turbo upgrades on the EA113 only to have the car throw a rod on it's first outing after it's been enthusiastically driven.

Large capacity turbo chargers tend to experience a bottom end lag, and small turbo chargers spool up more quickly but won't have the high rpm engines power gains.

the world of turbos is always moving on and we are seeing variable vane turbos, where the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end performance.

Twin scroll turbos divert the exhaust gases into 2 channels and feed these at differently designed vanes in the turbocharger. They also improve the scavenging effect of the engine.

It is common that there is a restriction in the air flow sensor AFM/MAP on these engines when loads more air is being drawn into the engine.

We also recommend you fit an uprated non atmospheric diverter valve for mild tuning and standard cars because the original units were not that reliable.

We see 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting performance at a much lower level.

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large power gains, although more challenging to setup. We have a twincharger power adding guide if you want to read more.

2.0 TFSi intercoolers

The intercoolers get very hot on these and suffer from heat soak, especially after periods of high rpm driving, so upgrading the intercooler for a front mounted unit (which is a pretty fiddly install), or more commonly an S3 intercooler flows well and is better than the stock intercoolers fitted to these and is fairly easy to fit.

Fuelling for the 1.8 TFSi and 2.0 TFSi

The stock TFSi fuel can deliver 440 to 1,600 psi of fuel pressure, which is quite impressive and it means you have plenty of headroom for tuning mods.

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so must increase the fuelling when you start exceeding 20% of a bhp increase.

Although high performance TFSi injectors are rare, we have discovered that GM LNF 2 Ecotec injectors can be made to work well (with a custom wiring harness), give a better flow and help you get around 260bhp.

The cars that come with a KO4 turbo ie: RS4 TTS  S3 etc have better Bosch injectors and are also reportedly able to flow to around 500hp as long as you uprate the fuel rail pressure. The RS4 injector spray pattern is not perfect in this engine but will deliver more fuel, although the RS3 S3's etc have a similar head designs so the spray pattern is spot on.

Any change to the injectors on a TFSi will require a new map to take them into account.

It makes sense to over specify your injector capacity and fuel pump, although this is harder on the direct injection engines, but aftermarket parts makers are catching up.

You can get a port injection kit for the EA113 which will help reduce carbon build up and allow you to make more power so this would be a good upgrade path to take and allows you to reach power figures approaching 700bhp.

For serious power gains on the TFSi you are looking at an uprated fuel pump (the S3 injectors are a good upgrade option on tuned 2.0 TFSi engines

1.8 TFSi and 2.0 TFSi Exhaust

You may need to upgrade your exhaust if the existing exhaust is actually creating a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you'll find the exhaust flow rate quite well even on modest power gains, but when you start pushing up the power levels you will need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Do not go with the biggest exhaust you can source this will reduce the exhaust flow rate - the best for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

Common exhaust restrictions can be traced to the emissions filters installed, so adding a freer flowing sports alternative is the answer. This keeps the car road legal and will flow much better due to it's higher internal surface area and design, so has the added benefit of keeping your car road legal. The alternative decat should be considered an off road only mod, as removing a catalyst is illegal in most territories and regions for road registered cars..

Weak spots Issues & problem areas on the 1.8 TFSi and 2.0 TFSi

The EA113 engines are generally reliable and solid units, as long as you follow the manufacturers service schedules, and use a good quality oil to ensure longevity. Few problems should happen as long as they are regularly serviced and maintained.

Carbon build up in the head, particularly around the valves which will sap power or create flat spots, this is a larger issue on direct injection engines but should be looked out for on all engines. We have tips on removing carbon build up.

Some of our members have had issues with flat spots or glitches after applying mods and upgrades or tuning, this is not usually related to this engines design, so instead see our article on diagnosing flat spots and problems after tuning which should help you get the bottom of this issue.

High oil consumption is virtually expected on these engines but if you are topping up more than 1l per month you have an issue that needs addressing.

We have a separate page that goes into more details on the issues on the 2.0TFSi

Cam follower wear, affecting early models. You'll lose fuel pump pressure and a warning light will come on. Later versions of the EA113 had a redesigned cam lobe.

Carbon build up is an issue, not as bad as on the larger direct injection engines but we would recommend a full clean every 50000 miles or so. BG do an intake clean service at many garages  around the world or people have had a walnut shell blast or various other methods to tidy up the intakes. If you use good fuel and drive it hard (3000rpm is the sweet spot), avoiding short journey you should not have major carbon build up issues until you hit high mileages.

Diverter valves are prone to fail, so get an uprated NON ATMOSPHERIC diverter.

Regular oil changes are vital on the EA113, especially when tuned and will help extend the life and reliability of the engine.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your VAG engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss EA113 tuning options in more detail with our EA113 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased VAG tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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