1.4 1.5 TFSi (EA211) Tuning Mods

"Thanks for reading our VAG Group EA211 tuning article."

1.4 TFSi - came with cylinder on demand on some versions, effectively reducing the engine to a 700cc unit for light loads and cruising, and as a result offers phenomenal fuel saving.

My latest A3 has the 1.4 TFSi engine so I'll be regularly updating this with my experiences and tips as things come out.

Transitions between 2 and 4 cylinder are seamless. You can feel a slight vibration and when running on 2 cylinders which is to be expected and it will only cut in around 1400rpm.

The engine is not perfectly smooth and the engine note changes due to the fact only 2 cylinders are actually firing but most drivers will not really notice this.

Even without COD the engine is economical and reliable. However when you open up the cars throttle, it takes off thanks in part to the light weight of the engine and overall turbo, intake and exhaust design.

I have the 150bhp 1.4 TFSi unit in my A3 which replaced a 2.0 TDi and the fuel economy is generally better than I got with the Diesel.

My overall average mpg is 47 and the diesel I had peaked at 48, and this includes lots of short town journeys with a few motorway runs thrown in.

The EA111 was redesigned, and the VAG group produced a Twincharged 1.4 TFSi engine, which went well but had some reliability issues.

After many revisions and tweaks we have the EA211 engine where it lost a lot of weight in the process and the issues surrounding it's forbears are now resolved and fixed and it came with just one single IHI turbocharger.

The block and cylinder head are aluminium, with cast iron liners. The die forged crankshaft and connecting rods chosen increase the stroke to 80mm and reduced the cylinder bore by 2mm allowing the engine to be more torquey and withstand the rigours of forced induction.

It is physically smaller than it's predecessor and weighs a shade over 100kgs, the low weight helps the car feel much more responsive and powerful than it's power figure would indicate.

The EA211 has a Bosh MED17 ECU and uses the fantastic Infineon Tricore processor, allowing much more control over the engine, and analogue inputs have been replaced with digital ones.

Before we begin we should state that most cars fitted with the EA211 engine are front wheel drive so power levels of 250hp or more will cause traction problems. One of our channel viewers putting down 300nm of torque is getting wheelspin in 1st to 4th gears!

We have found the following engine codes for the EA211, please let us know if we've missed any our, or if you spot new ones around.

(*The over 140hp engines had variable timing on exhaust and intake, the lower powered version just had this on the intake. So adding a larger turbo and engine tuning/remapping will still not quite match the power profile of the 140bhp plus engines if you have the lower powered version to start with, you'll need to get the variable exhaust timing working as well. This is why you'll find the turbos from the 150 seem quite laggy on these engines.)

1.0 TFSi

3 cylinder

  • CHYA 59 bhp
  • CHYB 74 bhp
  • CSEB 83 bhp
  • DHSB 114 bhp

4 cylinder engines based on the EA211 engine design.

1.2 TSi TFSi

  • 66 kW 160 Nm
  • 77 kW 105 hp

1.4 TFSi

  • CPVB  122hp*
  • CZTA 150hp North America
  • CHPA 140hp
  • CZDA /CHPB/CZDB 150hp
  • CZEA 150bhp COD

1.5 TFSi

(The 1.5 shares much with the 1.4 but has a new crank design but with a longer stroke, the new fourth generation VAG group direct injection 5 hole spray system was also used.) The 1.5 also used the Atkinson cycle which changes the engine note, for the better in my opinion.

  • 1.5 R4
  • EA211 EVO series 134 bhp
  • DACA 128hp
  • DADA 150hp

Modifications and tuning the 1.0 1.2 1.4 TFSi & 1.5 TFSi EA211

Note that the DSG gearbox has a  torque limit set which generally restricts power to around 180hp. This was intended to protect the gearbox, but around 190hp seems workable on most of these DSG boxes if the car is well maintained.

Please watch our video which covers general tuning on the 1.4 TFSi engines (EA111 EA211 EA221) which will act as an introduction to EA211 tuning. Be sure to keep up with our latest YouTube content and subscribe.

Best Engine Mods for your EA211

  1. Engine Tunes - engine tuning/remapping provides the most advantage in terms of cost savings,  aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  2. Intake and Exhaust - Note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD MUCH POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction. The general benefit seen is a faster turbo spool up and around 10% more power.
  3. Upgrades to turbochargers  - forced induction upgrades via hybrid turbos and turbo swaps 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.
  4. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.
  5. Intercooler upgrades - on the turbo engines a better front mounted intercooler will have a couple of advantages but the water to air cooled setup works pretty well for most drivers.

Tuning stages for the EA211

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Remap,  Lighter flywheel, Sports exhaust, Panel air filter.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Power/Sport clutch, fuel pump upgrades, high flow fuel injector, Ported and polished head.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Upgrading forced induction (Hybrid Turbo, larger Turbo or twin turbo/supercharger), Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Competition cam, Engine balancing.

You need to keep as much low end torque as you can and aim to achieve a long power band rather than a narrow top end power spike.

A decent power target is around 200 to 240 hp, over this will require some pretty serious mods and upgrades thrown in.

ECU flashing should help to fully realize the full potential of all the upgrades you've fitted to your EA211. It will usually give you around 25-30% more power on turbocharged vehicles, but you mileage will vary depending on the upgrades you've done and the condition of your engine.

On a 1.4 TFSi a tune/remap will take power to around 165 to 180hp which is a decent gain, but for larger gains you need to look at turbo upgrades and fuel upgrades.

Clutch upgrades

It is worth noting that the clutch on 125hp can handle up to 310nm as it is mated to the MQ200 gearbox. whereas the 150hp got the stronger MQ250 gearbox and can handle up to 370 nm max.

Fitting a higher rated clutch will more easily handle the power you are putting down, so if pushing the lower powered variants a clutch upgrade to something like the Sachs unit will provide extra headroom 15% to 20%.

Intake upgrades

Forcing more fuel and air into each cylinder is the aim to any performance tuning project and direct injection engines seem pretty well setup and able to cope with decent power increases.

Intake replacement with an induction kit will help in most cases.  The general benefit seen is a faster turbo spool up and around 5-10% more power plus you get that nice intake noise.

The benefits of an induction kit are amplified when you have done other mods, the standard intake can prove quite restrictive at even modest power gains.

It is vital to ensure the induction kit gets a feed of cold air and is shielded from the warm engine bay temperatures. The biggest problem we see with intake mods is that the warm engine bay air is being sucked in and this will compromise the engines performance.

The intake manifolds channel your air during the suck phase from the filter and allow it to be pulled into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

The structure and flow rate of both the intake manifold and the head are factors the tuner should consider on any engine project and the EA211 is no exception. The stock intakes are reasonably well designed but should be upgraded on a tune/remap or larger power hike. If you are physically removing the intake you'll also get a chance to inspect the valves for carbon build up and deal with that accordingly.

The later versions with port injection should not have any carbon build up issues at all.

Increasing the EA211 valve size, carrying out port work and head flowing will also increase bhp, the fantastic side effect is it will afford you raising the bhp increase on other parts you add.

EA211 "Fast Road" Camshafts?

After a remap, you'll probably be wanting to explore a fast road camshafts.

But this I am told is NOT POSSIBLE on the EA211 engine as the cams are pressed in at the factory and require a new engine top with cams preinstalled.

It will be interesting to see if anyone offers a higher performance profile installed in the engine cover but so far I've not found anyone and can't even confirm if it is technically possible.

With the superb variable valve timing offered though you are not missing out on much though.

Fuel upgrades

Don't forget to pay attention to the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty. The stock fuel rail can handle around 200psi which is pretty good but direct injection does require a lot of pressure anyway.

I have heard unverified reports of stock fuel supplying enough for 290hp, but high power builds on these are quite rare, please let me know in the comments what your experiences have been with the power limits for stock fuel pump and injectors.

The high pressure fuel pump needs to be able to flow sufficiently well to support the injectors need for fuel and this requires an adjustment to the mapping.

A water methanol injection kit is an alternative fuel upgrade which will allow  you to run higher boost and advance ignition timing. Expect a potential 10-20% power gain but you'll have another reservoir to keep topped up.

1.4 TFSi & 1.5 TFSi Turbo upgrades

Turbo upgrades are not bountiful as this is quite a new engine but we are seeing some hybrid turbos, using the OEM housing. Mitsubishi internals and a larger turbine will help top end power.

Stock turbo limits on the 1.5TFSi as fitted to the 35 TFSi is around 190hp with the turbo running at around 1.68bars.

The key in choosing a turbo for the EA211 is to get one that flows well at fairly low rpms. The 1.4 engines will not flow as much as a 2.0 for example, making many larger turbos feel quite laggy.

We have had feedback that larger turbos from other similar models can cause lag*, so a hybrid design will be a better option where the size is kept small but focus in on the profile of the turbo internals for better flow.

This applies even with swapping a turbo from the 150 to the 125, where a couple of our readers have suggested hybrid internals in the stock 125 turbo unit.

*This is primarily due to the fact the VVT worked on exhaust and intake on the 150hp variants. The 125 was just on the intake so exhaust flow is not as good and the turbo spool up will suffer when the larger turbo is fitted.

The EA111 originally had  a supercharger to handle the low end power gains, and then the turbo came on stream, so perhaps consider going a similar route on your EA211 engine. Let me know if you've pulled this off and how it works for you.

The LO270P from LOBA is another interesting hybrid turbo designed for the CTHG CAVG and CAVE engines, we are sure a revision will be made for these newer 1.4 TFSI engines. It was based on a CNC machined BorgWarner turbo, offers a larger compressor wheel and is balanced to allow higher RPM and a steady flow.

There is also a turbo unit from Go Tuned which is a hybrid turbocharger and will achieve around 220hp, with supporting mods*, and a larger unit good for around 250hp.

But these are venturing beyond the upper power limits for most factory EA211 engines.

*A tune/remap is required, and we would recommend attention is paid to the intake and exhaust, fuel, and fitting a decent intercooler will pay dividends to your tuning project.

The latter higher power turbo uses 9 higher flowing blades, but there is a little more low end lag than the 12 (6+6 IHI) or 8 blade (Mitsubishi) versions.

Using high octane petrol is another option if you find you are suffering from pinking or premature ignition on your EA211 engine, you'll also get better fuel economy which should make up for the extra cost of the fuel.

To get sufficient fuel you may need to increase the injectors on your engine.  Then uprate the fuel pump to cope with the extra fuel requirements of your tuned EA211's uprated injectors.

Larger upgraded turbos will usually experience a bottom end lag, and little turbos spool up really quickly but do not have the high rpm power band gains.

Thankfully the world of turbos is always developing and we now see variable vane turbos, permitting the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp.

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

More recent VAG group turbos

The most current VAG turbocharger generations are the IHI IS12, IS20, and IS38 turbochargers, which replace the trusty old K03, K03s, and K04 turbochargers.

The IS20 is a practical upper target for most 1.4 1.5 TFSi projects, as they are relatively easy to fit and suit the flow characteristics of the engine. Hybrid IS20 turbo are also available should you wish to push things further.

The IS12 and IS20 have been adapted to function with their 2.0t MQB engines, as opposed to Audi and VW's factory turbos so reverse engineering the mounts is certainly possible for the EA211 units.

Thankfully there are many upgrade options around now for the EA211 depending on your power aims and requirements.

Why the IS38 Turbo is so awesome?

The IS38 turbo is unique since it can potentially produce up to 370 horsepower!

With a simple bolt-on installation (with the proper add-ons) this seems tempting but is not really suitable for all EA211 engines.

Personally I feel the lag you'll get at the low end will compromise your enjoyment of the car with this turbo fitted and as most are in front wheel drive cars the traction problems will prevent you deploying this power..

The IS38 features a high turbo output at higher RPMs, as well as the convenience of installation provided by the bolt-on design of the turbo.

Many hybrid kinds have improved housing and impeller designs, resulting in higher performance statistics.

High-Performance IS12 and IS20 Replacements

Because of their enhanced performance, several EA211 owners have replaced the IS12 with IS20 turbos  or with the newer hybrid turbos. The TTE290  is also a great option and offers a decent power hike.

Is It Necessary to Upgrade Your Turbo?

Many drivers prefer to repair or improve their vehicles' turbochargers because they believe that turbocharger modifications are one of the most effective ways to improve a vehicle's performance.

Turbos degrade with time and must be replaced when they start to wear, a siren noise of whine is your first symptom and we would seek this opportunity to uprate the turbo.

Recent turbos leverage newer technology developments to give car owners additional add-on options, as well as quicker spool up and greater power distribution throughout the RPM range.

EA211 ECU Remapping

A tune/remap can lift power by around 20-30%vYour tune/remap should tie together all your other mods so it is best to tune/remap after the other mods have been fitted otherwise you'll need to tune/remap at each stage of your project.

The need to plan your mods carefully is a case in point here.

Ideally you want peak power to cut in around 2000rpm which is where the factory tune has been compromised for reasons of economy.

Do look at the entire torque band, and not focus on peak power gains. You'll feel a power gain much more in your daily driving under 3500 rpms which is where one should focus their attention.

We must also stress that most turbo failures are related to maps which cause the boost to come on too early.

Turbos need a cool down zone and if they are constantly running boost it will reduce the lifespan of the turbo unit.

The factory Torque band peaks around 4400 to 5700, and this is so much more usable if moved to 2000 to 4400 but your fuel economy will suffer, but who comes on a tuning site looking for better fuel economy? (Ok so there are a few, and with the right map this is possible but Petrol engines are generally well setup for economy, unlike diesel engines where more economy is practically free with extra power.)

It is not unusual that there is a limit in the air flow sensor MAF/MAP on these engines when a lot more air is being sucked into the engine.

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

Intercooler upgrades on the EA211

An intercooler does not increase power; rather, it is one of those modifications that liberates power, so removing a constraint. It will address the engine's capacity to draw air in effectively and provide enough cooling for an extended period of time.

My stock EA211 came with a water to air intercooler, which mounts on the front of the engine. It is possible to convert this to an air to air front mount, or fit an upgraded water cooler instead. Most will focus on the water cooling radiator and water pump.

The upgraded water/oil intercooler with an upgraded electric pump seems to be best way to go on these engines but you have to weight up the merits and gains against the cost involved.

Both options work really well and should help you avoid the typical power loss caused by heat soak.

A more efficient intercooler design may result in a longer resistance to heat absorption and can prevent power losses of around 10%!

Please see our video on the advantages of installing an intercooler in your vehicle.

Engine Mounted Water Intercooler

  • Water intercoolers provide the advantage of a shorter, lighter route from the compressor to the engine and provide effective cooling. As hot air rises from the engine compartment, there will be less cooling, resulting in faster warming.
  • Cons - less cooling as it is attached to a relatively hot engine, and since air must be driven through a front cooling radiator it can cause the engine to run warmer.

Front mounted intercoolers

  • Pros - Provides the greatest cooling due to its orientation relative to the air entering the engine. You normally have more room for an FMIC and it is a single unit without a water pump. They are generally simpler to install.
  • Cons - A longer intake route from the compressor to the engine increases the vehicle's weight. As the EA211 uses a water cooled unit, a conversion is relatively complex.

All turbocharged vehicles will benefit from an intercooler, and the factory-fitted intercoolers may be improved.

Keep in mind that you want to suck as much air into the engine as possible, which means that if the internal core of the intercooler restricts airflow, you will actually lose some power.

In practise, utilising an intercooler that is too big will obstruct airflow, making it critical to choose the optimum size for the application (this is something which can be discussed in more detail in our forum.) Not always is larger better!

EA211 Fuel Upgrades

The stock fuel system on the EA211 is pretty flexible and can reportedly cope with increases of power taking your engine to 300hp before you need to think about upgrades.

If you are aware of fuel upgrades for the EA211 please let me know below in the comments. At the moment I am unaware of any suitable upgrade options.

Problems and issues with the 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.5 TFSi EA211 engines

So far problems and issues are very scarcely reported on these.

Carbon build up thankfully seems to be a serious issue in the past, although it still happens the carbon build up is far more gradual.

The engines warm up really quickly and run with very precise fuelling so there is little scope for carbonized soot to build up until you reach fairly high mileages.

The VAG group, on later engines, are using direct injection and intake injection which helps and these engines do run very very clean. My 2 year old engine has zero soot build up in the exhaust (a good way to tell the internal condition of the engine on these engines.)

Timing belts so far have proved reliable (the previous generation timing chains were prone to snap or stretch) but we'd recommend getting them checked and more often than the official handbook suggests and it's interesting VAG group are claiming a "belt is fitted for the life of the engine".

The 1.5 engines are generally better than the 1.4 they replace but there have been as of yet unresolved reports of hesitancy and flat spots.

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9 Responses to “1.0 1.2 1.4 1.5 TFSi EA211 tuning”

  1. Tomek says:

    Got Ecu remap from MTM m-cantronic in my 2016, 78000 km 1,4 literz CZDA engine. Power gains 180 from 150 and torque 330! from 250. 1000 km later turbo blades went into oil pan. Found somewhere in Mexico’s forums that some of VAG engines are nowhere to be tweaked with mine almost ended with engine swap. Maybe it was factory oil 5w30 (now 5w40) or unbelieveable hot weather last summer when it hapened (40*c, over 100*F) but more likely flaw design of the engine. Stick to factory unless you plan to go stage 3 – hybrid turbo, injectors, clutch and really important gearbox and drive shafts/axles. All are prone to mechanical failures after high torque/heavy load. Btw I drove those 78000km on eco setting (lowered boost psi) doing job trips like 100ksim everyday (60mi). Cheers;)

  2. Wess says:

    Literally just got my 1.4T A4 B9 turbo rebuilt and it had to be converted into a hybrid turbo because the free play (caused by bearings wearing the shaft down) let the impeller scratch a groove into the housing – effectively nullifying aerodynamic efficiency. Seems to me that the MHI turbo has some inherent design issue with the bearings which leads to it breaking down. I was very fortunate that nothing downstream of the turbo was damaged.

  3. Joaquim says:

    I am thinking on remap my 2018 vw Tiguan 1.4 TSI 125 bhp engine CZCA. My idea is to get 150 hp and 184 lbft. The reliability is the most important thing. I am using 98oct petrol. Is it enough reliable this modification in this engine?

  4. Jay H says:

    I got a seat Leon 1.4 TSI 150bhp EA111 Engine and I’m thinking of taking it to stage 2? However I see a lot of negative feedback on doing this, but I want the extra power.

  5. Mikeinho says:

    Beware of a common (and very dangerous) fault on this family of engines. The 4 holding bolts on the high pressure fuel rail were insufficiently torqued at the factory. Over time, the vibration from the injectors snaps the bolt heads, leading to separation of the fuel rail. When this happens, it will create a major fuel leak in the engine bay. Serious risk of fire at worst, and a large repair bill at best. VW North America have recalled over 200,000 cars because of this, but VW Europe are turning a blind eye to the issue. Fix using new fuel rail bolts tightened to the correct torque before failure occurs.

  6. Mike Cherry says:

    I have a few questions about my BW Jetta 1.4tsi it’s a CZTA engine. I live in the USA and I’ve already done exhaust and intake and APR tune but I’m not happy with the power anymore. Do you have any suggestions? I’d like to upgrade the turbo or cam or injectors or anything to gain more power. Please help! Thanks Mike C

  7. Waz- says:

    Hey all. Owner of an A3 1.5 TFSI (2021 Model) with DFYA engine code. Starting to make mods by mid December.
    Current mods is Decat and Stage 2 tunning at 190hp.
    Going to install hybrid turbo by muchboost (ex GoTuned) and see how its going.
    Will keep you updated. Cheers !!

  8. Cristi says:

    I have a Skoda Karoq 1.5TSI 150, DPCA with manual gearbox Mq281-UET.
    I want to fully disable the cylinder deactivation (COD/ACT).
    Any ideea how does it looks the ACT map, or the address location in the ECU firmware?
    Can you please help me with some tuners recomandation that can do the remap?
    Thank you.

  9. jonathan says:

    I’m from Brazil and I have a T-cross 1.4 only with remap and high flow filter that produced 185hp. But here we have a T-cross called T-cross da discordia. that has 310 hp. Follow his Instagram.

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