Guide to tuning the 1.8TSi 1.8TFSi 2.0TSI 2.0TFSI engines

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EA888 engine came as a 1.8T and 2.0T. Power ranges from  118 bhp to  299 bhp!

The direct injection is supplemented with port fuel injection to reduce carbon build up issues present on early direct injection engines, and to aid cold starts.

We look at EA888 (1.8TSi 1.8TFSi 2.0TSI 2.0TFSI) tuning and report on the best modifications. Audi EA888s great bases for a tuning project and with a few sensible modified upgrades you can greatly increase your driving fun.

History, Power & Specs of the EA888 Engine

1.8TSi TFSi


  • 118 bhp at 4,000–6,200 rpm; 170 lbft @1,500–3,650rpm
    Audi A4 (B8), SEAT Exeo
  • 158 bhp at 4,500–6,200 rpm; 184 lbft @1,500–4,500 rpm, 122 lbft from 1,000 rpm
    SkodaYeti, SEAT Leon Mk2 (1P)
  • 150 bhp at 4,300–6,200 rpm; 184 lbft @1,500–4,200 rpm, 122 lbft from 1,000 rpm
  • 158 bhp at 4,500–6,200 rpm; 184 lbft @1,500–4,500 rpm
    Audi A4 (B8), Audi A3 Mk2 (8P), Audi TT Mk2 (8J), SEAT Exeo
  • 168 bhp at 4,800–6,200 rpm; 184 lbft @1,750–4,750 rpm
    CPKA, CPRA (from 2014)
    VW USA-Passat B7 (NMS)
  • 168 bhp at 4,800–6,200 rpm; 184 lbft @1,500–4,800 rpm
    Audi A5
  • 168 bhp at 3,800–6,200 rpm; 236 lbft @1,400–3,700 rpm
    Audi A4 (B8) (2012–), Audi A5
  •  177 bhp at 5,100–6,200 rpm; 184 lbft @1,250–5,000 rpm
    CJSA (EA888-Gen3)
    Audi TT (FV/8S) (2014–)


Audi variants have two-stage "valvelift" inlet valve lift variable control


NB: The US market models are different to allow for tight emissions regs and a higher output on the "b" version.

Non-valvelift variants

  • 168 bhp at 4,300–6,000 rpm; (207 lbft) @1,700–5,000 rpm
    VW Tiguan
  • 168 bhp at 4,300–6,200 rpm; (207 lbft) @1,700–4,200 rpm
    Audi Q3, transverse, VW Tiguan
  •  177 bhp at 4,500–6,200 rpm; (207 lbft) @1,700–4,500 rpm
    VW Tiguan
  • 197 bhp at 5,100–6,000 rpm; (207 lbft) @1,800–5,000 rpm
    2009 VW Golf Mk5 GTI (US only), Golf Mk6 GTI (US only), Audi Q3 (US Only), Jetta Mk5,  Jetta Mk6,  Passat B6, CC, Audi A3 (8P)
  • 197 bhp at 5,100–6,000 rpm; (207 lbft) @1,700–5,000 rpm
    Audi A3 Cabriolet, Scirocco, Tiguan,
    Audi TT, Skoda Superb Mk2 (3T), Skoda Octavia
  • 197 bhp at 5,000–6,000 rpm; (207 lbft) @1,800–5,000 rpm
    China market only; VW Golf Mk6 GTI, Tiguan, Magotan (Passat)
  • 208 bhp at 5,000–6,200 rpm; (221 lbft) @1,800–4,900 rpm
    Audi Q3, transverse
  • 208 bhp at 5,300–6,200 rpm; (207 lbft) @1,700–5,200 rpm
    VW Golf Mk6 GTI, VW Scirocco, Tiguan, CC, SEAT Altea Freetrack, Leon FR

Valvelift variants EA888 Gen3

  • 177 bhp at 4,200–6,000 rpm; (236 lbft) @1,500–4,000 rpm
    Audi A4 (B8), Audi Q5, Skoda Kodiaq
  • 208 bhp at 4,300–6,000 rpm; (260 lbft) @1,500–4,200 rpm
    Audi A4 (B8), Audi A5, Audi Q5, SEAT Exeo
  • 208 bhp at 4,300–6,000 rpm; (258 lbft) @1,600–4,200 rpm
    Audi TT Mk2 (8J), transverse
  • 217 bhp at 4,500–6,200 rpm; (258 lbft) @1,500–4,400 rpm
    Audi A3, Skoda Superb, Skoda Octavia RS, VW Tiguan, Golf Vii GTI
  • CULC
    VW Scirocco GTS
  • 221 bhp at 4,500–6,250 rpm; (258 lbft) @1,500–4,500 rpm
    Audi Q5
  • 227 bhp at 4,700–6,200 rpm; (258 lbft) @1,500–4,600 rpm
    VW Golf Vii GTI Performance, etta Vii GLI, Skoda Octavia RS230
  • 241 bhp at 4,700–6,200 rpm; (273 lbft) @1,600–4,300 rpm
    SkodaOctavia RS245
  • 261 bhp at 5,350–6,600 rpm; (258 lbft) @1,750–5,300 rpm
    Volkswagen Golf Vii GTI Clubsport, SEAT Leon Cupra
  • 276 bhp at 5,100–6,500 rpm; (280 lbft) @1,800–5,500 rpm
    SEAT Leon Cupra, Skoda Superb. (Audi S3 and VW Golf Vii R in some markets)
  • 286 bhp at 5,900–6,400 rpm; (258 lbft) @1,700–5,800 rpm
    SEAT Leon Cupra
  • 288 bhp at 5,400 rpm; (280 lbft) @1,800 rpm
    VW Golf Vii R in North America No MPI)
  • 296 bhp at 5,500–6,200 rpm; (280 lbft) @1,800–5,500 rpm
    Audi S3, VW Golf Vii R (Europe), SEAT Leon Cupra
  • 306 bhp; (280 lbft)
    Audi TTS

At the time of writing there were 3 generations of the EA888 engine where the latest had a lower compression ratio, head and valves were upgraded along with the camshaft profile and cooling.

This makes the 3rd gen the tuners choice, although other versions also offer much in the way of gains so let's look at some of the mods we can do for the EA888 engines.

Best 1.8TSi TFSi 2.0T  TSI TFSI tuning mods

The ultimate tuning parts on an engine are in our opinion the ones that give the best power gain for you spend.

We won't be swayed by popular EA888 tuning parts, they need to be cost effective.

Significant gains can be made from cam upgrades. Altering the cam profile alters the intake and exhaust durations on the engine and can dramatically change the power band and power output.

Fast road cams tend to boost the power throughout the rev range on the 1.8TSi TFSi 2.0T  TSI TFSI engines but you may sacrifice a little low end bhp although the high end rpm power will be lifted.

Competition cams, boost the high end rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

On a daily driver should ideally to match your bhp range to your usage of the car.

I'd be surprised if you have found a Motorsport and race cam is a pleasure to live with when driving in heavy traffic. The low end idle will be very lumpy and irregular, so something you would notice on a track when you drive in the upper third of the rpm band, but on roads this is a serious issue and we've heard from lots of drivers lamenting their decision to add an extreme competition cam profile to their engine.

Each engine responds better to more aggressive cam durations so view each engine as unique.

The ECU mapping and fuelling also have a large bearing on the bhp gains you'll hit.

Altering valve durations 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.

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

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

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

The 1.8T TSi/TFSi 2.0T  TSI/TFSIengines are great to work on and thankfully there are quite a few choices of mods and performance parts out there.

ECU mapping allows a tuner to fully realize the full potential of all the parts you've fitted to your EA888.

Getting air into each cylinder is the main goal to any engine modification task.

Headers transmit the air during the suck phase from the filter and allow it to be sucked into the engine and mixed with fuel.

Structure and flow characteristics of the Headers can make a big improvement to fuel delivery on the EA888.

Many mass produced engine intake headers are ripe for aftermarket tuning parts, although a few car makers provide reasonably well designed intake headers.

Adding a EA888 larger valve kit, carrying out port matching and head flowing will also raise performance, and more importantly will make space for an improved performance increase on other upgrades.

1.8T TSi-TFSi 2.0T  TSI-TFSI Turbo upgrades

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.

When a car has forced induction upgrades are giving better power gains and you'll see that turbo engines will have more solid components.

There are weak spots for every engine, with some being incredibly solid and some only just able to handle stock power

Discover these restrictions and install better pistons and crank to utilize the power.

You'll gain around 59bhp with a remap alone on the EA888, depending on which version you have.

A remap and exhaust upgrades can push power gains to around 90hp on most EA888 blocks.

(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 NASP engines, but you mileage will vary depending on the parts you've done and the condition of your engine.

KO4 turbo upgrades work quite well although you'll need to revise the casing to fit the EA888, this should see you to around 360hp.

We have seen the following kits used to good effect.

  • TTE420
  • TTE480
  • EFR7164

It's not unheard of mechanics spending a loads of money on turbocharger upgrades on the EA888 only to experience the car throw a rod when it's been completed.

Large upgraded turbo units will usually experience low end lag, and smaller turbo units spool up more quickly but do not have the peak rpm power band gains.

The IHI turbo fitted is pretty good, and with just a remap yields decent power gains.

We are pleased that the world of turbos is always developing and we now see variable vane turbos, permitting the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp.

Twin scroll turbos divert the exhaust gases into two channels and flow these at differently angled vanes in the turbo charger. They also boost the scavenging effect of the engine.

You'll commonly see there is a restriction in the air flow sensor AFM/MAP on these engines when a lot more air is being sucked into the engine.

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

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


You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so should ramp up the fuelling when you start extending past 20% of a performance increase. It makes sense to be generous with your injectors flow rate.

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.

Although high performance TFSi injectors are rare, we have discovered that GM LNF 2 Ecotoec 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.

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.

On the EA888 you have supplementary port injected fuel and with some clever ECU mods you can uprate these and use this to top up the capacity.

Upgraded port injectors are available as a kit, and can help you with projects where you are aiming for the 700bhp mark.

As a rule of thumb add 20% capacity when buying an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and affords some spare capacity should the engine require more fuel.

EA888 Exhaust

You should look to increase your exhaust bore size if the current exhaust is actually creating a restriction or at the very least at a sports catalyst.

On most factory exhausts you'll see that they 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.

Sports exhausts can help increase the flow of gases through the engine.

But if the exhaust pipe is too big, ie: it's over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose much of the exhaust flow rate and end up sapping power and torque.

Typically exhaust restrictions are traced to the catalyst installed, so adding a freer flowing high performance aftermarket one will improve air flow, and rather than doing an illegal decat, will keep the car road legal.

Weak spots Issues & problem areas on the EA888

The EA888 engines are generally reliable and solid units, as long as you follow the manufacturers service schedules, and use a good quality oilthey 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.

Pre 2015 engines were prone to experience early turbocharger failure:
The 280 and 300ps (typically as seen on the CJXB, CJXC) turbocharger shafts have been prone to break due to excessive play, and also there is an issue where the manifold seals can fail. This issue appears to be fixed on later 2015 onwards models.

On the Golf R and GTi 2007 we have reports of thermostat housings which have leak issues, the Aluminum replacements seems to be much more resilient than the OEM plastic originals.

Regular oil changes are vital on the EA888, 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 Audi engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss EA888 tuning options in more detail with our EA888 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Audi tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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Your Constructive comments on this article

One Response to “1.8TSi/TFSi 2.0TSI/TFSI EA888 Tuning”

  1. ashley david hendy says:

    good article
    just the stock cupra 300 turbo chargers have weak shafts don’t spool too quick or they snap
    looking for the upgrade turbo as been through three new shafts same problems

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