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Are the engine internals the same in the 2.0-litre turbos from Audi, VW and Skoda?

Asked by Damian

Are the engine internals the same in the 2.0-litre turbos from Audi, VW and Skoda? They all list varying kiloWatt and Newton-metre outputs, so is it just a different turbo boost level? They range from 162kW to 206kW from what appears to be the same engine. If that's the case, how safe are tuning kits to lift the base outputs closer to, or above, the higher output engines?

Answered by CarsGuide

11 Jun 2021 David Morley

You’re right, there’s a lot of commonality between the various engines from Skoda, VW and Audi. There are many examples of engines from these brands that all use the same basic bottom-end (crankshaft and pistons) architecture. And yes, in some cases, the main differentiator is the turbo-boost pressure.

But that doesn’t mean that’s the only difference; differing boost levels require different engine management, so the electronic control of the various engines can be very different. There can also be hardware differences such as the actual turbocharger unit and fuel injectors. That’s why it’s not quite as simple as raising boost pressure to arrive at a higher output. Revising engine management to do this requires somebody who really knows what they’re doing. Even then, a moderately powered version of an engine might not have the oil-cooling or strengthened internals of what appears to be the same engine with a higher output.

The VW-Audi group is not the only manufacturer to take this approach, of course, and many other car-makers use the same strategy of producing a variety of different engine tunes from the one basic unit. It’s a great way of differentiating models within a range and, of course, saving money in terms of research and development.

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