- REVO A3 Savage, Stage 4 2.0 TFSI / REVO A3 TRACK CAR
Revo Technik prove that a regular A3 2.0 TFSI can be taken to Stage 4, to create a reliable and seriously fun track car. Words Davy Lewis. Photography AJ Walker.
Those of you who have been with us from the start, may recall we introduced Revo’s stock looking A3 in our Projects section back in issue 001. The silver, three-door 2.0 TFSI quattro was pretty unremarkable, and looked a bit lost amongst some big-power RS models. But, I had a sneaking suspicion that this humble A3 was going to become something rather special...
the #Revo-Technik always run a fleet of the latest Audis, which are central to their development work (it just so happens they’re also great fun – perks of the job I guess!). But with access to a 550bhp S7, 400bhp S3 saloon, a 470bhp S5, and an SQ5, plus plenty of other cool cars, what on earth made them buy a #2005 A3?
“Whilst all our cars are developed to perform, our demo fleet has always consisted of the latest and greatest Audis. There’s a high value in them and we’ve always been precious about who drives them,” says MD, Mark Yates. “We wanted to build a car all our staff could have a go in; something not so elitist that a wider audience could relate to but, more importantly, something that could showcase the potential of Revo products on what could be classed as an underdog platform.”
It would give them something on which to demonstrate their range of tuning products, and prove that a regular Audi, like an A3 2.0 TFSI, could be tuned to Stage 4 to create a reliable and fun car. An 8P A3 made sense on many levels. For starters they’re a lot cheaper than an S3 – you can pick one up from around £4k as opposed to £10k+ for a decent, early S3. Okay, it makes do with 197bhp compared with the S3’s 261bhp, but with plans to rebuild the engine with a big turbo anyway, that wasn’t an issue. It’s a quattro, so there’s no problem with traction. And there are plenty around. “We always planned to strip it back to a bare shell so we could fit a multi-point roll cage,” says Revo’s Kev Hall, “So luxuries like electric leather seats, Bose audio and the other S3 goodies would’ve been wasted on this car.”
The build itself has taken the best part of a year. That’s mainly because the guys have been so busy taking the company forward – there simply weren’t enough hours in the day to work on the A3, too. But, over the last couple of months, it’s really started to come together. It is however very different to how it began.
The 2005 2.0 TFSI quattro was picked up for around £4,500. It had a decent spec, with leather seats etc, which were soon removed. The engine came out and the stripped out car was sent off to have a full FIA-approved roll cage fitted. The only interior bits left were the main part of the dash and some of the centre console. Everything else had been removed, including the surprisingly heavy sound deadening. The beauty of working in the vibrant #UK #VAG tuning scene was that Revo had no shortage of top line partners to turn to for upgrades.
While the rolling shell was being worked on, the guys got busy with the engine build. Having initially planned to create a blog to show people how to take a stock car like this all the way to Stage 4 or 5, they realised the turbo on the 100k-miler was in poor shape. So they jumped straight to a Stage 3 K04 setup and then on to Stage 4 with the GTX3071.
The engine was rebuilt using forged internals to prepare for its life of hard track use. This would also allow some big boost to be applied without the rods and pistons trying to make a bid for freedom from the block. You can see the detailed spec on the final page of the feature, but the focus has been on creating decent power while maintaining reliability. Keeping the charge temps down was a vital part of this, so the large Revo front mount intercooler plays a pivotal role in things. It reduces inlet temps by up to 35 percent.
For the large GTX3071 to do its job effectively, the exhaust needed upgrading. Scorpion came to the rescue with a 3in turboback system. With the all important downpipe now far less restrictive, the 2.0 TFSI could breath more effectively. The system currently runs two boxes to keep the noise as low as possible to avoid failing any circuit noise tests. A down-turned tailpipe also helps to filter the sound more effectively.
Peak power figures are great and it’s the thing people always get hung up about, but a big peak power figure is largely useless if it’s only accessible in the outer reaches of the powerband. So Revo have developed their Stage 4 software to offer bundles of usable torque throughout the rev range. Being fully in control of everything the engine is capable of doing, lets them get the most out of the car. It may be a track machine, but as it’s road legal and the setup is so flexible, you could still pop to the shops in it – if you really wanted to. As most Revo customers want tuning solutions for their road cars, it had to be this way.
Our man, Adam Walker, road shotgun for some fast laps around Bedford Autodrome and called me straight afterwards to say it’s one of the quickest cars he’s been out in. Considering he spends his time shooting RS6s and the like, often with over 700bhp, this is impressive. Of course part of the reason this thing feels so rapid is the no compromise way it does its job. You can hammer it into a turn, braking incredibly late – then turn in and get back on the power to exit in rapid fashion. The grip is immense and you can really feel the g-forces at work as the A3 does its thing. It’s here that you’re glad of the Cobra seats and harnesses, which prevent passengers from eating the dashboard and allow the driver to stay firmly supported through some rapid changes of direction.
Inside, all creature comforts have been removed. But then this was always intended to be an out-and-out track car. As you’d expect, with no sound deadening or trim to insulate you from the vibration and noise, plus those polycarbonate windows, it is quite lively inside – especially when you provoke that 480whp lump! With the glass removed, along with all of the interior trim, I’d estimate that well over 150kg has been saved, although bear in mind a fair amount has also been added with the installation of the multipoint roll cage.
The main part of the dash has been left in tact, although it has been cut to allow the cage to be properly fitted (no dash dodger efforts here!) The centre console now featured a custom panel which houses a smattering of gauges from Demon Tweeks. These include essential engine health monitors such as EGT, air fuel ratio and oil temp.
A competent chassis is a basic prerequisite for any track car. You can have all the power in the world, but if you can’t use it effectively because the brakes, suspension and tyres aren’t up to the job, then it’s pointless.
The Bilstein Clubsport coilovers provide a multitude of adjustability for both bump and rebound (as well as height of course) to get the perfect set up for track. For a car with less weight and the possibility of running slicks at some stage, the Clubsports allow all of these variables to be taken into consideration. With adjustable top mounts, the camber can also be fine tuned to get the front end dialled in. Some negative camber is key to this A3’s keen turn in which also offers staggering levels of grip. This is due in part to the Wavetrack differential which helps to maintain traction, even in the tight turns. Eibach provided uprated anti-roll bars front and rear, which really do come into their own on track. This thing has practically no pitch or body roll, thanks to this highly effective set up. The next chassis upgrade was a set of Powerflex Black Series poly bushes. On a ten year old car, the stock bushes are bound to be past their best, leading to play in suspension and steering components. The Black Series kit has been developed for track and firms everything up. This gives a very tight and direct feel to the handling.
When it came to the outside, Revo wanted a more aggressive look – but it had to be functional. The RS3-style front bumper certainly does the trick, and together with the honeycomb grille also helps airflow to the engine. With Revo’s own light weight 8x19in RV019 wheels fitted, the front arches would have needed some work, plus the RS3-style front bumper was designed to fit wide arches, so a set of fatter arches were also added. The car is essentially finished now. All that’s left to do is find some time and decent weather to go and lay down some performance times.
Of course, you don’t have to go to the extent that Revo has with their stunning creation. You could use some of the upgrades to create a highly competent and fun road car that can also be used for the odd track thrash. And with A3 2.0 TFSIs starting at around £3k, building an S3-beater needn’t brake the bank either. Just go and see team Revo...
SPECIFICATION #Audi-A3-2.0TFSI-Quattro / #2005 / #Audi-A3 / #Audi / #Audi-A3 / #Garrett / #Audi-A3-8P / #Quattro / #Audi-A3-2.0TFSI-Quattro-8P / #REVO-A3-Savage / #Revo /
Engine 2.0 TFSI, #Garrett-GTX3071R , #Revo built engine using #Carrillo rods and pistons, #Scorpion turbo-back exhaust with down turned tailpipe, Revo Intake kit, Revo runner flap delete kit, #HPFP and upgraded RS4 injectors, TT RS low pressure fuel pump, TT RS fuel pump ECU, Revo catch can kit, Revo boost tap kit, Revo throttle pipe, Revo engine mounts, #Forge-Motorsport silicone hose kit, Revo FMIC, #NGK Spark plugs BKR8EIX, AEM water/meth injection.
Power 480-485bhp (at the wheels) and 550-580Nm
Suspension #Bilstein Clubsport coilovers, #Eibach ARBs front and rear, Powerflex Black Series bushes, Wavetrack LSD, uprated clutch and flywheel.
Brakes Revo/Alcon big brake kit Wheels and Tyres Revo RV019 alloys in gloss black with Dunlop Sportmaxx.
Interior Fully stripped out, including sound deadening, with only top of dash remaining, Custom Cages FIA/MSA-spec welded-in roll cage, bespoke Cobra Suzuka Pro GT seats, bespoke Cobra harness and pad kit, flocked door cards with red door pulls, gauges (boost/EGT/OT/AFR) in custom flocked panel, fire extinguisher kit, Sparco steering wheel, battery, DV+ supplied by #Demon-Tweeks , AEM water meth kit.
Exterior RS3 style front bumper and grille, RS3 style rear bumper with gloss black rear diffuser, Plastics4Performance polycarbonate side and rear windows, custom gloss red wrap with Revo graphics, black Audi rings, Revo badge, rear wiper delete, gloss black rear spoiler.
Thanks Revo’s master tech/racecar engineer Kev Brown for building the beast. Our partners/suppliers: Bilstein, Cobra, Demontweeks, Dunlop, Eibach, Forge, Meguiars, Powerflex, Scorpion, Wavetrack and special thanks to Revo MD Mark Yates for instigating the project and driving it with his enthusiasm and wealth of motorsport knowledge.
Top Revo’s Paul Farenden was test pilot for the shoot.
Top: Only the dash remains inside Above right: Cobra seats and harnesses with Revo branding Facing page: The 2.0 TFSI is running Stage 4 and over 480bhp at the wheels.
Facing page top Revo RV019 wheels and big brakes Left: Fully committed on track at Bedford Above: Final checks before the track session Above right: The FIA multi-point roll cage.
Top: The Revo A3 is a monster on track.
Huge thanks to Bedford Autodrome, Motorsport Vision and also MSV Trackdays for allowing us to shoot the A3 at one of their events. If you haven’t been, Bedford is a fantastic venue with a huge amount of run off, allowing you to really push your car to the limit. MSV Trackdays run events at many circuits, which is a great way to spend a day. Head to www.msvt.co.uk.