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The VW Polo GTI 1.8l Gen 3 is a potent little package from the factory. According to VW, the polo produces 141kw at the engine. On CV Performance rolling road dyno it managed a maximum of 115kw at the wheels, with the stock mapping. With a custom Stage1 tune power rose to 153kw. But that was with the stock IS12 turbo. Power was not enough for this owner.

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Good news is the IS12, IS20 and IS38 turbos are interchangeable. The Polo can receive the IS20 and IS38 as direct bolt-on upgrades to its stock unit. You get to keep your downpipe, your intake kit, your oil and water lines, your electric wastegate and blowoff valve exactly as was before.

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This is why the factory turbo was replaced with an IS20 from a VW Golf 7 GTi.  This recipe was tested extensively on the Seat Leon 5F 1.8 TSI with an IS20 by MaxTuning, which uses the same engine setup and then the know-how was used on the Polo GTI.
The Polo  Hitech mufflers and downpipe. The rear exhaust was left standard and the intake kit stock, apart from a K&N panel filter. The intercooler was also upgraded with a larger unit, which was absolutely necessary because the stock one is small and heat soaks very easily even with a Stage1 ECU remap.

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On visual appearance the car looks completely standard.
With our custom calibration on the IS20 maximum power rose to 201kw at the wheels. Torque has been restricted to be DSG friendly.
This is one seriously quick car!

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Upgrade specifications

  • 98RON fuel
  • IS20 turbo from VW Golf 7 GTI, replacing the stock IS12 turbo
  • Upgraded downpipe
  • Upgraded intercooler
  • Etuners custom Stage3 ECU remap for IS20 on cars equipped with a DSG gearbox

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Performance results

  • Maximum power at the wheels: 201 kW (measured stock as 115kW), gains 85kW

Many thanks to cousin Keff @ CVPerformance!

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2 Comments

  • Osmar Perez Posted June 14, 2019 4:13 am

    Is It dq200?

    • Stelios Alexandrakis Posted June 16, 2019 11:02 am

      Yes, that is correct. It is a DQ200 DSG7 MQB

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