Skoda Laura TSI – Turbo Power


 

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I got my first taste of Turbo torque blood in India with the 2007 Octavia VRS. After shitloads of work, blood, sweat and tears to fix the stage 2 setup and then building, racing, dragging, breaking, fixing, and repeating it was time to move on to its evolved sibling, the 2011 Laura 1.8 TSI (or the Octavia MK2 facelift edition as it’s known globally).

I got the keys for this 2011 model year, 45k km driven, beige coffee machine from its erstwhile lady doctor owner, and promptly headed towards a good friend, guide and our second home – Autopsyche.

I wanted to take a different approach towards building the Laura. Having learnt from the sequential mistakes of upgrading up the Octy, my focus was on enhancing the handling and braking of the machine first, have a few dry runs at the BIC track, add then add more power to see the difference. First pit stop, in came the Falken 17″ 245/45s with Merc C class sport lightweight alloys, 5mm H&R spacers, H&R lowering springs and Brembo brake pads. No stance, no life! Oh yes, forgot the diesel geek short shifter which made a huge difference in making my shifts shorter and more direct!

First track day with her on the stock map and bigger tyres, I wasn’t able to cross 157 km/h on the back straight and was braking way too early with the new brakes. My lines were far from perfect also. Best lap time was 2 mins 55 seconds, which means the car was getting the better of me.

2nd pit stop – the Forge BOV for holding better boost and the divine ‘phisss phisss’ of a turbo car. Boost response improved quite a bit as the factory bypass valve seemed to be leaking after so much use. Then we added Bilstein B6 shocks to couple with the lowering springs for improved handling and steering response. A Stage 2 remap with a custom FFE turbo exhaust was next on the cards but alas, life throws different corners and I got a wonderful work opportunity in Bangalore. Hell yes! That meant a road trip from Noida and I could stop over in Mumbai and get a Revo stage 2 and the exhaust system. Surprisingly, Revo apparently did not have a Stage 2 for my TSI and I had to settle for a Stage 1 map with a Magnaflow turbo exhaust and a standard K&N intake.

But living in the land of mods – Bangalore and never content till I get the last iota of horsepower, I’ve just gone for a Code 6 stage 2 map (230 hp at crank) and an APR Carbonio intake. And God willing and bonus(es) permitting, I should also have a bigger intercooler and some cool looking Skoda accessories by the end of this year.

I look forward to seeing how she does at the Coimbatore track soon!

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