Revo Stage 3 Upgrade



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Revo Stage 3 For the Cupra 280


Revo quote power from 444 to 503 bhp dependant on Fuel and conditions.

Torque from 485 to 535 nm dependant on Fuel and conditions.


The general consensus is the higher the number the better, numbers sell. A 300hp car sounds much better than a 280hp car! But in reality, what can you tell by these numbers?

Peak figures

First of all quoted power and torque numbers are peak figures, they are the highest seen figures on a power or torque curve. They tell you what power and torque a vehicle is making on that dyno but those figures are really only useful for bragging rights at the bar with your friends. For a true indication of how a vehicle will feel and where the benefits of tuning can be seen you need to assess the power and torque curves, as they say it’s the ‘power under the curve’ that makes the difference.

In the below example there are three power curves, the purple is stock, the red is Revo and the dashed blue line is hypothetical:

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On paper, the dashed blue line makes the most power as it peaks nearly 10bhp higher, however from 2400rpm through to 6000rpm the red curve makes a lot more power. At 3500rpm the red curve is 50bhp more than the dashed blue curve. On the road, a car running the red curve (with a lower power output) would be a much quicker car. This is a good example of how a peak number can be very deceptive and not tell the full story. You can see the difference in the area under the curves and how much more the red curve has gained throughout the rev range in comparison to the dashed blue curve.

The full story

Whilst an understanding of peak figures and power under the curve is important, it’s just as important to understand that rolling road results can and do vary and aren’t always a true representation of what a car will do in the real world. Rolling road Dyno’s are a fantastic way to measure the power of a vehicle, however, they can also lead to many an unhappy and confused car owner as results can often be misread due to a general lack of understanding of the limitations, drawbacks and also benefits of a rolling road. Here are a few fundamental things you should know about rolling roads:

It is impossible for a rolling road to simulate real-world driving. Rolling roads provide a linear load on the engine and do so with a slow pull from low RPM’s to redline. It can take up to 45 seconds to reach redline. This amount of time and constant load on an engine and turbocharger will inevitably raise intake temperatures well beyond what the real world driving will see. These temperatures will cause the engine to pull back the load values the ECU sees, thus limiting power.

It is very common for a car to have less rolling road performance and yet maintain fantastic power on the street or track. This can be attributed to several factors.

The fan in front of the car is providing a linear flow of air, usually to a small portion of the frontal area of the vehicle, real-world conditions prove airflow is proportionately increased as speed is increased. This isn’t replicated with the airflow on a dyno. Plus, the fans are often pointed at the middle of the vehicle; many intercoolers are placed on the side of the vehicle and receive almost no cooling effect from these fans. This causes the air intake temperature to be well outside of what we will see in the real world. The higher these temperatures are the lower power output will be. The further these values are from the actual road conditions the less accurate the dyno run will be.

Heat-soak occurs in both of the above examples. This is what happens when a car/engine doesn’t get adequate cooling for the given running conditions and the ECU will be forced to adapt to counter the additional heat. When a car suffers badly suffers from heat-soak the ECU will typically go into an EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature) protection mode; lowering the requested load value and increase the amount of fuel to cool things down, this results in the curve tailing off much quicker than expected and a lower than realistic power output.

The majority of rolling roads will load a vehicle up during a power run in a certain way, this can vastly affect how the car ‘behaves’ on the rolling road as the ECUs are load based all requests to the engine are calculated based on the feedback the ECU has from the engine and the load it’s under.

This doesn’t even take into account any potential issues that could be inherent with a car, the amount of heat already in the car before it goes on the dyno, or any inconsistencies between operators and rolling road calibration.

Wheel or Flywheel?

Wheel and flywheel figures can be a source of confusion, and there’s a danger of back-calculating flywheel figures from a chassis dyno. Power at the wheels is more meaningful and fairly accurate so long as the ambient and intake temps are reasonable. Certain rolling roads calculate force applied at the rollers, everything from there on is a mathematical equation and as such don’t necessarily give you accurate figures.

One of the biggest mistakes made is to take a figure given from a Rolling Road as gospel. There are so many varying factors between different rolling roads that can affect the output: calibration, temperature, operator, tyre pressures, etc. that vastly different figures can be seen from one rolling road to the next. Realistically a Rolling road can be a great comparative tool to show differences additional components make, but in the guise of a rolling road ‘shoot-out’ for a one-off reading, they are a waste of time. A figure or power curve only shows what the car is doing on that dyno, on that day in those conditions.

Using a Rolling Road to show the difference between cars or show the increase from software can also be unrealistic without correct preparation. If you have two identical cars running the same quality fuel, tyre pressures, etc. you can still have a variable within the ECU due to differing driving styles and conditions the cars see. One car might have been used much more aggressively than the other and have a much larger correctional factor due to adaptation from excessive heat. This can vastly affect the power output of a vehicle. Something else to be aware of is after programming an ECU the car will take a certain period of driving time to adapt, this period of time is dependent on driving style and conditions.

The peak numbers you get on a rolling road are typically referred to as ‘Pub Talk’ numbers; who has the most power and torque! In reality, the Peak numbers are largely irrelevant; it’s the power/torque throughout the rev range and the power delivery that’s important the peak number gives very little information to how capable a vehicle is or how well it drives. Peak figures don’t give you any indication of drivability or even a true indication of increased performance as they ignore the power/torque curve and can’t tell you how smooth, powerful and efficient the power is delivered. This is what makes a car more drivable and thus more enjoyable.

My quote is WOW it’s an upgrade that keeps on giving and I just love it, There are other more powerful and aggressive mapps out there and some of them are very good but at this power point you are close to stuff going badly wrong and personally I have always found revo to build for longevity and drivability.


I had this done to my car in 2018 and I can get just over 40 mpg when cruising at 70mph on the motorway or 11 mpg when chucking the car round the race track.


In order to get the best out of the EA888 Engine you will need to replace the Turbo


In my case I went with the Revo IS38ETR Upgrade which uses the existing body but modified internals and connections.


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The high-performance Revo IS38ETR offers a significant upgrade over the stock IS38 whilst maintaining the original fitment and compressor and turbine housings. The compressor and turbine housings have been CNC re-profiled to match the larger wheels and stronger shaft, also allowing room for a bespoke heatshield matched to the increased internal diameters. Strength is a key factor to the IS38ETR, a replacement back-plate machined from a billet piece offers a greater resistance to warping. The larger bearing housing has also been upgraded to make room for a specifically designed bearing system, incorporating a reinforced thrust bearing. Precision balanced to levels above the OEM specification reduces vibration to the lowest possible level and improves performance and reliability of the turbocharger.


Having upgraded the Turbo it is very important to improve the flow of fuel, and air into and out off the system to this end I ultimately upgraded the intake system the revo open cone system.


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And on the car engine bay looks like this


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As part of the kit that delivers the cold air to the turbo I replaced the front air scoop with the Revo Carbon Version


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And the kit provides a single piece pipe from the open cone to the Turbo, this improves the flow of air into the turbo and is further enhanced with a machined billet inlet again reducing the interruption to smooth airflow.


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On the other side of the turbo we have a revo turbo muffler delete, this does provide a small amount of extra noise but more importantly provides smooth flow to the output gases.


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Next part of the upgrade process is improved intercooler and pipework


How it works

Main Benefits

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The Revo Intercooler and upgraded pipework improve the cooling and for very hot use there is also a inbuilt Water Meth Bung



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As you can see there is a big difference in the outlet temperatures between the stock and Revo intercoolers which in turn improves performance.



New Revo Intercooler                                                                                                                      old vs new picture.

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And the improved pipework


The benefits of the pipe upgrade is it allows the turbo to run more efficiently, moving a larger volume of air and minimising turbulence.

This increases power and torque, especially in the middle of the rev range as highlighted during controlled Dyno testing.


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Revo Software Features


Cold Start Protection Feature


In simple terms this feature reduces the power of the Turbo until the oil is up to temp and therefore fully protecting the engine.


·     Oil below 50ºC: Boost limited to 50% - The Oil Temp Gauge will not show any temp.

·     Oil between 51ºC and 65ºC: Boost limited to 75% - From memory 50 is the lowest temp that is shown on the oil temp gauge.

·     Oil above 65ºC: Full boost available



Temperature Protection


In high-temperature conditions (rolling road, high ambient temps, and prolonged Vmax use) oil temperatures can climb to an undesirable level. Revo Temperature Protection is an additional safety feature that reduces overall load as the oil temperature hits a set limit. The oil cooler valve opens sooner with Revo Software to ensure earlier cooling of oil. This feature actively monitors exhaust gas temperatures, adapting the requested load (power) to ensure they stay within safe parameters. If EGT's reach a set temperature, then power is automatically reduced until the engine returns to a safe operating temperature.


VAG Coded Speed Limit Removed


All VAG Cars come with a hard coded speed limiter, the stage 3 software removes that limit


RPM Limit has been increased


To get the most out of the EA888 Engine the rev limit has been increased.


And then to add to the Revo engine upgrades


At the time I had the upgrade done this was not on the list of things you needed to do but since then I notice they are now marking this as a required hardware upgrade.


To get the fuel you need in the higher revs a high pressure pump is fitted, this has no impact on the low pressure output that is used to keep the valves clean and based on my own usage does not impact fuel consumption during daily driving, however you do notice the difference when using the power of the engine, there is more fuel provided and burnt thus keeping the power at much higher revs.






Upgraded diverter valve


Another of the corner’s that were cut by VAG when they put the original engine together.




The EA888 engine is using ECU controlled solenoid-type diverter valves. This is a good concept because the valve can react very quickly, and it only opens when it needs to. However, there are some problems. Since they first appeared in 2006, there has been at least 5 different revisions owing to reliability issues. Without going into detail of the revision history, the latest revision C found on the top end VAG cars can still be improved upon. Whilst it is stronger and leaks less than previous revisions, it is still limited by its operating principle – being a direct solenoid operated valve, it can only operate in two states, open or shut. Unfortunately, cars don’t typically operate in two states – your accelerator isn’t a switch, and progressive relief of boost pressure during partial throttle closure is not possible with the factory diverter.

Common OE Problem

The plastic piston-type leaks far more than most people realise (by design, not from wear), and doesn’t always close after a high-boost gear shift.

Additionally, because the factory diverter has a long stroke and weak return spring, its ability to open and close reliably at high boost or in the presence of friction caused by oil gunk is compromised.

The DV+ addresses the factory valve problems with a very simple and elegant solution. Keeping the factory solenoid retains all the benefits of the stock system, and replacing the valve parts with indestructible metal components ensures strength and reliability no matter how much boost you run.

Rather than using the solenoid to directly actuate the valve, it has a “pilot-actuation” system. This means the solenoid controls the air pressure that is used to open and close the piston, so it doesn’t matter how much boost you push through it, the DV+ will open and close reliably without ever exceeding the solenoid’s capability.

This feature also improves on the factory system by opening the valve progressively in response to boost pressure, so it only opens as much as required to get the job done (the factory valve simply opens and shuts, it cannot partially open if boost pressure is low), resulting in better throttle response.


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Fitting video can be found here



3” downpipe with sports cat to flow the gasses out quickly



One word of warning on the Exhaust front, it is very important that you make sure you get a Street exhaust and not a Track one, simply put the Track exhaust are not designed for longevity (as they are only for track use but still meeting legal regulations on emmisions)



SPS (Serial Port Switch)


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SPS+ Software can be downloaded directly from here but only works on Microsoft device


The SPS Switch allows you to switch between different settings (you have multiple maps installed on your ECU.

For stage one you get a stock setting which is great if you are taking car in for service or MOT along with a very handy Anti Theft setting. The Anti Theft setting allows the engine to be started but then turns off the fuel pump so it’s not possible to take the car away.


For Stage 3 the Revo software is switchable between four performance modes.

For stage 3 there is no Stock mode due to stage 3 vehicles not running standard components or Anti-Theft mode.


My car is run on V Power 99 Ron or Tesco Momentum and I use this to increase to 102 ron when not at the track