2004 Skoda Fabia vRS from UK and Ireland - Comments

7th Feb 2005, 11:39

How bizarre that not enough drinks holders is a gripe, if I had my way not a single car would have a damn drinks holder, you are supposed to be driving the thing, its not a mobile restaurant and we don't live in the US with 500 mile highways.

14th May 2005, 13:37

You don't need to get it 'remapped' Its fast enough!! Honest. Don't waste your money and risk your warranty!!

27th Jun 2005, 05:42

Much of the deliberation about re-mapping involves engine life questions, but the part everyone seems to forget about, including the re-mappers themselves, is the clutch and transmission. It's all very well generating all this extra grunt, but it has to be put down onto the road.

Because you cannot make a diesel engine rev much higher than 5,000 RPM, the only way to hike power is to dramatically increase torque, which is what all these "re-maps" do. Although most components on any car have a safety margin built in in terms of what they can cope with, can you honestly just bung 43% more torque (as in the example above) through a standard clutch, gearbox and driveshafts and expect them to hold up long term?

BMW don't think so. The new BMW 535d produces only 60 Nm more torque than the 530d (an increase of less than 10%), but this increase caused real problems with transmission choice. The 535d is an auto-only model, simply because none of BMW's manual transmissions were confidently predicted to be able to cope, including the one that reliably handles just 60 NM less in the 530d.

Re-maps to sort out driveability and performance problems imposed by emissions and noise regulations are one thing, but surely if it was that easy to get the stupid power and torque figures mentioned above without something disintegrating, don't you think Skoda / VAG would offer it as a factory option? They don't and have you ever stopped and wondered why not?

23rd Sep 2005, 06:24

160 bhp is not 175 or even 200+ claimed by many of the re-mappers, and I think you'll find a lot of re-engineering has gone on under the skin on the 160PS version. This puts paid to the re-mappers claims that they are simply "using up" the safety margin built into all engines. If this were the case, the 130 and 160 versions would be exactly the same. They are not!

If VAG feel the need to change components to cope with 160 bhp, why do the remappers think 175+ is safe with standard components. The whole thing is short term profiteering and nothing more.

26th Oct 2005, 02:14

A friend of mine works at a VAG dealership, I asked him about remapping a 1.9TDi engine (from 101bhp/240Nm to 130bhp/300Nm). He said: don't do it, the standard clutch isn't able to handle the extra torque. However, the rest of the drive train is, so if you consider reprogramming the ECU, consider a reinforced clutch as well. In The Netherlands you can order engine remapping from the VAG importer through the VAG dealership, it will cost you approx. 1000 Euro and it doesn't void warranty.

But honestly, after a test drive in a Skoda Fabia Combi 1.9 TDi (which I did last Saturday), I'd reckon engine remapping is a stupid investment, because the standard setup has already enough problems to get the power on the road. The loads and loads of torque available at low revs made the front wheels spin even in second gear and subsequent understeer during fast cornering, so more torque will make the car have more understeer! You'd better invest in lowered suspension and ESP (ABS/ASR is standard on the 1.9 TDi), or better, go for a Seat Ibiza Sport. That is the same car, but designed for sporty driving rather than economy.

4th Dec 2005, 13:22

Superchips will guarantee the car themselves if it is still in warranty period, so give them a try. They give a great service too.

www.superchips.co.uk

14th Jan 2006, 07:00

To the guy asking about the PD160 Ibiza and differences between it and the Fabia, the PD160 engine has a front mounted intercooler instead of the Fabia's side mounted intercooler - this allows for more cool air to be pumped into the engine, and will allow it to run stable even when giving it a good thrashing. The side mounted intercooler of the Fabia can overheat (heatsoak) causing a loss of power. This is not usually a problem on a standard car, but on a remapped one, where they change the boost, then it could happen pretty quickly especially in summer.

The PD160 also has better breathing thanks to a fatter air intake pipe. This can be fitted to the Fabia also for around £30, and yields slight improvements.

And of course, the mapping is also different. The PD160 Ibiza is noticably faster than the PD130, the torque level is very similar, however, the PD160 with its better breathing, continues to pull quite hard to the red line because the torque and power does not tail off as rapidly as it does in the vRS.

A remapped Fabia will have roughly similar performance to the Ibiza PD160, however, in a thrash cross country, the Ibiza's bigger intercooler means it won't lose power, and it also has Brembo brakes and different springs and dampers so it also holds the road and stops better than the Fabia.

In reality, to make the Fabia a quicker car than the Ibiza will cost several thousand pounds, which will likely more than make up the difference between the two cars in price, and of course, if you tune the Ibiza, then it will be quicker again, as its also lighter. As such, the Ibiza makes a much better base if you want to tune the cars, although I have to admit, I think the Skoda looks the classier car of the two.

30th Apr 2006, 15:50

I think you'll find the biggest difference between the Ibiza Cupra 160 and the Fabia vRS, is the in fact the turbo!

15th Sep 2006, 04:33

I recently had my vRS re-mapped from 130-170pd, and the difference is amazing. From reading comments regarding engine wear, it does make me think should I have had it done? But as soon as I drive it, the devil on my right shoulder says 'YES, good move'.

I do tend to agree that engines and component's are built to take certain amounts of power, but at the end of the day it's all down to how you drive it. I think people get lured into false sense of security by thinking 'my cars been chipped, it's now invincible!' Drive it hard without looking after it, and potentially things go wrong even on non re-mapped vehicles. Drive it within its means and look after it, and it will look after you.

7th Feb 2007, 14:53

What I want to know is what qualifies the writer to post a review on a car he's only ever driven in a 70 mile test drive? Get a life! And to all the Max-Power brigade talking maths about remapping (YAWN!), why not buy a performance hatch if that's what you want? The vRS isn't designed to be the fastest, it's designed to be an all round warmish/hot hatch - good for a blat, but equally good for the run of the mill stuff. If you want proper performance, buy a bike. If you want to talk figures all day, go get a job as a Maths teacher!