No Smoke No Poke

VR Yes! | Jake’s 264bhp Fabia VRS

30th March 2015 | BY Adam

They say the best things come in small packages and it’s certainly true of many things. The old Nokia 8210 was pretty neat, that was small and those tiny pigs that posh birds keep as pets, they’re pretty badass too.

Last night we went to meet Jake Edginton to shoot his Skoda Fabia VRS, which as you’re probably aware is the smallest of the Skoda line up. But under it’s tiny bonnet lies a number of unexpected goodies, a GTB2260VK turbo from an Audi Q7, a tubular manifold from Darkside Developments and a Quaife diff hidden in the gearbox.

The result is 264bhp and 400lbft of torque, which as you can imagine makes this dinky derv a huge amount of fun.

Jake used to be a technician at Skoda and was looking for a daily hack, so the story goes. Him and a friend liked the look of the Fabia VRS and having driven them at work he knew they were quick enough for his needs. They found two and his friend gave him first pick, so he chose the one with Xenons and the rest is history.

The car was mapped already and made around 180bhp, so the thirst for more power wasn’t immediate. In the early days the Fabia was more of a show pony, sitting on Rotiforms and sporting immaculately polished paintwork. But after a couple of years owning it a Darkside turbo kit popped up for the right money and Jake bit the bullet. At the same time he picked up a gearbox with the Quaife diff already fitted and a Piper straight through exhaust system from another trick Fabia which had gone to join the big car park in the sky.

To keep things at a sensible temperature a front mount intercooler and Mocal 13 row oil cooler joined the party. The additional fuel required comes courtesy of a set of Firad 120% nozzles and after a mapping session with Darkside, the headline figure of 264bhp and 400lbft was reached.

It’s hard to explain how these big power PDs drive unless you’ve had the pleasure of being behind the wheel of one. Obviously diesels aren’t best suited for 0-60 times because usually you’ll need 3rd gear, unlike most petrols. It’s the in gear performance where they really shine and Jake’s Fabia takes 5 seconds to get from 30-70mph. To put that in to context, a Mercedes C32 AMG takes 5.3 seconds and a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VII takes 5.35, so you can see why this little Fabia pisses off a lot of ‘faster’ cars.

Stance is very important to Jake and the ride height is certainly form over function. Dropped on AP coilovers and running 1.5 degrees of negative camber the tyres just kiss the arches with the 17″ XXR 527 wheels poking out enough to make a statement.

An OMP upper strut brace and Forge rear brace maintain the chassis stiffness now that the rear seats have been stripped out to make space for the spare alloy and sub. For now the seats are original, but there’s plans to change them out for something a little more supportive and in keeping with the rest of the car.

Talking to Jake it’s clear that the car has come a long way since it’s days as a show pony, now it’s a car to be driven and enjoyed whatever the weather. There’s a few scuffs here and there, but the silver paintwork still buffs up nicely. The clip on front bumper and Cupra splitter is a nice touch and gives the front end a more aggressive look that it would have had. When tuning these cars there’s a point where the law of diminishing returns comes in to play and that point is usually right after you bolt on a hoofing great turbo. There’s no such thing as investment potential with these cars, the money spent should be looked upon as an investment in your happiness, on which the profit is in smiles per mile.

The conversation turns to other potential tuning options for an already very well specced car. Jake’s bolted on about as much as he can, the next step is to crack the engine open and start getting serious. Valves, pistons, rods, cam, head work…it’s not a job for the feint hearted. But fortune favours the brave and should Jake chose to take that path there’s no reason we couldn’t be featuring the Fabia again next year with it boasting 350bhp and even more torque.

No pressure now, Jake.

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