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Old 18th July 2015, 20:04   #1
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Thumbs up 200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right

(reserved as an Index)

Here's what's documented in the next 8 posts
  • Finding the car
  • Mechanical makeover
  • The VRS makeover
  • The Stage1 tune by TuneOTronics & beating Narain Karthikeyan's VRS lap time on the Chennai track
  • Winning my first Tarmac Autocross
  • Activating various hidden features via VCDS
  • The Stage2 HW upgrade and remap by TuneOTronics
  • Winning my first 2 Drag races in the Laura

Last edited by GTO : 22nd July 2015 at 09:33. Reason: As per PM
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Old 21st July 2015, 18:44   #2
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Default Finding the car


I owned a Skoda Rapid 1.6 TDI Elegance for 3 years, best time of my life, thanks mostly to TuneOTronics & Adiga Automotives.

In case you haven't read the highly detailed threads on my car, there they are:
I had so much fun in that car. Iíd won many drag races, dominated my class. I travelled across India in the car, loved every moment of it. But after 3 years, I wanted more.
I needed more luxury. I needed more space. I needed better handling. Most importantly, I needed more power. So, I sold my dear, beloved Rapid, in search for something that will give me more.
(The Rapid is with a close pal of mine, and I still get to see it and drive it once in a while)

Here are the features I needed in my next car, beyond what I had on my 2011 Rapid:
  • - Turn indicators on External mirrors
  • - Electrically foldable External mirrors
  • - Auto Dimming Interior and Rear view mirrors
  • - Light sensors with Automatic Headlights
  • - Xenon Headlamps with dynamic levelling & headlight washers
  • - Coming home, Leaving home lights
  • - Front and Rear Park sensors
  • - Multi-Function Steering wheel that controls the Audio system
  • - Factory Audio system that powers at least 12 speakers (one woofer, mid-range & tweeter in each door), and integrates with the Steering wheel and front/rear park sensors
  • - Tyre pressure monitoring
  • - 6 Airbags minimum
  • - Electronic Differential Lock, Traction control system, Electronic Stability Program, Brake assist with (ABS+)EBD
  • - Electrically adjustable driver seat with programmable memory
  • - Lumbar support in both front seats
  • - Dual Zone Climatronic Air Conditioning
  • - Rain sensor with Automatic Wipers
  • - Foldable rear seats with access to the boot from within the car
  • - Option to upsize to factory 17" inch wheels
  • - Leather upholstery everywhere


- Turbocharged 1.8L or higher (Naturally aspirated engines ruled out)
- Target was to achieve 200 BHP at wheel post remap

- 6 speed or higher - Manual / Dual clutch Automatic; or the ZF 8-speed (Other torque converters and CVT boxes ruled out)
- Paddle shifters on the Steering wheel if I chose an Automatic

Yup, I wanted all that. My target was a 200 BHP daily driver that handled well, with all the above features active.

What to buy:
My first obvious choice was the new Octavia 1.8 TSI. Make no mistake, I may come across as a diesel guy, but I love high revving petrols. I asked for a loan option on the Gen-III 1.8 TSI. Banks threw me out of the door, I unfortunately couldn't afford one, not with my loan on my apartment still active for 10 more years. This also obviously ruled out the BMW 1-series, Merc A-class & Audi A3 as well. High hopes I had... It was clear that I could only afford a car up to 15 lakhs, which narrowed down my choices drastically. I was never a fan of the Chevy Cruze, so I ruled that out. The Elantra ... wait, we were talking of cars, how the heck did a Hyundai get on this list, right, sorry, moving on.

I decided to pick up a used car, with a strict budget of 15L. Out went used BMWs, Audis, Passats, and Superbs again, because I was primarily only interested in their top end versions, and their lower end trims didn't provide me the features I needed; plus I wanted these cars in their latest incarnation (i.e. facelift, current engine & gearbox, etc.) - I wasn't willing to drive a completely outdated engine - and the ones I wanted weren't affordable. I narrowed down my search to the Jetta and the Laura rather quickly.

The Jetta was solid, and since it doesn't come with the 1.8 TSI engine, the 2.0L TDI Highline was the obvious choice. But I only found 2011 and 2012 models on sale, and they were not only ridiculously expensive, but also lacked Xenon Projector Lamps, Dual Zone Climatronic, and much more. Many features that I needed in my next car were only added to the Jetta in 2013. I had to rule out the Jetta.

This left me with the Laura. I wanted the 1.8 TSI, I was longing to own a 200 BHP sedan that handled well, and a neat remap from TuneOTronics would get me there. But, the Laura TSI manual maxed out at the Ambiente variant, which meant I would miss out on most of the features that I wanted. They did launch limited numbers of the 1.8 TSI DSG in Elegance trim, which would get me most of the features I needed, but there were none on sale in the used car market.

It was now down to the Laura 2.0 TDI, but only in L&K trim, since I needed all those features. I ruled out the manual, I didn't want a 5 speed box again. DSG it was.

But there were 2 problems:
  • The 2.0 TDI DSG only made 140 BHP, and with a neat remap with TuneOTronics, I'd get to 177~180 BHP. However, my target was to achieve a 200 BHP daily driver, it was a must. I had to find a solution that would get me to 200 BHP, else I wouldnít pick up the Laura L&K TDI either. In a few days, TuneOTronics and I had a solution. We would be the first to get a 2.0L TDI to 200 BHP, in Stage2 trim. 100 BHP / litre on a diesel as a daily driver. Yup, we were going to do it.

  • From the laundry list of features I wanted, I was able to tick everything, really everything, except paddle shifts on the steering wheel. But, paddles were a must, and I found a solution for that as well. I was set. The Laura 2.0 TDI L&K DSG was what I was going to buy, and I started looking out for cars.

December 2014: Finding my car
I combed through multiple websites, trust me, I covered everything - took me a whole week. I finally found 2 L&K DSGs on sale in Bangalore, just 2 of them. I was very clear on one thing - I'd find the owner and talk to them personally. A good 15 minute chat would reveal a good amount of information about the owner, how he/she would've taken care of the car, and a test drive would reveal much more.
  • The car I decided to see first was a 2012 model, run 36,000 kms. It was with Sundaram Motors. Somebody had walked into the Mercedes showroom, dropped off the Laura, had chosen a Merc, paid the difference and buggered off. I decided Iíd first see the car before talking to the ex-owner. Sundaram was quoting 12L for the car. It was a Saturday, around 4pm. I called the dealership and spoke to the guy who handled used cars. He said 'Saar, it is already late. Tomorrow holiday. Please come Monday morning to see car, saar'. I said alrighty then, and was promptly there at Sundaram motors at 9am, the following Monday. Found the guy and asked to look at the car. He said 'Saar, somebody already made down payment saar. Car sold'. I was like WHAT! When did this happen? 'Yesterday itself saar'. But, wasn't yesterday supposed to be a holiday? 'Saar, my boss made me come to office and sold car saar, too many people calling for the car saar'. The son of a gun...Disappointing. Nevertheless, I went over to look at the car. It was in decent shape, looked like a few panels were repainted, but not too bad. Would have been a good deal. Now, I had to ensure I didn't waste any more time in looking at the only other L&K on sale at the time in Bangalore.

  • The owner of the second car was very pleasant. He said he'd received multiple calls, but had not finalized on anyone. He would be willing to show me the car at 6.30 pm that evening near Jakkur. I was there 1.5 hrs. early. This was a 2011 model, run 52,000 kms. He was quoting 12L as well. The owner showed up on time, and the discussions went well. He was in his late 40s/early 50s, and was pretty humble and courteous. Decent guy, loves travelling with family, loves his car, and had taken care of it well. The car looked in great shape, though it was 3.5 years old. There weren't any major scratches, and the owner assured me that it had never met with an accident. The only incident with the car was a stone hit to the front wind-shield, which was replaced under warranty. The owner also confirmed that the car had comprehensive insurance & extended warranty till May, 2015. I took a snap of the registration, called up Skoda and had the service manager (who I knew very well from the Rapid days) check on the car's records and service history. Few minutes later, he confirmed that the only incident was the front wind-shield replacement, and apart from that, it was just regular services, all on time. I wanted to pick up this car.

Alrightly then. I drove the car half way to the airport and back, and loved it. Except tyre noise due to worn out stock tyres that had never been changed, the car felt really nice. I dived straight into negotiations. After half an hour, we agreed on 11.5L. I may have paid a small premium for it, but I didnít have the patience to wait forever till another L&K showed up on sale. I requested him time till the next day morning so I could sort out my finances, met him the next day and paid him an advance of 1L. I requested for 2 more weeks to arrange for the remaining amount. He reluctantly agreed, but said he would end up driving at least 2000 kms more since he had a couple of business trips in the pipe. I said that in return for waiting for 2 weeks, I was completely okay with that. 2 weeks later, I had the car with me, it had run 54,000 kms.

I had managed to raise the cash with great difficulty to buy the car, sold pretty much all my life time investments [except my apartment & life insurance ]. It had been a herculean task, primarily because my friend hadnít paid me for the Rapid. He had requested time to end of Jan, 2015. I had super massive plans with this car, and I would put the money I would get from the Rapid to good use.

Here's how the car looked then:
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-img_20141230_232436.jpg
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-img_20141217_194728.jpg

Last edited by kryptonite : 22nd July 2015 at 04:45.
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Old 21st July 2015, 18:50   #3
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Default Mechanical makeover

January 2015:

Now that I had the car, I decided I'd drive for a couple of weeks to see how it felt, identify issues and niggles and get everything sorted preferably with my friend at Adiga Automotives. The car had extended warranty till May 2015, so that gave me a lot of confidence. My first goal was to ensure it was mechanically sound before diving into other things. The Air conditioning wasn't up to the mark, this was one thing I needed to sort out. So, I researched and found that there were known issues with the AC Compressor and valves, and Skoda had an updated part that sorted out the issue. This, I wanted to wrap up quickly.

But, one week into my ownership of the car, unfortunately, the DSG clutch packed. The gearbox jerked when you inched from standstill, and while driving, it would occasionally throw up a spanner on the MFD, and when we scanned for the error, it read"P2711 - Unexpected / Implausible Mechanical Gear Disengagement". Vyshak (Adiga Automotives) said it's the clutch, and since I had extended warranty, I tried my luck at Skoda.

At Skoda:
- The clutch pack would cost me 50k since clutch is a wear and tear item, and not covered under warranty. They said if the flywheel had to be replaced due to wear and tear reasons, it would be another 50k. Labour for clutch and flywheel would be extra, and it would all work out to 1.1L including labour and taxes
- And since the car had run 55,000 kms now, and was due for a DSG oil change at 60,000 kms, we might as well do that too. The DSG oil filter and oil change would cost 15k including labour and taxes.
-I was looking at a total of 1.25 Lakhs

I said a polite 'No thank you' to Skoda. I only asked them to look into the Air conditioning, which they took 2 days and changed the compressor and valve kit to the new part under warranty. Well, one problem resolved. Back to the clutch issue.

Part A: The Clutch
If I going to pay for the clutch, I was sure Vyshak would sort it out for me much cheaper. And I was right, he ended up giving me a great deal. What we decided to do was open up the gearbox and check what was wrong. When everything was out on the table, we in fact found that we had to not only change the clutch, but also the flywheel as there was play. Vyshak gave me an idea, he said instead of ordering a full clutch pack, he would just get new original clutch plates and retain the existing clutch housing (like what we do with all other cars and bikes). This would work out cheaper. He also ordered a new original flywheel, original DSG filter, and cans of original DSG oil. The parts arrived in 3 days, and in another day, he'd completed the entire job. I ended up spending way less than what Skoda was quoting for just the clutch & flywheel; while changing clutch, flywheel, DSG oil filter and DSG oil.

Part B: Everything else
And since the car had almost run 60,000 kms, I asked Vyshak to complete a full service as well, we changed:
  • All filters: Air filter, AC filter (got a charcoal activated filter, which works better), Fuel filter, Oil filter
  • All brake pads - Front and Rear
  • Engine Oil: Mobil1 ESP Formula, 5W30, VW 507 certified
  • Brake fluid, DOT4 plus
  • Both front suspension top mounts & front suspension linkers - they weren't in great shape. Struts and springs were fine
  • All 4 lower arm bushes - they were out
  • Front left wheel bearing/hub - we could hear noises from it
  • Rear right reflector

I also requested for the following:
  • All 4 suspension overhaul (while changing the top mounts, linkers and bushes)
  • Front driveshafts greasing/overhaul (in the process of diagnosing the front left wheel bearing issue)
  • Cleaning of Intercooler, MAF (mass air flow) & MAP sensors and EGR (Exhaust gas recirculation) valves
  • Full interior cleaning

Total expense to get the car mechanically sound, and running beautifully = Rs. 1,45,000.

This kind of expense comes with the territory of used cars. No worries.
The car now felt and drove better than a new Laura, all thanks to how well Vyshak (Adiga Automotives) takes care of his cars. It was now time to move on to the next step.

Last edited by kryptonite : 22nd July 2015 at 04:46.
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Old 21st July 2015, 19:45   #4
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Default The VRS makeover

February 2015:

Now that the car was mechanically sound, I was itching to get started on some mods. However, unlike my Rapid, I wanted to do something different. After a few days of contemplation and deliberation, this was what I going to do... Now, in addition to the Petrol VRS cars, Skoda has a TDI VRS variant in most of their lineups in Europe. The Laura is known as the Octavia-II in Europe, and the Octavia-II TDI VRS was extremely popular. A VRS is supposed to be more powerful, look sportier, and handle better than their respective non-VRS variants. Unfortunately, Skoda never brought the Diesel VRS variants to India, and if you think of it, our Laura VRS isn't a true VRS either since it isn't more powerful, and the handling is very similar to the regular TSI; granted it looks better though.

What if Skoda had launched a true VRS TDI in India? It would be 170 BHP stock, like in Europe, handle better on 17 inch wheels, look better with the VRS bumper & spoiler, it would have Steering with paddles, etc. Well, I had now decided, I would work hard, and with the right people to get my Laura TDI to the Octavia-II TDI VRS specification. And to achieve that, I would NOT use any part that isn't either Original Equipment or deviates from the OE spec. It would be done right, done well. When Iím done, this would be a true Laura L&K TDI VRS, and there would be immense satisfaction in achieving this.

First thing I decided to do, since this was a new car, was to go pick up the 2 yr Skoda Roadside assistance package from Vinayaka Skoda. This assured that if your car broke down anywhere in India, it would be towed free to the nearest Skoda service station. Then, I proceeded to do my research and finalized on what parts I needed to complete this makeover.

While I was doing that, TuneOTronics announced that in addition to their performance tuning services, they had now extended their services into premium accessories and performance parts as well. While their tuning services extended to all manufacturers, the premium accessories and performance parts were limited to VAG cars (VW, Audi, Skoda) for now, they would eventually extend beyond VAG to other cars as well in due course. I decided to order all my OE accessories from them.

Here's the massive list of items I installed in the car:

From TuneOTronics
  • VRS Flat bottom Steering wheel with Paddles for DSG + Airbag
  • VRS Badges for Front grill, Rear bumper and DSG lever
  • VRS Oil cap cover
  • VRS Pedals for RHD Automatic
  • VRS Door Sills
  • VRS Rear Bumper Diffuser
  • VRS Spoiler
  • VW 9W7 Bluetooth kit
  • Skoda Cell phone holder
  • Rear number plate LED kit (Canbus enabled bulbs just don't work for plates, you need this kit)
  • VRS Front bumper kit - includes Bumper, DRLs, Fog lamps & Honeycomb grill

From Pitstop, Sanjaynagar, Bangalore
  • 3D Maxspider mats
  • TomTom Dual Fast USB charger
  • 7Jx 17, 5x 112 PCD - set of 4 alloys
  • 225/45 R17 - set of 4 Pirelli P7 Cinturato tyres

At Adiga Automotives, Banashankari 3rd Stage, Bangalore
  • Fitting of all items listed above (procured from TuneOTronics)
  • Hella horn (pair)
  • Muffler tips
  • Hydraulic jack (hate the OE jack)
  • Number plates
  • 3M CR70 sun film for 4 windows (Front and Rear glass untouched)
  • 12V car charger to 3pin AC adaptor (to charge my laptop on the go)
  • AC Cleaner & deodorizer
  • Jet Fuel pump protect additive
  • Xado Maximum Stage1 - Engine additive
  • Xado Maximum DSG - Gearbox additive
  • LED Bulbs for (you don't need canbus bulbs for these)
    -Side mirrors, Front door puddle lamps, Front & rear dome interior lamps
  • Canbus LED bulbs for:
    -Parking - front and rear
  • Painting + Lacquer + Rubbing polishing of:
    -Roof, Side Mirrors, Front grill frame, Front Bumper bottom, Side skirts, Spoiler, Muffler tips - in black
    -Wheels - in silver gray

Total cost incurred (all inclusive):
Rs. 3,80,000

1) Some of the parts like the front bumper were added recently, but I'm describing them all together in one post so everything is in one place
2) I was using different alloys (Borbets) and tyres (old Pirelli P7s) for a while, which you'll see in some of the pictures. The post above describes what I'm running currently.

What's missing?
1) Suspension parts from VRS TDI
2) Brake parts from the VRS TDI
-Both of these aren't straightforward to upgrade, and need many supporting parts. They're also very expensive as full kits.
-The suspension especially, I know, will be way too low for Indian conditions.
In due course folks, in due course...

Enjoy the pictures! Let me know how it looks

Bluetooth, Phone on the MFD
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-bt-mfd.jpg

Bluetooth, Audio on Bolero
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-bt-bolero.jpg

VRS Door Sills and 3D Mats
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-door-sills-3d-matts.jpg

VRS Oil cap
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-engine-bay-2-turbo.jpg

VRS Flat bottom Steering wheel, VRS Pedals
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-steering-pedals.jpg

Paddle shifts on VRS Steering wheel
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-paddles_short.jpg

VRS DSG plate
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-vrs-dsg_small.jpg

Interior lights - White LED
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-interior-lights-white.jpg

Parking lights - White LED
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-white-parking.jpg

Here are some exterior shots
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-front-1.jpg
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-front-left-1.jpg
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-left1.jpg
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-rear-left-1.jpg
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-rear1.jpg
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-rear-right-1.jpg
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-right2.jpg
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-front-right-1.jpg
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-top1.jpg

Last edited by kryptonite : 22nd July 2015 at 04:43.
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Old 22nd July 2015, 01:26   #5
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Default The Stage1 tune & beating Narian Kkarthikeyan's VRS lap time on a race track

March 2015:

Now that the car was mechanically sound, and the VRS cosmetic and functional makeover was almost complete, it was time to tune, with the awesome Sid & Vivek of TuneOTronics. We had already met a few times over the last few weeks to discussing this topic. Remember I said this would be a true VRS TDI? It then needed to run at 170 BHP, not the stock 140 BHP that the Laura is spec'd at. The remap would complete it. Achieving that would be fairly easy. Sid/Vivek gave me a beautiful Stage1 remap that was calculated to put out 415NM, 180BHP. It was sensational to drive.

Now, I had an 180BHP Laura with me running on a set of old stock Pirelli P7 tyres (not Cinturatos, but the really old model), and I wanted to do a track day in this car. My Laura TDI weighed 1465 Kgs, and was running 180 BHP, equating to 122 BHP per ton. My Rapid used to weigh 1215 Kgs, and was running 135 BHP, equating to 111 BHP per ton. I had to be faster on the Laura TDI now, nothing else would do. At this juncture, I remembered that AutoCar got Narain Karthikeyan to drive the best drivers' cars on the same Chennai track for the last 6 yrs., and he'd clocked some phenomenal lap times on the Laura TSI (Gen-II 1.8 TSI), Laura VRS (Gen-II 1.8 TSI) and the new 180 BHP Octavia (Gen-III 1.8 TSI). So, I dug up all their magazines and pulled out Narain’s lap times.

Narain’s lap times that spiked my interest:
•2.12.55 - on the Skoda Laura 1.8L TSI, which runs 160 BHP, weighs 1305 Kgs, equating to 122 BHP per ton.
•2.11.70 - on the Skoda Laura VRS, which also runs 160 BHP, weighs 1305 Kgs, equating to 122 BHP per ton. The faster time achieved was due to a better suspension setup in the VRS.
•2.11.00 - on the Mercedes C200 1.8CGI,which runs 186 BHP, weighs 1540 Kgs, equating to 120 BHP per ton.
•2.10.75 - on the Skoda Octavia 1.8TSI, which runs 180 BHP, weighs 1376 Kgs, equating to 129 BHP per ton.
•Again, my car is a Skoda Laura 2.0TDI, which runs 180 BHP, weighs 1465 Kgs, equating to 122 BHP per ton.

Considering my car's chassis and suspension were identical to the Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI, and also considering that the power to weight ratio of both cars now equated to 122 BHP per ton, I set myself an over ambitious target of 2.12.55s. Now, remember that the though the 2.12.55s lap was set on a car with similar power/weight ratio as mine, on the same track - it was set by a freakin Formula 1 driver. I was no Narain Karthikeyan...

To compound the challenge, I weigh 100 Kgs, Narain weighs 60 Kgs. I was already going to run with a 40 Kg deficit, which was a disadvantage to me. And my car wasn’t a high revving petrol. It was a Diesel. With these factors going against me, would I be able to achieve my target lap time of 2.12.55 set by a Formula 1 driver... but in a heavy diesel (not a lighter high revving petrol), with a heavy driver (me), and hardened old tyres? I had to find out. I needed to know how good I was as a driver on a racetrack. This was now in my head, I could think of nothing else, it had consumed me completely.

I did go to the track, had a ball of a time, and I still consider it one of the best days of my life.

Was I able to beat Narain's TSI lap time?
Hell yeah, and oh, I went much much faster than that. I've documented the entire story on this forum (link below), please read it at your leisure, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Here's the link, which also has videos and a VBOX log of my laptime:

Last edited by kryptonite : 22nd July 2015 at 04:47.
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Old 22nd July 2015, 01:37   #6
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Default Winnning my first Tarmac Autocross event

March 2015

Fresh from the track day, I wanted to now participate in drag races and other tarmac events. Team46, had just announced that they would hold a Tarmac autocross event on the Speedway Go-Kart track at Ramnagar, Bangalore. Wow, this was interesting. I'd never done this before, and would be awesome fun.

I visited the track during practice, and found the concept really interesting. Decided to race. There were many categories and after reviewing them, I gathered I could participate in 4 categories. Should I? Thought about it for a minute and I said, why the heck not! Enrolled in all of them, and did a couple of runs as part of practice. I was putting out 1m.29s laps, and it was tricky to maneuver my big heavy Laura around such a small track.

As I sat back after my practice to watch other cars, it slowly dawned on me that my heavy torquey diesel wasn't cut out for such a tight and twisting track. Light, small, nimble cars were the need of that day. Oh well, I thought, let's give it our best. The races were on the next day.

Race day:
The next day I turned up, and to my pleasant surprise, they'd organized the whole thing so well. It was well structured, beautifully coordinated and everything went like clockwork. Very rarely do things go to plan. Kudos to Team46 and supporting cast who made this event so successful. And to top it all off, they even had prize money, which is so rare nowadays at events. Time to start racing.

As expected, most of the participants were running light, nimble cars. Heck, there was a completely stripped out, race prepped Hyundai Verna Diesel with performance upgrades on the engine, intake, and exhaust, with racing slick tyres, suspension, what not - and especially lightened to a point where everything was carbon fibre panels, except the driver's door. This was my competition in most of the classes I was participating in. Hmm…

As expected, that Verna whooped my behind. Full credit to them for having come properly prepared to such an event. But I didn't do too badly. In 3 of the classes where I competed against the Verna, I was only 0.1-0.2s behind.

Here's a video of one of my runs (set of 2 laps for every class):

If you can't watch the video for some reason, copy the link, paste it back into your browser, change http to https and leave the rest of the URL the same. Enjoy.
Yup, I'm a geek too.

I won 4 trophies at the end of that day, and am very proud of it. Here's how I fared:
  • 1st in the Corporate Class
  • 2nd in the Diesel Open
  • 2nd in the 1600-2000cc class
  • 3rd in the Forced Induction class
My best timing (for the 2 lap race): 1m 25.6s

I'd won 6 trophies in my Rapid over the last year. In one day, I'd won 4 trophies in my Laura. What a start!

Enjoy some of the pictures.
Pictures copyright of the person who took them, thank you
Attached Thumbnails
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-img_20150314_132242.jpg  

200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-pano_20150315_104219.jpg  

200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-img20150318wa0001.jpg  

200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-img20150318wa0003.jpg  

200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-img_20150315_202205.jpg  

Last edited by kryptonite : 22nd July 2015 at 04:50.
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Old 22nd July 2015, 01:44   #7
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Default Activating/tweaking car features via VCDS

March 2015:

WARNING: Attempt at your own risk. You can and will easily break something if you're not sure of what you're doing.
ALWAYS do a full Autoscan and back up the results in a text file before you start messing around with VCDS settings. The Autoscan saves original coding for all modules.

Love the VCDS:
This was one of the things I was really looking forward to - tweak the car settings via VCDS with the help of Sid/Vivek from TuneOTronics. I thought it was simple enough, but it wasn’t. We spent many hours on this, and with TOT’s help, we were finally done. We had experimented with everything that we could enable, disable or change, and had finalized on the final settings that I was happy with.

Since this is a L&K to begin with, a lot of the features like Coming home/Leaving home lights, Auto lock/unlock of doors, Lowering mirror with reverse gear, Comfort Operation confirmation, Bend Lighting, etc. are either already active, or can be adjusted directly from the Multi-Function display menu, via the Steering wheel controls. If your Laura is an Elegance trim, I'm sure you can enable quite a few of those settings that are available on the L&K, but of course not all because the Elegance just doesn't have all the modules required. You can retrofit many of these modules if you wish to. I've used the VCDS on the Ambiente variant as well, but you can't enable quite of few of these features below due to missing modules.

03 - ABS/Brakes:
Coding :
(Extended) Electronic differential lock XDS active /installed

Adaptation :
Brake Assist = 2 (high)
Electronic differential lock (XDS) = 2 (high)
Dynamic steering recommendation (DSR) = 0 (high)
Brake disc wiper (BDW) =1 (active)

-Who doesn't want extra braking? Which is why brake assist is set to the highest possible settings. Did try average as well, but couldn't really make out too much of a difference.

-XDS is an advanced form of the Electronic Differential Lock to counter under steer in front wheel drive cars, and is disabled by default (standard EDL is enabled). You can activate it and also tweak the settings. It's calibrated very well. Even at its most aggressive setting of High, you can push the car quite hard around corners. It only kicks in (and you can feel it braking the inside wheel) when the car is really out of shape, especially when under steering pretty bad.

-DSR is supposed to nudge the steering in the direction it should be turned towards - under situations where you're losing control of the car, but I've never seen it kick in.

-Brake disc wiper is supposed to occasionally skim the pads on the discs in rain to keep it as dry as possible.

09 - Central elect
Coding BCM:
Anti-theft system installed/active
DRL via separate lights active
Emergency brake flashing via turn signals active
Enable Cornering light with front fog light active
Headlight dimming (life time extension) inactive
Tail light dimming (life time extension) inactive

-Not sure why the anti-theft system was disabled on mine, we enabled it anyway.
-DRLs can be enabled on the L&K via a dedicated bulb that's available in the fog light assembly itself, next to the fog light. It's already there, just never activated.
-Emergency braking will make the hazard flash, warning other drivers
-Cornering light is where under 40 KPH, only a single fog light in the direction of the turn will light up to give you extra near field visibility. Beyond 40 KPH, the Xenons bend in the direction of turn
-The last 2 ensure your bulbs are at the brightest. Default setting provides them lower voltage to increase life

Coding Wischer:
Tear wiping active

-Tear wiping will clear the last few drops of water rolling down your windshield once you stop the wipers

Coding RLS:
Headlight >140kph inactive

-Headlights (on the L&K) switch on automatically the moment you cross 140 KPH. It was annoying, so I disabled it

16 - Steering wheel:
Coding LenKS :
Steering wheel with tiptronic buttons installed

This setting is what enables paddle shifts, provided you've installed a compatible steering wheel with paddles.

17 - Instruments:
Adaptation :
Staging active

Staging is what enables the needle sweep (both tacho and odo) when you turn on the ignition

36: Seat mem drvr
Adaptation :
Easy entry = 1 (active)

Easy entry makes your seat go back few inches when you open the driver's door to get out, giving you more room to get out and come in. It comes back to the previous setting when you unlock the car, enter and close the door.

44: Steering assist
Adaptation :
Torque steer compensation = 1 (active)
Installation Adaptive /dynamic chassis control (DCC) = 1 (installed)

-There was noticeable torque steer in the car post the remap. This setting helped address it, and does not hurt handling or performance
-I have no idea what Dynamic chassis control does, but the module accepted it, so I've left it enabled

56 - Radio:
Adaptation :
Development test mode = 1

Enabling test mode will then let you enter a hidden menu (accessed by pressing setup for around 30 seconds), where you can change a bunch of calibration values for radio and such. The only useful item for me was to switch off Loudness, as it resulted it too much bass.

77 - Telephone:
Sort by First name
3 button keypad inactive

-Sorting by first name is self-explanatory.
-There was an error in the telephone module when we finished installing Bluetooth. It apparently was looking for a 3 button keypad, which on some VW group cars is placed next to the interior lights. I don't have it, hence disabled, and the error went away.

Hope this helps other VW group owners. Please ensure you know what you're doing when you play with the VCDS, make no mistake, you can cause harm. Activating some settings may require you to also perform basic settings on certain modules, whose procedure isn't always documented (none of the above require you to though) or may require you to perform a driving function test to complete activation, whose procedure isn't always documented always either. Please be careful.

Total cost: Zero. Included in the TuneOTronics remap package Perks of tuning with TuneOTronics

Last edited by kryptonite : 22nd July 2015 at 04:49.
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Old 22nd July 2015, 02:25   #8
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Default The Stage2 upgrade and tune

April 2015:

The OE equation:
Alright, so this was the big one. Now, from previous posts, it should be pretty clear to all that I wanted to keep the entire car OE, with OE parts. On the engine side as well, I wanted to the same theme to continue. I wasn't interested in aftermarket parts for intake or exhaust. I wasn't interested in aftermarket parts to go higher on power. But, I wanted to achieve a 200 BHP daily driver, and to get there, we had to go beyond the Stage1 tune. TOT was clear that we wouldn't be able to achieve this with all stock parts from the 140 HP Laura. This meant we needed HW upgrades to support the cause, which was fine. But, my condition was that whatever we upgrade, still had to be OE. It had to plug into the existing system, existing ECU and work seamlessly. And I had another condition, I did not want any more turbo lag that what the stock turbo had (which was minimal to none). And since they now do performance upgrades as a full solution for customers, I left it completely in their hands.

In late March, Sid/Vivek and I met to discuss this further. I was already running the 180 BHP Stage1 tune, and we needed another 20 BHP to complete my requirement. We explored various upgrade options like turbo, injectors, cams, etc. - the works. Every single upgrade was expensive, but would provide gains. TuneOTronics though was very clear that I didn't need injector upgrades unless I picked up a massive big aftermarket turbo and wanted to go much higher than 200 BHP. They suggested that a turbo upgrade would be the best bang for buck. And while there were many turbo upgrade options available, finding an OE upgrade was really tough, but they did have a solution for that as well, which they brought to the table.

The OE solution they'd brought to the table, and the one I chose was a turbo used in the same 2.0L TDI VAG family of cars as mine, but those which were running a higher state of tune than 140 HP from the factory. It wasn't a plug and play solution to my engine, and there were supporting parts they had to buy to ensure it fit seamlessly, but they had sorted that out as well. They would be able to source the turbo and all supporting parts – everything from the OE bin. This was brilliant! I'm sure it wasn't easy for them to sort all this out, but the solution they'd presented to solve my requirement was perfect for me. Alright, let's do it, I said.

The Stage2 Engine tune:
15 days later - they called and said everything was ready, and they would meet me at Adiga Automotives for the fitting. Vyshak did a neat job of swapping the turbo and all supporting parts, it took an entire day though. We were ready to go. I took the car for a spin and it felt exactly like how the car always did with the original turbo. This was awesome because I’d always loved the way the car drove, and deep inside, I always worried if the turbo upgrade would make the car feel different, sound different or drive different. But that wasn't the case. Kudos to TuneOTronics for sorting out a perfect HW upgrade, and to Vyshak for a very professional installation.

Finally, it was now time to get to 200 BHP. Sid/Vivek took it one step at a time, carefully ensuring everything worked in harmony, while keeping EGT (exhaust gas temperatures) in check. We logged each test file as we built up to 200 BHP, ensuring that the changes they were making were taking effect, while also ensuring that never once was any component of the engine running out of spec or beyond its capability, and in fact ensuring every component was running within the limits of its ability with some buffer to spare - and after a few tests, they were done.

The DSG remap:
Next, they proceeded to tune the DSG gearbox. The DSG tune isn’t compulsory if you just need the Stage1 remap, but is still recommended so your gearbox and your engine are in complete harmony. But for a Stage2 tune, it is absolutely compulsory, else the gearbox will start acting weird. As part of the DSG tune, these were the gains & benefits:
  • Limiters tweaked, and other changes made to accommodate and synchronize with the Stage2 tune
  • Quicker shift times b/w gearshifts
  • Customized shift points as per user's requirements
  • Launch control (work in progress, still in testing)

Once the Stage2 Engine tune and the DSG tune were complete, I took a drive. The car felt absolutely brilliant, totally refined and as if it came out of the factory this way. Not once in the entire rpm range, in any gear could I hear or feel anything amiss. And it top it all off, there was no extra smoke than what you see in a stock Laura diesel. It felt so good, I almost wanted to write to Skoda and ask them to launch a 200 BHP VRS TDI. The car was torquey and savage when you pushed it with a good amount of throttle, yet completely civilized when you drove around peacefully at part throttle. And now that I’ve been using the car for a few months on this tune, here’s the kicker, my fuel efficiency hasn’t dropped by much from stock either, incredible!!!. I couldn’t have asked for me, it was just perfect. I was really excited about the whole thing. It was now time to measure it.

VBOX timing:
My stock tune had clocked 9.38s to 100. The 180 BHP Stage1 tune without the DSG remap had clocked 7.86s to 100, and I was itching to find out how quick the 200 BHP tune would be. I set out to do a few runs, and straight away, I started clocking 7.3xs times to 0-100. We'd shaved off a good 0.5s to 100. It was incredibly consistent, and always repeatable. I did a massive torture test with 10 back-to-back runs, the car did 7.3x to 100 all 10 times, and never once felt strained or tired. Truly amazing. This was exactly what I wanted. An incredibly refined Stage2 tune that's not aggressive on the car, yet bloody quick. Could we go higher? Maybe, possibly, but TuneOTronics didn't recommend it, I'd achieved my target, and I was extremely satisfied.

See attached VBOX graph
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-vbox.png

Next, I wanted to dyno this tune. Sure, why not, they said. And that weekend, which happened to be the weekend of the Round 3 and Round 4 of the Indian National Drag Racing Championship / Kari Memorial races at Coimbatore, we booked a slot at Red Rooster a day before the event, and reached there on time. Half an hour later, the car was hooked up to the dyno, and I requested that we run the stock file first. Considering my Rapid had put out the same 105 BHP as Skoda claimed, I was always curious to see if the Laura would as well. And sure enough, it put out exactly 140 BHP as they claimed. Next we flashed my Stage2 tune, and did 3 runs. All 3 runs put out 445~450NM, 200~202 BHP. Incredible!

Here's the dyno graph comparing my Stock tune to the Stage2 tune by TuneOTronics. Enjoy
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-dyno.jpg

Total cost incurred for the Stage1 tune that I got initially + Stage2 kit (HW upgrades) & fitting + the Stage2 tune + DSG tune + Activating features/ tweaking car settings via VCDS
= Rs. 2,25,000 Lakhs

Absolute total expenditure on the car so far:
Mechanical fixes & full service – Rs. 1.45 L
VRS makeover & other accessories – Rs. 3.80 L
Stage1 tune + Stage2 kit & tune + DSG tune + Activating features/ tweaking car settings via VCDS – Rs. 2.25 L
Total spent = Rs. 7.5 Lakhs

Worth it? – Hell yeah! You have to see the car in person, and drive it to believe it.

Last edited by kryptonite : 22nd July 2015 at 04:51.
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Old 22nd July 2015, 02:50   #9
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Default Winning Drag races in my Laura TDI VRS

April 2015:

Part A: INDRC/Kari Memorial

The day after the dyno was the Round 3 & 4 of the INDRC/Kari Memorial Drag races. It was a 2 day, back-to-back event, with a race on each day. I'd enrolled in the 1866~2066cc Diesel Open category (with multiplication factor of 1.5 reads 2800cc~3100cc, that’s how they refer to it), and I was really excited about the whole thing. I'd won many races in my Rapid. Would I win my first drag race in my Laura? We were about to find out.

We were there on time for the driver's briefing and practice, where they announced that they'd merged few classes due to lack of enough entries in some of the classes. This was disappointing, but not unusual, it was well documented in the SRs already. I was hoping I wasn't going to be affected, but I was. The 2067+ cc (3100+ cc with multiplication factor) category for diesels had only one participant, a BMW 3L, 245 BHP, 530d. And hence they'd merged the 530d with the 2L diesels. This wasn't fair, I thought. My car was a full 1000cc, and 2 gears down on the 530d. It wasn't even competition by a long shot. Nevertheless, we couldn't do anything about it. So I decided to give it my best.

Most people usually don't like to line up next to a car they know is way faster, but in practice, I asked to be lined up with the 530d. We did 3 back-to-back, head-to-head drag runs. I actually managed to beat the 530d once. Twice, he was faster. I was satisfied that I had managed to get him once.
  • Round 3 - Raceday:
The next day was the race, and everything went like clockwork. Speedway Motorsports did a phenomenal job in organizing the whole thing. They even managed to distribute prizes as soon as each class was done, so people could leave if required. The race went well, and I managed to beat two BMW 320D's with the 8speed ZF gearboxes and two heavily tuned Chevy Cruze Diesels , but lost out to the 530D, and came second in my class. My first drag win in the Laura would have to wait.

Many of us who had been affected due to the merging of classes went to the organizers and requested them not to merge classes for Round 4, which was scheduled the next day. They got together, discussed, and assured that they will do so as requested. This was really cool of them.
  • Round 4 - Raceday:
The next day was Round 4, and with the 530d out of the picture, I was hoping I could beat the BMWs again. Let me cut to the chase. I did! I won my first drag race in the Laura.

I also participated in the 1466~1733cc class (2200cc~2600cc as they call it with multiplication factor), and won both races in Vyshak's Polo GT 1.6 TDI, tuned of course by TuneOTronics.

Enjoy some of the videos and pictures from the event
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-k1.jpg
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-k2.jpg

If you can't watch the videos for some reason, copy the link, paste it back into your browser, change http to https and leave the rest of the URL the same. Enjoy

June 2015

Part B: Roaring Champions
In June this year, the Valley Run team/Elite Octane announced a new drag racing series called Roaring Champions, this time at Mumbai. My friend (hereby known as Dexter) drives a Vento 1.6 TDI which is remapped by TuneOTronics, and I - both decided to participate, in 2 classes each with our cars. The track was concrete apparently, and they'd managed to build one at Vasai, Mumbai. It would be interesting to see how things turn out.

A Stage2 1.6 TDI to keep me company:
I was completely sorted with my car, I didn’t want to do anything else. However, we had to prep Dexter’s car for the race. After some discussions, Dexter decided to bite the bullet and go the Stage2 route as well. Just like me, he wanted an OE Stage2 solution too for his Vento 1.6 TDI, and TuneOTronics sorted him out beautifully with a Stage2 kit and tune. We were set. Two Stage2 Diesels made their way to Mumbai, ready to race. And because it was a long drive with our families with us, we couldn’t lighten the cars at all, we were both running with all our seats, Audio systems, everything! We weren’t sure if it would be good enough.
  • 1.6L Diesel category first:
When we got there, the event was delayed due to rain. Eventually, the rain cleared, and the races started. Our competition in the 1451~1750cc Diesel category was going to be that insane race prepped Verna that had beaten me black and blue in the tarmac autocross. We were sure if we were going to be able to beat a proper, race prepped car in Dexter’s family sedan. And our class was first on a drying track. The track being concrete and still semi-wet, it was really tricky to launch and put in a good time. But we did well. Dexter did a brilliant run to won the class in his Vento, and I came second since I made a mistake – I managed to find a Gandhi gear while shifting from 1st to 2nd, haha. The only thing that saved me from dropping to third was a reaction time of 0.130s, which was the quickest at the entire event.
  • 2.0L Diesel category next:
The 1751~2050cc Diesel class was up next and it was time to take out my Laura. Our competition in this class would be a Jetta and a new Octavia. The track was still semi-wet and tricky to put 450NM and 200 BHP on the road. We both did extremely well though. I won my class in my Laura and Dexter came second, we were only 0.046s apart. Man, I need to look out for that Dexter, he’s really quick! Here are some stats from the event to illustrate how quick we were on my Laura Diesel.
  • My time of 15.113s was 0.55s faster than the fastest Turbocharged 1.8 TSI Octavia/Laura petrols, which is an incredible feat considering they claim to be running 200 BHP Stage1, and many of the cars that had tuned up were actually running Stage 2 kits with K04 turbos. I wonder why none of them (and there are hundreds of such TSIs on this forum) have posted a dyno graph or a vbox log of their cars on this forum. Claiming to achieve a certain BHP or a said 0-100 time needs to be backed up by proof in my opinion.

  • My time of 15.113s was only 1.199s slower than Joel’s monstrous drag prepped Turbocharged Petrol Honda City. Again, my Laura is a luxurious, heavy family sedan, and a Diesel! Not bad, eh?

Enjoy some of the videos and pictures from the event
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-rc1.jpg
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-rc2.jpg
200 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right-rc3.jpg

If you can't watch the videos for some reason, copy the link, paste it back into your browser, change http to https and leave the rest of the URL the same. Enjoy

Hope you've enjoyed reading this thread so far, as much as I have putting this together.
I can’t thank TuneOTronics, Adiga Automotives & Dexter enough to have supported me in reaching my goals. They absolutely rock!

Last edited by kryptonite : 22nd July 2015 at 04:53.
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Old 22nd July 2015, 09:36   #10
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Default re: Skoda Laura TDI with VRS makeover & 200 BHP Stage 2 by Tune-O-Tronics - Diesel VRS done right

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Modifications Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 22nd July 2015, 14:10   #11
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Default re: Skoda Laura TDI with VRS makeover & 200 BHP Stage 2 by Tune-O-Tronics - Diesel VRS done right

Superb Report of your White Monster (Even though I cant understand most of the mods, I feel its tastefully done !)

Aesthetically the car look stunning. (Except the 'thing' on the fuel filler cap. IMHO it dosent suit otherwise clean but striking body work)

Congrats for you achievements on the track with this beauty.

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Old 22nd July 2015, 15:10   #12
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Default re: Skoda Laura TDI with VRS makeover & 200 BHP Stage 2 by Tune-O-Tronics - Diesel VRS done right

Incredible stuff. Have read your posts on your Rapid and now the Laura. The way you speak about your cars and the mods that are performed on it makes me look at Skoda again, despite all the horror stories we have read about this brand.

Wishing you many happy miles with the Laura and hope both of you win more trophies together.
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Old 22nd July 2015, 15:12   #13
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Default re: Skoda Laura TDI with VRS makeover & 200 BHP Stage 2 by Tune-O-Tronics - Diesel VRS done right

Awesome stuff especially loved the launch in the last video for the Mumbai drag that was quick.

So what is next?
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Old 22nd July 2015, 15:24   #14
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Default re: Skoda Laura TDI with VRS makeover & 200 BHP Stage 2 by Tune-O-Tronics - Diesel VRS done right

Wow! A monster in every sense! If the mechanicals are upgraded with passion, interiors are done with taste. The numbers are mind blowing too. I have closely followed your Rapid thread and was equally amazed with the kind of performance bump it was given. However, this mod has raised the bar even higher! If I am not mistaking, this is the most powerful Skoda owned by a BHPian.
Congratulations for your trophies - equal credits to your driving skills too.
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Old 22nd July 2015, 17:35   #15
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Default re: Skoda Laura TDI with VRS makeover & 200 BHP Stage 2 by Tune-O-Tronics - Diesel VRS done right

Hats off to your passion Kryptonite! Having read your Rapid story before, this is the most apt follow up story. Your Laura looks brilliant and the performance mods are just admirable. Thats one helluva monster you got in your hands! Cheers mate!
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