Exhaust/remapped 2.0t qauttro vs exhaust/remapped 3.0tdi quattro


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May 14, 2011
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Ok so it's getting close to buying time and I'm finding it very difficult to decide between these 2 engines.

I know that a test drive is my best bet and this is something I plan on doing, but even this won't give me the complete picture as I will be taking either car to stage 2 as soon as I buy it.

One thing that's pulling me towards the diesel is the fact that they have a more definitive limit to there potential without getting silly expensive and I should be content with an exhaust/remap, whereas the k04/BT kits will always be calling me with the 2.0t.

On the other hand the lighter nose of the petrol sound like a more fun drive, I'm just not sure I'll be satisfied with the power?

Can anyone help?!
Not much point putting an exhaust on a diesel in my experience lol, I want to say go for the petrol, but I'm currently in the wanting a k04 boat but not being able to afford it :laugh:
Had the same dilemma not too long ago, between a 3.0tdi or large petrol engined quattro, decided to go with an S4.....THE right choice! :thumbsup:
Surely a free flowing exhaust is still a big help to a diesel?

This k04 stuff is exactly what I'm worried about, at least with the diesel there is an obvious limit to tuning it cost-effectively.
S4 is not an option. Although I'm not too worried about consumption, I don't want my pants pulled down every week either, plus I love turbos :)
Go for the higher revving, better sounding petrol engine.
I suppose I just need to test drive one then to see if I can live with the handling.

Hearing people describe the engine as like having an anchor weighing over the front of your car has certainly put me off to some extent.

I wonder how the handling would weigh up to other cars after a 45mm drop with shocks and springs as well as the rs4 arb?
I own an 2.0T and have test driven a load of 3.0TDIs when deciding what to get. The 2.0T is cheaper to buy initially and you're likely to get a Special Edition S-line cheaper than a lesser spec'd 3.0TDI on the same age and mileage. Handling wise the 2.0T is streets ahead of the 3.0TDI....mainly due to much lower understeer. Apart from fuel, servicing etc is cheaper on the 2.0T as well. Tuning the petrol engine is also cheaper and off the shelf parts are much easier to get hold off.
But how does straight line performance hold up...

Modifying isn't going to work out any more expensive because I'll be getting a custom exhaust built either way with a custom remap.
Im going to stick my neck out and say in gear acceleration will be a lot better in the diesel.
Handling wise, I've not had any issues at all.
Im going to stick my neck out and say in gear acceleration will be a lot better in the diesel.
Handling wise, I've not had any issues at all.
I realise that in gear acceleration will be better in the diesel due to the torque, but I don't mind having to make the occasional downshift.

How do people think the two cars would compare 0-100 and 0-140, both at stage II?
As far as I know, stage 2 mapping for a 2.0TFSI will require an upgraded fuel pump :ninja:
Thats ok. I don't mind if there are a few little hidden expenses while tuning either engine, I'm just interested in their respective performance at the stage II milestone before things get increasingly difficult/expensive.
Think stage 2 from a tfsi is around the 260-270 bhp mark, with torque at a similar figure, just I can't remember which unit thats in lol :laugh:
Think stage 2 from a tfsi is around the 260-270 bhp mark, with torque at a similar figure, just I can't remember which unit thats in lol :laugh:

The BHP figures are similar to that from a standard remap on the Tdi but the torque figures are up in the 400 - 450 lbs/ft range.
Based on that then, it would appear that the 3.0tdi has the edge in the straigh line times, although acutal figures are anyones guess lol, hope that helps!
Hmm thats pretty much what I thought already.

This is one tough decision....
surely its a similar story with the BMW 335 cars, an auto magazine had a remapped 335i and a remapped 335d, and round the track there was actually very minimal in it. The torque from the diesel helped it plant the power on exit from corners, but the more gear changes slowed it down (or something like that). They were both putting out over 300BHP and the diesel had massive torque..

The Spec on the spec edit is great, especially if you're lucky enough to get a late edition v2 that's fully loaded. Unless you're doing loads of miles the cost differential isn't much for running cost wise (especially as the premium unleaded is more expensive than diesel anyway).

Where are you based? Try to see if a member will take you out in their modified car to see the difference, test driving std versions won;t gve you a feel for the difference, as when mapped they feel completely different...
There's so much more to consider than just the numbers, though. It's not just about power, torque, and outright performance figures; it's how the engines deliver what they deliver. The two cars have totally different characters and which one you choose should depend just as much on what characteristics you're looking for.
Yea I hear what your saying about completely different driving characteristics, I've come from a turbo petrol so thats more than likely the one I'd prefer, but all that torque sounds like a lot of fun.

I was also thinking about the 335i/335d example, and yes they do seem pretty matched performance wise, but then again this is essentially a 330iTT against a 330dTT, so not really a similar comparison to the 2.0T versus 3.0tdi, but I guess the peak bhp figures where similar which is the same case here...

I'm not just looking for peak numbers which is why I'm so keen to find out how both these cars perform, if the petrol can keep up with the diesel in a straight line then I will take it for its light and more agile frame.
You're forgetting the Gearbox ratio's differ in diesel and petrol......

Seriously, folk forget the most basic of things when bleeting on about diesel engine torque... :shrug:
I'm not saying I forgot that, but how does that knowledge help me compare the two? Are you saying this brings them pretty close together in terms of straight line speed?
I'm saying having much more engine torque, does not nescessarily convert to more wheel torque (which is what actually accelerates the car) due to the taller gear ratio's......

Get the ratios for each gear, then with the torque curves for the engines plot the torque curve at the wheels in each gear, and you'll soon see which is quicker on paper.

Ultimately, you need to drive them.

I personally hate diesels due to the tiny power band, noise and smell, and they don't suit how i like to drive. You however may like the diesel more.
Ok thanks for your help.

I've heard it been said a few times that the tdi is similar to the S4 in the speed department when chipped and people generally seem to be very impressed with it, but the reviews for the petrol seem to be a mixed bag, and many people seem to feel the need to search for more power.

I've even seen users that have had BT kits on their 2.0T's and go on to sell them, I'd hate to drop that much money into one and still be disappointed...

Maybe all of this can be attributed to the 'feel' of diesels being faster?
If you like fast cars, you'll always be searching for more. I came from a 400BHP supra and yes I'd like more power, but this is powerful enough to see most things off on the road, and driving it certainly isn't a chore. Plus the 4WD makes it so less twitchy and much more driveable in all weathers.

Plus the cost of getting big BHP is prohibitive to be honest. To gain the 50-60BHP increase on these cars you need to spend a fair whack, probably £2.5k+ after exhaust with sports cat, remap, HPFP - on the supra a simple decat and boost controller gained you 60-70BHP..much cheaper £/BHP.

I got lucky with my one, the work was already done and the dealer didn't seem to know what they had...so got a very good deal
Yea I hear what you're saying, and I know modding ain't gonna be cheap, thats why I'm budgeting in the money to get to stage 2 from the start and then hopefully be happy staying at that.

Thats part of the reason I'm being pulled towards diesel, because there is a more obvious end-point to tuning it sensibly, which seems to be stage 2.

Part of me does want to just pick up another gt4, but the a4 just seems like a great deal at the moment and there aren't very many comfortable turbo awd cars to choose from this side of 10k.
If you're going to stage 2, just think about the mileage you'll be doing it at, and whether there may be play in the turbos at that age/mileage, hence why it may be better to go for the petrol as you'll get one with lower miles...

Someone blew their turbos on here recently straight after a stage 1 remap with about 90k (I think) on the clock, probably just unlucky, but a risk none the less.
Hmm I hadn't really thought of that. I guess I just thought getting one with FSH and that appeared not to have been ragged should be enough, but I suppose theres always a chance of picking up a dog.

Maybe that is another plus in the 2.0T column as it would be an excuse to upgrade the tubby!
Oh I know mate, but IF it were to happen, I would prefer it on the petrol, plus like you said, the petrol should be cheaper or have less miles initially anyway.

More input welcome!

Anybody know how these two engines compare in a straight line when stage 2?
I personally hate diesels due to the tiny power band, noise and smell, and they don't suit how i like to drive. You however may like the diesel more.

You have hit the nail right on the head. For the longest while, I hated the very idea of a diesel, and for pretty much the same reasons as you have outlined. That said, I have no great love for 4-cylinder engines whatever the fuel, so every car I've owned in the last 20 years has been a normally aspirated petrol V6. Great sound, great refinement, and reasonably good performance, provided I was willing to rev them hard. But I'm getting on, now, and although I still want my car to get a move on, I don't want to work hard at it anymore. I'm lazy now, and so I expect my car to be as well.

So, for the way I drive now, the 3.0TDi is the perfect fit. No, I don't particularly enjoy the sound it makes when it's first started up, but once it's moving, it's fine - nice and smooth. It is by a long way the fastest car in real-life driving conditions I have ever owned, the performance is effortlessly accessible and yet it uses 25% less fuel that its predecessor (B6 2.4SE). It's not remotely sporty in character, and yes it is cumbersome and heavy-nosed in corners (although the RS4 rear anti-roll bar helps hugely to tame the understeer), but I love it. I wouldn't have 20 years ago, but I do now.

To Gouldyboy, based on the impression I've formed from your comments on the thread, I suspect you wouldn't like a 3.0TDi all that much, regardless of whether it was mapped or not. I might be wrong, but I think you want something a bit leaner and keener.
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Thanks for the honest answer mate, you could well be right.

I've heard a few people say the tdi is not at all sporty now so i do think id prefer the petrol.

Its an easier car to find and for cheaper too, so that's probably what I'll end up with.
Just bear in mind that those comments are from the experience of an SE, which will wallow around alot, the S-line will be totally different. Even with mine totally standard, there's very little I've seen out on the road that's given me a run for my money, in a straight line or corners. The figures on paper are not real world driving.

The best person to talk to would be a member called Dazmo, he has a modded 3.0tdi.
Thanks mate. That is half the problem, eventually mine will have shocks/springs and an arb as well as stage 2, so test driving an unmodded one isn't a great help considering how much people say suspension mods help with the tdi's handling.