The EA888 engine family has a long history as a workhorse engine used across the VW/Audi lineup. This ubiquitous turbo four-cylinder has been used in everything from the Golf GTI to the Audi Q7, with various power outputs and displacements available depending on the application.
With the release of the MK8 GTI and Golf R, as well as the 8Y S3 came a new, updated version of the EA888, known internally as the EVO 4. This variant is focused on performance but still manages to return exceptional fuel economy in addition to power.
Keeping track of Volkswagen engine generations can be tricky, but we are going to break down some of the primary changes seen in the newest version of the EA888.
Perhaps the most obvious difference between the Gen 3 and EVO 4 engines is an increase in horsepower and torque.
Like the previous generation, the EVO 4 is available in two power outputs. In the GTI it makes 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, up from 228 and 258 previously.
The previous generation (MK7) Golf R, which utilized the high-output Gen 3 EA888, made 288 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. The Mk8 R, equipped with the high-output EVO4 engine makes 315 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The same is true for the new 8Y Audi S3, although in this configuration it’s slightly down from the R at 306 hp.
One of the biggest changes from the Gen 3 to the EVO 4 motor is the turbos on both the low-output and high-output versions. Previously, all engines in the EA888 lineup from the 1.8t to the high output 2.0t used IHI turbos of varying sizes.
IHI is no longer the turbo manufacturer for the EVO 4 motor. Instead, the low output versions (GTI) use a Garrett unit, and the Golf R uses a continental.
The IHI turbos used in the previous generation were notoriously unreliable. As more cars with the EVO 4 engine get on the road, it will be interesting to see if changing turbo manufacturers will improve reliability.
This difference is not noticeable while you are driving, but the EVO 4 engine uses an upgraded high-pressure direct injection fuel system. This system delivers fuel at 5,076 PSI, compared to 2900 PSI on the previous generation. The improvements in fueling allow the engine to make more torque earlier, improving daily driveability.
The EVO 4 engine has managed to provide a substantial increase in horsepower while maintaining the same MPG (Golf R) and slightly improved MPG (GTI). The Golf R can expect 23 city / 30 highway, while the GTI will see 25 city / 34 highways.
For owners looking to push their vehicle’s performance further, the EVO 4 engine is very exciting. The updated stock turbochargers have a significantly higher performance ceiling than the old IHI units. ECU flashes alone on these cars are producing power numbers that in the past were only achievable with built engines and big turbo setups. While the aftermarket support for the EVO 4 is still in its infancy, we will likely see some impressive numbers out of this engine.
It’s too early in the EVO 4’s life cycle to discuss common problems, but as these engines get higher in mileage over the next several years, we will be sure to cover them here.
Recently upgraded to Mk8 GTI/R or 8Y S3? Whether you are looking for more power or a reliable alternative to the dealership, schedule an appointment at Alex’s Autohaus! Our expert technicians and performance specialists will help you get the most from your vehicle.
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