Exige with VW 2.0 TSI & DSG Conversion Build - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community

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post #1 of 99 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
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Exige with VW 2.0 TSI & DSG Conversion Build

I am always looking for new projects to challenge me. This latest project may be my most ambitious to date.

Integrating a VW 2.0 TSI motor with a DSG dual clutch transmission into my 2010 Exige.

In my prior build I had integrated a Quaife sequential with paddle shifters. While this was great on the track, it wasn't the best for street driving. It took some finesse to drive smoothly on the street.
This new build would make the car not only a monster on the track, but also a dream to drive on the street.

I had done months of research trying to find any conversion which included a dual clutch transmission, and could find none. And no one makes a stand-alone controller for a DSG for the aftermarket. So I was embarking into uncharted waters.

A big thanks to the guys at New German Performance in Maryland for their technical insight and guidance on parts for the engine and transmission rebuilds. They are always gracious with their time on the phone with my many questions. And also thanks to my brother-in-law who has spent (and continues to spend) countless hours assisting.



Well, I knew I couldn’t just buy a motor/trans combo alone because these modern drivetrains depend a lot on the canbus to operate. Therefore, I would also need a complete chassis harness and the various control modules to make this work. Since there was no online info of what modules may or may not be needed, I began searching for a full donor car so I would have everything, and then I could whittle away what was not needed. I wanted a donor with relatively low mileage that was salvaged from a rear end collision... keeping the engine and drivetrain in good condition. After a couple months of searching, I was able to pick up this 2012 CC Sport with only 20K miles on it.
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Other than the rear end damage, the car looked like new. Now came time for the disassembly to remove the motor/trans and the entire chassis harness and control modules.

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With the desire to enhance the performance of the stock drivetrain, I decided to go with APR performance products. They are well known in the VW/Audi/Porsche community. I decided to go with their Stage3 turbo kit, forged engine internals, valve springs, DSG clutch plates, and more. The Stage3 would provide 450HP and 380lb-ft of torque.

With the engine now on the stand, I tore it down to the block, new bearings, rods, pistons, and head work and built it back up.
This is an incredibly well engineered motor... although heavy.

I then began work on the transmission adding a Peloquin limited slip differential and APR clutches to handle the additional torque.


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Since I would no longer need a clutch pedal, I decided to implement Pilbeam’s brake pedal system, which removes the vacuum assist and provides separate master cylinders to allow for front/rear brake biasing.

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With the drivetrain assembled, it was time to drop it into the car. I had custom motor mounts and driveshafts made, and squeezed it all into the engine bay.

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Next came all of the plumbing, integrating an air to water intercooler, transmission cooler and all of the other ancillary items. Lots of trial and error trying to get everything to fit in the engine bay. And tons of custom fab work.

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I had to cut into the trunk space a bit to allow for clearance and heat shielding from the turbo. I still need to fab up a cover in the trunk and install heat shielding.

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But in the end... I got it all to fit.

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Now the difficult part. Getting the drivetrain to work and integrating it with the Lotus wiring harness.
I decided to first take the entire VW chassis harness, lay it out on a table with all of its control modules attached, and hook it up to the drivetrain to ensure I could get the engine and transmission operating.

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With everything hooked up, I did the first start-up.

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Now it was time to begin removing un-needed control modules and to build a prototype board to hold all of the needed electronics, so the car could actually be test driven. I decided to make an aluminum panel to hold all of the items and sit it behind the seats. Once full testing is complete, I can relocate various items around the vehicle for a more compact/clean final install

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With everything now secured in the vehicle, it was time for the very first test drive…



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With a successful test drive I am now embarking on cleaning everything up to its final install locations.

I do not want the VW stock gear select lever on the floor and I need to integrate paddles on the steering wheel.

So I connected to the car’s canbus and pulled all of the drivetrain can messages related to the various gears (P, R, N, D, S, paddle shift up, paddle shift down). With that info, I am building a controller which will allow me to have push buttons on the console to choose the gear, and have paddles on the steering wheel for tiptronic mode.

For the dash, I will be integrating an AiM MXS which will pull all engine info via the canbus, and also allow for data logging.

Also since I had the rear clam off, I installed BOE’s clam hinge which works nicely.
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There is still a long way to go before it is truly road/track ready. But so far so good…
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JWA, darkSol, HondaCRX and 11 others like this.

2010 Lotus Exige S450
Powered By: VW 2.0 Turbo with DSG

Last edited by da40flyer; 02-13-2017 at 07:28 AM.
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post #2 of 99 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 10:14 AM
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You are a madman!!! I love this. You NEED to fix your pics. They aren't showing up. Where in north Ga are you? I'm in Atlanta proper.
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post #3 of 99 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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I believe the photos should now show up...

2010 Lotus Exige S450
Powered By: VW 2.0 Turbo with DSG
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post #4 of 99 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 12:12 PM
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Wow. That pic of the modules on the rack behind your seats is telling.

I guess nobody does it like OE.
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post #5 of 99 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 12:48 PM
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Yay a thread about something awesome! Keep up the good work.

2007 Exige S with almost every track mod...
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post #6 of 99 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 01:00 PM
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Congratulations on the awesome build. I love the ingenuity and desire to make something never done before. I'd love to hit some GA tracks with you once its ready!

Side note: that's a LOT of electronics you had to carry over! Ugh, modern platforms.
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post #7 of 99 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 01:06 PM
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God I wish I had your skill set and know how. That is AMAZING!

2005 Elise- Katana II S/C with other fun bits
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post #8 of 99 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 01:56 PM
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Something more than interesting, it's AWESOME! Thanks for posting.
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post #9 of 99 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 02:14 PM
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I'm convinced David is a secret government aerospace engineer for some modern Skunk Works. When he isn't reverse engineering UFOs he uses his evil genius on his Lotus. Well played sir. Well played...

So you guys know how awesome he is, he built a car...from another car...from scratch... in probably 3 months. Think that timeline is accurate. Impressive whatever it is.
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post #10 of 99 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 02:28 PM
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Wow .. BIG go !!
Great work and hope you can "pair" down those electronics.
How many hours to get to this point ?

Driveshafts look to have a bit of an angle .. but presume OK when on the ground ? [bad pic sorry / screen shot from your video]

Interesting place to put your shock reservoirs ?
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ELISE : K20 / TVS 1320 / EP sequential / Dry Sumped / Motec M1
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post #11 of 99 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the nice comments.

Some fun facts....
- Build time so far, as Sean mentioned, has been about 3 months working evenings/weekends.
- The electrical schematics manual for the VW is 1061 pages!
- The VW had 3 can buses, now only using 1.
- The DSG transmission has all the sensors it needs to work, self contained.
- The immobilizer system on the VW talks to 7 separate modules before it will allow ignition... all removed in this build.
- The 2.0 TSI motor has 2 fairly heavy internal counterbalance shafts which aid in the motors incredibly smooth operation.
- While the prototype electronics panel looks packed with stuff (and it is), I ended up discarding roughly 70% of the overall VW chassis harness.

Answers to CPH's questions...
- rear damper remote reservoirs are mounted in the stock location from the factory.
- Axle angle. The angle is indeed a bit more than I would like. It all comes down to a give and take when trying to fit everything into this chassis. If you lower the motor for less angle, your a-arms hit the transmission. A true 3-D puzzle.

2010 Lotus Exige S450
Powered By: VW 2.0 Turbo with DSG

Last edited by da40flyer; 02-13-2017 at 07:34 AM.
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post #12 of 99 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 04:15 PM
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Have never seen the reservoirs in that position ... learn something every day !!
What sort of weight & weight balance are you hoping for ?

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ELISE : K20 / TVS 1320 / EP sequential / Dry Sumped / Motec M1
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post #13 of 99 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 06:17 PM
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You are the man!
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2006 Exige (SC Koldfire 270 RLS intercooler)
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post #14 of 99 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 06:38 PM
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Fantastic home build - it must have been super complex, especially with all the electronics integration. Well done & thanks for posting.

Commercially it has been done :

On a visit to KomoTec about 5 years ago I saw their prototype build, and the TSFI conversion is available with DSG : OXID eShop 4 | 111R/Exige Phase10 Audi RS360/RS400 Kit | purchase online

Melkus in Germany built their RS 2000 around the Lotus platform and used the VW TSFI drivetrain towards the end (I'm guessing with KomoTec help)

In the UK, Autograph, PSR Automotive & Datum Motorsport have been installing TSFI engines in S1 & S2 Lotus 111 .... not sure if they offered DSG too.

Arabian Elises R US
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post #15 of 99 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 07:48 AM
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Amazing build.
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post #16 of 99 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 09:29 AM
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This is absolutely epic. Well done so far. I can't wait to see the beast on track.
I had an APR tuned stage 2+ Golf R, so this is really a melding of awesomeness for me.

2005 Elise - Storm Titanium
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post #17 of 99 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 09:34 AM
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NICE work so far.

2005 Nightfall Blue Elise: Sport, Touring, Quantum Zeros, Pro Alloy, BWR De-Cat, Stage II, BOE Torque200 tune
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post #18 of 99 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 10:01 AM
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You didn't happen to weigh the engine did you?

Jus curious

Also how does it compare dimension-ally


Very cool build
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post #19 of 99 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 11:10 AM
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holy crap

** save ~10 lbs gain 1 hp ** EQ: Y=(190*X) / (1984-X) where Y is (HP) and X is (lbs)

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post #20 of 99 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 11:31 AM
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awesome build! Whats your background?

Phantom Black 2007 Exige Kold Fire, Tesla double din dash.
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