People often say that the 1.9 TDI is bulletproof, but I think they mean it will run forever without too much maintenance. These guys took it into the other direction, tuning a humble SEAT Ibiza to race against much worthier quarter-mile champions.
This sort of setup is often referred to as “popcorn” because of the distinctive sound made by the old diesel engine through its tuned exhaust system.
But we’d like to imagine this as the European version of the Cummins drag-racing trucks, rolling coal and showing the middle finger to the legislators who have waged war on the TDI.
Back in the late 2000s, when the MINI Cooper S was dominating the small performance segment together with the Clio RS, SEAT gave us two Ibiza Cupra models. One had the 1.8-liter turbo shared with the Polo GTI and the other a 1.9 TDI shared with the Fabia vRS. Sure, it was frugal and had unusual amounts of torque, but could you imagine buying this instead of the Clio RS 197?
Fast forward about a decade and the Ibiza has a new role in life as the “SKILLATURBOS,” seen racing at The Fast Show at Santa Pod Raceway in Britain. It’s putting in some low-13 passes, the best of which was 13.31 at 110 mph.
The 1.9 TDI is running a GTB2262VKLR custom turbo, stock cams, stock engine and some sonorous downpipes that come out in front of the left-back wheel. All the mechanicals and the front mounted intercooler are by Helder, while the custom mapping is by Remapinnovate.
You can easily tell that the front wheels are quickly overwhelmed by the 510 Nm of available torque. We don’t want to pretend to know what these TDI races should do, but other people have fitted 4Motion to cars based on this supermini platform. It’s not easy, but when you’ve got V6 levels of output, the front rubbers might need a little help.