"The Fabulous Fabia"
The Fabia is viewed by many as a budget VW Polo but in reality it is a very different car.
Choosing the right performance upgrades can turn your Fabia into the ultimate hot hatch and create a credible track day project car.
It combines practicality with a good drive and the choice of engines offered range from an economical 1.0 to the 2.0 Diesel.
By using the stunning range of VAG group engines there are lots of cheap power upgrade options out there, and we will aim to steer you to the best options to give the biggest performance increase for your money.
Many Fabia owners uprate the handling of their cars as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car and should be quite high on your priority list.
We would go to a maximum drop of 35mm on most models, a little more on the diesel. You risk rubbing on the arches if you go lower than this.
Our aim in Fabia engine tuning should be to increase peak power and Torque at the top end but many Fabia owners want to retain the fuel economy. Keep the car looking standard and remove the badges for the ultimate sleeper!
The following modifications are usually performed by our members, decide how far you want to go before you begin.
Getting the right mods for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 (competition) mods just don't work well on the road.
Stage 1 mods: Exhaust, Panel air filter, Remap, lighter flywheel
Stage 2 mods: Fast road cam, ported and polished head, fuel injector & fuel pump upgrades,
Stage 3 mods: Engine balancing, forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), competition cam.
Smaller engines do not provide much of a return in terms of power so start with a bigger engine like the 1.4. Engine swaps are a good option if you have a small engine size. We have yet to see a 1.8T engine put into a Fabia but it looks like it will fit and will certainly make for an impressive engine conversion.
Skoda Fabia Tuning modifications.
Your aim when tuning should be a nice flat torque curve and a wide power band. One of the best mechanical mods you can do is to fit a fast road cam, don't go too mad with the profile though or the engine will seem really lumpy on tickover.
Skoda Fabia Intake and Exhaust Tuning.
Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. Derestricting the airflow into the engine is the primary part of tuning so get a better flowing air filter. Induction kits sound great but due to the warm air in the engine bay they will not add noticable power and actually rob you of power. Sports exhausts will certainly help air flow through the engine, when combined with a sports catalyst, but do not go too large or you will reduce the flow rate and stuff up the power. Stick to 1.0 to 1.5 inches for best results.
Getting a professionally flowed head with larger valves can fully release the engines power. In nearly all cases of Fabia tuning your clutch will start to slip and this needs to be uprated - read our article on clutches for more information.
Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NASP engine on the Fabia will give large power gains. Turbos are harder to add than supercharger but still possible if you lower the compression ratio and are careful with the mapping. With a turbo the boost curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it hard to map. The nice steady boost to rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them easier to map. To cope with forced induction you will usually need to decrease the compression ratio of the engine.
Skoda Fabia Wheel modifications.
Because alloy wheels are lighter they improve performance and they help to cool the brake disks. The downside to large alloy wheels on your Fabia is that you alter your effective final drive ratio and this will have a detrimental effect on acceleration and performance. Aim to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the same as supplied from the factory. In all cases we do not recommend going above 16 inches.
Standard brakes on the Fabia leave much to be desired and you are strongly advised by TorqueCars to get an uprated bigger disk and calipers. Look to the VW Polo and other VAG group cars of a similar size for suitable upgrades.
Changing your hubs to that of the larger engine golfs will give a much wider selection of brakes including the Golf VR6 and Audi S3 along with a wide range of alloy wheels.
For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss Fabia options in more detail with our Fabia owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Skoda tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.
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Please use our forums if you wish to ask a tuning question, and please note we do not sell parts or services, we are just an online magazine.