The Avensis is Toyotas larger family car. Build primarily with practicality and economy in mind.
However there is nothing stopping your from turning your Avensis into a track day car. Most Avensis owners in our forum just wanted a fast road car that is fun to drive.
With this in mind we suggest that handling mods are your first port of call. Fit adjustable coilovers all round that are slightly stiffer and lower than standard. We would go to a maximum drop of 35mm on most models. You risk rubbing on the arches and compromising your handling if you go lower than this.
Top end power should be your overall aim on the Avensis with a nice fat peak torque band. As this is a large car you must pay careful attention to your braking and TorqueCars would strongly recommend you fit bigger disks and pads all round.
Vented disks and high friction pads are best. Avoid the track day pads as these are only really effective when they get warm and this is not something that happens on the road.
The 1.6 engines do not provide much of a return in terms of power and really struggle with so much car to move. So start with a bigger engine, either the 1.8 or the 2.0. Engine swaps are a good option if you have the 1.6. (Interestingly the 1.6 was not offered in the UK market!)
Avensis tuning modifications.
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.
Fast road cams offer one of the biggest performance gains as far as a bolt on part goes for the Avensis. You might also get the head flowed and ported and larger valves if you are serious about power. Don't forget to uprate the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car use more fuel as power is fuel+air burnt.
A fuel pressure boost valve can make the car more responsive and respond better although it will not increase the power output. Uprating the injectors is another beneficial modification and will deliver sufficient fuel. A fuel pump will only deliver a finite amount of fuel, so you may need to uprate this if your injectors are demanding more fuel.
Intake and Exhaust Modifications.
The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. Please ignore induction kits, the standard Avensis airbox is more than adequate for most tuning projects, instead for Avensis engines you should go with a sports panel air filter. Sports exhausts balance the flow of air through the engine. But if your exhaust is too large, ie it is over 2.0 inches bore, you will lose a lot of the flow rate and lose power on most engines.
Fit an uprated clutch to avoid power losses through the transmission. Turbo Diesel engines are just begging to be remapped. You will see big power gains on most turbo engined cars including diesels making a remap one of the most cost effective modifications.
The largest power gains for the 1.8 and 2.0 petrol engines usually involve the addition of forced induction. In general turbos are harder to add than supercharger as turbos boost in exponential proportion to increasing engine speed and this can make mapping difficult. The nice steady boost to rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them easier to map and setup. Decreasing the engines compression ratio will allow you to add forced induction, water injection may also help prevent detonation along with the use of high octane fuel.
Toyota Avensis Wheel modifications.
The benefits of alloy wheels include a lower unsprung weight and more efficient brake cooling. It is worth noting that although they can look cool on the Avensis Big alloy wheels will actually decrease your performance. The larger you go the lower your acceleration will be - this is due to the change in your effective final drive ratio. 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 17 inches.
Make sure you get some nice grippy tyres for your Avensis. Assymetric and direction tread patterns are rated by our members so be sure to drop into our forum and find the thread on tyres.
For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss Avensis options in more detail with our Avensis owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Toyota 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.