Tuning the Alfa Romeo 145

"Turning a family hatch into a fun Track car"

The 145 is a great project car if you want a track day car, and our members have some interesting projects underway in our forums. Straight from the factory they handle well and the engines are all pretty lively to start with.

Uprating your 145's cornering and general handling is often a big priority.We suggest that you look for some performance suspension parts and lower your car by around 30-35mm. More than this will generally require arch work - especially on the performance models which are already equipped with lower and stiffer suspension.

Bear in mind that a track day suspension setup will be hard to live with on our roads with potholes and rough surfaces to contend with.

Tuning up a car engine requires carefully sourced parts as the wrong selection and choices can result in a narrow unusable power band.

A popular car sharing much with the 146, and it came with a wide choice of engines including the lovely sounding Boxer engines.

  • 1.4 L Boxer
  • 1.6 L Boxer
  • 1.7 L Boxer
  • 1.4 L Twin Spark
  • 1.6 L Twin Spark
  • 1.8 L Twin Spark
  • 2.0 L Twin Spark
  • 1.9 L turbocharged diesel)
  • 1.9 L JTD (turbocharged diesel)
With some simple modifications you can really transform your 145 into a fun car, and credible track performer.

When it comes to car tuning you always get a percentage gain so start off with a powerful engine to start with to maximise your tuning investment.

Alfa Romeo 145 Tuning modifications.

Peak power is all well and good but if you want a truly driveable car it will need a wide power band and lots of low down torque. Don't get misled by manufacturer claims of big peak power gains, they don't tell the whole story, it is the torque or power band you need to focus your attention on.

One of the most significant with the best cost to power gain, engine mods you can do is to fit a fast road cam. You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to uprate the fuelling. For fuelling upgrades you will generally need a set of uprated injectors and a higher capacity fuel pump.

Alfa Romeo 145 intake and exhaust modifications.

Let's move on to the engine intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. The maximum power gains generally come from a full induction kit with a cold air feed, this can be sited within an air box but a panel filter should suffice for most applications. On smaller engines you can actually lose low down power so TorqueCars suggest you use a panel air filter instead.

Our forums are a good place to ask about which mods are most suitable for you car. Do not go with the biggest exhaust you can find this will slow up the exhaust flow rate - the best for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 inches. See our article on performance exhausts for details of the issue around large bore exhausts and how to choose the right size for your engine.

Getting a professionally flowed head with larger valves can fully release the engines power. A good fast road power clutch will help to keep that power going where it should. Never just hope that a standard worn clutch will cope. Remaps offer limited gains on a NASP engine but they will help unleash the potential if you have done a lot of mods.

The largest power gains for NASP engines usually involve the addition of forced induction. There are supercharger kits and turbo kis around for the Alfa Romeo but you should note that it is easier to bolt on a supercharger than it is to get a turbo working. With a turbo the boost curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it hard to map. It is easier to map a supercharger because the boost is proportional to engine speed on a linear curve. Alternatively you could add water injection to control knock.

Alfa Romeo 145 Wheel modifications.

Alloy wheels will help the brakes cool down and are usually lighter than the steel ones. Large wheels tend to be heavy and the last thing you want is to increase the unsprung mass in your car, instead choose performance tyres and light weight wheels of a similar size to the OEM settings on your car. 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.

For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss 145 options in more detail with our 145 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Alfa Romeo tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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Top 10 performance modsRemapping guideBest modified car photosGuide to induction kits

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