Audi A8 Tuning

"Tuning guide to the most effective Audi A8 modifications."

The A8 is one of the best cars Audi have ever produced with a stunning range of refined and powerful engine options.

For such a large car the A8 performs well and is better than many supercars. The S8 really sparkles and is the sensible option if you want an R8 but have a family or need a sensible 4 door car.

When it comes to A8 tuning options a lot depends on what you want from the car.

For most of our readers and members a regular power increase is all that is desired and the best way to get this is from a remap or perhaps upgrade the turbo as well.

Remapping the ECU on the TD engines will unleash a mountain of extra torque, give better fuel economy and make the car much better to drive. The NASP turbo engines will typically give around an extra 10% of power from a remap and the petrol Turbo engines give phenomenal power gains in the order of 30% from a remap.

The A8 is a good project car to try. Plan ahead and research A8 tuning to save yourself making the usual common mistakes we see.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

See our video which covers all the principles of tuning your Audi.

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Many A8 owners uprate the handling of their cars with fast road suspension modifications as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car.

Good suspension tweaks that greatly improve handling for the A8 include a couple of degrees negative camber and 1-1.5 degrees of toe in or out on the front wheels. Toe in for stability, or Toe out to improve cornering. It would also pay to improve the brakes, by adding larger discs and or higher friction pads..

Drop the car by as much as 27mm - 36 mm. and fit uprated stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

Top end power should be your overall aim on the A8 with a nice fat peak torque band.

The best power gains come from larger engine sizes so go with the V6 FSi or the V8, V10 or the stunning W12 engines. The more you start with the bigger the return on the tuning investment so engine swaps are good value mods if you have the 2.8 V6.

Spending just a little bit of money on the right engine and handling upgrades will transform your car into a credible track car.

Engine tuning mods.

The following motorsport modifications are usually installed by our members, decide how far you want to go before you start.

Getting the right  modifications for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 competition upgrades just don't work well on the road difficult in stop start traffic.

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Best mods for your car

  1. Mapping - remapping provides the most advantage in terms of cost savings,  aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  2. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they're doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
  3. Intake and Exhaust - Note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction.
  4. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - forced induction is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. It is one of the most costly upgrades but provides the best gains.
  5. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Lighter flywheel, Panel air filter, Remap, Suspension upgrade (drop 27mm - 36 mm.), Sports exhaust, Alloy wheels.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Ported and polished head, Power/Sport clutch, high flow fuel injector, fuel pump upgrades, Fast road cam.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Engine balancing, Competition cam, Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Sports gearbox.

Peak power is nice in motorsport but for a drivable and fun car you need a long power band and perhaps extending the rev range.

The point of our articles is to give a starting base of customizing performance parts and point you in the right direction, our forum is where you can ask for more detailed advice and tips on your car tuning project, the best motorsport kits and all aspects of modding cars.A fast road camshaft is widely accepted as one of the best NASP power mods you can do from a single upgrade to your engine.

It improves the intake and exhaust durations and pushes up the power if done right. Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a performance chip. We'd also caution you not to go with a competition cam as this upsets the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to look at the fuelling.

Frequently power losses, and erratic idling after sports mods are done can usually be traced to timing or fuelling issues. Upgrading the injectors is another beneficial modification and will deliver sufficient fuel.

If have increased your fuelling with bigger injectors you will also need to get a bigger fuel pump to supply it.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. Induction kits are only beneficial to add performance if the air intake is struggling! Adding an induction kit to most small engines will see LITTLE LOW END POWER GAIN AT ALL. If you have heavily modified your engine and it's need for air INCREASES DRAMATICALLY then an induction kit is the answer and will help remove this restriction.

Derestricting the air feed into the engine is the primary part of tuning so get a freer flowing air filter if you find that the car is running lean only if you find the car is running lean. Induction kits can sound fun but due to the warm air in the engine bay they will not add noticeable power and actually rob you of power on most cars.

Sports exhausts can usually air flow through the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too wide or you could very well end up with a reduced flow rate. So generally speaking, keep to 1.5 to 2.5 inches as a rule of thumb.

Getting a professionally polished and ported head with larger valves can fully release the engines power. Your clutch can lose you loads of power as the power goes up if it starts to fail and the standard clutches are only ever good for power gains of up to 45%. Fit a power clutch to avoid power losses through the transmission. The best mods we would do for your A8 are remaps, sports camshafts and induction improvements.

Turbo engines are just crying out to be Remapped. You will see significant power gains on most modern turbo charged cars including diesels making a remap one of the most cost effective and significant modifications for your money.

We've also come across some owners experimenting with twincharged applications and making some impressively high power figures.

Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NASP engine will give large power gains. Superchargers are often easier to add than a turbo. With a turbo the boost curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it harder to map.

The nice correlating boost and rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them simpler to map. To cope with forced induction you will usually need to decrease the compression ratio of the engine .

Alloy wheel upgrades.

As alloy wheels are less heavy they improve performance and they can help to cool the brake disks.

Don't forget that your choice of rubber greatly affects your cars grip and handling. It is not worth compromising performance with cheap tyres when you can buy directional tread pattern performance tires.The drawback to large alloy wheels on your A8 is that you alter your final drive ratio so this will have a detrimental effect on performance.

Due to this try to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the standard factory sizes. In all cases without going over 18 inches.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss A8 options in more detail with our A8 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Audi tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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