Citroen C4 Cactus Tuning

Citroen wanted to make a small SUV car aimed at millenials and came up with the Cactus.

One of few cars to have soft air bump panels on the site it clearly stands out, and some may dislike the styling but it does find many fans among the target market.

It came with 2 peppy engine choices, the 1.3 3 cylinder petrol and the 1.6 HDI 4 cylinder diesel. Both have been tuned for economy and comfort and have the potential to make more power with the right modifications.

It won a few awards along the way, Hatchback of the year (Top Gear), Production car of the year (Geneva motor show) and the Small SUV of the year from Auto Express.

The only thing holding you back in your C4 Cactus project is time, money and your imagination If you do your homework then you can create an awesome C4 Cactus but don't be fooled there are lots of uprated parts out there that will simply not suit it read our unbiased guides first.

Do not slap on a massive exhaust and induction kit expecting anything other than more noise! Owners have reported disappointing results with those mods on the 1.2 and 1.6.

Tuning tips and articles

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

Many C4 Cactus owners uprate the handling of their cars with sports suspension upgrades as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car. Don't go too low or too hard, a set of adjustable shocks will give a good range to work in and allow you to find the peak setup.

A little negative camber and toe out on the front suspension greatly sharpens up the handling.

We suggest that you fit modified suspension and lower the car by 30-35mm. Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with uprated suspension.

Our aim in C4 Cactus engine tuning should be to increase peak power and Torque at the top end.

C4 Cactus make good sleepers and fun weekend cars if you modify them and fit the most powerful engine upgrades and handling mods you can source!

Smaller engines do not provide much of a return in terms of power so start with a bigger engine. Engine swaps are a good option if you have a small engine size.

C4 Cactus Engine tuning mods.

The following performance modifications are usually installed by our members, decide how far you want to go before you get going.

Getting the right tuning upgrade kits for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 (competition) mods just don't work well on the road hard to control in slow traffic.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your car. Be sure to keep up with our latest YouTube content and subscribe.

Best mods for your C4 Cactus

  1. ECU Tunes - C4 Cactus engine tuning/remapping provides the most power in terms of cost, aftermarket ECUs, and Tuning boxes are all alternatives.
  2. Fast road Camshafts are are often the best upgrade for an engine, but they must be setup by someone who knows what they are doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
  3. Intake Upgrades and Performance Exhausts - 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. C4 Cactus Handling Mods (suspension) - Fitting a more sporty Suspension kit greatly enhances your C4 Cactus road holding and cornering. Coilovers and Bushings are the usual go to mods
  5. Brake Upgrades - Improve your C4 Cactus's stopping power should be near the top of your Mods list.
  6. Flowing and porting the engine head - for larger gains, you will get better flow and make a more efficient engine if you do this to support your other mods.

C4 Cactus Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Panel air filter, Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm), Engine Tunes/Remapping, Sports exhaust, Alloy wheels, Lighter flywheel.

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

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

You should keep as much low end power as you can and aim to get a long power band across the rev range rather than a narrow top end power spike.

The whole point of our pointers is to give a starting base of customizing upgrades and point you in the right direction, our forum is the place to go for detailed advice and tips on your tuning project, the best sport modifications and all aspects of modding cars.A fast road cam will be one of the best NASP power modifications you can do from a single upgrade to your engine.

The intake and exhaust durations play a large part in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car hard to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a camshaft upgrade with other mods and finish with a reflashed ECU for the best performance gains.When pushing up the power you will need to uprate to the fuelling. More power needs more fuel.

Using high octane petrol is another option if you find you are suffering from pinking or premature ignition on your Citroen project after fitting other motorsport mods. Uprated injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the engine. 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 Tuning.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. Please note that WE DO NOT RECOMMEND INDUCTION KITS, unless you have tuned your car extensively and are finding that the standard air intake has become a restriction.

For most C4 Cactus engines TorqueCars would suggest you just go with a washable panel air filter. On heavily tuned engines and turbo vehicles an induction kit will help release the power providing you address the problem of needing cold air.

Sports exhausts can usually air flow through the engine but do not go too wide or you might just stuff your flow rate and make things worse. So generally speaking, keep to a size of 1.5 inches for best results.

Getting the head flowed (ported and polished) will further help more air into each cylinder.

This is definitely a job for a professional with a flow bench. In nearly all cases of C4 Cactus tuning your clutch will start to complain and this needs to be uprated - read our article on clutches for more information. Turbo engines are just crying out to be Upgraded. You will see large power gains on most modern turbochaged cars including diesels making a tune/remap one of the most cost effective and large modifications for your money.

We've also come across some owners playing with supercharger kits, and even going to twincharging applications and making some very high power gains.

Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NA (naturally aspirated) engine will give large power gains. Turbos are often harder to add than a supercharger. Turbos increase power in increasing proportion to rising engine speed and this can make mapping difficult.

Superchargers, however will give a boost which is directly proportional to engine speed so is easier to map. Decreasing the engines compression ratio will allow you to add forced induction, water injection may also help prevent detonation.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

The benefits of alloys include a lower unsprung weight and more efficient brake cooling. We should point out that although they can look cool on the C4 Cactus big alloy wheels will actually decrease your performance. The larger you go the lower your acceleration will be - this to the change in your effective final drive ratio.

For this reason we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 17 inches, although we know some of our members have installed larger rims with no problems.

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 C4 Cactus options in more detail with our C4 Cactus owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Citroen tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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