Citroen C5 Tuning

"Thank you for reading my C5 tuning guide."

The large family car from Citroen, proved popular, and the revision in 2007 was largely to compete with luxury brands from Germany.

The C5 is one of those cars we are often being asked if they can be tuned or improved.

Most owners have in mind subtle upgrades that enhance the drive of the car, from engine mods, to suspension upgrades, but we have seen some pretty extreme projects out there!


You can do a lot to improve the performance of your C5 with our step by step tuning tips.

With the right mods your C5 can be transformed into a fun car. Don't waste money, do your homework and follow our unbiased guides to each performance upgrade so you don't waste your money.

Tuning tips and articles

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

Getting the right motorsport modifications for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 (competition) mods just don't work well on the road and will make the car undrivable.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your C5. Be sure to keep up with our latest YouTube content and subscribe.

Best mods for your C5

  1. Fast road cams 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.
  2. Brake Upgrades - Enhancing your stopping power ought to be near the top of your Mods list.
  3. Tunes - A Remapped C5 ECU provides the biggest gains in terms of cost, aftermarket ECU upgrades, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  4. C5 Suspension Upgrades - Replacing worn bushings and shocks dramatically improves C5 handling Poly Bushes and Coilovers are typically fitted to achieve this
  5. Turbo upgrades - A New Turbo 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 you'll see massive gains.
  6. Air Induction and Exhaust Upgrades - Note that on their own these mods won't ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction.
  7. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.

C5 Tuning Stages

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

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

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

Peak power is all well and good but for a drivable and fun car you need a long torque band and perhaps extending the rev range.

In this article we shall give a limited introduction to the best performance parts for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance mod.

C5 Handling/Suspension upgrades

Improving the handling for people often first priority in your C5 tuning project. We would go to a maximum drop of 35mm on most models. You risk rubbing on the arches if you go lower than this.

Upgrades to the C5's suspension and handling include coilovers and poly bushes.

Handling mods are often the initial step for the C5.

Is there anything I should keep in mind while deciding on suspension for my C5?

Upgrading your Bushes

What factors should you consider when setting up and selecting your suspension if your C5 is also used as a daily driver?

Bushes, which are rubber mounts that spin, allow the C5's suspension components to be connected and rotated around the car's chassis. The rubber ones will degrade with time.

Installing new OEM rubber bushings may dramatically improve the performance of your car.

Because polyurethane bushes are stiffer, the ride may be rougher, but the bushes will last longer and maintain the car's handling for longer.

Turning our attention to the C5s engine we need to get a bit more power out of the top end.

Enjoy your C5 to the limit with our great modification guides - do the right mods in the right order.

To be completely frank and honest, on the more modest engine sizes you are wasting your time spending money on modifications, so if this applies to you get yourself an engine swap then apply the following mods.

C5 Power & Engine Specs.

There was a wide array of engine options on the C5.The range was revised in 2007 and the engine options were tweaked a little.

Petrol engines
EW/DW family was introduced in 1998 as a replacement for the XU engine

  • 1.8 L EW7 1749 cc 113hp @ 5500rpm 120lb-ft @ 4000rpm
  • 1.8 L EW7 (auto) 1749cc 113hp @ 5500rpm 120lb-ft @ 4000rpm
  • 2.0 L EW10 1997cc  134hp @ 6000rpm 140lb-ft @ 4100rpm
  • 2.0 L EW10 hpI 1997cc  140hp @ 6000rpm 142lb-ft @ 4000rpm
  • 2.0 L EW10 VVT 1997cc 141hp @ 6000rpm 150lb-ft @ 4000rpm
  • 3.0 L ES9 V6 2946cc 204 hp @ 6000rpm 210 lbft @ 3750rpm
  • 3.0 L ES9 V6 VVT 2946cc 208 hp @ 6000rpm 210 lbft @ 3750rpm

Diesel engines (The DW10's feature common rail injection and were branded HDI)

  • 1.6 L DV6 HDi  1560cc 108hp @ 4000rpm 180lb-ft @ 1750rpm
  • 2.0 L DW10 HDi 1997cc 89hp @ 4000rpm 151lb-ft @ 1900rpm
  • 2.0 L DW10 HDi 1997cc 108hp @ 4000rpm 180lb-ft @ 1750rpm
  • 2.0 L DW10 HDi 1997cc 134hp @ 4000rpm 240lb-ft @ 2000rpm
  • 2.2 L DW12 HDi 2179cc 131hp @ 4000rpm 232lb-ft @ 2000rpm
  • 2.2 L DW12 HDi 2179cc  170hp @ 4000rpm 300lb-ft @ 1750rpm

The range was revised in 2007 and the engine options were tweaked a little.

Petrol engines

  • 1.8 L i4 1749 cc 125 bhp (93 kW; 127 PS)
  • 1.6 L i4 1598 cc 120 bhp (89 kW; 122 PS)
  • 2.0 L i4 1997 cc 140 bhp (104 kW; 142 PS)
  • 1.6 L i4 1598 cc 154 bhp (115 kW; 156 PS)
  • 3.0 L V6 2946 cc 211 bhp (157 kW; 214 PS)

Diesel engines

  • 1.6 L dieseli4 1560 cc 109 bhp (81 kW; 111 PS)
  • 1.6 L diesel i4 1560 cc 109 bhp (81 kW; 111 PS)
  • 2.0 L diesel i4 1997 cc 136 bhp (101 kW; 138 PS)
  • 2.0 L diesel i4 1997 cc 140 bhp (104 kW; 142 PS)
  • 2.0 L diesel i4 1997 cc 161 bhp (120 kW; 163PS)
  • 2.2 L diesel i4 2179 cc 170 bhp (127 kW; 172PS)
  • 2.2 L diesel i4 2179 cc 200 bhp (149 kW; 203PS)
  • 2.7 L diesel V6 2720 cc 208 bhp (155 kW; 211 PS)
  • 3.0 L diesel V6 2992 cc 240 bhp (179 kW; 243 PS)

C5 Camshafts Upgrades

The installation of a fast road camshaft is one of the most cost-effective mechanical motorsport modifications you can make to your NA (naturally aspirated) engine.

If done correctly, it boosts the engine's power output by maximising the intake and exhaust flow. In an ideal world, you'd conclude with a tune/remap and then add further modifications.

As far as idling and normal town driving are concerned, TorqueCars advises against using a motor sport camshaft.

Fueling must be increased to guarantee that the engine does not run out of gasoline/diesel.

To avoid early ignition or pinking on your Citroen project after previous changes, you might try using high octane gasoline. You'll be able to feed the engine with enough gasoline if you upgrade your injectors.

Larger injectors need a larger fuel pump to keep up with the increasing demand.

C5 Alloy wheel upgrades.

Alloy wheels can help the brake cooling and are generally lighter than steel ones. The downside to large alloy wheels on your C5 is that you're altering your final drive ratio and this will have a detrimental effect on acceleration.

With this in mind aim to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel your OEM settings. In all cases avoid going bigger than 17 inches.

C5 Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Our next stop is the intake and exhaust valves. We need to make sure that the engine is running smoothly. An air induction kit can only help if your car is having a hard time getting air in. When you put an induction kit on a standard engine, you won't see any power gain at all.

If you've done a lot of work to your engine and it needs more air than it used to, then an induction kit is what you need. It will help you get rid of this restriction.

Induction kits can work well on turbo engines and bigger engines if they come with a cold air feed or air box. For C5 engines, we'd just recommend that you use a performance panel air filter made of cotton.

Make sure you don't get the biggest exhaust you can, because this will slow down the exhaust rate. The best for power gains are usually between 1.5 and 2.0 inches in length. A bigger bore isn't as important as how it looks and what it's made of,

The amount of air that goes through your head can be dramatically increased with some professional flowed (porting and polishing). All of these things should match and be set up to take into account any engine mods.

Your clutch can seriously let you down as the power goes up if it starts to slip and the standard clutches are only ever good for power gains of up to 46%.

Fit a performance clutch to avoid power leak through the transmission. Remaps offer significant power gains on all turbo charged cars. On NA (naturally aspirated) engines the benefits are doubtful. However a tuned/remapped ECU on a NA (naturally aspirated) engine will help unleash the potential if you have done a lot of mods.

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

Adding forced induction will see big power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective.

Turbos are often harder to add than a supercharger. With a turbo the power curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it more challenging to map.

The nice correlating boost and rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them simpler to map. Decreasing the engines compression ratio will allow you to add forced induction, water injection may also help prevent detonation.

What next?

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 C5 options in more detail with our C5 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.

Please help us improve these tips by sending us your feedback in the comments box below. We love hearing about our website visitors projects, especially the mods done and which work best for you on your car. Which helps us keep our guides and tips up to date helping others with their modified car projects. Your feedback and comments are used to keep this page up to date, and help improve the accuracy of these articles which are kept updated and constantly revised.

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