Citroen DS3 Crossback Tuning

"Thank you for reading my DS3 tuning guide."

Competing with the Q2 and MINI Countryman, the DS3 Crossback has a lot of work to do.

It has a great specification and very stylish interior. Time will tell how well the DS3 Crossback sells but we are sure it will be popular with car tuners the world over.

In driving the DS3 Crossover beats it's rivals in our opinion, smoothing out rough roads and giving a good feel through the corners.

Engine wise we are promised an electric powered version some time in 2019. At the moment the engine lineup includes a 99bhp 1.5-litre diesel and the 1.2-litre PureTech petrol offered in three states of tune: 99bhp, 128bhp and, making its debut for the PSA group, a new 152bhp model.

The DS3 Crossback will be popular among our members for their tuning projects, and we'll eagerly await an off road Crossback project that turns this into a forest trailblazer.

Please take your time and research DS3 Crossback tuning to avoid making the usual costly errors we often see.

Tuning tips and articles

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

Handling modifications are usually your first port of call for the DS3 Crossback. Drop the car optimally somewhere in the region of 30mm and fit sports stiffer dampers (but don't go too stiff, adjustable suspension is the way to go here), and bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances or you'll sacrifice the fantastic ground clearance..

Turning our attention to the DS3 Crossbacks engine we need to get a bit more power out of the top end.

With performance tips you can change your DS3 Crossback into a really fun car, potentially beating more powerful cars on the track.

The best power gains come from larger engine sizes. The more you start with the bigger the return on investment so engine swaps are good value mods for small engined cars.

Tuning modifications.

This list of the stages and performance mods are usually installed by our members, decide how far you want to push your car before you get going.

Getting the right sports modifications for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 motor sport mods just don't work well on the road making the car difficult to drive.

DS3 Crossback Engine tuning mods.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your DS3. Be sure to keep up with our latest YouTube content and subscribe.

For NA (naturally aspirated) engines please watch this video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your DS3 naturally aspirated engine.

Best mods for your DS3 Crossback

  1. Intake Mods 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.
  2. 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.
  3. DS3 Suspension Upgrades - Fitting a more sporty Suspension kit greatly enhances your DS3 road holding and cornering. Poly Bushes and Coilovers are typically fitted to achieve this
  4. Brake Mods - Improve your DS3's stopping power should be high on your agenda.
  5. Forced induction upgrades - forced induction is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. Although one of the most costly upgrades it offers big gains.
  6. Tunes - A tune/remap provides the most power compared to cost, aftermarket ECU upgrades, and Tuning boxes are all alternatives.
  7. Fast road Camshafts are are often the best upgrade for an engine, but they must be fitted 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.

DS3 Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Remap, Panel air filter, Alloy wheels, Sports exhaust, Lighter flywheel, Suspension upgrade (drop 30-35mm).

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

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

Your aims when modding your car should be a wide torque band. You want to avoid sending all the torque to be at the top end of the rev range unless you are creating a competition car.

The whole point of our articles is to give a limited introduction of car tuning upgrades and point you in the right direction, our forum is best place to go if you need more detailed advice and tips on your modified car project, the best sport mods and all aspects of modding cars.Fast road cams offer one of the biggest performance gains for your money as far as a single motorsport modifications goes on a NA (naturally aspirated) 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 cam upgrade with other mods and finish with a reflashed ECU to fully realise your gains.

Don't forget to uprate the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty.

Frequently power losses, flat spots and erratic idling after motorsport parts are done can usually be traced to fuel delivery or timing issues.

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.

DS3 Handling/Suspension upgrades

Many DS3 owners uprate the handling of their cars with performance suspension kits as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car.

We suggest that you fit modified suspension and lower the car by 28 - 43 Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with motorsport suspension.

Upgrades to the DS3's suspension and handling

When it comes to tweaking your DS3, one of the most often cited objectives is to improve its handling. However, we continue to come across the same mistakes.

Is there anything else you should keep in mind while deciding on suspension for your DS3?

Upgrading your Suspension Bushes

Enhancements to the bushings: Things you need to know

It is possible to connect the DS3's suspension components around the chassis of the DS3 using poly bushes, which are replacements for the rubber mounts. The rubber ones will degrade with time and need replacing anyway so why not upgrade.

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

Because the polyurethane bushes are firmer, the ride may be a bit bumpier, but they will last longer and maintain the handling.

They may also hasten the depreciation of other suspension components due to the increased vibration and play.

A new set of poly bushes may be able to eliminate the excessive play that comes with rubber bushes.

DS3 Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Breathing mods are usually next up. Induction kits are only beneficial to add performance if your air intake is struggling! Adding an induction kit to most standard engines will see NO 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 flow into the engine is the primary part of performance tuning so get a better flowing air filter if you find that the car is running lean. Induction kits can sound fun but due to the warm air in the engine bay they will not do much to increase power and actually rob you of power.

Sports exhausts can help increase the flow of air through the engine. But if the exhaust pipe is too big, ie: it's over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose a lot of the exhaust flow rate and end up sapping power and torque.

Getting the head polished and ported will help get more air into each cylinder.

This is definitely a job for a professional with a flow bench. Your clutch can seriously let you down as the power goes up if it starts to weaken and the standard clutches are only ever good for power gains of up to 46%.

Fit a competition clutch to avoid power losses through the transmission.

DS3 Remapping

Turbo engines are just asking to be Remapped. You will see large power gains on most modern turbo charged cars including diesels making a tune/remap one of the most cost effective and large modifications for your money.Adding forced induction will see large power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. It is often easier to add a supercharger than it is to bolt on a turbo. Turbos give boost in increasing proportion to rising engine speed and this can make mapping difficult.

The nice proportional boost and rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them simpler to map. Alternatively you could add water injection to cut down knock.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

As alloys are less heavy they improve performance and they can help to cool the brake disks. Large DS3 Crossback alloys can decrease performance. If you get big alloys you will be changing your final drive ratio.

Due to this try to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel your OEM settings. In all cases not going bigger than 17 inches but we love the look of chunky tyres on 16 inch rims, they seem to set the car off really well and in our opinion really improve the handling and feel of the car.

There was an 18inch option on the crossback but we felt the handling was compromised compared with the 17's but we're not sure if it was the chosen low profile tyres or the weight of the rims.

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 DS3 Crossback options in more detail with our DS3 Crossback 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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