Fiat Firefly N3 Tuning

"All you need to know about tuning and performance parts on the Fiat Firefly N3 engine!"

Also known as the FCA Small Global or GSE engine this range had a modular design allowing Fiat to offer it in a variety of power levels and states of tune.

Our aim here is to examine Firefly N3 tuning and show the optimum modifications for your car. Fiat Firefly N3 have loads of potential and with the right tuning parts like remapping, turbo kits and camshafts you will really increase your driving opportunities.

History, Power & Specs of the Firefly N3 Engine


  • 72 PS (53 kW; 71 hp) at 6000 rpm (77 PS (57 kW; 76 hp) at 6250 rpm)
  • 102 Nm (75 lbft) at 3250 rpm (107 Nm (79 lbft) at 3250 rpm)

Fitted to the following cars between 2016–present

  • Fiat Mobi
  • Fiat Uno
  • Fiat Argo


  • 70 PS (51 kW; 69 hp) at 6000 rpm
  • 92 Nm (68 lbft) at 3500 rpm

Fitted to the following cars between 2020–present

  • Fiat 500
  • Fiat Panda

Tuning the Fiat Firefly N3 and best Firefly N3 performance parts.

Best Firefly N3 upgrades

The optimum Firefly N3 mods on an engine are usually the ones that give the biggest return for your cash.

We won't be swayed by popular Firefly N3 mods, they need to be cost effective.

The cam profile plays a big part in the engines power output so cam upgrades make quite a large difference. The intake & exhaust durations will alter depending on the chosen cam profile, so large torque gains are on offer for cam upgrades.

Fast road cams usually bump the torque across the rpm band, you may lose a little bottom end torque but high end rpm power will be higher.

Motorsport and race cams, bump the high end rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

A Race cam makes it harder when driving in heavy traffic. The low end idle will be very lumpy and irregular, so something you would notice on a track when you drive in the upper third of the rpm band, but on roads this is a serious issue and we've heard from lots of drivers lamenting their decision to add an extreme competition cam profile to their engine.

You should ideally match your bhp range to your preferences so for a road car stick with a fast road Firefly N3 cam

Each engine responds better to more or less aggressive camshaft durations check your engine on a rolling road.

The engine timing and fuel pump and injectors also will make differences on the torque gains you'll achieve.

A longer valve duration can alter the torque band and on most engines the exhaust and intake durations do not need to match, although most cams and tuners use matched pairs there are some advantages to extending the intake or exhaust durations.

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Best Engine 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.
  6. Typical stage 1 mods often include:
    Remaps/piggy back ECU, Fast road camshaft, drilled & smoothed airbox, Sports exhaust header/manifold, Panel air filters, Intake manifolds.

    Typical stage 2 mods often include:
    fuel pump upgrades, high flow fuel injectors, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, induction kit, Fast road cam, Ported and polished head.

    Typical stage 3 mods often include:
    Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves), Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Twin charging conversions, Engine balancing & blueprinting, Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Competition cam.

    The Firefly N3 engines respond well to mods and we're finding that there is a growing number of modifications and performance parts about.

    Mapping helps release the full potential of all the parts you've done to your Firefly N3.

    (In some cases, as the factory ECU is locked flashing is not an option, so an aftermarket ECU is the route to take, and many of these will outperform factory ECU's but make sure it has knock protection and that you get it setup properly.)

    It will usually give you around 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NA (naturally aspirated) engines, but your results often rely on the parts you've carried out and the condition of your engine.

    Pulling more fuel and air into each cylinder is vital to any performance tuning project.

    Intake manifolds take the air from the air filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine and mixed with fuel.

    The shape and flow characteristics of the Air Intake manifolds can make a big change to fuel engine efficiency on the Firefly N3.

    We often see intake manifolds are begging for aftermarket tuning parts, although some makers provide reasonably good intake manifolds.

    Big valve conversions on the Firefly N3, carrying out port matching and head flowing will also improve torque, this will raise potential for raising the torque increase on other mods.

    Firefly N3 Turbo upgrades

    NA (naturally aspirated) engines need quite a lot of work when you add a turbo, so we have a separate guide to help you take into account the pros and cons of going this route on your Firefly N3

    The more air you can get into an engine, the more fuel it can burn and uprating the induction with a turbocharger upgrade makes superb power gains.

    If your car has a turbo already fitted tuning mods are simpler to install and you will discover turbo engines use stronger components.

    There are reliable limits for every engine, with some being incredibly solid and some only able to handle stock powerSee where you'll find these restrictions and upgrade to more solid crank and pistons to cope with the power.

    There are many guys spending a loads on turbo upgrades on the Firefly N3 only to have the motor catastrophically fail when it's used in anger.

    Large upgraded turbo units tend to suffer no power at low rpm, and small turbo units spool up much more quickly but won't have the high rpm power band gains.

    We are pleased that the selection of turbos is always evolving and we are seeing variable vane turbos, where the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end power.

    Twin scroll turbos divert the exhaust gases into two channels and direct these at differently designed vanes in the turbo charger. They also boost the scavenging effect of the engine.

    You'll commonly see there's a restriction in the air flow sensor MAP/MAF/AFM on the Firefly N3 when considerably more air is being drawn into the engine.

    Going up you'll find 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting bhp at a much lower level.

    Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large bhp and torque gains, although more difficult to configure. We have this article covering twinchargers if you want to read more.


    Don't overlook the need to ramp up the fuel system when you are increasing the bhp - it makes the car more thirsty. It is important to be generous with your flow rate on the injectors.

    The accepted safe increase is to add 20% to the flow rate when specifying an injector, which takes into account injector deterioration and allows a little spare capacity should the engine require more fuel.

    We think this one is common sense, but you'll need to match your fuel injector to the type of fuel your car uses as well.

    Firefly N3 Performance Exhausts

    You only need to replace your exhaust if your current exhaust is actually causing a restriction.

    On most factory exhausts you'll see your flow rate is still good even on modest power gains, but when you start pushing up the power levels you will need to get a better flowing exhaust.

    Sports exhausts increase the flow of air through the engine.

    But if the exhaust is too large, ie: it's over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose a great deal of the exhaust flow rate and end up sapping power and torque.

    Usual exhaust restrictions are in the emissions filters installed, so adding a higher flowing high performance aftermarket one will improve air flow, and rather than doing an illegal decat, will keep the car road legal.

    Weak spots, Issues & problem areas on the Firefly N3

    The Firefly N3 engines are generally reliable and solid units, as long as you follow the manufacturers service schedules, and use a good quality oil to ensure longevity. Few problems should happen as long as they are regularly serviced and maintained.

    Carbon build up in the head, particularly around the valves which will sap power or create flat spots, this is a larger issue on direct injection engines but should be looked out for on all engines. We have tips on removing carbon build up.

    Some of our members have had issues with flat spots or glitches after applying mods and upgrades or tuning, this is not usually related to this engines design, so instead see our article on diagnosing flat spots and problems after tuning which should help you get the bottom of this issue.

    Regular oil changes are vital on the Firefly N3, especially when tuned and will help extend the life and reliability of the engine.

    If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your Firefly N3 engine please join us in our car forums where you can discuss Firefly N3 tuning options in more detail
    with our Firefly N3 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Fiat tuning articles to get insights into each modification and how effective they will be for your car.

    Please help us improve these tips by sending us your feedback in the comments box below.

    We love to hear what our visitors have got up to and which upgrades 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 Firefly N3 tuning guides which get regular updates and revisions.

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