Fiat TwinAir Tuning

"All you need to know about performance parts and tuning the Fiat TwinAir engine!"

The Fiat TwinAir provide a fun base for your project and with carefully picked performance upgrades like remaps, turbo kits and camshafts you will greatly maximize your driving enjoyment.

Let us look at TwinAir tuning and highlight the best modifications for your car.

History, Power & Specs of the TwinAir Engine

This came as a NASP and turbocharged engine.

  •  80 PS 59 kW turbocharged (biofuel)
  •  60 PS 44 kW 1.0
  •  80PS 79hp 0.9 turbo
  • 105ps 104hp  0.9 turbo

This was fitted to the following models

  • Fiat 500
  • Fiat Panda
  • Fiat Punto
  • Fiat 500L
  • Lancia Ypsilon
  • Alfa Romeo MiTo

Tuning the Fiat TwinAir and best TwinAir performance parts.

Best TwinAir tuning parts

Just because particular tuning mods are popular with TwinAir owners it doesn't mean it is good, we will focus tuning mods that will give your TwinAir the best value for money to power increase.

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

Fast road cams normally bump the performance through the rev range, you may sacrifice a little bottom end power but high end rpm power will be lifted.

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.

On a car driven daily you need to match your engines power to your preferences.

I would be surprised if you have found a TwinAir Motorsport and race camshaft is a pleasure to live with when on the daily commute, because the lumpy idle will make the car prone to stall and smooth driving at low rpm becomes impossible. If you are developing a track car this doesn't matter as you are in the high end of your RPM range anyway and that is where you want the power to be.

Each engine responds better to more aggressive cam durations than others.

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

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.

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 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:
    drilled & smoothed airbox, Panel air filters, Intake manifolds, Sports exhaust header/manifold, Fast road camshaft, Remaps/piggy back ECU.

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

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

    Carefully think through your options and then find your parts and set yourself a power target to avoid costly mistakes.

    Remaps allows a tuner to unlock the full potential of all the upgrades you've done to your TwinAir.

    (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 power output often depend much on the upgrades you've carried out and the condition of your engine.

    Pulling more air and fuel into each cylinder is the aim to any tuning task.

    The intake plenum flow the air from the filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

    Design and flow rate of the Air Intake manifolds can make a noticeable effect on to fuel mixing and power on the TwinAir.

    Many mass produced engine intake are in desperate need of motorsport parts, although some OEM provide decently flowing intake.

    Fitting big valve kits, doing a bit of port matching and head flowing will also raise power, and significantly will make space for increasing the power increase on other parts.

    TwinAir 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 TwinAir

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

    When a car has forced induction mods are giving better power gains and most turbo engines are built with strengthened components.

    There are weak spots for every engine, with some being very over engineered and some only just able to handle stock powerWe recommend you find these limitations and fit better pistons and crank to cope with the power.

    We see many people spending a a stack of money on turbo charger upgrades on the TwinAir only to suffer the indignity of watching the engine block literally blow up soon after it's been enthusiastically driven.

    Bigger turbo units often experience a bottom end lag, and smaller turbo units spool up quickly but don't have the peak end bhp gains.

    Over the last 20 years the choice of turbos is always improving and we commonly find variable vane turbos, allowing the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

    Twin scroll turbos divert the exhaust gases into a couple of channels and push these at differently profiled vanes in the turbo. They also help the scavenging effect of the engine.

    It is not unusual that there is a limitation in the air flow sensor (AFM/MAF/MAP) on the TwinAir when a lot more air is being pulled into the engine.

    We see 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor sapped power at a much lower level.

    Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large bhp gains, although harder to get working. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.


    You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so should increase the fuelling when you start extending past 20% of a bhp and torque increase.We strongly recommend you 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, this allows for injector deterioration and gives some 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.

    TwinAir Performance Exhausts

    Only look to increase your exhaust if the current exhaust is actually causing a restriction in flow.

    On most factory exhausts you'll see the exhaust flow rate is ok 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 can help equal out the flow of gases through the engine.

    But if the exhaust pipe is too big, ie: over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose much of your flow rate and end up sapping power and torque.

    Typically exhaust restrictions are traced to the catalyst installed, so adding a faster 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 TwinAir

    The TwinAir 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 TwinAir, 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 TwinAir engine please join us in our car forums where you can discuss TwinAir tuning options in more detail with our TwinAir 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 TwinAir tuning guides which get regular updates and revisions.

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