The Electrifying Elantra

"The Best Hyundai Elantra Tuning Mods"

Judging by the feedback we get there are a lot of Elantra owners out there looking for mods and who desire more power or an improvement in the ride quality.

So we'll look at Elantra tuning and point out the best modifications. Yes indeed, the Hyundai Elantras are good project cars and with a few sensible modifications, you can certainly enhance your driving pleasure and make the car really sparkle.

The Elantra was Hyundais attack on the fleet car, and they came up with a really good package, with good specs and a nice range of engine options and features. Now in it's 6th generation with a revision every 5 years, offering further improvements.

The only thing holding you back in your Elantra project is time, money and your imagination The key to Elantra tuning is choosing the right mods - a lot of money can be wasted if you do it wrong.

Tuning tips and articles

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

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

For NA (naturally aspirated) engines please watch this video for tuning your Elantra.

Best mods for your Elantra

  1. Tunes - A remap provides the most power in terms of cost, replacement ECUs, and Tuning boxes are all alternatives.
  2. Air Induction and Exhaust - NB: 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.
  3. Elantra Handling Mods (suspension) - Replacing worn bushings and shocks greatly enhances your Elantra road holding and cornering. Coilovers and Bushings are the usual go to mods
  4. Internal engine mods - crank, pistons, conrods & compression ratio including balancing and blueprinting
  5. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - 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 but provides the best gains.
  6. Brake Upgrades - Improve your ability to stop ought to be near the top of your Mods list.
  7. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be installed 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.

Elantra Tuning Stages

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

Typical stage 2 mods often include:
Fuel injector & fuel pump upgrades,Ported and polished head,Fast road cam,Power clutch,.

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

Due to the soft nature of the cars suspension, many Elantra owners uprate the handling of their cars as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car.

Replacing those worn rubber bushings will really tighten things up and improve the stock suspension, getting rid of that free play and wobbling.

Poly bushes are a  good option, but don't go too hard, most suppliers carry a range of hardnesses, and you still want a little flex and play otherwise you'll get road shocks and vibrations coming into the car.

Drop the car optimally somewhere in the region of 35mm and fit stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances. We would go to a maximum drop of 35mm on most models. You risk rubbing on the arches if you go lower than this.

A set of coilovers will allow you to adjust and tune your ride height and spring characteristics to suit your preference.

Best Elantra Power mods.

Our aim in Elantra engine tuning should be to increase peak power and Torque at the top end. Engine options range from an underpowered 1.6l to the 2.0 Petrol and a turbo diesel option offering 141 and 113hp respectively (recently the 2.0 models offered 138hp with more focus on economy and mid range torque, ensuring you have plenty of scope for power gains).

The diesel is surprisingly refined and torquey and responds really well to remapping gaining around 30% power.

With our pointers your Elantra can be a track day fun car and prove to be reliable daily run around.

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. Engine swaps are a good option if you have the 1.6.

Elantra Remapping

NA (naturally aspirated) engines do not achieve big power gains if you remap them unless you have done extensive modifications. With turbocharged engines this is another story. A remapped turbo will give impressive power gains and fully release the potential power of the engine.

The diesel is surprisingly refined and torquey and responds really well to revised mapping by way of a quality plug in tuning box, or remap if you can find a local specialist to carry this out.

Recently remaps have become available on the more recent model updates - this was just not possible on the early ones, but thankfully things have moved on.

Expect to see gains of around 10-15% on petrol engines and 30% on the turbo diesel engines, making remaps the best upgrade for the cost involved on your car.

Typically these modified mods are usually fitted by our members, decide how far you wish to go in your tuning project before you get started.

Getting the best sports upgrade kits for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 motor sport mods just don't work well on the road difficult in stop start traffic.

There has been a model revision every 5 years, with each one adding refinement and improving the specs. Engine swaps of more recent engines into earlier models is a good way to go, especially with revisions of the same engine blocks.

We have written some more detailed engine tuning guides so please follow the links below if you are primarily interested in power mods, otherwise, stick with this page to get a good overview of the best mods and upgrades for your Elantra.

Mk1 Elantra 1990

      • 1.5 L Sirius SOHC I4 (gasoline)
      • 1.5 L Sirius DOHC I4 (gasoline)
      • 1.6 L Sirius DOHC I4 (gasoline)
      • 1.8 L Sirius DOHC I4 (gasoline)

Mk2 Elantra 1995

Diesel:

      • 1.9 L PSA XUD9 I4

Mk3 Elantra 2000

      • 1.5 L Alpha II I4 (petrol)
      • 1.6 L Alpha II I4 (petrol)
      • 1.6 L Beta I4 (petrol)
      • 1.8 L Beta II I4 (petrol)
      • 2.0 L Beta II I4 (petrol)
      • 1.5 L U I4 (diesel)
      • 2.0 L D I4 (diesel)

Mk4 Elantra 2006

      • 1.6 L Alpha II I4 (petrol) (China)
      • 1.6 L Gamma MPi I4 (petrol)
      • 1.6 L Gamma LPi I4 (Hybrid LPG)
      • 1.8 L Beta II I4 (petrol) (China)
      • 2.0 L Beta II I4 (petrol)
      • 1.6 L U I4 (turbocharged diesel)

Mk5 Elantra 2010

Mk6 Elantra 2015

Diesel:

      • 1.6 L U II CRDi I4

Your aims when tuning the engine should be a wide torque band. You don't want all the power to be at the top end of the rev range unless you are creating a competition car.

In this article we shall give an overview and introduction to the best mods for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance upgrade.A fast road cam will be one of the best NASP power mods you can do mechanically to your engine.

It improves the intake and exhaust durations and pushes up the power if done right. Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a reflashed ECU.

Elantra Performance Camshafts

The biggest mechanical mod on any petrol engine has to be a fast road cam, it really changes the nature of the engine turning it into a more aggressive revving motor.

Sourcing cams for the Elantra is a challenge but we are starting to see them appear in some regions. If you can't find one then try to source a local company that offers a can regrind service, locally we have Kent Cams and Piper Cams who are always happy to help with custom cam work.

Don't be too aggressive with your cam profile and remember to set the spark retardation and fuelling correctly to fully release the power.

TorqueCars would caution you not to go with a motor sports profile cam as this upsets the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to ramp up the fuelling.

Using high octane fuel is another option if you find you are suffering from detonation or premature ignition on your Hyundai project after fitting other tuning upgrades. To get sufficient fuel you may need to uprate the injectors on your engine. If have increased your fuelling with bigger injectors you will also need to get a bigger fuel pump to supply it.

Elantra Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Breathing mods are usually next up. 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.

Induction kits can work well on turbo engines and larger engines (if supplied with a suitable cold air feed or air box), generally though we'd just recommend for Elantra engines you should go with a high performance panel air filter preferably made from cotton.

Sports exhausts equal out the flow of air through the engine. But if your exhaust pipe is too large, ie: it's over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose a lot of the flow rate and end up lacking power and torque.

Getting the cylinder head gas flowed will assist in flowing more air into each cylinder. This is definitely a job for a pro with a flow bench. A good triple plate fast road sports clutch will help to keep that power going where it should. Never cut corners or assume the standard OEM clutch to cope.

We've also come across some owners playing with twincharged conversions and making some impressively high power gains.

Adding forced induction will see massive power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. Turbos are often harder to add than a supercharger. Turbos provide boost in increasing proportion to th engine speed and this can make mapping difficult.

Superchargers however will give a boost which is proportional to engine speed so is easier to map. Adding forced induction will usually require a lower compression ratio or water injection.

Alloy wheel upgrades for the Elantra.

Alloy wheels will help the brakes cool down and are generally less heavy than steel ones. We should point out that although they can look cool on the Elantra big alloys 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.

Because of this we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 17 inches, although we know some of our members have with bigger wheels with no problems.

The more recent models work well on 18's but we still prefer the handling characteristics of 17's.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please join us in our car forums where you can discuss Elantra options in more detail with our Elantra owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Hyundai tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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12 Responses to “Elantra Tuning”

  1. gerhard says:

    I want more performance on my hyundia elantra 1.6 gls 1996 model.help me,think of turbo etc.

  2. Richard Schneider says:

    can you tune a 2014 hyundai elantra coupe 2.0 liter engine

  3. Orlando says:

    What suggestion for a new Elantra 2017 sport 1.6 turbo

  4. Orlando says:

    Upgrade a 2017 elantra sport turbo, 201 hp and 195 torque
    Step by step to increase its power
    Thanks

  5. Roland says:

    The article was very well presented and easy to understand. It will help to get an idea of estimated costs of the different mod stages. You advise an engine change for existing 1.6lt engines. How do i know what engines i can consider for my 1.6lt hyundai elantra 2012 model.

    Thank you and hope to hear from you soon.

  6. TOMMIE LEE JONES JR says:

    This article showed Alot of easy to understand ideas about upgrading my Elantra and the ideas as to exactly where to start.. NIIIIIIIIIIICCCCCCCE people!!

  7. Stephen V. Viccari says:

    A lot of good information here but if someone could please tell me where I can find a set of performance camshafts for my 2002 Elantra naturally aspirated 2 liter.
    I have done little porting on the head cleaned up a lot of nasty casting Flash inside the ports and of course increase the flow through the ports.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for your help.

  8. Kendrick says:

    The stock Elantra brakes disc gets hot very quickly. The stopping power needs upgrade.

  9. Adrian says:

    I was thinking a modified stg 1 with all except mapping, short shifter,sports exhaust and sports filter. I have a long warranty and I don’t wish to void. Ive already changed stock rim color of my 2018 Elantra gt sport hatchback.

  10. MaxTrap says:

    Helpful article. The more particulars and/or photos the better. I lowered my 2012 Elantra Limited 25.4 mm all the way around, but it was the sway bar off EBay from South Korea that helped sway the most. This is my commuter car, but it is fun to drive around the rolling impediments to human transportation. Interested in track car mods for the Elantra. Thanks!

  11. Jaam says:

    Please need a complete modification kits for my Hyundai Elantra 2011
    Thanks

  12. Trevon Wahid says:

    I have a stock 2023 Elantra SEL it has 147 hp currently. It is my daily commute but I do want to increase the power to be at least 230. Looking for proper mods

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