Hyundai i20 Tuning

"Thank you for reading my i20 tuning guide."

The Hyundai i20 is the new spacious supermini that takes on the Ford Fiesta and Audi A1 using a completely new platform and it became popular very quickly thanks to good reviews and press coverage.

It's great to see a car company pull things back and get back on top of their game, and the i20 shows how far Hyundai have come in a short time.

We take a peek at i20 tuning and summarise the best modifications. Hyundai i20s are fantastic to work on and with the right modified upgrades you can definitely maximise your driving experience.

There are no less than  seven four cylinder engine options. Three are petrol, including the 1248 cc dohc 16 valve "Aditeya" engine, while the rest are diesel engines.

Two of the diesel engines are 1396 cc units, one with 75 PS (55 kW; 74 hp) and 220 Nm (160 lbft) and the other a 90 PS (66 kW; 89 hp) and 220 Nm (160 lbft) high power unit. Two 1582 cc and in other markets a number of other engine options were available.

The only thing holding you back in your i20 project is time, money and your imagination We do see car enthusiasts wasting money on their i20 doing the wrong mods and then having to start over. Follow our guides to avoid ruining your car

Tuning tips and articles

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

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Best mods for your i20

  1. Tunes - i20 engine tuning/remapping provides the most advantage for the money, aftermarket ECU upgrades, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  2. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, 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.
  3. Turbo upgrades - A New Turbo 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 you'll see massive gains.
  4. i20 Suspension Upgrades - Upgrading your suspension greatly enhances your i20 road holding and cornering. Poly Bushes and Coilovers are typically fitted to achieve this
  5. Air Induction and Sports Exhausts - 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.
  6. Braking Mods - Improve your ability to stop needs to be high on your agenda.
  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.

Handling modifications are often a priority for i20 owners.

We found that most i20 factory suspension setups need a lttile tweaking, a few degrees of toe out for cornering or toe in for stability, -1 to 2, and some negative camber will substantially benefit your cornering and handling.

Drop the car optimally somewhere in the region of 35mm - 45 mm and fit motorsport grade stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

Firmer springs or coilovers that are adjustable will help things improve and a front strut brace will firm up the handling.

Turning our attention to the i20's engine we need to get a bit more power out of the top end.

With our guides your i20 can be transformed into a track car and yet still reliable daily driver.

The best power gains come from larger engine sizes. The more you start with the bigger the return on investment so engine swaps can work out cheaper than increasing the power of the 1.2 to match the 1.6.

Because of the light chassis even small power gains benefit the driver.

i20 Power mods.

These mods mods are usually installed by our members, decide how far you want to push your car before you get started.

Getting the best modified parts for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 motor sport parts just don't work well on the road making the car difficult to drive.

  • 1.2 L Kappa i4 (petrol)
  • 1.25 L Kappa i4 (petrol)
  • 1.4 L Gamma i4 (petrol)
  • 1.6 L Gamma i4 (petrol)
  • 1.1 L U-Line CRDi I3 (diesel)
  • 1.4 L U-Line CRDi i4 (diesel)

i20 Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Suspension upgrade (drop 35-45mm), Sports exhaust, Engine Tunes/Remapping, Alloy wheels, Panel air filter, Lighter flywheel.

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

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

Your aims when modding your car should be a flat and wide torque curve. You want to avoid sending all the torque to be at the top end unless you are creating a competition car.

The aim of our guides is to give a starting base of tuning mods and point you in the right direction, our forum is the place to go for detailed advice and tips on your customized car project, the best sport modifications and all aspects of modding cars.

Fast road cams offer one of the biggest performance gains for your money as far as a single modified modifications goes on a NA (naturally aspirated) engine.

The intake and exhaust flow 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 camshaft upgrade with other mods and finish with a reflashed ECU to fully release the power gain.Don't forget to ramp up the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty.

Frequently power losses, flat spots and erratic idling after upgrades are done can usually be traced to timing or fuel delivery issues. Uprated injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the engine. If you are increasing your fuelling with bigger injectors you will also need to get a bigger fuel pump to supply it.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning on the i20.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. Air induction kits are only beneficial to add power if the cars air intake is restricted! Adding an induction kit to most standard engines will see NO LOW END 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.

Maximum power gains come from a full induction kit with a cold air feed on heavily tuned engines, this can be sited within an air box but a panel filter should suffice for most applications. TorqueCars suggest you use a panel air filter as these are easy to clean and maintain and generally perform better than paper ones.

Do not go with the largest exhaust you can buy this will reduce the exhaust flow rate - the best exhausts for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.0 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

Airflow through the head can be dramatically increased with some professional polishing and ported. These should match and be setup to take into account any other engine mods.

A good heavy duty fast road upgraded clutch will help to keep that power going where it should. Never cut corners or ask your standard OEM clutch to cope.

Turbo engines are just begging to be Remapped. You will see big power gains on most modern turbocharged cars including diesels making a tune/remap one of the most cost effective and big modifications for your money.Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NA (naturally aspirated) engine will give large power gains. Superchargers are usually easier to add than a turbo. 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 more straightforward to map. Alternatively you could install water injection to control knock.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

As alloy wheels are lighter they improve performance and they help to cool the brake disks. The drawback to large alloy wheels on your i20 is that you're changing your effective final drive ratio so this will have a negative effect on performance and acceleration.

Although some people have gone larger than this without issues we would stick to a 16 inch rim size as the maximum.

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 i20 options in more detail with our i20 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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2 Responses to “i20 tuning”

  1. Joe says:

    We are in the process of turbocharging Hyundai i20 G4LA 1.2L motor. Wondering if u could help us with ECU pinout for bosch ME17.9.11 ECU that came with the vvti models.

  2. Ricky says:

    absolutely great article. appreciate the effort in explaining a well thought out overview of mods. keep up the great work.

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