Hyundai ix20 Tuning

"Thanks for reading my ix20 tuning guide."

The ix20 replaces the Matrix and is based on the Kia Venga and shares the i20 and Kia Soul platform.

This means that parts between models are often interchangeable, so offers a low cost upgrade route.

Originally 4 engines were offered on the IX20, namely the petrol line in the form of the 1.4 L Gamma and 1.6 L Gamma  and two diesel options, a 1.4 L U-Line  and the 1.6 L U-Line.

The car is functional and well designed but is crying out for handling and power modifications to allow the driver to fully explore the potential of this chassis.

The ix20 is a good car tuning project to play with.  It's small size and low weight are ideal for creating fun weekend car, or trackday toy.

We see lots of DIY modders wasting money on their ix20 doing the wrong mods and then having to start over. Follow our tips to avoid ruining your car. Before we begin can we just say that slamming the ix20 as low as it will go, fitting a large bore exhaust and induction kit will ruin the performance and your enjoyment of the car.

If you came hear to read that those are the best mods then please leave now. If you want to tune the car to enhance it's drivability then read on.

Tuning tips and articles

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

Handling modifications are high on most peoples lists for the ix20. Drop the car by as much as 35mm and fit motorsport grade stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

Our aim in ix20 engine tuning should be to increase peak power and Torque at the top end whilst boosting the low RPM characteristics of the engine.

With our articles your ix20 can be a track day fun car and yet still reliable daily driver.

Smaller engines do not provide much of a return in terms of power so start with a bigger engine. Engine swaps are a good option if you have a small engine size.

Tuning modifications.

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

  • 1.4 L Gamma i4 (petrol) 90 PS (66 kW; 89 hp)
  • 1.6 L Gamma i4 (petrol) 125 PS (92 kW; 123 hp)
  • 1.4 L U-Line i4 (diesel) CRDi — 90 PS (66 kW; 89 hp)
  • 1.6 L U-Line i4 (diesel) CRDi — 116 PS (85 kW; 114 hp)

If were honest here the engines could do with a strip down and rebuild, including port matching, head flowing and port enlargement. None are produced to a high performance standard but all offer good reliability even when tuned and modified.

Getting the best performance upgrade kits for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 motor sport parts just won't work well on the road making the car difficult to drive.

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

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

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

You need to keep as much low end torque as you can and aim to get a long power band rather than a narrow top end power hike. Only increase the intake and exhaust if you have modified the car and increased power then it will require better airflow.

In this article we shall give your a good starting base to the best upgrades for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance modification.One of the best mechanical modified mods you can do on your NASP engine is to fit a fast road cam (not a competition cam, but a mild fast road tune).

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 impossible to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a cam upgrade with other mods and finish with a remap 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.

A fast road cam will add about 10% to your peak power (depending on the profile used) and is the single largest hike you'll get from these engines from a single modification.

Using higher octane petrol is another option if you find you are suffering from pinking or premature ignition on your Hyundai project after fitting other tuning modifications. To get sufficient fuel you may need to uprate the injectors on your engine. Uprate the fuel pump to cope with the extra fuel requirements of your tuned ix20s uprated injectors.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. 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. Derestricting the airflow into the engine is the primary part of car tuners so get a freer flowing air filter if you find that the car is running lean only if you find the car is running lean. Induction kits can sound sporty but due to the warm air in the engine bay they will not add noticeable power and actually rob you of power.

Do not go with the biggest exhaust you can get this will slow up the exhaust flow rate - the best for power gains are usually between 1.0 to 2.0 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

Getting a professionally gas flowed head with larger valves can fully release the engines power. Your clutch can fail as the power goes up if it starts to slip and the standard clutches are only ever good for power gains of up to 30%. Fit an uprated clutch to avoid power leak through the transmission. NASP 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 take full advantage of the strength of the block.

We've also come across some owners playing with twin charging applications and making some very high power gains.

Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NASP engine will give large power gains. It is generally cheaper to add a supercharger than it is to install a turbo. With a turbo the power curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it more challenging to map.

We have yet to find a supercharger kit for the ix20 but other kits out there may be modified to fit and and as long as you get the mapping right you'll have a pretty serious power hike to play with.

Superchargers will give a boost which is correlating to engine speed so is simpler. Adding forced induction will usually require a lower compression ratio or water injection.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Because alloys are lighter they improve performance and they will help to cool the brake disks. Large ix20 alloy wheels can decrease performance. If you get big alloy wheels you will be changing your final drive ratio and the ix20 is prone to tramlining on larger wheels.

Because of this try to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the standard factory sizes. In all cases avoid going larger than 16 inches. We know 17's look cool but the extra weight and low profile tyres will not improve the handling, unless you modify the suspension geometry completely.

For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss ix20 options in more detail with our ix20 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.

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 mods work best for them on each model of car. Comments are used to improve the accuracy of these articles which are continually updated.

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