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

People's priorities for the ix20 include handling changes. Drop the vehicle up to 35 millimetres and install motorsport-grade stiffer dampers; larger drops usually need extra modifications.

ix20 engine tuning should try to enhance peak power and torque at the top end, while also improving the engine's low RPM performance characteristics.

Your ix20 can be both a fun track day vehicle and a dependable everyday driver with the help of our articles.

Start with a larger engine rather than a smaller one since the power return from a smaller engine is little. If your engine is tiny, you should consider an engine exchange.

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.

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 mods for your ix20

  1. 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. Although one of the most costly upgrades but provides the best gains.
  2. Braking Mods - Improve your ability to stop should be high on your agenda.
  3. Internal engine mods - crank, pistons, conrods & compression ratio including balancing and blueprinting
  4. Fast road cams are are often the best upgrade for an engine, 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.
  5. Remaps - A tune/remap provides the biggest gains for the money, replacement ECUs, and Tuning boxes are all alternatives.
  6. ix20 Handling Mods (suspension) - Replacing worn bushings and shocks radically improves your ix20 handling Adjustable coilovers and better bushings are what is needed here.
  7. Intake Mods and Performance Exhausts - 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.

ix20 Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Alloy wheels, Lighter flywheel, Engine Tunes/Remapping, 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.

ix20 Camshaft Upgrades

If you want to make your ix20 NA (naturally aspirated) engine even more powerful, you may install a fast road cam (not a competition cam, but a mild fast road tune).

If you get the timing of the intake and exhaust durations incorrect, your car's power band will be thrown out of whack and you'll be unable to drive it in traffic. There are a few extra adjustments you'll need to do before you can completely reap the benefits of a cam upgrade.

Increased power makes an automobile more thirsty, so don't forget to increase the fueling.

The biggest boost you'll get from these engines is from a single modification: a fast road cam. Depending on the profile selected, this may increase your peak power by 10%.

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.

ix20 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. NA (naturally aspirated) engines do not achieve big power gains if you tune/remap them, unless you have done extensive modifications. With turbocharged engines this is another story. A tuned/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 NA (naturally aspirated) 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.

Aside from the fact that alloys are lighter, they also aid to keep the brake discs cool. Performance might be hampered by large ix20 alloy wheels. The ix20 is prone to tramlining on bigger alloy wheels if the final drive ratio is changed.

As a result, retain the wheel's total diameter at the factory-specified size. Avoid going beyond 16 inches at all costs. Even while 17-inch wheels and low-profile tyres look good, they won't help the car's handling until the suspension geometry is totally reworked.

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 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.

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