Hyundai Tau Tuning

"Tuning the Hyundai Tau and best Tau performance parts."

We examine Tau tuning and point out the greatest upgrades for it.

It's refreshing to see a company releasing a V8 engine, and it is actually quite responsive to upgrades with a supercharger lifting power to around 500hp.

While not high revving or particularly lively, it boasts pure low end torque and muscle and works well with a variety of upgrades.

The Hyundai Tau blocks make a good tuning project and with carefully chosen motorsport enhancements like a remap, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will substantially maximise your driving opportunities.

We provide a guide to Tau tuning and outline the best modifications. Hyundai Tau make a good tuning project engine and with the ultimate uprated parts like a remap, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will definitely enhance your driving pleasure.

History, Power & Specs of the Engine

The V8 Tau engine has been fitted with a supercharger when Hyundai wanted to show what this is capable of, and we are sure this great block will find it's way into many high performance cars.

It also boasts cylinder deactivation and replaces the less efficient Omega engine range. The engines sound great and run best on high octane grades of fuel.

  • 4.6 Tau MPi (366PS) G8BA 361 hp @6500 324 lbft @ 3500
  • 4.6 Tau MPi (390PS) G8BA 385 hp @6500 333 lbft @ 3500
  • 5.0 Tau MPi (400PS) G8BB 395 hp @6400 369 lbft @ 3500

Best Tau tuning mods

The greatest tuning parts on an engine are in our opinion the ones that give the best value for money.

We won't be swayed by popular Tau tuning parts, they need to be cost effective.

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 camshafts tend to increase the bhp and torque throughout the rev range, you could sacrifice a little bottom end bhp but high end rpm power will improve.

Competition camshafts, increase the high end rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

For a typical daily driver you need to optimize your engines power to your usage of the car.

I would be surprised if you have thought a Motorsport camshaft is a pleasure to live with when in heavy traffic because low end power will be very lumpy. Competition cams are designed for maximum power at the top end of the RPM range, a place that most daily commutes will not permit!

Different Tau engines respond better to different camshaft durations check your engine on a rolling road.

The engine timing and injectors and fuel pump also have a large bearing on the torque gains you'll get.

Extending exhaust or intake durations 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.

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Best Engine Mods for your car

  1. Engine Tunes - engine tuning/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.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Panel air filters, Sports exhaust header/manifold, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Intake manifolds, Fast road camshaft, drilled & smoothed airbox,

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

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

The Tau power plant are fantastic to work on and we're finding that there are plenty of modifications and performance parts around.

ECU flashing helps to establish the full potential of all the parts you've fitted to your Tau.

(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 15% on NA (naturally aspirated) engines, but you mileage will vary depending on the parts you've done and the condition of your engine.

It is vital to any tuning project to pull more air into your Tau

Plenum take the air during the suck phase from the filter and allow it to be pulled into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

Structure and flow characteristics of the Plenum can make a big change to fuel delivery on the Tau.

We often see manifolds are ripe for aftermarket parts, although a few manufacturers provide reasonably well designed headers.

Fitting big valve kits, getting port matching and head flowing will also lift bhp, & importantly will make space for a greater bhp increase on other upgrades.

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 Tau

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

When an engine has forced induction parts are going to make more power and we find turbo engines use many forged and stronger components.

There are reliable limits for every engine, with some being over specified and some just sufficiently able to handle stock power

See where you'll find these restrictions and fit higher quality crank and pistons to survive the power.

It's not unheard of guys spending a lots of money on turbo charger upgrades on the Tau only to watch the engine block go up in smoke when it's been finished.

Bigger turbo units tend to suffer a bottom end lag, and low capacity turbo units spool up quickly but don't have the high rpm torque gains.

Thankfully the world of turbos is always moving on and we are seeing variable vane turbos, where the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

Twin scroll turbos divert the exhaust gases into 2 channels and direct these at differently angled vanes in the turbo charger. They also boost the scavenging effect of the engine.

It is not unusual that there is a limitation in the air flow sensor AFM/MAF on these engines when considerably more air is being drawn into the engine.

We note 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting performance at a much lower level.

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large bhp and torque gains, although more difficult to setup. We have a twincharger bhp and torque adding guide if you want to read more.


When you improve the bhp you will need to ramp up to the fuelling.

More bhp needs more fuel. We would recommend you to over specify your injectors flow rate.

The rule of thumb is to add 20% capacity when buying an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and affords you 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.


Only look to upgrade your exhaust if your exhaust is creating a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you should find that the flow rate is fine 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 air through the engine.

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

Usual exhaust restrictions are traced to the catalyst installed, so adding a better flowing performance catalyst removes the restriction. We note that performance cats perform similarly to decats and have the added benefit of keeping your car street legal, as decats or catalyst removal is illegal in most territories for road going cars.

Weak spots Issues & problem areas on the Tau

The Tau  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 Tau, especially when tuned and will help extend the life and reliability of the engine.

High oil consumption is a common complaint among owners of the Tau engine which fouls spark plugs, and injectors and doesn't go well with the catalyst. A piston ring replacement appears to cure this issue.

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

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