Jaguar XF Tuning

"Cats should growl not purr"

The XF is one of the most significant developments in the Jaguar line up in years, it has a great choice of engines and there is a huge amount of untapped performance to be found with a few simple tuning mods.

We take a peek at XF tuning including remaps, sports exhausts, induction kits and other popular mods and summarise the best modifications for your XF. Choose your mods carefully, with the right performance modifications you can maximise your driving fun.

The XF is popular among our members for tuning projects We see many people wasting money on their XFs, doing the wrong mods and then having to start over. Follow our advice to avoid ruining your car.

Tuning tips and articles

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

Many XF owners uprate the handling of their cars as a priority. This will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car. Drop the car optimally somewhere in the region of 30mm and fit stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

Our aim in XF engine tuning should be to increase peak power and Torque at the top end.

XFs make good sleepers if you debadge them and fit the most powerful engine upgrades and handling upgrades you can find!

To be completely frank and honest, on the more modest engine sizes you are wasting your time spending money on non-cosmetic modifications, so if this applies to you, get yourself an engine swap then apply the following mods.

Engine tuning mods.

These mods are usually performed by our members, decide how far you wish to go in your tuning project before you start.

Getting the correct grade of mods for your planned usage of the car is a time and money saver. Stage 3 competition upgrades just don't work well on the road as it makes the car hard to control in slow traffic.

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Best Engine Mods for your car

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

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

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

    Your goal when tuning the engine should be a wide torque curve. You want to avoid sending 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 a little insight into the world of the best modifications for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance mod.

    One of the biggest mechanical mods you can do on your NA (naturally aspirated) engine is to fit a fast road camshaft. The intake and exhaust durations play a large part in your car's 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 reflashed ECU to fully realise your gains.

    You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to uprate the fuelling. Frequently power losses and erratic idling after mods are done can usually be traced to timing or fuelling issues.

    Uprating the injectors is another beneficial modification and will deliver sufficient fuel. 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.

    Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. Induction kits only help to increase power if your car's air intake is restricted! Adding an induction kit to most standard engines will see NO POWER GAIN AT ALL. If you have heavily modified your engine and its need for air INCREASES DRAMATICALLY then an induction kit is the answer and will help remove this 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 XF engines that you settle for a high performance panel air filter, preferably made from cotton.

    Sports exhausts generally help improve air flow through the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too wide or you could reduce the flow rate. Stick to twin 2 to 2.5 inches for best results.

    Getting a professionally flowed (ported and polished) head with larger valves can fully release the engine's power. Your clutch can seriously let you down if it starts to slip and the standard clutches are only ever good for power gains of up to 50%. Fit an upgraded clutch to avoid power loss through the transmission. 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.

    Remapping the XF

    A remapped turbo will give massive power gains and fully release the potential power of the engine. You will generally also see an increase in fuel economy on the diesel engines if you don't try to use the extra power all of the time.

    Both petrol and diesel engines become very different beasts when remapped and really enhance the driver's enjoyment of the car.

    Don't look at the peak figures quoted by remap companies - what you need is a nice wide torque band and smooth power delivery.

    Alloy wheel upgrades.

    The benefits of alloy wheels include a lower unsprung weight and more efficient brake cooling via the extra air flow they allow. It is worth noting that although they can look cool on the XF, big alloy wheels will actually decrease your performance. The larger you go the lower your acceleration will be - this is due to the change in your effective final drive ratio. Although some people have gone larger we would stick to a 19 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 car forums where you can discuss XF options in more detail with our XF owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Jaguar tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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    2 Responses to “XF Tuning”

    1. Bobby Fox says:

      I own a 2013 jaguar xfrs that I wish to make faster.. Help me please

    2. Brian says:

      Very cool I’ve got a 2012 XF Portfolio Supercharged with sport pkg. The speedometer is limited at 150 mph while top speed is 190mph can the governor be released?

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