Mercedes Benz C Class Tuning

"Thank you for reading my Mercedes C Class tuning tips."

Released in 1992 to replace the 190 the C Class made it's debut and had an id of W202. An AMG tuned version of the W202 was the safety car in Formula one during 96/97 and raised the profile of the C Class. The W203 was released in 2000 for a 7 year run where we see variable geometry turbos on the Diesels and a 6 speed gearbox offered.

Mercedes also did away with referencing the engine in the model number with the W203.

In 2007 we saw the release of the W204 version, a little more rounded in design and performance and teardrop headlights. The W205 replaces this in 2014 and the W205 chassis was branched off into new body styles, a Saloon or Sedan, Wagon or Estate a coupe and a very nice looking Cabriolet.

A popular car for tuning up is the C Class and our members have some interesting projects on the go. Plan ahead and research C Class tuning to avoid making the usual costly mistakes we .

Tuning tips and articles

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

Handling modifications are the thing most do first for the C Class. We suggest that you fit modified suspension and lower the car by 30-35mm. Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with motorsport suspension.

Top end power should be your overall aim on the C Class with a nice fat peak torque band.

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

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

Tuning modifications.

These mods tuning upgrades are usually installed by our members, decide how far you want to go before you get started.

For a more in depth look we cover many of the C Class engines individually, which takes things a little further than this overview guide to Mercedes tuning.


Petrol- turbocharged:

Petrol-Hybrid turbocharged:

Diesel- turbocharged:

Diesel-Hybrid turbocharged:










Getting the correct grade of modified mods for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 competition upgrades just won't work well on the road making the car difficult to drive.

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Best mods for your C Class

  1. Air Induction kits and Sports Exhausts - Please note that on their own these mods won't ADD POWER , but they will enable you to release power after other upgrades by losing a restriction.
  2. C Class Handling Mods (Suspension) - Upgrading your suspension radically improves your C Class handling Adjustable coilovers and better bushings are what is needed here.
  3. Flowing and porting the Head - Head work will get air flowing into the engine while removing turbulence or restrictions.
  4. Engine Tunes - C Class engine tuning/remapping ensures the most advantage in terms of your investment, aftermarket ECUs, and Tuning boxes are all alternatives.
  5. Forced induction upgrades - forced induction is the most dramatic method to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make higher power. Typically one of the most complex modifications you'll see massive gains.
  6. Flywheel lightening - a lower weight flywheel will enhance the engines free revving nature. But not always a great mod for all C Class engines.
  7. Braking Mods - Stopping your C Class should be near the top of your Mods list.
  8. Fast road cams are generally the biggest mechanical mod upgrade, but should always be fitted by someone qualified to set them up properly and tracking one down can be a challenge but there might be a local firm to regrind a stock cam for you.

C Class Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Panel air filter, Engine Tunes/Remapping, Sports exhaust, Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm), Lighter flywheel, Alloy wheels.

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

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

Peak power is good on competition cars but for a drivable and fun car you need a wide power band and perhaps extending the rev range.

In this article we shall give a brief overview 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 upgrade.Fast road cams offer one of the biggest performance gains for your money as far as a bolt on sports mods goes on a NA (naturally aspirated) engine.

Mercedes used a Supercharger on many engines throughout their range, and with a simple overdrive pulley you can boost the power output significantly. Add in twincharging, or a larger compressor and you can see some really impressive power gains.

It maximises the intake and exhaust durations and increases the power if done right. Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a remap.

We'd also caution you not to go with a competition cam as this affects the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to ramp up the fuelling.

Using higher octane fuel is another option if you find you are suffering from pinking or premature ignition on your Mercedes Benz project after fitting other sports mods. Uprated injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the engine. Uprate the fuel pump to cope with the extra fuel requirements of your tuned C Class's uprated injectors.

C Class Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. Contrary to popular belief there is usually very little if any power gain to be had by fitting an induction kit, they only work well and are recommended after you increase the engines power to the point where the standard air intake box cannot cope! For most C Class engines TorqueCars would suggest you just go with a washable panel air filter. On heavily tuned engines and turbo vehicles an induction kit will help release the power providing you address the problem of supplying cold air.

Do not go with the biggest exhaust you can buy this will slow the exhaust rate - the best exhausts for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

Getting a professionally gas flowed head with larger valves can fully maximise your power gains. Your clutch can slip as the power goes up if it starts to weaken and the standard clutches are only ever good for power gains of up to 46%.

Fit an uprated clutch to avoid power loss 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 phenomenal power gains and take full advantage of the strength of the block.

The most impressive power gains for NA (naturally aspirated) engines usually involve the addition of forced induction. Superchargers are often easier to add than turbos. Turbos increase power in exponential proportion to rising engine speed and this can make mapping difficult.

The nice directly proportional boost and rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them more straight forward to map. Alternatively you could perhaps add water injection to minimise knock.

C Class Alloy wheel upgrades.

The benefits of alloys include reducing your unsprung weight and better brake cooling via the extra air flow they allow. It is worth noting that although they can look cool on the C Class big alloys will actually decrease your performance. The larger you go the lower your acceleration will be - this to the change in your effective final drive ratio.

Due to this fact we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 16 inches, although we know some of our members have gone larger than this with no problems.

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 C Class options in more detail with our C Class owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Mercedes Benz tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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