Mercedes M270 Tuning

"All you need to know about performance tuning the Mercedes M270 engine!"

Our aim here is to provide a guide to M270 tuning and show the premier mods that work. Mercedes M270 are popular engines and with the best uprated parts like remapping, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will noticeably maximize your driving pleasure.

History, Power & Specs of the Engine

M270 DE16 LA R

75 kW (101 hp; 102 PS) at 4,500–6,000 rpm 180 Nm (133 lbft) at 1,200–3,500 rpm

  • 2015–2018 W176 A160
  • 2015–2018 W246 B160

90 kW (121 hp; 122 PS) at 5,000 rpm  200 Nm (148 lbft)at 1,250–4,000 rpm

  • 2011–2018 W246 B180
  • 2012–2018 W176 A180
  • 2013–2019 C117 CLA180
  • 2015–2019 X156 GLA180

M270 DE16 LA

115 kW (154 hp; 156 PS) at 5,000 rpm 250 Nm (184 lbft) at 1,250–4,000 rpm

  • 2011–2018 W246 B200
  • 2012–2018 W176 A200
  • 2013–2019 C117 CLA200
  • 2014–2019 X156 GLA200

M270 DE20 LA

115 kW (154 hp; 156 PS) at 5,000 rpm 270 Nm (199 lbft) at 1,250–4,000 rpm

  • 2013–2018 W246 B200 Natural Gas Drive
  • 2017–present GLA-Class H247 (Chinese market)

135 kW (181 hp; 184 PS) at 5,000 rpm 300 Nm (221 lbft) at 1,250–4,000 rpm

  • 2013–2018 W246 B220
  • 2014–2018 W176 A220
  • 2015–2019 X253 GLC200
  • 2017–present GLA-Class H247 (Chinese market)

155 kW (208 hp; 211 PS) at 5,500 rpm 350 Nm (258 lbft) at 1,200–4,000 rpm

  • 2012–2018 W176 A250
  • 2012–2018 W246 B250
  • 2013–2019 C117 CLA250
  • 2013–2019 X156 GLA250
  • 2015–2019 X253 GLC250
  • 2016–2019 Infiniti QX30

160 kW (215 hp; 218 PS) at 5,500 rpm 350 Nm (258 lbft) at 1,200–4,000 rpm

  • 2015–2018 W176 A250 Sport
  • 2015–2019 C117 CLA250 Sport

Tuning the Mercedes M270 and best M270 performance parts.

Best M270 tuning parts

When talking about the optimum modifications for your M270 engine, we are going to focus on the upgrades that give the best power gain for you money.

Significant gains on the M270 can be made from cam upgrades. Altering the cam profile alters the intake and exhaust durations on the engine and can dramatically change the bhp and power output.

Fast road cams normally boost the bhp throughout the rpm band, you might lose a little low end torque but the higher rpm power will be higher.

Competition cams, boost the higher rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

For a daily driver must carefully try to match your power band to your usage of the car.

I'd be surprised if you find a M270 Competition camshaft is a pleasure to live with when driving in heavy traffic. The low end idle will be very lumpy and irregular, so something you would notice on a track when you drive in the upper third of the rpm band, but on roads this is a serious issue and we've heard from lots of drivers lamenting their decision to add an extreme competition cam profile to their engine.

Different M270 engines respond better to different cam durations check your engine on a rolling road.

The ecu map and fuelling also will say much on the power gains you'll achieve.

Extending exhaust or intake durations can alter the power 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.

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 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: drilled & smoothed airbox, Fast road camshaft, Panel air filters, Intake manifolds, Sports exhaust header/manifold, Remaps/piggy back ECU.

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

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


The M270 engine blocks respond well to upgrades and we note that there are plenty of modifications and performance parts around.


ECU flashing will help fully realize the full potential of all the parts you've done to your M270.

(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 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NA (naturally aspirated) engines, but the outcome usually depend much on the parts you've done and the condition of your engine.

Feeding air into each cylinder is vital to any engine performance tuning job.

Intake manifold carry the air from the air filter and allow it to be pulled into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

The shape and flow rate of the Air Intake manifolds can make a large change to fuel atomisation and engine efficiency on the M270.

I usually find manifolds are ripe for aftermarket tuning parts, although a few car makers provide fairly well optimized headers.

Increasing the M270 valve size, getting port matching and head flowing will also lift bhp, and significantly will raise potential for a better 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 M270

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

If an engine has a turbo already fitted tuning mods are going to make more power and you'll see that turbo engines are made with uprated components.

However you will find an engines will have power limits

See where you'll find these restrictions and upgrade to better quality crank and pistons to utilize the power.

It's not unheard of tuners spending a lots of money on turbo charger upgrades on the M270 only to have the car explode soon after it's used in anger.

Big upgraded turbochargers will usually experience a bottom end lag, and small turbochargers spool up really quickly but don't have the peak rpm bhp gains.

In the last 10 years the market of turbo units is always evolving and we commonly find variable vane turbo units, allowing the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end power.

Twin scroll turbo units divert the exhaust gases into two channels and push these at differently profiled vanes in the turbocharger. They also boost the scavenging effect of the engine.

It is not unusual that there is a limit in the air flow sensor MAP/MAF/AFM on the M270 when a lot more air is being drawn into the engine.

Going up you'll find 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor limited performance at a much lower level.

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large bhp gains, although harder to setup. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.


When you increase the bhp you will need to look at to the fuel delivery.


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

As a rule of thumb add 20% when specifying an injector, this accounts for injector deterioration and affords some spare capacity should the engine need 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.

All the following flywheel power targets will assume an injector duty cycle of 80% and a base of 58psi of fuel pressure at idle.

4 Cylinder turbocharged engines

  • 58 PSI 340cc/min 200hp
  • 58 PSI 511cc/min 300hp
  • 58 PSI 682cc/min 400hp
  • 58 PSI 1022cc/min 600hp

4 Cylinder NA (naturally aspirated) engines

  • 58 PSI 285cc/min 200hp
  • 58 PSI 426cc/min 300hp

4 Cylinder supercharged engines

  • 58 PSI 312cc/min 200hp
  • 58 PSI 468cc/min 300hp
  • 58 PSI 625cc/min 400hp
  • 58 PSI 937cc/min 600hp


Only look to uprate your exhaust if your current exhaust is actually creating a flow problem.

On most factory exhausts you should find that your flow rate is good 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 usually air flow through the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too large or you could very well end up with a reduced flow rate. So generally speaking, keep to 1.5 to 2.5 inches for best results.

Usual exhaust restrictions are traced to the catalyst installed, so adding a higher 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 M270

The M270 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 M270, especially when tuned and will help extend the life and reliability of the engine.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your M270 engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss tuning options in more detail with our M270 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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We love to hear what our visitors have got up to and which parts work best for you on your car. Which helps us keep our guides and tips up to date helping others with their modified car projects. Your feedback and comments are used to keep this page up to date, and help improve the accuracy of these M270 tuning guides which get regular updates and revisions.

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