Modifications for the Peugeot 206

"Pugly no more."

The 206, which took over for the 205 in 1998, has proven to be a fun vehicle to drive, featuring lift-off oversteer and a devoted following in the tuning community.

For quite some time, the Peugeot 206 was one of the greatest family hatchbacks to come out of the Peugeot factory, and it came equipped with a sporty engine and suspension choices out of the factory, providing a simple upgrade path for subsequent models in the 206 lineup.

With some well designed suspension upgrades, the 206 becomes an absolute delight to drive on the open road, even in bad weather. When embarking on a tuning job, it is preferable to begin by upgrading the brake system.

The options range from a costly huge brake conversion package to installing larger brakes from the 306 GTI -6, which is the car's bigger sibling (you will not need to use the master cylinder but you may need to get the calipers from the donor model.)

When Peugeot constructed the air intake for the 206, they seemed to be aiming to take the pleasure out of driving.

When it comes to tuning, the models with the 2.0-liter engines, such as the GTi and GTi180, are the best bet for success. The HDi turbo diesel is also an excellent option, and with a simple remap, it is capable of producing significant amounts of additional power. The Diesel option has been chosen by a lot of TorqueCars members, who are always bragging about their vehicle's power to fuel consumption ratio.

Tuning tips and articles

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

206 Handling/Suspension upgrades

Improving the handling for many tuners first priority in your 206 tuning project.

Fully adjustable suspension allows you to fine tune the handling of your 206 often enhancing your drive.

We would go to a maximum drop of 30mm - 35 mm on most models. You risk rubbing on the arches if you go lower than this.

In order to tighten things up, poly bushings and anti-roll bars should be installed if they are beginning to wear.

The rear suspension design of the 206 makes it more prone to lift-off oversteer than the later model.

If you drive defensively, this might be a benefit or a curse depending on your driving style, but this tiny feature has saved my bacon on a number of occasions.

Two degrees negative camber on the front wheels, as well as one to one and a half degrees of toe in or out on the front wheels, are excellent suspension changes that greatly improve handling for the 206.

Toe in for stability, or toe out for better cornering performance.

206 Brake Upgrades

It would also be beneficial to upgrade the brakes, either by installing bigger discs or by using higher friction pads.

Don't overdo it with your brake modifications; you just need to stop your 206, not alter the earth's spin! Because the pad transmits braking heat across the discs, the colder the discs stay, the greater the braking performance of the vehicle.

Installing larger discs may improve the stopping capability of a vehicle, but this will need the purchase of new calipers and pads to fit the larger disc.

Normally, you'd replace the discs and pads with new ones. Because a larger disc generates more friction and dissipates more heat, you will feel an instant benefit from using one.  You have a few choices, ranging from an expensive big brake conversion kit to fitting larger brakes from its big brother, the 306 GTI -6 (you will not need to use the master cylinder but you may need to get the calipers from the donor model.)

Simply upgrading your 206's brake pads can enhance its braking performance. We discovered that pad friction worsens as they age, which we attribute in part to the high number of heating and cooling cycles.

As a result, avoid changing pads before they are completely worn down since this is a false economy.

Remember that racing spec pads are intended to operate in a far wider temperature range than street grade pads.

This guarantees that they remain effective on the track even when it is very hot. The disadvantage is that they lack bite when they are cold; although it may only take a second or two for them to warm up and begin biting, this results in a longer braking distance, which is why TorqueCars does not suggest them for road usage.

206 Engine mods

Top end power should be your overall aim with a nice fat wide peak torque band.

Following our guidance for tuning your 206 you will attain a practical but sporty car that will potentially show up bigger cars.

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.

We hear from many people who are under the impression they can buy the 1.0 model because it's cheap and then turn it into a GTi 180!

Sadly it would be much cheaper to just buy the higher-spec 206 in the first place, because upgrading always costs more.

That said you might just want a fun project and the cost and time is not an issue as you'll be having fun along the way so by all means go for it.

206 Power mods.

These mods sports parts are usually carried out by our members, decide how far you want to go before you get started.

Getting the right tuning parts for your planned usage of the car is a time and money saver. 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 subscribe and support our new channel.

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. Suspension upgrades - enhancing the handling with a good quality set of coilovers should be a priority.
  5. Brake upgrades - Stopping the car is just as important as making it go fast, so upgrade to the GTi brakes or invest in a big brake conversion kit.
  6. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.

206 Tuning stages

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

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

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

Peak power is good on competition cars but for a drivable and fun car you need a long power band and perhaps extending the rev range.We have heard of a 1.1 engine tuned for a power gain of 8bhp across the rev range (peak 4100rpm +27bhp) - but on the larger engines, this same outlay can give you double this throughout the rev range. Go with a 1.6 or 2.0 petrol unit for the maximum benefit and return on your tuning investment.

206 Induction modifications.

The intake on most 206 models is fairly restrictive 60 mm with silly amounts of padding further reducing the airflow. So many owners go for an induction kit, but you should really make sure you get a cold air feed pipe to suck in cool air if you are really looking for power gains and also go with a much larger diameter intake pipe in the region of 80mm.

Just upgrading the diameter of the entire air intake should yield power gains as Peugeot seem to have designed the engines to be starved of oxygen.

Some owners have reported problems with the throttle cable preventing the inlet valve to open fully, so take off the air filter housing and get someone to press the accelerator whilst you check the butterfly valve is opening.

We have started to see some impressive 206 Turbo conversions performed by leading Peugeot tuners. Sadly the turbo is not a bolt on unit and many other mods also need to be done to get this working rendering this a rather expensive exercise. 206 supercharger upgrades are also popular and these actually seem easier to do than a turbo conversion partly due to the near linear power delivery.

206 Exhaust upgrades

Replace your exhaust system only if it is causing you to lose performance. Most factory exhausts will flow smoothly even with modest power increases, but if you want to go far further, you'll need a more efficient exhaust.

Exhausts designed for racing may aid in the improvement of engine airflow, while a broad exhaust may reduce the velocity of the airflow.

Keep the bore between 1.0 and 2.0 inches in mind at all times. If you have lost power in your vehicle, an aftermarket performance catalyst may be able to restore it without the need for an illegal catalyst removal, enabling the vehicle to stay legal to drive on public roads.

In that a sports catalyst's larger size and surface area removes this restriction and allows your car to run as it would without one at all, it is comparable to making a test pipe modification while still maintaining your vehicle's road-legality.

This suggests that a sports catalyst improves performance to the level predicted without a catalyst while still allowing your car to be driven on public roadways.

The alternative catless mod or catalyst removal should be regarded an off-road only modification due to the fact that it is illegal to remove a catalyst in most areas and regions (and in others, it is even illegal to replace a functional catalyst).

Why not join us in our tuning forum to discuss 206 Tuning in greater detail with our many enthusiastic members and get inspiration and ideas from our gallery and projects forums.

Check out my YouTube channel, we're regularly adding new content...


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7 Responses to “Tuning the Peugeot 206 for power and torque.”

  1. El Pablito says:

    I would like to know whether electrical superchargers are effective or not. Thanks

  2. TorqueCars says:

    No they are not even remotely effective, Electric supercharger discussion.

  3. Mike says:

    I have a 206 1.6 16v engine with 109hp and i wanted to put a 4-2-1 exhaust system without a catalytic converter an then renap the engine, how much power would i gain?

  4. TorqueCars says:

    You are going to gain around 10-15bhp from those mods but it depends on the remap and how well flowing the exhaust is. It’s generally 10% on a NASP engine for high flow exhaust and remap, you might get a little more at the top end.

  5. Todor says:

    Is it possible to put brakes from 406 V6 to 206 GTi?

  6. Dawn Young says:

    Hi. What in term’s of bhp would a 4 into 1 stainless manifold give my Peugeot 206 gti 134 bhp. Thanks

  7. Kamil says:

    Hi I would like to tune my peugeot 206 1,4HDi, first of all I would like to change full brake disc to ventilated brake disc, but nobody can help me, from which type of car I can take the brake caliper which is compact with wheel hub. Can You help me? thanks

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