Peugeot 208 Tuning

"Thank you for reading my Peugeot 208 tuning guide."

It was launched in 2012 and was then significantly revised and updated in 2019.

The 208 has already had much success on the track, showing how capable this car is when tuned. An 876bhp version stormed Pikes Peak in the hands of Sebastien Loeb setting a new record time. The 208 chassis design was well suited to this challenge.

The prerunners to the 208 has always been popular, initially the 206 found many fans and followers, it's replacement the 207 again set the bar a little higher and once again the 208 ticks many boxes and offers refinements and improvements over the 207 it replaces.

We doubt you'll be going to such high power levels as Loeb's Pikes Peak version, but we shall look at some sensible mods to improve your cars performance and handling on the roads.

The popular family car the 208 makes for a great tuning project. The lift off oversteer of the earlier models is sadly lacking but we can still turn the 208 into a hot hatch and track day stormer if we choose our mods carefully.

There are lots of parts around and a lot of the base 208 model owners can look to the performance 208 parts bin for upgrades.

Thankfully there are lots of aftermarket suppliers out there with a wide array of suspension parts, turbo kits and internal engine mods.

It's time that we take a look into 208 tuning and highlight the optimum modifications for your car. Sit down first and research 208 tuning to avoid making the usual expensive slip ups we see in our forum.

Tuning tips and articles

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

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Many 208 owners uprate the handling of their cars with sports suspension kits as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car.

If you set the toe out to 1 to 2 degrees on the front, and add a very very small amount of negative camber then cornering will radically be enhanced.

We would go to a maximum drop of 24mm - 30 mm on most models. You risk grounding out if you go lower than this.

As you drop the car the camber angle will change, and on the 208 you ideally need the tyres to be vertical for handling and corning. If the camber angle is too far out you will eat up tyres and lose a lot of grip. Every 10mm drop makes quite a big difference.

A set of decent adjustable coilovers should work well on the 208. Some kits have hard springs and are more track focused wheras others are road focused and have slightly softer springs, but all will improve the cars handling and cornering.

Fit stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

Turning our attention to the 208's engine we need to get a bit more power out of the top end.

208 Engine mods.

All engines complied with the Euro 5 regulations and are very clean burning.

The turbo engines can be tuned/remapped or fitted with piggy back ECU tuning boxes to very good effect, although diesels give more power and better fuel economy wheras petrols just tend to offer a power hike with little to no change of fuel economy.

  • 1.0 L I3 (petrol) 67 bhp 95 Nm, 70 ft-lb
  • 1.2 L I3 (petrol) 80 bhp 118 Nm, 87 ft-lb
  • 1.6 L i4 197 bhp (147 kW) at 5,800 rpm and 203 lbft
  • 1.4 L i4 (diesel)  50 kW 68 PS; 67 hp
  • 1.6 L i4 (diesel) 90 bhp  230 Nm, 170 ft-lb

Top end power should be your overall aim on the 208 with a nice fat peak torque band.

208 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 modifications, so if this applies to you get yourself an engine swap then apply the following mods.

This list of the stages and mods that are usually performed by our members, decide how far you wish to go in your tuning project before you start.

Getting the best mods for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 (competition) mods just don't work well on the road as it makes the car hard to control in slow traffic.

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.
  6. Typical stage 1 mods often include:alloy wheels,suspension upgrade (drop 24-30mm),Panel air filter,sports exhaust,lighter flywheel, Remap.

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

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

    Your goal when modding the engine should be a wide torque curve. You don't want all the torque to be at the top end unless you are creating a competition car. The whole point of this article is to give a limited introduction of car tuning upgrades and point you in the right direction, our forum is the place to go for detailed advice and tips on your project and all aspects of modding cars.

    It improves the intake and exhaust flow and increases the power if done right. Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a remap. TorqueCars would caution you not to go with a motor sports profile cam as this upsets 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 uprate the fuelling.

    Most power losses, flat spots and erratic idling after mods are done can usually be traced to fuel delivery or timing issues.To get sufficient fuel you may need to uprate the injectors on your engine. A fuel pump will only deliver a finite amount of fuel, so you may need to uprate this if your injectors are demanding more fuel.

    Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

    Breathing mods are usually next up. Contrary to popular belief there is usually very little 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 208 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.

    Sports exhausts will certainly help air flow from the engine but do not go 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 as a rule of thumb.

    Getting the flowed (ported and polished) will further help more air into each cylinder. This is definitely a job for a professional with a flow bench. In nearly all cases of 208 tuning your clutch will start to suffer and this needs an upgrade - read our tips on clutches for more information.

    Turbo engines are just crying out to be Upgraded. You will see impressive power gains on most modern turbo engined cars including diesels making a tune/remap one of the most cost effective and impressive modifications for your money.Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NA (naturally aspirated) engine will give large power gains. It is generally simpler to bolt on a supercharger than it is to get a turbo working. It is harder to map a turbo as the boost comes on exponentially with engine speed. Superchargers however will give a boost which is proportional to engine speed so is easier to map. Decreasing the engines compression ratio will allow you to add forced induction, water injection may also help prevent detonation.

    Alloy wheel upgrades.

    The benefits of alloy wheels include reducing your unsprung weight and better brake cooling. Don't forget that your choice of rubber greatly affects your cars grip and handling. It is not worth compromising performance with cheap tyres when you can buy track legal slick performance tires.Large 208 alloys can decrease performance. If you get big alloys you will be changing your final drive ratio.

    Although some people have with bigger wheels without problems we would restrict ourselves to a 17 or 18 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 208 options in more detail with our 208 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Peugeot tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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    2 Responses to “Peugeot 208 Tuning”

    1. Chris says:

      Hi , is my enginesize to Low If I got the normal 82 HP (Petrol) for modifying it ?

    2. TorqueCars says:

      Anything can be tuned, but the question is whether it’s worth it or not. You can spend a few grand getting another 15% power but on an 82hp base you won’t get much benefit for your money. I’d recommend you focus on braking and handling mods (suspension), and perhaps do an engine swap further down the line.

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