Peugeot RCZ Tuning

"Thanks for reading my Peugeot RCZ tuning guide."

Originally a concept car, released as a PR exercise, the RCZ became a reality thanks to critical acclaim and public reception. We are not surprised and would argue that the RCZ is one of the best looking production cars around today.

The RCZ was released in 2010 and during it's production run has received many awards and much favorable press coverage.

The RCZ is a good project car to have. We see many people wasting money on their RCZ doing the wrong mods and then having to start over. Follow our advice to avoid ruining your car and turn it in to the supercar it wants to be.

Tuning tips and articles

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


Handling/Suspension upgrades

Many RCZ owners uprate the handling of their cars with coilover suspension mods as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car.

Setting some negative camber on the fronts and a degree or two of toe in to improve stability or toe out for better cornering, will greatly benefit your RCZ in handling and cornering.

We would go to a maximum drop of 28mm - 39mm on most models. You risk handling compromises if you go lower than this.

Our aim in engine tuning should be to increase peak torque at the top end.

Enjoy your RCZ to the limit with our best performance tuning pointers - do the right mods in the right order.

When  you've got the handling spot on it pays to improve the brakes, and there are a wide selection of upgrades around but check these fit within your alloy wheels.

Tuning modifications.

A car like this deserves a nice powerful range of engines, and Peugeot did not dissapoint.

  • 1.6 THP200 straight-4 (Turbo) 200 PS (147 kW; 197 hp) @5,800rpm 275 Nm (203 lbf⋅ft) @1,770rpm
  • 2.0 HDi FAP 163 PS straight-4 163 PS (120 kW; 161 hp) @4,000rpm 320 Nm (236 lbf⋅ft) @2,000rpm
  • 2.0-litre HDi FAP 165 2012–163 PS (120 kW; 161 hp) @4,000rpm 340 Nm (251 lbf⋅ft) @2,000rpm
  • 1.6 156 PS petrol 156 PS (115 kW; 154 hp) @6,000rpm 240 Nm (177 lbf⋅ft) @1,400rpm
  • 1.6 270 BHP Turbocharged EP6CDTR 270 PS (199 kW; 266 hp) @6,000rpm 330 Nm (243 lbf⋅ft) @1,900rpm

The Turbo engines, are very well made and can handle quite an increase in power with a turbo upgrade and a remap. The light 1.6 engine makes handling a delight and feels more powerful than the numbers would indicate. The Diesel engines only need a tune/remap to be completely transformed.

Typically these performance parts are usually carried out by our members, decide how far you want to go before you get going.

Getting the correct grade of tuning upgrades for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 (competition) mods just don'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 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: Remap, Panel air filter, Lighter flywheel, Sports exhaust, Alloy wheels, Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm).

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

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

Your goal when modding your car should be a wide torque output. You want to avoid sending all the torque to be at the top end unless you are creating a motor sport car.

In this article we shall give a little insight into the world 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 part.One of the biggest mechanical upgrades you can do on your NA (naturally aspirated) engine is to fit a fast road cam .

The intake and exhaust flow play a large part in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car hard to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a cam upgrade with other mods and finish with a performance chip to fully realise your gains.

Don't forget to pay attention to the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty.

Frequently power losses, flat spots and erratic idling after uprated upgrades are done can usually be traced to fuelling or timing 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.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. 

For most RCZ engines TorqueCars would suggest you just go with a washable panel air filter, the standard air boxes flow quite well but on heavily tuned engines and turbo vehicles an induction kit will help release the power providing you address the problem of needing cold air.

Sports exhausts generally help improve air flow out of the engine but do not go too big or you might just stuff your flow rate and make things worse. So generally speaking, keep to a size of 1.5 to 2.5 inches for best results.

Getting the cylinder head gas flowed will assist in flowing more air into each cylinder. This is definitely a job for a professional with a flow bench. A good fast road uprated clutch will help to keep that power going where it should.

Never make false economies by asking your standard clutch to cope with a major power upgrade.

The best mods we would do for your RCZ are a tune/remap especially on a turbo, a fast road camshaft and sports exhaust, with a good air intake.

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 impressive power gains and fully release the potential power of the engine.

Adding forced induction will see phenomenal power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. Superchargers are often easier to add than a turbo. With a turbo the boost curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it difficult to map fuelling with.

The nice steady boost and rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them easier to map. Adding forced induction will generally require a lower compression ratio or water injection.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Because alloy wheels are lighter they improve performance and they can help to cool the brake disks. Pay attention to your choice of tyres (tires) for your car, a good directional tread pattern tire can really enhance your cars handling. Large RCZ alloys can decrease performance. If you get big alloys you will be changing your final drive ratio.

Due to this aim to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the standard factory sizes. In all cases without going over 16 inches.

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 RCZ options in more detail with our RCZ 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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