Cordoba Tuning

"Cordoba Tuning"

The Cordoba was the Seat version of the Polo. A good and well equipped small car and popular with younger drivers.

The best engine for a Cordoba tuning project has to be the awesome 2.0 16v Turbo which produced 147 bhp.

The 1.8, 20 valve engine also manages similar power figures so either would give a pretty nippy ride on such a small chassis. Of the Diesel engines the 110bhp offers the most tuning potential.

The Cordoba presented Seat with a competing car to the Polo and it enjoys some of the best VAG engine options around - with plenty of tuning potential.

With so much choice where do you start? Which mods work the best on the Cordoba and what should be your aims and priorities?

We look at Cordoba tuning and report on the best modifications. Seat Cordoba are popular cars and with a few performance modifications you can increase your driving pleasure.

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Improving the handling for many people first priority in your Cordoba tuning project.

We found that most Cordoba factory suspension setups need tweaking, a few degrees of toe out for cornering or toe in for stability, -1-1.7, and some negative camber will radically improve your cornering and handling.

We would go to a maximum drop of 28mm - 38 mm on most models. You risk rubbing on the arches if you go lower than this.

A nice wide torque band and sweet spot of peak power at one third of your RPM range is optimum.

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

The best power gains come from larger engine sizes. The more you start with the bigger the return on investment so engine swaps are good value mods for small engined cars.

Power mods.

The following uprated kits are usually carried out by our members, decide how far you wish to go in your tuning project before you get started.

Getting the right motorsport upgrade kits for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 motor sport mods just don't work well on the road making the car difficult to drive.

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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. 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: Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm), Alloy wheels, Remap, Panel air filter, Lighter flywheel, Sports exhaust.

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

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

Your goal when tuning the engine should be a nice flat torque range. You want to avoid sending all the power to be at the top end unless you are creating a motor sport car.

The point of our guides is to give a starting base of customizing modifications and point you in the right direction, our forum is best place to go if you need more detailed advice and tips on your modified car project, the best sport upgrades and all aspects of modding cars.A fast road cam will be one of the best NASP power mods you can do mechanically to your engine.

The exhaust & intake 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 impossible to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a camshaft 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.

Using higher octane fuel is another option if you find you are suffering from pinking or premature ignition on your SEAT project after fitting other performance upgrades. Improved 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 Cordobas uprated injectors.

Seat Cordoba Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. Air induction kits will only help to boost power if the air intake is struggling!

Adding an induction kit to most standard engines will see ZERO LOW END POWER GAIN AT ALL. If you have heavily modified your engine and it's need for air INCREASES DRAMATICALLY then an induction kit is the answer and will help remove this restriction.

For most Cordoba 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 increase the flow of air through the engine. But if the exhaust pipe is too big, ie: it's over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose much of the exhaust flow rate and end up sapping power and torque.

Airflow through the head can be dramatically increased with some professional head porting and polishing. These should match and be setup to take into account any other engine mods.

When you heavily modify your Cordoba you will usally see that the standard clutch starts to slip so get an uprated clutch. The best mods in our experience for your Cordoba are fast road camshaft, remap, induction and exhaust, suspension.

Remaps offer large power gains on all turbo charged cars. On NA (naturally aspirated) engines the benefits are doubtful. However a flashed ecu on a NA (naturally aspirated) engine will help unleash the potential if you have done a lot of mods. The most significant power gains for NA (naturally aspirated) engines usually involve the addition of forced induction. Superchargersare generally easier to add than a turbo. With a turbo the boost curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it more challenging to map.

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

Seat Cordoba Wheel modifications.

Alloy wheels will help the brakes cool down and are usually lighter than the steel ones. The downside to large alloy wheels on your Cordoba is that you alter your effective final drive ratio and this will have a detrimental effect on performance. Aim to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the same as supplied from the factory. In all cases we do not recommend going above 18 inches.

It would be worth going through our Cordoba tuning articles to get a full grasp of the pros and cons of each type of modification. Please join us in the forum to discuss the Cordoba tuning options in more detail with our Cordoba owning members.

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