Tuning the Skoda Superb

"The sublime Superb"

The Skoda Superb is based on the fantastic A5 and Passat platform. Skoda have produces one of their finest cars to date and there is a lot of scope for Superb tuning.

The Superb really is just that, Superb. It's been widely adopted by fleet owners and offers so much at such a great price there is little surprise there.

Let's see what the best mods are for your Superb and how they affect the cars performance and how the handling can be improved.

Top end power should be your overall aim on the Superb with a nice fat peak torque band and this is very attainable given the engines you have to play with. Quite a few TorqueCars members have kept the Superb looking standard and removed the badges to create the ultimate sleeper!

Tuning tips and articles

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

 

Tuning modifications.

The best power gains come from larger engine sizes especially the early 1.8 Turbo the later 2.0 Turbo the TDi units and the stunning VR6.

The EA111 and EA888 engines are very well suited to the car and with a remap can really transform your power levels.

The more you start with the bigger the return on investment so engine swaps are good value mods for small engined cars. Our choice of engine would have to be the Turbo units as they are so easily tunable and very strong.

A remap yields around 20-30% of a power gain. The later 3.6 VR6 engine is worthy of a special mention and is the most powerful engine offered in this lineup, although the 2.0TSi petrol can be remapped to match it's power levels you won't get the lovely VR6 engine sound.

The following modifications are usually performed by our members on their Superb projects, decide how far you want to go before you begin.

Adding a few subtle power mods, and suspension upgrades will transform your Superb into an Awesome!

1st Generation engines

  • 1.8 L I4 turbo 150 hp
  • 2.0 L I4 115 hp
  • 2.8 L V6 190 hp
  • 1.9 L TDI PD I4  99-128 hp
  • 2.0 L TDI PD I4 138 hp
  • 2.5 L TDI PD V6 161 hp

Second generation engines

  • 1.4 L EA111 TSI I4 123 hp
  • 1.8 L EA888 TSI I4 150-158
  • 2.0 L EA888 TSI I4 197 hp
  • 3.6 L EA390 VR6 256 hp
  • 1.6 L EA189 TDI CR I4 103 hp
  • 1.9 L EA188 TDI PD I4 103 hp
  • 2.0 L EA188 TDI PD I4 138 hp
  • 2.0 L EA189 TDI CR I4 168 hp

Getting the right mods for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 (competition) mods just don't work well on the road.

Stage 1 mods: Exhaust, Panel air filter, Remap, lighter flywheel

Stage 2 mods: Fast road cam, ported and polished head, fuel injector & fuel pump upgrades, (Intercooler  upgrade on Turbo models)

Stage 3 mods: Engine balancing, forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), competition cam.

You can still perform the modifications we recommend to the 1.8 Naturally aspirated engines but you should only expect a modest power gain of 10-20%, for the same amount of money you could do an engine swap to the 1.8 Turbo and get an instant 100% power hike.

TorqueCars would instead prefer to focus on improving the handling and braking of the smaller engined Octavia models.  This will create a fun car that is good in the corners.

Mk1 mods

The VAG 1.8 Turbo engines were stunning, a real favourite of ours, and a simple remap is all you need to raise the power from 160bhp to around 225 bhp. Fitting a larger turbo, many choose the KO4 or KO3s will  raise the potential as the standard KO3 runs out of puff quite early on (around 5500rpm).

On the 1.8T engines it also pays to get a heavy duty recirculating diverter valve (blow off valves have caused error codes to show) and we would also uprate the intercooler. The 1.8 Turbo engine has been used in a number of powerful applications including the sporty Audi TT and can cope with power figures of upto 300bhp and even more on standard internals.

The main differences between the 1.8T 225bhp and 150bhp engines are in the head and intake. Swapping the head will help lift the performance potential of the 1.8T and a custom remap can squeeze out a little more of your other mods as well.

The diesel engines lend themselves very nicely to a remap and have another 30% power gain to give on standard internals. Uprate the intercooler and exhaust for further gains.

MK2 mods

Most engines are turbocharged and offer substantial power gains when remapped. Add in a hybrid turbo, twin scroll turbo or larger turbo conversion and you'll potentially double your stock power.

An intercooler upgrade and intake tweaks make sense after a significant power mod.

The diesel engines are all very refined, economical and clean burning but the 1.9 feels a little underpowered in the superb.

The 170hp diesel uses a different turbo to the 140 version. The 140 can be mapped to around 170 but if you want to hit the 200+ region on the 140 you need to upgrade the turbo, and probably the injectors, depending on your power target.

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Improving the handling for loads of people first priority in your Superb tuning project.

We found that most Superb factory suspension setups need tweaking, a few degrees of toe out, and slight negative camber will substantially enhance your cornering and handling.

We suggest that you fit uprated suspension and lower the car by 27mm - 37 mm. Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with sporty suspension (VRS).

Handling modifications are usually your first port of call for the Superb. We suggest that you fit uprated suspension and lower the car by 30-35mm as this will really improve the handling which some criticised as being a big vague at times.

Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with sports suspension (like VR6 engined Superb).

Skoda Superb Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. Derestricting the airflow into the engine is the primary part of tuning so get a better flowing air filter. Induction kits sound great but due to the warm air in the engine bay they will not add noticeable power and actually rob you of power.

Sports exhausts balance the flow of air throughout the engine. But if your exhaust is too large, ie it is over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose a lot of the flow rate and lose power on most engines.

Gas flowing the head will allow you to maximise your air/fuel charge. Leave this to a professional though with a proper flow bench and machine tools. As the exhaust only uses 2 valves there is a lot of gain to be had by opeing up the exhaust ports.

When you start tuning your Superb you will find that the standard clutch starts to complain at power gains taking the car to over 240bhp, so get an uprated clutch.

Remaps offer significant power gains on all turbo charged cars although the early 1.8TFSi has a few weaknesses. On NASP engines the benefits are doubtful. However a remap on a NASP engine will help unleash the potential if you have done a lot of mods like cams, exhaust and head work.

Skoda Superb Wheel modifications.

Because alloy wheels are lighter they improve performance and they help to cool the brake disks. Large Superb alloy wheels can decrease performance.

If you get big alloy wheels you will be changing your final drive ratio. 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 17 inches.

You may find that VW and Audi wheels fit and this gives you an impressive range to choose from.

For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss Superb options in more detail with our Superb owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Skoda tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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