SMART Roadster Tuning

"Thanks for reading my SMART Roadster tuning tips."

The Roadster is a brilliant tuning project to execute. With the right mods your Roadster can be transformed into a stunning project.

Don't waste money, do your homework and follow our unbiased guides to each performance upgrade to avoid disappointment.

Start by looking at the Brabus roadster, and see what can be done.

The Brabus roadster uses the same engine block as the standard roadster - it's just the parts added and setup that makes more power.

A Brabus roadster parts include a modified turbo, different injectors, different valves and a chargecooler. These can all be fitted to a standard roadster if required and can be used on other Smart models.

Tuning tips and articles

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

 

Handling/Suspension upgrades

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

Good suspension tweaks that radically benefit handling for the Roadster include a couple of degrees negative camber and 1-1.5 degrees of toe in or out on the front wheels. Toe in for stability, or Toe out to improve cornering. It would also pay to improve the brakes, by adding larger discs and or higher friction pads..

We would go to a maximum drop of 27mm - 37 mm. on most models. You risk rubbing on the arches if you go lower than this.

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

Following our tips for modding your Roadster you will make a practical but hot car that will show up bigger cars.

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.

Engine Tuning.

Typically these parts are usually installed by our members, decide how far you want to push your car before you begin.

Getting the right tuning mods for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 motor sport parts 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 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. 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: Panel air filter, Lighter flywheel, Alloy wheels, Suspension upgrade (drop 27mm - 37 mm.), Remap, Sports exhaust.

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

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

Peak power is all well and good but for a drivable and fun car you need a wide torque band and perhaps extending the rev range.

In this article we shall give an overview and introduction 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 modification.Fast road cams offer one of the biggest power gains for your money as far as a bolt on motorsport modifications goes on a NASP engine.

The exhaust & intake valve timings play a huge role in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car challenging 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.

Using higher octane petrol is another option if you find you are suffering from detonation or premature ignition on your SMART project after fitting other performance kits. Larger injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the 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.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. Please note that WE DO NOT FEEL YOU GET POWER GAINS FROM INDUCTION KITS, unless you have tuned your car a lot and are finding that the standard air intake has become a restriction.

For most Roadster 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 needing cold air.

Do not go with the widest exhaust you can buy this will reduce the exhaust flow rate - the best exhausts for power gains are usually between 1 to 1.5 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

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. Your clutch can slip as the power goes up if it starts to suffer and the standard clutches are only ever good for power gains of up to 40%. Fit a sports clutch to avoid power leak through the transmission. The best mods that we recommend for your Roadster are a remap especially on a turbo, a fast road camshaft and sports exhaust, with a good air intake.

NASP engines do not achieve big power gains if you remap them, unless you have done extensive modifications. With turbocharged engines this is another story. A remapped turbo will give phenomenal power gains and fully release the potential power of the engine. The most phenomenal power gains for NASP engines usually involve the addition of forced induction. It is generally simpler to bolt on a supercharger than it is to install a turbo. Turbos give boost in exponential proportion to increasing engine speed and this can make mapping difficult.

It is simpler to map a supercharger because the boost is correlating to engine speed on a linear curve. Decreasing the engines compression ratio will allow you to add forced induction, water injection may also help prevent detonation.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Alloy wheels can help the brakes cool down and are usually less heavy than the steel ones. Pay attention to your choice of tyres (tires) for your car, a good track legal slick tire can really enhance your cars handling. The drawback to large rims on your Roadster is that you're changing your final drive ratio and this will have a negative effect on performance and acceleration.

Although some people have gone larger than this without problems we would stick to a 15 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 friendly forum where you can discuss Roadster options in more detail with our Roadster owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased SMART tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

Please help us improve these tips by sending us your feedback in the comments box below.

We love hearing about our website visitors projects, especially the mods done and which work best for you on your car. Which helps us keep our guides and tips up to date helping others with their modified car projects. Your feedback and comments are used to keep this page up to date, and help improve the accuracy of these articles which are kept updated and constantly revised.

If you've enjoyed this page we would be very grateful if you could share a link to it on your favourite forums or on your social media profiles, it helps us keep going.

PLEASE HELP: I NEED YOUR DONATIONS TO COVER THE COSTS OF RUNNING THIS SITE AND KEEP IT RUNNING. I do not charge you to access this website and it saves most TorqueCars readers $100's each year - but we are NON PROFIT and not even covering our costs. To keep us running PLEASE Donate here

If you liked this page please share it with your friends, drop a link to it in your favourite forum or use the bookmarking options to save it to your social media profile.

Feedback - What do You Think?

Please use our forums if you wish to ask a tuning question, and please note we do not sell parts or services, we are just an online magazine.

Help us improve, leave a suggestion or tip

Your Constructive comments on this article


Please watch this video on our new YouTube channel.



Member Benefits

Join our forum today and benefit from over 300,000 posts on tuning styling and friendly car banter.

You will also have full access to the modifed car gallery, project car updates and exclusive member only areas.

(All car owners of all ages and from all countries are welcome).


BMW 335i - 2021 COTY

We gave the BMW 335i our coveted car of the year award, read more about this awesome car and see why 335i Tuning Guide

Tips for N54 Tuning

Tips for N55 Tuning

Popular articles

Tuning diesels
ECU Remapping
Double Clutch
Induction Kits
Customize a car
Chip tuning
Modified car insurance
Track day insurance
Remapping Diesels
Calculate MPG
Clearing a DPF
Horizon 5 tuning


Porting Polishing

Principles of porting an engine and big valve conversions
Read more...

Safety Mods

Improve safety and braking of your car
Read more...

Steering Wheels

Aftermarket steering wheels
Read more...

Suicide Doors

Suicide doors
Read more...

Nurburgring Times

Nurburgring times
Read more...

2011 Car News

2011 car news
Read more...

MPG Calculator

MPG calculator UK miles per Gallon – calculate MPG
Read more...