Lupo Tuning

"Lupo The Loop!"

The Lupo had a five year run and was born when VW decided the Polo had got too big and expensive and felt they needed a new budget city car.

It's diminutative size makes it great around town, it has a tight chassis and some choice engines. Combine a half decent engine with little weight and you have a recipe for a fun car.

Designed as a city car the Lupo suspension is rather soft and there is a lot of body roll. Uprating the suspension will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car and improve it's cornering ability. Drop the car optimally somewhere in the region of 35mm and fit stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

Mid range to top end power should be your overall aim on the Lupo with a nice fat peak torque band.

Tuning tips and articles

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

Please watch our video introduction to VW Tuning.

Keep the car looking standard and remove the badges for the ultimate sleeper! The Lupo is so small and light that even a modest tuning budget will make a noticeable difference.

Smaller engines do not provide much of a return in terms of power so ignore the 1.0 and start with a a 1.4 or better still the 1.6. Engine swaps are a good option if you have a small engine size and want a big power gain for your money.

Tuning modifications.

The following mods are usually carried out by our members, decide how far you want to go before you begin.

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: Exhaust, Panel air filter, Remap, lighter flywheel

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Fast road cam, ported and polished head, fuel injector & fuel pump upgrades,

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

Peak power is all well and good but a driveable and fun car needs a wide power band and lots of low down torque. One of the best mechanical mods you can do on the Lupo is to fit a fast road cam. Don't forget to uprate the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty.

Engine swaps are quite popular mods for this model, here are engine guides to all the VAG engines we've covered.

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 a lot depends on how much of a power hike you are after.

Performance Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

The next area for modification is the Lupo intake and exhaust. Maximum power gains come from a high flow panel filter.

A sports exhausts will certainly help air flow through the engine but do not go too large or you will reduce the flow rate. Stick to 1.2 to 1.5 inches for best results.

Head work including a polish and port and 3 or 5 angle valve job will really help to release the potential of the engine. A good fast road power clutch will help to keep that power going where it should. Never skimp or expect a standard clutch to cope. NA (naturally aspirated) engines do not achieve big power gains if you remap them, unless you have done extensive modifications.

Adding forced induction will see big power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. It is easier to bolt on a supercharger than it is to get a turbo working. There are some Lupo supercharger kits around but TorqueCars have yet to meet anyone who has done this mod. If you have a supercharged Lupo please drop into our forum and tell us about it.

With a turbo the boost curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it hard to map. 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.

Lupo 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 Lupo is that you alter your effective final drive ratio and this will have a detrimental effect on acceleration and performance. Although some people have gone larger we would stick to a 15 inch rim size as the maximum and shoe the wheels with low profile tyres keeping the same rolling diameter as standard.

We would also strongly recommend a Lupo brake upgrade, making the car go faster is one thing but it is equally, if not more, important to make it stop. Look to the Polo and similar VAG models for suitable upgrades or get a big brake upgrade kit from your Lupo performance parts supplier.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please feel free to join us in our very friendly forum where you can discuss Lupo options in more detail with members. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Volkswagen tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification and these are regularly updated and improved.

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