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Performance tuning guide for the VW Up.

"Up UP and AWAY!"

We take a peek at Up tuning and highlight the best modifications for this popular little town car.

Due to their light weight and excellent choice of engines from the VAG group the Up is a good project car and with the right performance mods you can dramatically increase your driving pleasure. Our members have some interesting projects on the go. With the right mods your Up can be transformed into a stunning project and a real stormer of a hot hatch. Don't waste money, do your homework and follow our unbiased guides to each performance upgrade to avoid wasting money.

Tuning tips and articles

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

Handling modifications are usually your first port of call for the Up. We suggest that you fit uprated suspension and lower the car by 30-35mm. Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with sports suspension.

Our aim in Up engine tuning should be to increase peak power and Torque at the top end.

With our tuning pointers your Up can become an awesome performer and still be a reliable daily driver.

Sadly with smaller engine sizes you are wasting your time spending money on modifications, so if this applies to you get yourself an engine swap then apply the following mods.

This list of the stages and mods that are usually performed by our members, decide how far you want to push your car before you begin.

Getting the correct grade of mods for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 (competition) mods just don't work well on the road as it makes the car hard to control in slow traffic.

Stage 1 mods:alloy wheels,Remap,Panel air filter,sports exhaust,lighter flywheel,suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm).

Stage 2 mods:Fast road cam,Ported and polished head,power clutch,fuel injector & fuel pump upgrades,.

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

Engine tuning mods.

You really need to keep as much low end power as possible and aim for a wide power band across the rev range rather than a narrow top end power spike. The point of this article is to give a starting base of car tuning upgrades and point you in the right direction, our forum is where you can ask for more detailed advice and tips on your project and all aspects of modding cars.It improves the intake and exhaust durations and increases the power if done right. Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a performance chip.

TorqueCars would caution you not to go with a motorsport cam as this affects the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.When pushing up the power you will need to pay attention to the fueling. More power needs more fuel.

If you find you experience flat spots and power surges after your modifications you should check the fueling and try a higher octane fuel as well. Uprated injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the engine. When increasing your fueling 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. Induction kits only help to add performance if your air intake is restricted! Adding an induction kit to most standard engines will see NO 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.

Derestricting the airflow into the engine is a primary goal of tuning so get a better flowing air filter if you find that the car is running lean. Induction kits can 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 can usually air flow out of the engine but do not go too large or you could will reduce the flow rate. Stick to 1.5 to 2.5 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 performance clutch will help to keep that power going where it should. Never skimp or expect a standard OEM clutch to cope. 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.

Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NASP engine will give large power gains. Turbos are usually harder to add than a supercharger. Turbos give boost in exponential proportion to increasing engine speed and this can make mapping difficult. The nice steady boost to rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them easier to map. Decreasing the engines compression ratio will allow you to add forced induction, water injection may also help prevent detonation.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Alloy wheels will help the brakes cool down and are usually lighter than the steel ones. The downside to large alloy wheels on your Up is that you alter your effective final drive ratio and this will have a detrimental effect on acceleration and performance.

For this reason we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 16 inches, although we know some of our members have gone larger than this with no problems.

For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss Up options in more detail with our Up owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Volkswagen 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 to hear what our visitors have got up to and which mods work best for them on each model of car. Comments are used to improve the accuracy of these articles which are continually updated.

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