Volvo XC40 Tuning

"Tuning guide to the most effective Volvo XC40 modifications."

The Volvo XC40 is a compact luxury crossover SUV manufactured by Swedish automaker Volvo. It was first introduced in 2017 and is positioned below the larger XC60 and XC90 models.

The XC40 offers a stylish exterior design, a spacious and well-appointed interior, and a range of advanced safety features. It is available with a choice of two petrol engine options and also offers a battery-electric version known as the XC40 Recharge.

Standard equipment on the XC40 includes a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a number of driver assistance technologies such as lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring.

The XC40 is a great car modification project to try. We see lots of DIY modders wasting money on their XC40 doing the wrong mods and then having to start over. Follow our tips to avoid making the common mistakes

Tuning tips and articles

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

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Handling modifications are at the top of your mod list for the XC40.

The main areas to focus on with the XC40 is....

  1. Upgrading the suspension components such as adding sportier shocks, struts, and sway bars.
  2. Lowering the vehicle's center of gravity by installing lowering springs or air suspension.
  3. Improving the tires to a higher performance tire with a lower profile and wider tread (assume dry roads and fairly flat surfaces, on a daily driver you don't want to go with very low profile tires as this can make the ride seem quite hard).
  4. Installing a strut tower brace to stiffen the chassis and improve body control.
  5. Replacing the factory wheels with lighter, aftermarket wheels and tires that are designed for better handling. (Larger wheels are generally heavier and the tyre profile will create adverse handling characteristics and a crashy ride.)

If you set the toe out to 1 to 2 degrees on the front, and add some negative camber then cornering will often be enhanced.

Drop the car optimally somewhere in the region of 28mm - 40 mm. and fit performance stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

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

With our pointers your XC40 can make some decent track times and be reliable daily driver.

To be completely frank and honest, on the more modest 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.

Engine Tuning.

This list of the stages and motorsport parts are usually installed by our members, decide how far you wish to go in your tuning project before you get started.

Getting the right uprated modifications for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 competition upgrades 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 keep up with our latest YouTube content and subscribe.

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: Sports exhaust, Lighter flywheel, Alloy wheels, Remap, Panel air filter, Suspension upgrade (drop 28mm - 40 mm.).

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

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

Your aims when modding the engine should be a flat and wide torque curve. You want to avoid sending all the torque to be at the top end unless you are creating a competition car.

The aim of our hints is to give a limited introduction of modding performance parts and point you in the right direction, our forum is best place to go if you need more detailed advice and tips on your tuning project, the best uprated parts and all aspects of modding cars.A fast road camshaft typically is one of the best NASP power modifications you can do with a single part fitted to your engine.

The exhaust and intake valve durations play a big role in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car awkward to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a cam upgrade with other mods and finish with a remap to fully release the power gain.

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to increase the fuelling.

Frequently power losses, flat spots and erratic idling after performance upgrades are done can usually be traced to fuel delivery or timing issues. To get sufficient fuel you may need to upgrade the injectors on your engine.

If you've uprated your fuelling 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. Please note that WE DO NOT SEE IMPROVEMENTS WITH INDUCTION KITS, unless you have tuned your car a lot and are finding that the standard air intake has become limited.

Derestricting the air feed into the engine is a primary goal of car tuners so get a better flowing air filter if you find that the car is running lean only if you find the car is running lean. Induction kits can sound sporty but due to the warm air in the engine bay they will not add noticeable power and often rob you of power.

Do not go with the widest exhaust you can find this will slow up the exhaust flow rate - the best for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

Head work including a gas flow (ported and polished) and 3 or 5 angle valve job will really help to release the potential of the engine. A good fast road uprated clutch will help to keep that power going where it should. Never make false economies or think that a standard clutch to cope. The best mods we would do for your XC40 are Remapping or piggy back ecu, fast road cam and air intake and exhaust.

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.

We've also seen some tuners playing with twincharged applications and making some very high power gains.

Adding forced induction will see large power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. Superchargers are generally easier to add than a turbo. Turbos provide boost in exponential proportion to th engine speed and this can make mapping difficult.

The nice directly proportional boost and rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them more straightforward to map. Adding forced induction will generally require a lower compression ratio or water injection.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Due to the fact that alloys are lighter they improve performance and they will help to cool the brake disks. Further improvements can be made to your cars handling with the addition of track legal slick tire. Large XC40 alloys can decrease performance. If you get big alloys you will be changing your final drive ratio.

Due to this fact try to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the recommended OEM sizes. In all cases we do not recommend going over 16 inches.

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 XC40 options in more detail with our XC40 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Volvo tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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