SMART Roadster Tuning

"Tuning guide to the greatest SMART Roadster modifications."

The Roadster is a good car modification project to do. If you do your homework then you can create an awesome Roadster but don't be fooled there are lots of motorsport inspired parts out there that will simply not suit it read our unbiased guides first.

Tuning tips and articles

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

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

Following our tips for modding your Roadster you will end up with 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.

Tuning modifications.

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

Getting the best modified mods for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 motor sport parts just won't work well on the road and will make the car undrivable.

Stage 1 mods: Lighter flywheel, Sports exhaust, Alloy wheels, Panel air filter, Remap, Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm).

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

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

Peak power is nice in motorsport but for a daily driven car you need a long power band and perhaps extending the rev range.

The whole aim of our hints is to give a brief overview of modifying modifications and point you in the right direction, our forum is where you can ask for more detailed advice and tips on your tuning project, the best modified modifications and all aspects of modding cars.Fast road cams offer one of the biggest power gains for your money as far as a stand alone sports modifications goes on a NASP engine.

It maximises the intake and exhaust flow and pushes up 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 motor sport cam as this affects the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.

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

If you find you get flat spots and power surges after your uprated upgrades you should check the fuelling and try a higher octane fuel as well. To get sufficient fuel you may need to upgrade 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.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. Induction kits only help to boost performance if the cars air intake is restricted! Adding an induction kit to most standard engines will see NONE OF A LOW END 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.

Maximum power gains come from a full induction kit with a cold air feed on heavily tuned engines, this can be sited within an air box but a performance panel filter should suffice for most applications. TorqueCars suggest you use a panel air filter as these are easy to clean and maintain and generally perform better than paper ones.

Do not go with the biggest exhaust you can buy this will slow the exhaust 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.

Getting a professionally ported and polished head with larger valves can fully release the engines power. In nearly all cases of Roadster tuning your clutch will start to suffer and this needs an upgrade - read our article on clutches for more information. The best mods we would do for your Roadster are Remapping or piggy back ecu, fast road cam and air intake and exhaust.

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 massive power gains and fully release the potential power of the engine. Adding forced induction will see massive power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. Superchargers are often easier to add than a turbo. With a turbo the boost curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it more challenging to map.

Superchargers however will give a boost which is directly proportional to engine speed so is easier to map. To cope with forced induction you will usually need to decrease the engines compression ratio .

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Improving the handling for car enthusiasts first priority in your Roadster tuning project.

Good suspension tweaks that usually improve handling for the Roadster include a couple of degrees negative camber and 1-1.5 degrees of toe out on the front wheels.

We would go to a maximum drop of 22mm - 38 mm on most models. You risk handling compromises if you go lower than this.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

The benefits of alloys include reducing your unsprung weight and more efficient brake cooling via the extra air flow they allow. If you are serious about performance then you will need to carefully choose your tyres - ideally with a soft compound tyre. Large Roadster alloys can decrease performance. If you get big alloys you will be changing your final drive ratio.

Although some people have with bigger wheels we would stick to a 15 inch rim size as the maximum.

There is a more updated version of this SMART Roadster Tuning article on TorqueCars.com.

For more information 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 to improve this article, we need your feedback in the comments box below which is there for you to pass on any tips, pointers or facts we might not have covered..

We really like hearing from our readers, and hearing about which upgrades were the most effective for them, it helps us improve our recommendations and articles to reflect current trends in modifications and ensures that our EZ engine guides and tips are kept up to date and we remind our visitors of our non profit non commercial approach to running this site.

All comments recieved are used to improve the accuracy of our site and these articles which are continually amended, tweaked and updated.

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.

Please watch this video on our new YouTube channel.
PLAY VIDEO

Feedback

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




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).