Volvo C30 Tuning

"Tuning guide to the best Volvo C30 modifications."

The C30 is a good tuning project to try. With the right mods your C30 can be transformed into a stunning project. Don't waste money, do your homework and follow our unbiased guides to each performance upgrade so you don't waste your money.

We review and look at C30 tuning and point out the optimum modifications for your car. Volvo C30s are good project cars and with the optimum sports parts you can definitely increase your driving opportunities.

Tuning tips and articles

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


Top end torque should be your overall aim with a nice fat wide peak torque band.

Enjoy your C30 to the limit with our dependable modification hints - do the right mods in the right order.

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 mods.

These mods modified upgrades are usually fitted by our members, decide how far you wish to go in your tuning project before you begin.

Getting the right motorsport modifications for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 (competition) mods just won't work well on the road hard to control in slow traffic.

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

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

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

  • 1.6 2006–2013 1,596 cc 1.6 L; I4, B4164S3 100 PS 74 kW; 99 hp @6000 150 N⋅m 111 lbft @4000
  • 1.8 2006–2009 1,798 cc 1.8 L; I4, B4184S11 125 PS 92 kW; 123 hp @6000 165 N⋅m 122 lbft @4000
  • 2.0 2006–2013 1,999 cc 2.0 L; I4, B4204S3 145 PS 107 kW; 143 hp @6000 185Nm136 lbft @4500
  • 2.4i 2006–2013 2,435 cc 2.4 L; I5, B5244S4 170 PS 125 kW; 168 hp @6000 230 N⋅m 170 lbft @4400
  • T5
  • 2006–2007 2,521 cc 2.5 L; I5 turbo, B5254T3 220 PS 162 kW; 217 hp 320 N⋅m 236 lbft @1500–4800
  • 2,521 cc 2.5 L; I5 turbo, B5254T7 230 PS 169 kW; 227 hp @5000 320 N⋅m 236 lbft @1500–5000
  • Polestar Limited Edition 2012–2013 2,521 cc I5 turbo, B5254T7 253 PS 186 kW; 250 hp @5500 370 N⋅m 273 lbft @3000
    Diesel engines
  • 1.6D, 1.6D DRIVe 1,560 cc 1.6 L; 95.2 cu in i4 turbo, D4164T 109 PS 80 kW; 108 hp @4000 240Nm177 lbft @1750
  • D2 2010–2013 1,560 cc 95 cu in i4 turbo 115 PS 85 kW; 113 hp @3600 270 N⋅m 199 lbft @1750-2500
  • 2.0D 1,997 cc 2.0 L; 121.9 cu in i4 turbo, D4204T 136 PS 100 kW; 134 hp @4000 320Nm236 lbft @2000
  • D3 2010–2013 1,984 cc 121 cu in I5 turbo, D5204T5 150 PS 110 kW; 148 hp @3500 350 N⋅m 258 lbft @1500-2750
  • D4 2010–2013 1,984 cc 121 cu in I5 turbo, D5204T 177 PS 130 kW; 175 hp @3500 400 N⋅m 295 lbft @1750-2750
  • D5 automatic 2,401 cc 2.4 L; 146.5 cu in I5 turbo, D5244T8 180 PS 132 kW; 178 hp @4000 350 N⋅m 258 lbft @1750–3250
  • D5 manual 2,401 cc 2.4 L; 146.5 cu in I5 turbo, D5244T13 180 PS 132 kW; 178 hp @4000 400 N⋅m 295 lbft @2000–2750

Your aim when modding the engine should be a flat and wide torque band. You don't want all the torque to be at the top end unless you are creating a competition car.

In this article we shall give your a good starting base to the best modifications for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance part.One of the best mechanical sports mods you can do to your NASP engine is to fit a fast road cam .

The intake and exhaust durations play a large part in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car hard to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a camshaft upgrade with other mods and finish with a reflashed ECU to fully release the power gain.

Don't forget to uprate the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty.

Frequently power losses, and erratic idling after sports mods are done can usually be traced to fuelling or timing issues.Upgrading the injectors is another beneficial modification and will deliver sufficient fuel.

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. Air induction kits are only beneficial to add power if your air intake is restricted! Adding an induction kit to most small 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.

Derestricting the air feed into the engine is the primary part of performance tuning so get a freer flowing air filter if you find that the car is running lean. Induction kits can sound fun but due to the warm air in the engine bay they will not really increase power and more often than not rob you of power.

Sports exhausts will certainly help air flow out of the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too wide or you may end up will reduce the flow rate. Stick to 1.5 to 2.5 inches as a rule of thumb.

Head work including a head port and polished and 3 or 5 angle valve job will really help to release the potential of the engine. In nearly all cases of C30 tuning your clutch will start to complain and this needs to be uprated - read our guide on clutches for more information. The best mods in our opinion for your C30 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 significant power gains and fully release the potential power of the engine.

We've also seen some tuners playing with twincharging applications and making some seriously high power hikes.

Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NASP engine will give large power gains. It is often simpler to bolt on a supercharger than it is to bolt on a turbo. With a turbo the power curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it more challenging to map.

It is simpler to map a supercharger because the boost is proportional to engine speed on a linear curve. Alternatively you could install water injection to minimise knock.

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Handling modifications are the thing most do first for the C30.

Good suspension tweaks that greatly improve handling for the C30 include a couple of degrees negative camber and 1-1.5 degrees of toe out on the front wheels.

Drop the car by as much as 25mm - 40 mm and fit uprated stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

The benefits of alloy wheels include a lower unsprung weight and more efficient brake cooling via the extra air flow they allow. We can't go into too much detail here about tyres but they are how the car puts the power down on the road so are a critical choice. track legal slick tyres work well on C30, and make a big difference over budget tyres. We should point out that although they can look cool on the C30 big alloys will actually decrease your performance. The larger you go the lower your acceleration will be - this to the change in your effective final drive ratio.

Although some people have gone larger than this we would restrict ourselves to a 18 inch rim size as the maximum.

There is a more updated version of this Volvo C30 Tuning article on

For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss C30 options in more detail with our C30 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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