Volvo S40 Tuning

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The S40 is a good car tuning project to carry out. We see car enthusiasts wasting money on their S40 doing the wrong mods and then having to start over. Follow our tips to avoid ruining your car

We consider S40 tuning and point out the ultimate mods that work. Volvo S40s have loads of potential and with the right motorsport parts you can increase your driving enjoyment.

Tuning tips and articles

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


Turning our attention to the engine we need to get a bit more bhp out of the top end.

Keep your car looking standard but remove the badges for the ultimate sleeper!

Smaller engines do not provide much of a return in terms of power so start with a bigger engine. Engine swaps are a good option if you have a small engine size.

Engine Tuning.

This list of the stages and tuning modifications are usually installed by our members, decide how far you want to go before you get going.

Getting the right uprated upgrades for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 motor sport parts just don't work well on the road hard to control in slow traffic.

S40 Petrol engines

  • 1.6 B4164S 77 kW; 104 hp @5500 143 N⋅m 105 lbft @4200
  • 1.8 B4184S 85 kW; 113 hp @5500 165 N⋅m 122 lbft @4100
  • 1.8i B4184SM 92 kW; 123 hp @5500 174 N⋅m 128 lbft @3750
  • 2.0 B4204S 103 kW; 138 hp @6000 183 N⋅m 135 lbft @4500
  • 2.0 T B4204T 118 kW; 158 hp @5100 230 N⋅m 170 lbft @1800–4800
  • 2.0 T B4204T2 118 kW; 158 hp @5100 230Nm170 lbft @1800–4800
  • 2.0 T B4204T3 120 kW; 161 hp @5250 240 N⋅m 177 lbft @1800–4500
  • 2.0 T B4204T4 127 kW; 170 hp @5500 240 N⋅m 180 lbft @1800–5000
  • T4 B4204T5 147 kW; 197 hp @5500 300Nm221 lbft @2500–4000
  • T4 B4194T 147 kW; 197 hp @5500 300Nm221 lbft @2400–3600


  • 1.9D D4192T 66 kW; 89 hp @4250 176 N⋅m 130 lbft @2250
  • 1.9D D4192T2 70 kW; 94 hp @4000 190 N⋅m 140 lbft @2000
  • 1.9D D4192T3 85 kW; 114 hp @4000 265 N⋅m 195 lbft @1750–3250
  • 1.9D D4192T4 75 kW; 101 hp @4000 215 N⋅m 159 lbft @1750–3250

The Mk2 revision saw new engine options.

  •  1.6 4-cyl. 1596 cc 100 PS @ 6000 150 Nm @ 4000
  •  1.6 (2010) 4-cyl. Turbo 1596 cc 150 PS @ 6000 195 Nm @ 4500
  •  2.0 4-cyl. 1999 cc 145 PS @ 6000 185 Nm @ 1500–5000
  •  T5 5-cyl. Turbo 2521 cc 230 PS @ 5000 320 Nm @ 1750
  • DRIVe 4-cyl. Turbo 1560 cc 109 PS @ 4000 240 Nm @ 1750
  • D2 4-cyl. Turbo 1560 cc 115 PS @ 3600 270 Nm @ 1500–2750
  • D3  5-cyl. Turbo 1984 cc 150 PS @ 3500 350 Nm @ 1750–2750
  • D4 5-cyl. Turbo 1984 cc 177 PS @ 3500 400 Nm @ 4500

Getting the right uprated upgrades for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 motor sport parts just don't work well on the road hard to control in slow traffic.

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

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

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

Peak power is good on competition cars but for a drivable and fun car you need a long torque band and perhaps extending the rev range.

In this article we shall give an overview and introduction to the best performance parts for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance upgrade.Fast road cams offer one of the biggest torque gains for your money as far as a bolt on motorsport modifications goes on a NASP engine.

It maximises the intake and exhaust flow and increases the power if done right. Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a reflashed ECU. TorqueCars would caution you not to go with a motor sport cam as this upsets 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.

Using higher octane petrol is another option if you find you are suffering from detonation or premature ignition on your Volvo project after fitting other tuning modifications. To get sufficient fuel you may need to uprate the injectors on your engine.

If have increased your fuelling with bigger injectors you will also need to get a bigger fuel pump to supply it.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Breathing mods are usually next up. Air induction kits will only help to boost power if the air intake is restricted! Adding an induction kit to most small engines will see LITTLE 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 flow of air into the engine is a primary goal of performance tuning so get a better flowing air filter if you find that 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 usually rob you of power.

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

Airflow through the head can be dramatically increased with some professional gas flowing. These should match and be setup to take into account any other engine mods. In nearly all cases of S40 tuning your clutch will start to slip and this should be improved - read our article on clutches for more information. The best mods we would do for your S40 are fast road camshaft, remap, induction and exhaust, suspension.

Turbo engines are just crying out to be Upgraded. You will see large power gains on most modern turbo charged cars including diesels making a remap one of the most cost effective and large modifications for your money.

We've also seen some tuners toying with twin charging conversions and making some very high power gains.

The most significant power gains for NASP engines usually involve the addition of forced induction. Superchargers are often easier to add than a turbo. It is harder to map a turbo as the boost builds exponentially with engine speed.

The nice correlating boost and rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them simpler to map. Decreasing the engines compression ratio will allow you to add forced induction, water injection may also help prevent detonation.

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Many S40 owners uprate the handling of their cars with coilover suspension kits as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car.

We found that most S40 factory suspension setups need tweaking, a few degrees of toe out -1-1.7, and a bit of negative camber will substantially enhance your cornering and handling.

We would go to a maximum drop of 30mm - 35 mm on most models. You risk rubbing on the arches if you go lower than this.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Alloy wheels can help the brake cooling and are usually lighter than steel ones. Get a good directional tread pattern tyre to improve your handling and help improve traction on your S40. Please note that although they can look cool on the S40 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.

For this reason aim to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel your OEM settings. In all cases without going bigger than 18 inches.

There is a more updated version of this Volvo S40 Tuning article on

For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss S40 options in more detail with our S40 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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