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  • All you need to know about "VW Polo Tuning"

    VW Polo Tuning Guide

    VW's small family car was the Polo. It has had a long production run and shares many features with its bigger brother the Golf.

    As it is much smaller and lighter than the Golf the Polo makes a good tuning project and becomes a credible track day fun car with the right modifications.

    Probably because of the threat to it's bigger brother the Polo engines were often under tuned and never quite up to the power figures of the Golf.

    So onto our Polo tuning tips:-
    Because the smaller engines were really built for economy, the 1.4 and lower engines are really a waste of time from a tuning point of view.

    You can still perform the modifications we recommend to these smaller engines the 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4  engines but you should only expect a modest power gain of 7-15%. Spending the same amount of money as you would have spent on mods you could do an engine swap and get a 150% power hike. (If you chose the awesome 1.8T VAG engine.)

    By improving the handling and braking of the Polo you can really start to have fun. The basic suspension is rather soft and there is lots of body roll so fitting stiffer shocks all round and dropping it 40mm will do lots to improve cornering grip and driver feedback.

    In 1994 the Polo gets a major facelift and a decent engine option int he guise of the 1.6.  (There was also a 1.9 Turbo Diesel option.) The 1.6 engine will need some major work doing to it if you are after a good power gain and still you will only see a gain of around 10-20% for a large outlay.

    The best work takes place inside the engine head. Ideally you should get some larger valves installed, and it is also worth you getting the head ported and polished. A 3 angle valve job done will have a big effect on the engines efficiency and power. Increasing the compression of this engine will further maximise the power gains. Blueprinting and balancing the engine will allow you to fully exploit the top end power of this engine and this will help to raise the rev limit.

    Tuning tips and articles Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

    Another option would be to lower the compression ratio of this engine and fit a supercharger or turbo. (The supercharger is generally easier to install but both require a remap and some fuelling upgrades!)

    See our Golf article on the potential of the 1.8T engine. This was an option in some countries and makes for a great engine swap option. The later turbo diesel models respond very well to a remap and this can increase your power by another 20-35%.

    Other modifications you should consider for your Polo engine. Fast road cams, air intake and sports exhaust & port matching.

    Another option you may consider, which also works well on the diesel engines is adding a nitrous injection kit, this alone can add 25-50bhp more power to your engine.

    What other modifications?
    Brake upgrades are should also be a priority. Fit brakes from the more modern Polo as these tend to be bigger and more efficient, and if you check the PCD and offsets you may find other suitable brake upgrades from larger and more sporty offerings from Seat, Skoda, Audi and even Porsche.

    If the PCD does not match then you can upgrade your hubs and this will give you a wider range of wheels and brakes.

    Further reading.
    If you are into Polo tuning and want to take your car project to the next level  you consult the following sources. TorqueCars have a comprehensive  Polo tuning article and also a very active, friendly and helpful Polo forum.

    If you have any tips to pass on please use our comments box below and we will update this article, after all we are all here to share knowledge. Please also let us know if we've missed out an engine or performance mod that you feel should be included in here.

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    One Response to “VW Polo Tuning”

    1. Hayden says:

      vw polo 1L 2000 model

      engine mods ? evan if it just changes it a bit