You can't really do anything realistic or practicle that is cost effective for it to be faster. Maybe an iduction kit and exhaust..... but they wont really add any significant power. Its more about improved throttle response and a nicer sound. With that said though your looking at ?300 for a cat back and ?100-200 for a decent CAI.
Styling is personal mate.......... so no real imputs from me. Options include Caractere, R32 OEM, Vortex, Anni, Reiger, Project2wo............
Wheels, go 18"'s of your choice, then there is suspension for ride quality and looks.... use a search on the specific items!
Here's my 1.6 with K&N induction kit. You can't make it much faster but you can make it drive/handle massively better with a quality sports suspension kit from about ?350-?400, that alone is much more satisfying than just wheels alone, although ideally you'd change both . See Koni Sport suspension kit from Awesome
Personally i'd get my hands on copies of various magazines such as performance vw, golf plus for example and look at whats been done. The cover of performance vw this month has a excellent MK4, that alone has given me a couple of ideas for my own car. Take a gander at what other members have done to their own cars and take notes of what you like about them.
Styling is a personal thing, make mods that you want, don't try to please others thats when things tend to go wrong.
I'd probably work on handeling first, then worry about exhausts and cai's second. If you go for some springs such as eibachs your ride and corner taking will become way better. This wont make your car straightline speed any quicker but you will be faster in the bends and it will look better too.
I did this on my old civic and the thing became a go-kart. I realised i was never going to get 150bhp out of the 1.6 so just enjoyed it for what it was, with realistic modifications.
I agree, spend the money on handling and brakes first, as there's so little you can do performance-wise to a 1.6s, an exhaust and CAI will cost you ?400+ and get you virtually nothing in bhp or torque.
I would sort out the handling and braking first of all. That will make a big difference and allow more speed to be carried and lost.
The other way to improve performance is to make the car lighter. E.g. lighter wheels, remove the spare wheel.
Depends on how extreme you want to go. Some people remove the rear seats, parcel shelf as they aren't to hard to stick back in.
Others go further and remove insulation from under the bonnet and inside the car, etc, etc.
The clio 172 cup was over 70kg lighter than a standard one so weight reduction does make a difference at a cost to luxury and
Performance wise I would look at improving the breathing going into the standard air box and maybe change the paper element to
a foam one. Foam element should be under ?30 and it is possible to make air box mods on the cheap.
Exhausts will give very little power return for the money. If a decat pipe is available at the right price (you have a single lambda) that can make
a difference in pulling power, depends on how free flowing the exhaust manifold is as that could be a big restriction on flow.
Make sure the car has had a recent service and the electrics are tip top/
I believe your car is around 100bhp as standard.
Remember there are lots of tuning companies out there that want to sell products and make money and will make wild claims of this and that.
Some valid and some not.
You could investigate fitting a wet NOS system with smaller jets. If correctly setup this would give you noticeable power gains whilst it is working and can be done at a reasonable cost. Be aware though that bad installs can severely damage your engine.
I woudnt go all out modding for performance on the 1.6, because its was never desgned to be a performance hot hatch. Like i and others have said go for handeling, brakes etc, then when the time comes, trade up for a gti or tdi etc.
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