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Peugeot 206 GTi Performance Tuning Guide

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Table of Contents


The Peugeot 206 GTi established itself in 2003 as a hot hatch standout, delivering a balanced blend of performance, handling, and practicality wrapped in a stylish French package.

Earlier models of the 206 GTi featured an engine producing 130bhp while later models came out the factory with 180bhp.

While featuring impressive performance out of the box, there are still various performance upgrades you can add to the car to increase both the power and handling capabilities. 

Let’s take a look at he most cost effective and proven mods to take your Pug to the next level!

Panel Filter

There are different intake options for the 206 GTi, with some owners opting for cone filters for the increased intake sounds. Others prefer to keep the standard airbox and instead fit a panel filter.

In fact, panel filters on these cars tend to have the most evidence over cone filters when it comes to maintaining and even increasing power gains!

Pipercross tends to be the favoured brand for this and they make filters specifically for the 206 GTi. These are designed for increased airflow over the standard filter while protecting your engine from contaminants. They are also easy to maintain and are created with longevity in mind.

You can check out their versions for both the 137 and 180 on eBay.

Performance Exhaust

A free flowing aftermarket exhaust system is a popular upgrade for the 206 GTi for those seeking improved performance and a more aggressive sound from their car.

These systems offer various benefits over stock exhausts, which are often designed with cost and noise reduction in mind rather than optimal performance. 

One of the primary advantages of a free flowing exhaust system is the potential for increased horsepower and torque. By improving the flow of exhaust gases, the engine can breathe easier. This also leads to smoother and more responsive acceleration throughout the rev range.

Aftermarket exhausts also tend to weigh less than than the OEM Peugeot exhaust, resulting in power gains made through weight saving.

Aside from performance benefits, there is of course the audible gains you get. For many car enthusiasts, the aggressive sound of a free flowing exhaust system is a major selling point. Aftermarket exhausts often use different muffler designs and materials to create a more distinct, throaty exhaust note. This can nicely compliment the additional performance mods you have on the car.


It’s often mentioned within the Peugeot community that the quoted power figure from the 206 GTi’s tend to fall short of the claimed factory numbers.

By optimizing the ECU controlling the engine’s fuel, air, and ignition parameters, remapping can unlock hidden power reserves, resulting in increased horsepower and torque.

With the 206’s having naturally aspirated engines, the gains you get won’t be as much as you would expect from a typical turbocharged car. However, if you have various mods on your Pug like a free flowing exhaust or intake, then a remap can unlock noticeable power gains from these components. 

The power increase you get from a remap will depend on what model of the GTi you have and the engine health. From a healthy engine, you can expect the following gains from a remap alone (Stage 1):

138bhp Variant 

Original: 138bhp Remapped: 148bhp

180bhp Variant 

Original: 180bhp Remapped: 187bhp

Weight Reduction

When many owners have exhausted performance mods to the engine and suspension, many turns to removing excess weight to increase the power to weight ratio.

The 206 GTi weighs around 1100kg, so is a relatively light car from the factory. However, you can shave off some additional kilos as well. This can be especially helpful if you are tracking your 206 where every incremental weight saving helps.

Lets have a look at some of the ways in which you can save some weight. How far you go with this will depend on how much practicality and comfort you are willing to sacrifice.

Remove rear seats: The rear seats can be take up some weight, so removing them can save some weight from the rear. This is more suitable for those who rarely use their back seats.

Replace stock wheels with lightweight wheels: Lightweight wheels can help reduce the overall weight of the car and improve handling. Make sure to choose wheels that maintain the same diameter and offset as the stock wheels to avoid any issues.

Install a lightweight exhaust system: A lightweight exhaust system not only reduces weight but can also improve engine performance by allowing better exhaust flow.

Replace the battery with a lightweight alternative: Opt for a lightweight lithium-ion battery, which can weigh significantly less than the stock battery.

Lightweight bucket seats: Installing lightweight bucket seats is a great way to not only increase your comfort when driving hard but also remove weight. These performance orientates seats are designed to weigh as little as possible.

If you are wanting to go further, you can also remove components like the air con system, interior trim elements and sound deadening material.


Installing coilovers on your Pug significantly enhances its sporty and aggressive appearance. By replacing the standard suspension system with a set of high quality coilovers, your ride height can be adjusted to a lower, more aerodynamic stance.

This sleek profile not only improves your 206’s aesthetics but also contributes to its overall handling and stability.

The firm suspension provided by coilovers reduces body roll and increases cornering precision, giving the car a distinctive sharpness and responsiveness that is characteristic of proper hot hatches.

It can be tempting initially to opt for a cheap set of coilovers, especially if you are on a tight budget. However it’s worth saving for a reputable set as they play a crucial role in ensuring optimal performance, safety, and longevity.

Low quality coilovers tend to compromise more on performance and comfort which can be a problem if you daily drive your GTi.

If you’re looking for increased performance while retaining a level of comfort for daily driving, be sure to check out Stance Street Coilovers which you can purchase from eBay.

Brake Upgrades

Adding power to your 206 GTi is all fun and well, but what about stopping power?

The standard brakes are fine for your daily driving applications, but if you like to drive hard and take it on the track, then upgraded brakes can make a massive difference to your driving experience. 

The main issue with the standard pads and braking system is brake fade. This will be most prominent on the track. 

On the race track, you frequently have to brake repeatedly from high speeds. Upgraded brake components can handle the heat better and deliver consistent stopping power.

What brake upgrades you go for will depend on your budget and how you use the the car. 

For street driving and some spirited drives on country roads, a set of upgraded pads and maybe some braided brake line/high temp brake fluid should be suffice. 

For the track, then you may want to upgrade the discs and potentially even look at a big brake kit conversion for maximum stopping power. 

Finishing Thoughts

Being a naturally aspirated car, you aren’t going to get massive power gains like you can get from a turbo car as easily. 

However the beauty of the 206 GTi is in it’s light weight and agility, so you really don’t need much additional power to keep up with much more expensive cars.

If you are looking to add a large amount of power to the car, then you can look into adding forced induction and forging the engine however this will require a lot of custom work. 

If you are wanting to track it and want to make it as quick as possible, you would be better focusing on handlings mods, brakes and weight reduction than adding power as these mods will be more cost effective at producing performance results and decreasing your lap times. 

Happy modding!