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Volvo V90 Best Mods & Tuning Guide

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Table of Contents


When it comes to the most common cars to modify, Volvo V90’s tend to fall quite far down the list. 

The Volvo V90 boasts a sleek and elegant design that appeals to many drivers. Its refined aesthetics and attention to detail make it a visually striking vehicle. In many owners eyes it leaves little room for improvement in terms of appearance.

However, there are some tasteful modifications that can be done to enhance it’s already elegant design.

Not only this, but there are now a variety of aftermarket performance mods you can do to increase the power of your V90. 

Whether you are looking for some subtle exterior mods or looking for some additional overtaking power, we’ll go over all the best mods and upgrades in this article.

Painted Brake Calipers

Painting your brake calipers is a subtle yet effective mod that can really enhance the premium nature of the car. It’s also something you can do yourself on the cheap.

Whether you choose a bold, vibrant colour or a subtle understated hue, this modification adds an extra layer of visual interest to your V90.

By selecting a colour that compliments or contrasts with the body paint, you can create a cohesive and visually striking appearance.

Red and yellow are common colours chosen by owners.

If you’re doing it yourself, remember to buy high temperature brake caliper paint that is designed specifically for this purpose. General paint will not last due to the heat that the brakes generate.

Remember that the key to a good finish when it comes to painted calipers is all in the preparation. Don’t rush this stage and ensure you spend a lot of time ensuring that the calipers are clean and free from any dirt or debris before proceeding with painting. 

Red brake caliper paint

Gloss Red Brake Caliper Paint

Gloss Yellow Brake Caliper Paint

Aftermarket Exhaust

While the Volvo V90 isn’t the first car you would associate with an exhaust upgrade, an aftermarket exhaust can increase performance and produce a more sporty growl.

Aftermarket exhaust systems reduce backpressure by utilizing larger-diameter pipes and more efficient configurations. Reduced backpressure enables an engine to expel exhaust gases with less effort, freeing up horsepower and torque.

In addition to increased performance, many owners will be pleased with the sound enhancements with aftermarket systems producing a deep throaty exhaust. 

If you are primarily after increased sound, then aftermarket cat-back is your best bet. This replaces the exhaust section of your exhaust after the catalytic converter which is the section responsible for controlling and muffling the sound. 

An aftermarket cat-back can enhance the exhaust note as well as boost performance. There aren’t off the shelf cat-backs available for every model of the V90 so you may want to contact a local exhaust shop to have them fabricate one for you. 

If you are after maximum performance from the exhaust, then you will want to replace the downpipe and catalytic converter section of the exhaust as well. This will relieve most of the restrictions in the standard exhaust system. 

Again, there aren’t many off the shelf systems for all variants of the V90 so it may be a custom job again to get this done.

Performance Air Intake

The Volvo V90 can be further bolstered with an aftermarket air intake, an enhancement that can lead to noticeable performance and audible improvements.

The best induction kit for the V90 is the MST Intake. 

Compatible with the T4 ,T5, T6  and T8 engines, this intake can enhance performance as well as produce some lovely induction sounds.

This intake replaces the factory airbox with a cold air intake and heat shield to draw in as much cool air as possible. 

If you don’t want to upgrade the entire air intake then you can also get an aftermarket panel filter from K&N.

These slot into place inside the standard airbox and replace the OEM filter. 

Engineered for performance and durability, these filters can help enhance power by increasing the airflow to the engine and tend to last a lot longer than the standard filters. 

Volvo V90 MST Intake

MST Intake

For the Volvo V90

Upgraded Intercooler

If you’re serious about increasing the performance of your V90, then definitely look into an upgraded intercooler. To extract maximum performance from the car, then this is a must. 

An intercooler is a critical component of a turbocharged engine, cooling the compressed air coming from the turbocharger before it enters the engine. This cooler air is denser and thus allows for more air in the combustion process.

An aftermarket intercooler from D088 features a larger core (+62%) allowing for greater cooling capacity. 

The benefits of this are particularly noticeable when intake temperature rise, often after the car has been pushed hard or under boost for continuous lengths of time.

You will also benefit from this if you drive in environments with warm air temperatures. It’s not uncommon for the stock intercooler to experience heat soak under these conditions leading to a loss in power. 

An aftermarket intercooler ensures your V90 is producing consistent performance even on those hot days.


By optimising various ECU parameters, remapping can increase the V90’s power output and torque, resulting in a more responsive and smoother driving experience. 

Some tuners also offer “eco remaps” which are designed to make your V90 more efficient and improve fuel economy. 

The power gains you get will depend on the health of your engine and the model of V90 you have. 

For example on the 2.0L T6 engine on the more recent models, you can easily gain 20bhp from a remap.

On another model like the 2.0L D4 diesel, you can gain 40bhp!

It’s crucial to select a professional and reputable tuner to perform the remap. Ideally go with one who is familiar with the Volvo engines and has previously remapped other V90’s. Research various companies and read reviews from previous customers to ensure you’re choosing a reliable tuner. A poor-quality remap can lead to engine damage and other issues.

Remapping your car can also potentially void your vehicle’s warranty. Be sure to check with your Volvo dealer or read the terms of your warranty before proceeding. Additionally, inform your insurance company about the remap, as it may affect your coverage or premiums. This goes for all other modifications too!

Lowering Springs

Lowering springs are a great way to give your V90 a sporty stance and improve the handling. With a subtle drop, you can decrease the arch gap to give a more aggressive and stylish stance. 

A functional benefit of installing lowering springs is the performance benefits they offer. While the benefits aren’t as prominent as you would get with coilovers, lowering springs can improve the handling and stability by stiffening the suspension.

The reduced body roll and enhanced suspension response result in a more connected feel between the driver and the road, allowing for better feedback and increased confidence during spirited driving.

When adjusting the ride height on the Volvo V90, it’s wise to make subtle changes to avoid compromising the car’s excellent comfort. By slightly lowering the height, you can enhance the car’s aesthetics and handling without significantly affecting its suspension system. 

Drastic alterations can lead to poor ride quality and significant wear on other suspension components. If you are wanting to drop the ride height significantly, look into coilovers or even an air suspension system. 

Front Splitter

A subtle yet striking mod you can do to enhance the front end of your V90 is to install an aftermarket front splitter. 

A front splitter significantly enhances the aggressive front look of the vehicle.

Acting as a visual extension of the car’s dynamic design, the splitter accentuates the V90’s low and wide stance, creating a bold and assertive appearance.

The front splitter perfectly compliments the sharpness of the V90’s headlights, resulting in a harmonious and aggressive front design.

While primary installed for aesthetics, front splitters also boast aero performance benefits.

A front splitter works by directing the airflow hitting the front of your car more efficiently, reducing drag and increasing downforce.

This additional downforce helps to maintain stability at high speeds as well as improving handling and cornering capabilities.

Maxton have made a lovely looking splitter for the V90 which you can check out below.

Volvo V90 Front Splitter

Maxton Front Splitter

Volvo V90 (2016-2020)

Finishing Thoughts

The Volvo V90 represents a splendid fusion of design, comfort and technology, striking a useful balance between aesthetics and performance.

While elegant in it’s standard form, some tasteful modifications and upgrades can really add to the demeanour of the car and improve your driving experience. 

With this car , subtle mods work the best in terms of exterior upgrades. Painted brake calipers, a front splitter and some lowering springs can really enhance the sportiness of the car while preserving it’s original looks.

As with any mod or upgrade, just be aware of any implications it may have on your warranty or insurance before proceeding.

Happy modding!