Holden Cruze 1.6 Turbo Development

Author: Daniel Broadbent   Date Posted:7 February 2017 

The humble Holden Cruze is such a popular car these days: It offers great value for money motoring for people of all ages, both male and female.  There was a choice of four different engines ranging from the atmo 1.8 litre, 2.0 turbo diesel, 1.4 turbo petrol and the flasgship 1.6 turbo petrol.  In standard form, the 1.6 is quite zippy yet frugal at the fuel pump.  Neither 1.4 or 1.6 was ever marketed as being a performance car or even as a "hot hatch".  
That is until now...
At Independent Motorsports, we have used our very own development car to tailor a range of go fast upgrades available for Holden Cruze.

Starting with our Stage 1 Package which is a modified air intake and ECU remap, Stage 2 Package which adds a stainless steel turbo dump pipe (found here). Power output varies depending on transmission and typically we see power figure of around 135kw at the wheels (109kw standard).  This puts the Cruze  well and truly on par with it's GTi Golf and Focus XR5 rivals.  (packages found here)

We further developed our own Cruze by fitting a full stainless steel exhaust front mount intercooler package and very quickly found the limits of the stock injectors.  

We replaced the injectors with our very own high flowed set (found here) and made the change to E85 fuel, taking power up to 145kw before the standard clutch just couldnt handle the torque any more.  

In anticipation for a much larger turbo, we decided to give the bottom end a bit of a freshen up with forged H beam conrods and a set of custom high compression ratio forged pistons.  

Combined with a retune we have been able to get 161kw at the wheels using the stock turbo, an increase of 52kw over stock making this one of the most powerful Cruzes in the country.



Comments (3)

Cruze Intercooler and exhaust system

By: on 12 March 2017
Just some further details on the front mount Intercooler and Exhaust system. Are they common aftermarket products, or did you develop those in-house? Also are those expensive? Also did you replace the clutch to get the 161kw? The forge H beam and and the pistons also in-house built?

Independent Motorsports Response
- Exhaust system was done in house as its a combination of multiple different 1.4 systems made to work on the 1.6. - Intercooler is a ZZ Performance kit which has been modified to fit the 1.6. - Clutch was replaced due to stock clutch slipping above 140kw - Forged Rods and Pistons were supplied by our engine builder as a one-off and are not available to purchase

Re: Malibu

By: on 14 February 2017
Thanks for your enquiry, It's not looking promising for performance upgrades for the Malibu. None of our suppliers make an exhaust for it and the software we use does not list your car as being a compatible vehicle. Regards, Daniel @ Independent Motorsports

Holden Malibu

By: on 10 February 2017
You may remember me as a former client of IMS in a previous life as a Nissan Skyline R33 and R34 owner. These days I drive a Holden Malibu. A very nice car and although I have no immediate plans to improve the performance of this 2.4 litre 4 cylinder car I was wondering what IMS might be able to offer if and when I decide to do something such as exhaust, intake and engine management?

Leave a comment

Comments have to be approved before showing up