If there is one thing the computer age has given us, it is choice. In the 1980s, very few electronics were used in cars and with mechanical parts such as carburettors and distributors, it was almost impossible to optimise your engine or change the way these devices work without actually changing the hardware. Today, computers control everything and it is as easy as changing a software programme to alter spark timing and fuelling. While people think that electronics have made cars too complicated, the truth is that they have made it easier and cheaper to change things without having to change physical parts.
The manufacturer does not give you much of a choice when you buy your new car. It is virtually impossible to manufacture thousands of engines to the exact same tolerances, so they write engine control unit (ECU) maps that cater for all these variances. Your car will therefore have the same standardised ECU programming that all cars with that engine have and it may or may not work in perfect harmony with your particular engine. There are certain limits within which these standard computer maps are allowed to vary their settings and this is usually not ideal.
However, you do not want to risk something going wrong with your car, so you just stick with the standard setup and hope that your car is one of those that performs at its best and uses the least amount of fuel with those approximately correct maps, right? Well, there is a way to turn your car’s ECU into a super computer and make it much smarter and more adaptable. In this way, your car remains standard, but your control unit can cater for a far wider range of variables and ensure that you enjoy the best possible performance when you put your foot down flat to overtake and the best possible economy when you are just pootling down the freeway.
When you fit a Unichip, your ECU is left intact and Unichip fine-tunes its settings to optimise them for every possible driving scenario. Several customisable maps can be specified, giving you not only maximum performance, but also maximum economy. You can have fine control over turbo boost pressure, fuelling, and spark timing, and even specify a special map that allows little power and revs to be used for when you leave your car at a dealership for a service.
What’s more, the Unichip comes with a 3-month warranty, so you can return it for a refund if you are not happy with the results.