The Pursuit of Efficiency



Vehicle manufacturers have gone to great lengths to improve their cars’ efficiency. Engines have become smaller, yet more powerful, and a lot more fuel-efficient. Many other technologies have helped to achieve this, especially today’s new-fangled gearbox designs that offer up to ten gears – a far cry from the ancient 2-speed gearboxes that were still common in the ‘50s! Having many gears means that the engine can be kept spinning in its most efficient rev range, which is easily achieved when there are such small gaps between gears. It also means that you have a very tall cruising gear to greatly reduce fuel consumption on the open road.

Today, all cars have computer-controlled engine management and fuel-injection systems, and compression ratios have increased appreciably in the wake of technology like direct petrol injection. This, in combination with turbocharging, means that a 1-litre turbocharged petrol engine can today produce the power and torque of a 2-litre naturally aspirated engine of 15 years ago. Electronically controlled start-stop systems also switch off the engine when unnecessary idling can be avoided, thus reducing fuel consumption in city traffic by 10% or more.

Having said all of this, does it mean that your state-of-the-art modern car is such a frugal drinker that there is nothing you can do to reduce its fuel consumption even further? Perhaps surprisingly, there is something you can do, because your car is not at its absolute peak of performance and efficiency when it leaves the factory. This is the case because manufacturers produce millions of identical engines per year and they have to write the programming of the engine management maps in such a way to compensate for all the small manufacturing variances invariably present in a plethora of seemingly identical engines. One of the banes of mass production is that all the engines are not in fact identical, and ECU programmers have to allow for this.

Manufacturers therefore err on the side of caution, and often sacrifice a little power and economy in the interest of having a one-size-fits-all set of maps that will work satisfactorily on all the engines of a specific type. The Unichip piggyback computer can be fitted to your car’s engine management computer and programmed in such a way to ensure that the deficiencies that the standard programming might have in the case of your particular engine are addressed and optimised. Most people experience a welcome improvement in performance or economy, or sometimes even in both. You are covered by a 3-month money-back guarantee and the non-invasive procedure leaves your car in stock-standard state when we remove the Unichip. You may even be able to use it on your next car!

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and Veldpou streets
Monument Park
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Lyttelton
0140
South Africa