The Integrated Solution
Dastek, the company responsible for the Unichip range of aftermarket engine management supercomputers, has introduced a trio of electronic upgrades, such as the X-Connect harness, to enhance the latest generation of Toyota’s 2.8-litre GD6 engine, employed in the latest Hilux, Fortuner and Prado. With Unichip’s global footprint, the i-ART injector technology employed by Toyota in the new 150kw versions was first seen in 2013 on the previous D4D models in Brazil.
In Dastek’s internal testing, the X-Connect harnessing system, Level 1 tuning kit increases output to 180+ kW and 75+ Nm without any additional fine-tuning on a rolling road dynamometer required. Toyota’s headline numbers, ex-showroom, are an already impressive 150 kW and 500 Nm.
Toyota’s changes to the turbocharger and i-ART injection technology were key to moving the rated output of the GD6 from 130 to 150 kW towards the end of 2020 while the addition of balancer shafts has made it smoother across the rev range too, an impressive update. If these developments were good news for Toyota fans, the better news was that it made the powerplant suitable for further upgrades.
Performance of the Unichip:
The Unichip GD6 X-Connect Advanced Level 1 base upgrade to 180+ kW/575+ consists of two hardware components: the Unichip X+ piggyback ECU and a custom X-Connect wiring harness. Both of these items are now manufactured, in totality, at Dastek’s Pretoria HQ. It is thanks to this unified approach – which starts with extensive research and development right through to final validation on in-house dynos – that gives Dastek the confidence to back its tuning kit with a three-year warranty.
The Unichip GD6 X-Connect Advanced Level 2 adds a direct boost control capability via a revised X-Connect harness, which activates VNT control. Importantly, the turbocharger is now a “ball-bearing” type rather than a journal bearing type, which allows for further tuning possibilities, especially when it comes to minimising lag.
The Unichip GD6 X-Connect Elite prepares the vehicle for a further level of modifications by using a bespoke X-Connect harness which activates electronic functionality to control the diesel injectors (controlling injector on-time). With the correct hardware updates on the vehicle like an intercooler, turbocharger, exhaust and injector driver to manipulate injector volume and duration, allows for a 215+ kW potential – without exceeding any of the original safety parameters.
Live Dyno-tuning is essential after fitment of X-Connect Advanced Level 2 and Elite upgrades and while not required for the Advanced Level 1 package yet dyno-tuning could result in further gains. That’s because no two engines are identical, and live-tuning achieves the ideal combination of power and torque, along with optimum fuel economy and driveability, for that engine.
Features of the Unichip:
A feature of various previous-generation Unichip’s is that it enabled a customer to alter performance settings, the latest versions still offer this option but can also change performance settings from the vehicle’s own Power mode buttons.
Irrespective of the mode selected, these intelligent maps (which optimise hundreds of points where fuel and engine speed are cross-referenced with actual load) have in-built safety settings that restrict how much power can be used at a given combination of fluid temperatures, also taking into account time lapses from specific events such as start-up, or a sustained period running at full throttle. The alterations are made automatically, and progressively, to keep critical parameters within acceptable ranges without a sudden loss of performance.
Unichip and Toyota
Unichip-based upgrades to Toyota’s earlier GD6 engine run into the thousands globally. The company is confident that their tiered approach to upgrades on the latest GD6 power plant will continue that trend and cement Unichip’s position as the brand which meets the requirement for intelligent, safety-optimised upgrades.