Forgotten Classics: The Nissan Sunny GTI-R

Author - Steve Burgess | Post date - Saturday, March 11, 2017

We have a bit of a hobby; we like to search on Auto Trader (and the web) for cars that have something a little bit different. Last week, I was looking at mint condition Ford Escort RS Cosworth’s when I had a brain flash about another 90’s hot hatch that was actually faster than the RS, and today, commands an equally high premium.

I am talking, of course, about the Nissan Sunny GTI-R. And due to its awesomeness - and forgotten status - I thought I’d write a blog post about it.

The Nissan Sunny GTI-R

The Nissan Sunny GTI-R was, and still is, an absolute weapon even by today’s hot hatch standards. When it launched in 1991, it became the fastest hot hatch on sale and one of the most eye-catching hot hatches to boot.

Powered by a 2.0-litre transversely-mounted turbocharged petrol engine with 217 horsepower and 197 lb-ft of torque in European spec (it was called the Pulsar GTI-R outside of Europe - which had 227 horsepower and 210 lb.-ft of torque), the Sunny GTI-R also had a version of Nissan’s Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All-Terrain all-wheel-drive system, and a power-to-weight ratio of 0.083.

The result of that configuration was startling: 0-62mph happened in 5.0 seconds flat, and it would go on to a limited top speed of 144mph.

For the sake of comparison, the Nissan Sunny GTI-R went from 0-62mph 0.7 seconds faster than the fabled Ford Escort RS Cosworth. Or, if you want a more-modern comparison, the Nissan Sunny GTI-R is still 0.1 seconds faster to 62mph than the new Volkswagen Golf R with a 6-speed manual gearbox. That awesome turn of speed is even more incredible, when you consider that there’s 26-years between those cars.

So much more progress, eh?

While the exact number of Nissan Pulsar GTI-R’s built isn’t confirmed, the consensus among experts is that only 12,000 to 15,000 were ever made. And, in the European Sunny GTI-R spec we are talking about, only around 1,000 cars were ever made. That makes this hot hatch one of the rarest production hot hatches ever made.

Sadly, that means you’ll probably never see one on the road. You’re more likely to see one at a car show. And, if you do see one on the open road, then even that will probably be one of the more common Pulsar GTI-R’s. These can be imported into the UK, although the taxes are high for doing so. The website ‘How Many Are Left’ shows just 20 Nissan Sunny GTI’s (it won’t show data for the GTI-R model, so it’s not clear if that’s the same car) on the road today, which is 451 less than there was in 2001. Which is a crying shame, but it’s good news for owners, who can price their cars as high as £30,000 should they want to sell up.

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The Best Diesel Hot Hatches 2017

Author - Steve Burgess | Post date - Monday, February 06, 2017


For those of you who want the looks and performance of a hot hatch without the fuel bill, diesel hot hatches are the answer. While not quite as potent as their petrol-powered brethren flat out, diesel hot hatches offer plenty of poke in-gear and are incredibly robust, making them the ideal choice for high-mileage drivers.

Below, we have listed the best diesel hot hatches in 2017 for you to consider if you are in the market for a new car. And remember, we can remap most new engines to produce even more power and torque (typically 30-40% more on a turbo-diesel).


Ford Focus ST TDCi




The Ford Focus ST TDCi is a stylish, well-equipped hot hatch that offers plenty of performance. It comes with 5-doors as standard but for those of you who need even more space, you can get it as an estate. Whichever body you go for, however, you get the same 2.0 TDCi engine with 185 PS (182bhp) and 400Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque.

The official 0-62mph time for this car is 8.1 seconds, which isn’t great for a diesel hot hatch but it makes up for that with a 31-62mph time of 6.9 seconds. The reason for that slow acceleration figure from 0 is the gearing, and the way the engine produces its power. That maximum torque figure of 400Nm only becomes accessible at 2,000rpm. The Golf GTD, for example, produces its maximum torque from 1,750rpm. However, when on boost, the Focus ST TDCi certainly goes well and it handles as well as its petrol brother too.


Volkswagen Golf GTD




The Volkswagen Golf GTD is faster than the Ford Focus TDCi both off the line and when rolling. That may come as a surprise when you learn that the Golf GTD produces less torque than the Focus ST TDCi, but its 380 Nm (280 lb-ft) of torque is available from just 1,750rpm which means the car is simply more responsive from low revs.

The Golf GTD also has a much plusher interior than the ST, which may swing the Golf in your favour if you plan to spend lots of time in your car. The Golf GTD is available with something that the Focus isn’t available with too - an automatic gearbox. The DSG gearbox in the GTD is a wet clutch 6-speed and it’s outstanding. It can handle a remap no problem, and it’s very reliable compared to the dry clutch 7-speed found in older VAG performance cars. We would stick with the 6-speed manual though, since it’s slick enough.


SEAT Leon FR 184 (with the Sports Styling Kit)




The SEAT Leon FR is available with the same engine as the VW Golf GTD. It also shares the same gearbox, chassis setup and running gear. In fact, it’s the same car, except for the fact that the Leon undercuts the Golf by several thousand pounds. The Leon can also be had with a ‘Sports Styling Kit’, which cements it as a true diesel hot hatch.

The Sports Styling Kit is thoroughly recommended. The standard Leon FR looks like any other Leon with bigger alloys. The Sports Styling Kits adds side skirts, a chunky rear bumper with diffuser and a dual-exit exhaust and a new front bumper. It transforms the FR into a diesel Cupra look-a-like. The Leon, like the Golf, is also available as an estate if you need more space and it comes loaded with kit as standard, including full LED headlights, cruise control, sat-nav, Bluetooth, DAB and sports front seats.


Audi A3 184 2.0 TDI Quattro




If you like the idea of a GTD but you want an even plusher interior and the reassurance of all-wheel-drive, then consider the Audi A3 2.0 TDI Quattro. This car uses the same engine as the GTD and FR, but it also has Quattro AWD, which reduces the 0-62mph time and provides much-needed grip for winter roads, and the A3 is also available as a saloon.

The only downside to this model is that it doesn’t look that sporty. The powerful diesel engine is only available in S Line trim but even with bigger alloy wheels and sporty bumpers, the A3 doesn’t have the same road presence as a GTD or the FR 184 with Sports Styling Kit. The upside to the Audi is that it has better residuals than the Golf and the Leon, and it has a nicer interior. The quality inside is better, and the A3 is also available with Audi’s ‘Virtual Cockpit’, which makes the analogue dials in the Leon and Golf look outdated.


BMW 1-Series 125d




The BMW 1-Series 125d has more power and torque than any of the other hot hatches on our list. The 2.0TD engine produces 224bhp and 450Nm (332 lb-ft) of torque, with maximum torque available from just 1,500rpm. This makes the 125d incredibly responsive at low revs, and perhaps best of all, it’s rear-wheel-drive so you can get the back end out if you want to.

The BMW 1-Series 125d also looks the part. It is only available in M-Sport trim, so you get 18” M Sport double-spoke alloys, side skirts and a sporty front bumper as standard. The official acceleration figures for this car are as follows: 0-62mph happens in 6.3 seconds, while 31-62mph happens in 5.4 seconds. The latter is 1.5 seconds faster than the Focus ST TDCi, and the former is 0.5 seconds faster than the Audi A3 2.0 TDI Quattro, and that’s despite the Audi’s AWD advantage. So, if you want outright performance, the 125d is best.


Renault Megane dCi 130 GT Line




The Renault Megane dCi 130 GT Line is as sporty as you get for a diesel-powered Megane right now. The 1.5 dCi engine produces 128bhp and a healthy 236 (lb-ft) of torque, which is the same as VAG’s standard 2.0 TDI engine. However, this car can only get from 0-62mph in 10 seconds flat, which is slow compared to the other cars on our list.

Don’t write the Megane off just yet though. This is the only car on our list that is an all-new model released in the last year, which makes it better from a tech point of view. GT Line models get a stunning 8.7” portrait touchscreen display which makes those in the other cars on our list look outdated, and the sports seats which come as standard on GT Line models are exceptionally comfortable. GT Line models also get a lower suspension than Dynamique models and bigger alloy wheels. These combine to give the Megane a sporty stance.

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Best Hot Hatches of 2017

Author - Steve Burgess | Post date - Thursday, January 26, 2017


Everybody that loves cars loves a hot hatch. They offer speed, looks and practicality, but most importantly of all, they offer engagement in a market flooded with benign machines that couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding.

Below, we will look at what we believe are the best hot hatches available in 2017.

Editor’s note: All the hot hatches listed below are on sale now. We haven’t included any upcoming hot hatches, since we’ll be covering them as they get released.

Audi RS3


The Audi RS3 is the king of Audi hot hatches. Whereas the S3 offers 306bhp and 280 lb-ft of torque, courtesy of a 4-cylinder 2.0 TFSI engine, the RS3 offers 362bhp and 343 lb-ft of torque courtesy of a 5-cyclinder 2.5 TFSI engine. It feels much faster, and thanks to Quattro AWD, it puts its power down all the time. That 5-cyclinder engine defines the RS3. It’s one of the loudest stock engines we’ve ever heard in a hot hatch, and it makes a sound far more memorable than the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG or any other four-pot.

Ford Focus RS

The Ford Focus RS is widely acclaimed to be the best hot hatch on the market today. It has the most advanced all-wheel-drive system in its class - complete with a ‘Drift’ mode - and a 2.3-litre, 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine with 345bhp and 350 lb-ft of torque. Up to 70 per cent of the RS’s torque can be sent to the rear axle, and Ford ditched the ST’s variable ratio steering in favour of a fixed rate ratio. The result is a hot hatch that’s a proper driver’s car, and one that has retained the exclusivity and specialness of the RS badge.

Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG

In a straight line, there’s very little to choose between the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG, the Audi RS3 and the Ford Focus RS. With 4MATIC AWD and a thumping 376bhp and 350 lb-ft of torque, the A45 can put its power down anywhere just like its key rivals and the A45 also handles very well on the track or road. The A45 AMG then is a seriously quick and capable hot hatch. We also have to give special mention to the A45’s bucket seats, which in our opinion are some of the best on the market in a new car.

SEAT Leon Cupra

The SEAT Leon Cupra 280 was one of our favourite hot hatches of 2014, and it remains that way in 2017. With an outstanding chassis, adaptive dampers and a limited-slip diff, the Cupra has one of the best FWD handling setups we have ever experienced - and the 2.0 TSI engine pulls and pulls right to the redline. SEAT updated the 280 to the 290 in 2015, and they have updated it again for 2017 to the 300 (although the car remains basically the same). The Leon Cupra retains FWD, but for the first time it is available with 4WD in the ST.

Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S

The Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S holds the Nürburgring lap record for a FWD car, lapping the ring’ some 3.4 seconds faster than the Civic Type R. The Clubsport S then is the fastest FWD car on the market on the track. This model has bespoke damper and suspension tuning to ensure greater stability at high speed, and it gets bespoke Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. The EA888 2.0 TSI engine pumps out 306bhp all the time, bettering the 286bhp offered on overboost by the standard GTI Clubsport.

Honda Civic Type R

The Honda Civic Type R is the most bulbous hot hatch on the market, but it’s also one of the most engaging. The 2.0-litre turbocharged engine produces 306bhp and 295 lb-ft of torque, with power sent to the front wheels through a traditional 6-speed manual gearbox. Light on its feet and with a romping soundtrack, the Civic Type R offers a hot hatch experience of old, just like its predecessors - where driver engagement rules. We’re big fans of this car and we recommend it to anybody wanting a hot hatch that’ll turn heads and force smiles.

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The best all-new cars to look out for in 2017

Author - Steve Burgess | Post date - Monday, January 23, 2017

2017 has a lot in store for us car fans. We can expect some exciting announcements from supercar and hypercar manufacturers, not to mention regular marquees. But for us, where it’s at is with the cars that we will see on the road soon. So, following, we have written about five exciting car models that you should look out for this year.

Note that our article does not include any ‘facelifts’. We’ve only listed the best all-new cars; so, cars that will either replace an existing generation, or cars that will kick-start a new line.

New Ford Fiesta


The Ford Fiesta has been the UK’s best-selling car for seven years in a row. The little supermini overtook the Ford Focus as the best-selling car in 2009, and has retained that title ever since. The new seventh-generation model has a lot to live up to, then.

One of the biggest differences between the new model and the outgoing model is interior comfort and refinement. Ford has kitted the cabin out with plusher plastics and more soft touch materials, and all models get a 6.5in touchscreen infotainment system, with an upgrade to an 8.0in version coming on Titanium and Vignale models. The dashboard has been decluttered too, and the suspension has been reworked to deliver better comfort and handling on British roads. All models also get Ford’s SYNC technology (voice control).

New Seat Ibiza


The current generation Seat Ibiza is Seat’s best-ever selling car in the UK. But, there’s no getting around the fact that it’s getting on a bit. A mid-life facelift in 2015 helped to breathe new life into the model but as it stands, the fourth-generation Ibiza sits on forecourts as an outdated-looking outcast next to the Leon and Ateca.

The good news is that Seat will be launching the fifth-generation Seat Ibiza in June 2017, complete with all-new styling that’ll fall in line with the Leon and Ateca. The new Ibiza is also expected to launch with a wide range of turbocharged engines, including a 1.0 TSI and a 1.6 TDI. The fifth-generation Ibiza might also be available with a new 2.0 TDI engine, to create a hot diesel hatch just like they did with the MK3 Ibiza 1.9 TDI PD.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio


The Alfa Romeo Stelvio

will be Alfa’s first SUV. It is expected to launch as the ‘Stelvio Quadrifoglio’, with the same 2.9-litre twin-turbo engine found in the Giulia Quadrifoglio. It will be a direct rival to the Porsche Macan and the Jaguar F-Pace.

The Stelvio will take other ideas from the Giulia too. It is likely to come with adaptive dampers on all models and four-wheel drive on all models. The interior should be a highlight too, since the Giulia’s interior is incredibly plush. As always, we can expect Alfa’s SUV to be highly driver-orientated. This is also a model that’s primed for a performance diesel engine; perhaps an up-rated version of the 2.2 Multijet D found in the Giulia?

Skoda Kodiaq


First impressions for the Skoda Kodiaq are in from reviewers, and it’s looking good for Skoda’s SUV. Matt Watson of Car Wow stated in a YouTube review that he thinks the inside of the Kodiaq is plusher than the Volkswagen Tiguan. Now that’s high praise.

Indeed, the inside of the Kodiaq is gorgeous. But it’s stunning on the outside too. Of course, what looks good to us might not look good to you, but the sweeping headlights and the angled profile of the Kodiaq stand out big time. We dare even say that the Kodiaq has more road presence than Volkswagen’s offerings. Interested? The Kodiaq will go on sale a little later in the year, and it will be available with a 2.0-litre TDI or 1.4 TSI to start. We have heard rumours of a hot vRS version coming out too. Now that’s something we’d like to see.

New Audi A8


The Audi A8 might be a car model out of the reach of ordinary folk, what with it being a luxury saloon, but models like this offer a glimpse into the features that regular cars like the Audi A1 and A3 could have in a few years’ time.

What’s exciting about the next-gen Audi A8 is that it will be the first car to go on sale with fully autonomous driving. The feature is called ‘Traffic Jam Assist’, and it can operate up to speeds of 37mph to drive the A8 for you in built up traffic. This means you won’t have to steer or do anything. The A8 will do it for you. The A8 will also have an artificial intelligence system which will learn and predict the driver’s behaviour. The new Audi A8 is expected to be revealed in December 2017, with a range of powerful engines.

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Remap lost after visit to dealer?

Author - Steve Burgess | Post date - Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Remap lost after visit to dealer?

If you have had some work done to your remapped car at a dealership and your car feels noticeably slower than it did before, then there’s a good chance that the reason for this is that your remap has been wiped off the ECU by the dealer.

Why has my remap been lost?

It is industry practice for dealership’s to update ECU software to the latest version released by the manufacturer. So if a dealership runs a search on your car and finds that your ECU software is out of date, then they will flash the ECU with new software. This overrides the mapped file you have on your car and completely replaces it. We have found that this is a common issue that remapped driver’s face when it comes time to getting any kind of work done at a dealership.

What should I do?

If your remap has been lost after a visit to the dealer, the good news is that if you had your car remapped by us then we’ll happily reinstall your remap for you at discounted cost as long as you are within a respectable distance from our HQ in Manchester. If you are far away, then we may still be able to work something out. This service ensures that you can get your remapped performance back without it costing a fortune. We’ll only do this once though – so heed the next bit of advice to minimise the risk of losing your remap:

If you haven’t booked your car in yet and you are concerned about losing your remap, then we recommend you simply inform the dealership that you do not want your ECU to be flashed with new software. This is an option if you are having general maintenance or MOT work performed that is not covered by warranty. The dealer should be able to meet this request, and if they can’t, then simply go to another dealership. Problem solved!

Have you had any problems with dealerships and remaps? Share your stories with us by commenting below, and be sure to join the discussion on Facebook.


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BMW & Mini Exhaust Gas Recirculation Valve (EGR) problems

Author - Steve Burgess | Post date - Monday, May 09, 2016

When you look at the current technologies deployed by vehicle manufacturers like BMW and Mini to meet increasingly strict emissions targets set by the EU on diesel engines, it’s obvious that these technologies have been rushed to market and are not fit for the job.

Examples we’d like to point out are the diesel particulate filter (DPF) – a device that removes soot from the exhaust gas of a diesel engine, and the exhaust gas recirculation valve (EGR) – a device that recirculates exhaust gases through the engine cylinders. Both of these technologies are designed to reduce emissions, but they are not reliable and when they break they affect the performance of a vehicle considerably, or put it into limp mode – rendering one’s mode of transport completely and utterly useless.

And the kicker? It can cost thousands of pounds to have either of these components replaced, and there’s no guarantee that they won’t fail time and time again. In fact, some diesel car owners have found themselves in a vicious cycle with EGR valve failure, in the end giving up and replacing their pride and joy with a petrol car instead.

BMW and Mini EGR valve failure

Because EGR valves deal with dirty air, over time the valve can become clogged with carbon deposits that prevent it from operating properly.

While every vehicle fitted with an EGR valve is at risk, over the last 3 years we have seen a significant rise in the number of diesel BMW and Mini owners with EGR valve problems. All BMW engines from 2004-present (16d, 18d, 20d, 25d, 30d, 35d and 40d) are susceptible to EGR valve failure and the 1.6d and 2.0d engines are the same as in the Mini range, so there’s failure in these cars too. Symptoms of EGR failure include:

  • Lumpy idling;
  • Reduced throttle response;
  • Hesitancy to accelerate;
  • Stalling;
  • Knocking noises from the engine area;
  • Complete engine failure (won’t start).

And warning signs of failure include: Engine management light on dashboard.

If you are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms with your BMW or Mini, then it could be the EGR valve that is at fault. The good news is that there’s a cost-effective solution to complete EGR failure, and it doesn’t require the removal of the old part.

How we can help

We can diagnose issues with EGR valves by connecting diagnostic equipment to the car’s ECU, to read any fault codes. If there is a problem with the EGR valve, then the car’s ECU will tell our diagnostic equipment. OBD code P0401 is often the first one we find; this is a generic fault code that means there’s a problem with either the DPF or EGR. Further analysis will reveal the exact reason as to why your car isn’t running as it should.

If we find that the EGR valve is the cause of your BMW/Mini engine woes, then our solution is to delete the section of software on the ECU that tells the EGR valve to operate, and the section of software that allows the sensors on the EGR valve to communicate with the ECU – we then reprogram the ECU to compensate for the loss of this component.

So the EGR valve itself effectively becomes a dead part.

EGR software delete for BMW and Mini diesel engines

There’s 2 advantages to mapping out the software versus physically replacing the EGR valve:

1. Deleting the software is a lot cheaper, and;

2. Deleting the software is a permanent fix – remember that replacing the EGR valve with a new one does not guarantee it will not fail like its predecessor.

Furthermore, both the physical removal of the EGR valve and the deleting of EGR software is 100% MOT compliant – in fact, the EGR valve doesn’t even form a part of the current MOT test (19/10/2015). This may be tightened up in the future, but even if it is, it’s unlikely to be applied retrospectively (on older cars).

We have successfully performed this service on hundreds of BMWs and Minis and we can do the very same for you with a jargon-free service. So give us a call on 0800 458 1534 or from your mobile on 07590 196772 to find out more – or fill in our contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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Peugeot HDi and Blue HDi remapping

Author - Steve Burgess | Post date - Monday, May 02, 2016

Peugeot’s HDI engines are among the strongest diesels. They perform extremely well from their lowest outputs to their highest, which are the 1.4 HDI in the Peugeot 206 (2002 – 2005) and Peugeot 407 2.7 V6 HDI respectively and across the HDI range, the driving experience with HDI cars is the same. This is why many owners of HDI cars choose to stick with the Peugeot brand and go for another.

That driving experience is as such – plenty of response at lower speeds, ample mid-range grunt but not very much performance at and beyond motorway speeds. This lack of grunt at higher speeds is the most common complaint we hear about HDI engines. And many drivers also complain about poor 30 – 70mph acceleration. If you are in the same boat, the good news is that we can improve the performance of your Peugeot HDI dramatically.

Peugeot HDI and Blue HDI remaps

All of Peugeot’s HDI engines respond extremely well to remapping, and we can remap most Peugeot HDI models. You can discover our compatibility list here. Here’s some examples:

  • Peugeot 308 2.0 HDI 163 – from 160bhp and 340nm to 199bhp and 406nm;
  • Peugeot 206 1.6 HDI 110 – from 110bhp and 250nm to 129bhp and 283nm;
  • Peugeot 207 1.6 HDI 89 – from 89bhp and 230nm to 113bhp and 276nm;
  • Peugeot 407 2.7 HDI 205 – from 205bhp and 440nm to 240bhp and 526nm.

We can remap older HDI engines and newer HDI engines for increased power and torque. If you have a smaller capacity HDI engine, an impressive power and torque boost of 20% will change the characteristics of your car dramatically. You will experience a bigger shove in the back and in-gear performance will be improved considerably, allowing for safer overtakes and more progressive driving. And if you drive a higher capacity HDI engine, such as one of the new 163PS engines, that same power boost will make your car pull like a train.

Our Peugeot HDI and Blue HDI remaps improve fuel economy, too

HDI engines have always been extremely economical, and to this end our remaps only make things better. With more torque, your engine doesn’t have to work as hard to pull the car’s weight and you don’t have to use as much throttle to get going. So under normal driving conditions, it’s common for our customers to experience an impressive 10-20% increase in fuel consumption and even more than this on longer motorway journeys.

Our Peugeot HDI and Blue HDI remaps are MOT safe and won’t affect your emissions

Remapping is completely legal and MOT safe, and our remaps do not affect emissions in the slightest. So for the environmentally-conscious, remapping is a fantastic way to improve the performance of your car without affecting the environment. Furthermore, remapping is very safe mechanically speaking on cars that are looked after and have timely service intervals.

Get started today with our Peugeot HDI and Blue HDI remaps

If you are interested in our Peugeot HDI and Blue HDI remaps - call us on 0800 458 1543 or from your mobile on 07590 196772 to get started.

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10 reasons why remapping is worth it

Author - Steve Burgess | Post date - Monday, April 25, 2016


Considering a remap but not sure if it’s worth the money? You’re not alone. We receive many emails from potential customers regarding our remaps and if they are really all they are cracked up to be, so here are the Top 10 Reasons Why Remapping is Worth It, to help you decide whether or not to get it done.

1. Remapping gives you more torque

Torque is the rotational or twisting force around an axis. It defines the ability of an engine to do work, and an increase in torque translates to greater acceleration. Torque in diesel and turbo-petrol cars often comes in at low revs and it is torque which gives you that shove in the back when you put your foot down. After a remap, torque on such cars should increase by 20-30% and on naturally aspirated cars by around 5%. More torque equals better acceleration and shorter in-gear times, which are essential for fast and safe overtaking.

2. Remapping gives you more horsepower

Horsepower is the product of torque and another value, RPM divided by 5252. It is the measurement of how fast a car ultimately is and how far the force of the engine can push it. More horsepower = a higher top speed. In layman’s terms, horsepower is the rate at which the engine can reach its top speed. That’s why the fastest road cars in the world have over 1000bhp and the Bloodhound SSC 133,151bhp. For the everyday driver, more horsepower equals greater acceleration at higher RPM and safer overtaking.

3. Remapping removes flat spots for a smoother power delivery

If it isn’t so much the lack of power that bugs you about your car but the way it delivers its power, remapping should definitely be considered. Remapping will remove flat spots from the equation to give you access to your power at more RPM, resulting in a smoother drive.

4. Remapping results in better fuel economy under normal driving

With more torque produced at all RPM, you won’t have to use as much throttle to get up to and maintain a speed. So a vehicle’s engine doesn’t have to work as hard to shift its weight and by reducing load on the engine, you are effectively reducing the amount of fuel it needs to operate. This results in better fuel economy and our fleet customers have witnessed significant fuel savings as a result of this service. Of course if you drive with your foot down all of the time, then your fuel economy will obviously get worse. This is because you’ll be using all of the vehicle’s new found power and torque, and you will eat through more fuel.

5. Remapping is a mechanically safe upgrade

Remapping is a safe upgrade when carried out by a professional, and we alone have hundreds of customers who have put over 50,000 remapped miles on their vehicles with no problem whatsoever, from 1.9 TDI vans to 2.7 litre Audi RS4 B5’s. It helps of course that the majority of our customers look after their cars, and should you do the same, then you can reasonably expect your car to have the longevity of a standard vehicle.

6. Remapping can reinvigorate the love you once had for your car

Nothing’s worse than being behind the wheel of a slow car. Not only is it boring, but it can be dangerous too. Remapping can squeeze 20-30% more power and torque from an engine which is a considerable amount and you’ll immediately feel this upgrade when you put your foot down. We’re confident that you’ll find yourself enjoying your vehicle a lot more, and all of our customers cite remapping as the best thing they ever bought for their car.

7. Remapping is the best pound-for-pound performance upgrade

Compared to standalone exhaust upgrades, intercooler upgrades and air intake upgrades, remapping offers HUGE power gains. With a new exhaust, intercooler and air intake you would be lucky to scrape an extra 35bhp from a 2015 Golf GTI at a cost of over £2,000, while with a remap you’d get a minimum 50bhp and 50 lb/ft. increase in performance for over 60 percent less, all on the car’s original components. Stage 1 tuning therefore is the best pound-for-pound performance upgrade on the market – and if you want more power, you can always add those other upgrades in the future to create a stage 2 vehicle.

8. Remaps result in better towing

If you tow a trailer, a caravan, a mobile home or the like, unlocking more torque with a remap will benefit the tow vehicle dramatically. With more torque you’ll be able to tow a lot more weight without putting too much strain on the engine and drivetrain.

9. Remapping isn’t just for cars

Vans, Lorries, tractors and quad bikes and agricultural equipment such as mowers and cultivators can all be remapped or chip tuned for greater power and torque. We remap a wide variety of vehicles for economy and performance to improve driveability and work rate, especially diesel tractors and mowers which benefit greatly from 20% more torque.

10. Remapping can be achieved in around an hour

On modern vehicles, remapping is achieved through the OBD port. We connect a cable to the OBD port which creates a direct connection between our computers and the vehicle’s ECU, allowing us to read and write the software on it. The remapping process usually takes around an hour, and with us it’s performed at the roadside as a mobile service. On older vehicles and some agricultural equipment, ‘chipping’ is required. Chip tuning involves the physical removal of the program chip from the ECU for it to be reprogrammed or replaced. Again, this is performed at the roadside by ourselves in a process that takes around an hour and we store your original file on our hardware should you need it in the future.

So there we have it - 10 reasons why remapping is worth it. If you have any more questions about remapping – perhaps you’d like to know more about how it works – then check out our ECU remapping page, or contact us for a quote on 0800 458 1543.

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Can a remap damage your engine?

Author - Steve Burgess | Post date - Monday, April 18, 2016


We’ve received a large number of inquiries from people asking whether or not a remap can damage a vehicle’s engine, so we thought we’d answer your questions to help you decide whether or not getting a remap is worthwhile for you.

Understanding the ECU

The electronic control unit (ECU) is your car’s computer. It controls a variety of systems within the engine, including air-fuel ratio, ignition timing, idle speed, variable valve timing and valve control, in real-time through information received by sensors such as the AFR sensor, LAMBDA sensor, throttle sensor and MAP sensor.

The ECU’s original software is designed by the vehicle manufacturer, and pre-defined parameters allow the ECU to interpret information received by sensors as normal or faulty. So for example if there is a fault with the car’s air-fuel ratio, the AFR sensor will communicate this to the ECU, and the ECU will then relay this information you with a check engine light on the instrument cluster.

The problem with the ECU’s original software

The ECU’s original software has slack parameters. These parameters are so because the OEM must design software that takes into account poor fuel quality, a lack of servicing and general neglect. Put simply, the original software is designed for a worst case scenario. This is a problem, because here in the UK we have really good fuel (even the supermarket stuff is decent) and no petrol head neglects their car. So that worst case scenario never comes into play, yet the vehicle is running as if it’s being neglected.

Where remapping comes into play

Remapping is the process of modifying the ECU’s existing code or replacing it with entirely new software, so that it’s optimised for the best case scenario. The way the ECU works, is most cars have two important points on their map – idle and part throttle cruising. All of the points in between are controlled by your car’s ECU in a predetermined pattern. A remap alters this pattern, so the car is no longer being controlled by the OEMs generic software. So depending on the engine being tuned, boost pressure, ignition timing, air-fuel ratio and fuel pressure calibrations (among others) are changed.

Is this safe?

Yes, if the code is altered properly. No two vehicles are the same, and no two engines are the same. In our case, we have remapped thousands of cars, vans, trucks, tractors and a wide range of agricultural machinery and we can categorically say that remapping is a safe modification. We’ve remapped brand new cars fresh from the dealership and owners have reported no issues whatsoever in tens of thousands of miles driving.

You need to have your car tuned by a reputable, competent tuning company that can vouch for their tuning through research. It also helps if they have a long list of glowing reviews and testimonials. All remaps replace the stock calibrations to maximise engine performance by burning the air/fuel mixture as efficiently as possible, but not all are created equal.

It’s also important to bear in mind that with increased power and torque comes greater responsibility – you will be putting more stress on the engine and drivetrain if you drive around at full throttle all of the time. That’s why many people choose to uprate a number of other vehicle components, such as the intercooler and ignition pack, to boost longevity for track days. There’s no need for you to do the same with your daily driver, if you look after your vehicle and drive it ‘normally’.

Got a question about what we’ve written? Have something specific to ask? Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to join the discussion on Facebook.

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The Rise of Small Turbocharged Engines

Author - Steve Burgess | Post date - Monday, April 11, 2016

There’s something happening in the car world – manufacturers are releasing more small turbocharged engines for petrol vehicles than ever before, and consumers are gobbling them up. And we’re not talking about hot hatches like the Abarth 500 with its 1.4T or the Fiesta ST with its 1.6T either. We’re talking about 0.9T engines like in the Renault Clio and 1.0T engines like in the Vauxhall Adam. These small turbocharged engines are proving extremely popular not just with economy seekers, but younger drivers who want something quick too.

The potential gains with these small turbocharged engines is huge

For instance, the Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TSI 105 engine can be remapped to approximately 130bhp and 155 lb /ft. And the Ford Fiesta 1.0T 100 EcoBoost can be remapped to a not so shabby 139bhp and 179 lb/ft. These power figures post remap are seriously impressive, and the acceleration is very much in warm hatch territory. Even cars you wouldn’t expect to be quick, like the Renault Twingo 1.2 TCe 100, can be remapped to 116bhp and 130 lb /ft.

What this means is that the old phrase “there’s no replacement for displacement” is no longer true. Owners of these small-engine cars can have a relatively fast car that’s also cheap to insure, tax and run. And more and more people are seeing this, which is why the EcoBoost engines in Ford Fiestas and Ford Focuses and the TCe engines in Renaults are in high demand. People are increasingly ditching naturally aspirated engines for something with more mid-range grunt – and they are not seeing any downside as a result.

As we have said in a previous article, remapping a car with a small displacement may not really be worth it. But, it may be worth it if your car has forced induction. And having now tuned a wide range of cars with a small turbocharged engines, we’ve seen first-hand the massive improvements in driveability a remap can have. 30 – 70mph acceleration, for instance, is cut by over a second. And the mid-range acceleration really is far better. This means overtaking is a lot safer, and keeping up with the flow of traffic is easier too.

The remapping process only takes around an hour

The best thing about remapping, aside from it being the best pound-for-pound performance modification, is that the process can be completed in around an hour and there are no additional modifications needed on the vehicle. It’s simply a case of us turning up at your home on a day and at a time that suits you and running our state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment to perform the job. It will be complete in no time, and we can promise you that you will notice the increase in performance immediately.

So if you have small turbocharged engines, get in touch with us today to find out more about the potential gains we can give your car. Call us on 0800 458 1543 or from your mobile on 07590 196772 to find out more.

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