As some of you may know I went down to TDI North this weekend.
Having saved my disposable income for two months I was quite excited at seeing what the 'hype' was all about with this Flashpro malarkey.
First of all, on my drive down from Scotland to Warrington I feel the need to comment on the ride quality of the Rage Alloys. My spine remained very much intact, but more than anything else, it was actually very good and enjoyable. My GF is one for complaining (about virtually everything) and she was happy with the ride quality, so it couldn't have been that bad. The drive itself was a damn good reminder of how good the Type R is, both performance and handling wise. It also reminds you of how gorgeous the Type R is, as we turned ALOT of heads and got many admiring glances.
That night on arrival in Warrington we visited family then went for dinner at a local chinese place in Grappenhall (ching hoy, I think it was called), I wouldn't eat there again, too much MSG.... we then stayed at the local Premier Inn, a pleasant clean place but the breakfast wasn't the best.
On to the good bit - We got to TDI on Saturday morning and was greeted with a quick hello and a challenge to keep up whilst I followed Paul and Lou to McDonalds - WHICH I did quite well given what they were driving!
As far as car tuning and car modding goes, I'm a bit of a virgin so the whole experience to me was new. What I was both surprised and impressed by, was both the knowledge and expertise demonstrated by TDI. They used a complex yet proven method and only then was it apparent that these guys really are excellent at what they do.
Before tuning, my car dynoed at 214bhp (with GM and Milltek), after tuning we achieved a good 221bhp.
As DPG and a few others have mentioned previously, many folk mistake the final BHP figure to be the decisive point of how 'good' a car is, but what I've learn't is that isn't the complete story, what matters is how that power is delivered across the rev band and with Flashpro, it really allows you to unleash the horses you bought and modded for, much earlier in the rev range.
One of the things that I was worried about was the VTEC engaging every time I accelerated above 3700rpm, BUT worry not - it only engages if you accelerate suddenly, if you're motorway driving like I was, it will only engage if you want kickdown or to overtake, but not if you want to gradually increase your speed. It's a smart bit of kit/software.
In driving terms what differences did I see after custom tuning?
- The engine noise sounds different - much much more growly. In VTEC mode? dear lord, I can only describe this as heaven.
- Fuel Economy - on the drive down I averaged 26/27mpg (driving like an excited Nun), on the drive back up it was 30mpg (and I drove it like I stole it)
- The throttle response is much much snappier
- The 'pull' is much more aggressive at low-mid range. The acceleration is much smoother too.
- It felt like a different, more powerful car, it's going to take a little getting used to!
So was custom tuning worth it?
There was ALOT involved in terms of testing and tuning the car. This was not a case of plugging it into a computer and letting it 'do it's thing'. There was a methodology to finding the optimal performance points and then setting the parameters around that, something which I can see - takes a lot of time, work, knowledge and skill to achieve. There was also the test drive to make sure that the settings were correct and that my car performed as it should.
I don't know what the generic N map is like, but I don't think it's as good as what I got, as mine was tuned specifically to my vehicle. I would recommend custom tuning to anyone and more importantly, TDI North are simply outstanding. I can see why Mugen have chosen to work with them.
Finally did I mention 'Skyline Time'? I'm still grinning even now as I think about it, I was taken out for a ride in the Skyline and dear god I can only sum it up in the following: Fireballs, POP POP, BoooOOST, and WSSHSwhshshwsh.......
It was sad that the day had to end after that point but on my drive back up, I was reminded why I went in the first place as the VTEC kicked in when I joined the M6 northbound......raaaaaAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR