Performance matters! Despite our crowded roads, modern cars are very much safer than their predecessors, due to advances in handing and braking performance, and the introduction of passive safety aids, such as seat belt and air bag systems. Accident avoidance is every bit as important as ensuring survival in the event of the unthinkable, and engine performance has its part to play in that.

LPG conversions have had a bad press recently, with stories of poor quality components and workmanship, and the economy minded driver has had cause to consider diesel power as a suitable alternative to petrol fuelled cars.

Most manufacturers use turbo charged diesels to ensure parity with their petrol cousins, and recent advances have brought big improvements in performance and economy, with some relatively small engines delivering up to 150 horse power and up to 45 mpg.

The latest developments include electronic management of fuelling and boost to extract the maximum potential, and of course the after market suppliers have been quick to capitalise on the possibilities. The systems rely on EPROM (memory) chips to store information in the car’s computer, and these can be accessed to deliver an advantage to the performance minded driver. Superchipping is a process where the original chip files can be altered remotely to change engine characteristics. Manufacturers use the same process to install their own version of events, and suitably equipped Superchip outlets can enhance power and torque by altering the fuel and turbo boost maps. Due to cost and marketing requirements, a range of cars may be supplied by the different manufacturers delivering varying power outputs, all based on the same engine design, and the modified Superchips can close the gap between the models, and add up to a real saving on the cost of upgrading the whole car. As an example, a car engine producing 110 bhp can be upgraded to 130 bhp by a simple chip change, making for safer overtaking, and a much more relaxing and responsive drive. Often this is accomplished by a plug in laptop pc, creating a non invasive, undetectable, and very efficient way to improve performance.

Welcome to the 21st century!

Visit the Superchips website by clicking here.

Alan Jeffery Engineering has now been trading for over 20 years, based in Plymouth, Devon