4 Cyl. Chip #10: High-Performance code 280HP for 2.0 liter GT3-engine
Reviewed by Adrian Mugridge for Lotus Esprit World
Firstly, the facts and figures:
A standard GT3 gives 240 bhp and 210 lb/ft of torque. The new chip gives 280 bhp ( +16% ) and 231 lb/ft ( +10% ) of torque.
Maximum boost is normally 0.75 bar, rising to 0.84 bar when overboosted ( i.e. revved to 5000 rpm when stationary ). The upgrade produces 0.8 bar normally, 1 bar at WOT ( wide open throttle ) and 1.2 bar when overboosted.
Okay, so having fitted the chip I took it out for a drive of around 25 miles. Unfortunately it was raining on and off so as soon as the roads started to dry out it started raining again. Anyway, taking it steady the main difference was in the general pickup of the revs, raising somewhat faster than normally. This made the car easier to drive from the start. After 25 miles in the wet, pushing it a bit when I found a bit of dryish road I did not really notice much difference, but I was holding off WOT.
The car then stayed in the garage for 2 days as more rainy days followed but then the sun came out so I tried it again. This time the difference was much more noticeable, as I could go for WOT without worrying. Up thought the gears it was much faster and into 3rd and the car takes off and flies down the road. Everything happens more quickly, the revs pick up faster and its much smoother to drive. I can certainly say its worth the money, 280 bhp in a GT3 is quite a lot given the relative low weight of the car.
The final thing was to try the overboost ( which now only needs a rev to 3500 rpm whilst stationary ). My god, you could out run an F1 car if you can stop the wheels from spinning !! With 1.2 bar of boost the acceleration is awesome, just the sort of thing you need when some rice rocket tries it on at the lights. The first time I tried it I backed off as it was on a small country road and nearly kacked my pants, the missus was hanging on to the door handle ( mind you, she does that anyway ). One thing that did worry me was the boost gauge hit the end stop and flew back down to 0 bar. I thought Id broken it but no, what happens is the gauge is only calibrated for 0 - 1.1 bar so when you exceed it just returns to zero and is nothing to worry about.
To conclude, 40 extra horses for around £280 is excellent value. The GT3 engine will handle this without any mods such as fitting a dump valve etc. If you have a GT3 then Id defiantly recommend fitting one.