Toyota’s Hilux has been by far one of South Africa’s bakkies, and the new model generation continues this trend. And as you already know, Steves Auto Clinic has had performance upgrades available for this vehicle, petrol and diesel; from the day they hit the road.
But with the arrival of the new Q-Chip, which allows the tuner a host of new options by which to perfectly optimise your vehicle, the Hilux 3.0 D-4D, turbodiesel, has been put through the test mill again. But before we get into what this method of tuning means to you, how and why it is done, herewith are the figures as independently obtained at Gerotek using Racelogic VBOX test equipment on a 4×2 Double Cab derivative.

Performance Data
Sprint Times Standard SAC
Output Power: 120 kW 138 kW
Output Torque: 343 Nm 390 Nm
ACCELERATION:
0 – 100 km/h: 11.80 secs 10.64 secs
0 – 140 km/h: 24.60 secs 20.85 secs
Quarter mile:
18.28 secs @ 122.06 km/h 17.61 secs @ 129.70 km/h
1 km: 33.51 secs @ 155.68 km/h 32.16 secs @ 162.18 km/h
OVERTAKING:
60-100km/h (4th): 8.79 secs 195.61 m 8.05 secs 178.33 m
60-100km/h (5th): 11.67 secs 257.22 m 10.82 secs 237.45 m
80-120 km/h (4th): 9.49 secs 266.17 m 8.35 secs 233.83 m
80-120 km/h (5th): 12.15 secs 340.45 m 10.79 secs 301.35 m
TOP SPEED:
CLOCK: 190 km/h 195 km/h
TRUE: 175.88 km/h 180.70 km/h

How It Works
The Power Plug is not to be confused with the mostly, overseas sourced and local condition non-specific, re-flash method of tuning that most performance enthusiasts seem familiar with in which the OEM ECU code is simply generically re-written with a hand held programmer via the vehicle’s OBD port.

With the Power Plug, all the changes occur within this unit and are electrically communicated to your vehicle’s engine control system. No changes are made within the OEM computer, and thus all the engine safety parameters as set by the manufacturer remain in place.
This is exceptionally important, especially when taking into account the tough, local, South African conditions, such as high altitude, long distances, high speeds, high temperatures and the various qualities of diesel.
And once the Power Plug is installed, it leaves no electronic “footprint”, and this also applies should you want to remove the unit, unlike when you program the OEM ECU with a re-flash programmer, the ECU knows and records that it has been reprogrammed.
Even if you re-flash your OEM back to stock prior to service work, the OEM ECU dutifully reports how many times it has been re-flashed whenever the dealer checks via their diagnostic equipment, and if it reports something different than what the dealer’s records reflect, some difficult questions could arise.

Installation
The Power Plug comes as a complete stand-alone product, complete with a wiring harness that plugs directly into the OEM ECU via connectors that are perfectly matched to the factory connectors on your vehicle.
There is no dangerous or complicated cutting into of wires on your vehicles existing main wiring harness and there is also no room for errors by wiring the wrong wires together.
From start to finish, most installation times are less than five minutes (depending on the options you choose) and everything stays as is in your vehicle. No extended and inconvenient vehicle down time, no long hours spent on the dyna, and no stripping and modifying of parts.
As already mentioned, the Power Plug is completely removable, and this means that you can choose to remove the unit from your vehicle when you want to sell it or you can transfer it to another vehicle of the same model type should you upgrade your vehicles.

Tuning Options
The basic Power Plug kit includes a two-position switch via which you can change between a standard map and the upgraded map. But you can also opt for the more flexible multi-map Bluetooth version, that sees you being able to choose from up to five different map settings for your vehicle via your cell phone.
So now you can have an everyday traffic map, a map for towing, a map for open road performance but to name a few of the options that can be tailor made for whatever motoring requirement you might have.

Warranty Issues
Steves Auto Clinic are well aware that any motor manufacturer reserves the right to cancel your vehicles factory warranty and / or motorplan / service plan should you modify your vehicle, be it from mild to totally wild. But it is worth noting that this not only applies to tuning upgrades, a little known fact is that this scenario can extend to something as the simple fitting of aftermarket alloy wheels, to even sound system upgrades that are not authorised.
But in SAC’s 25 years as the country’s leading aftermarket performance enhancers and over the course of thousands and thousands of performance upgrades, history has shown that most manufacturer service outlets treat their clients with the same respect that their clients treat them, and this includes those that have had their vehicles responsibly upgraded.
Development
For further peace of mind, SAC is the only aftermarket performance enhancing concern in South Africa to have a dedicated and stand-alone Research & Development Centre.
This centre is responsible for the development, via their own specifically purchased vehicles, and the subsequent comprehensive testing of these vehicles under all conditions, for all the performance upgrade packages as undertaken by the entire SAC Group of outlets situated countrywide.
So besides knowing that your vehicle is not being used a test mule to fine tune some companies claimed performance capabilities, you can be assured, no matter which SAC branch you take your vehicle to, the quality of the upgrade will be the same

Contact
So should you want to know more about this specific upgrade, are interested in performance tuning in general, or want a consultant from a SAC branch near you to contact you, then take a tour through their comprehensive and award winning website at www.steves.co.za .

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