I have noticed, that almost all owners of European cars across North Americe think, that their vehicles, even with “localized” names (like Mercedes Sprinter = Dodge Sprinter) have no technical differences to EU specs. They believe that they buy real EU vehicles, and the only additional equipage is local road homologation, or CD with navigation of USA & Canada instead of german"Fatherland”.
Wrong! Most of these cars have huge differences, not visible at the first and even second look. They are hidden in ECU installed in the car and involved in total control of engine, fueling, fuel burning quality & efficiency and finally – torque and power of the car.
Due to differences in SAE normative for car power and torque measurements to more restrictive DIN German normative, producers of cars have nice gap of few % between power declared in EU (where DIN rulezzz ;) and USA & Canada. And this gap is good for them and bad for us. They can reduce power of the car by few % and still have same declared power, as presented in EU. Car may consume less fuel because of such changes, but this is typical between car brands to keep the torque and power of engine as low as it is possible, if only any chance is visible on the horizon. So they do that.
I have measured many BMW 335i with 3.0 biturbo engine – US versions have ca. 15 hp lower power than same version in Germany (test was held by changing software for USDM to EUDM, not by replacing cars at the chassis dynamometer). Same situation occurs while dyno pulling Audi 2.0 TFSI or TSI and 3.0 TFSI cars. Same is in beloved Porsche Cayenne 4.5 turbo or GLS. Always lack of few percent hits our eyes at dynamometer graph.
I may believe that producers may try to adapt their products to US-market gasolines. But they differ only slightly (as norms differ slightly). What to do?
Alternative for Porsche, BMW, Audi and Mercedes cars is performance chip optimimization. Increasing power of cars by specialists clears the power lack described above, and feeds engines with nice rancho of new power horses. Also mileage will be increased by clever changes of ignition angles vs level of boost and alterations in camshaft angles (where applicable variable camshaft control aka vtec or vanos).
Audi, BMW, Mercedes or Porsche performance chip tuning specialist can do all that with your car, using European software editor, real DIN normalized rolling road imported from Europe, with all that knowledge base build by European tuners for their vehicles. If you buy car for huge thousands of dollars, it is rather good idea to tune it at real masters, even with their funny European English ;). BTW if you are a real tuner, you can buy Vtechdyno European chassis dynamometer just at Tunexperts in Canada or USA.
CU next time
Jack "Dyno" Simmard, VtechDyno Chassis Dynamometers
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