Diesel Workshop: Engine Tuning

Diesel Workshop: Engine Tuning

The Maserati name signifies a certain sporting intent and, even with an unconventional diesel engine, its newest executive saloon is no exception. So how did Tunit become the first tuning company in the UK to give the diesel powered Maserati Quattroporte even more of what makes it a fantastic sports saloon?

Plug-in engine tuning has been around for over 10 years and there are many variations to choose from. As with most things, however, you do get what you pay for. Unique software is what sets Tunit apart as each unit is loaded with bespoke settings, written specifically for each engine, to get the best performance gains without exceeding the safety parameters of the vehicle’s own ECU.

Unlike some remapping or chip tuning solutions, a Tunit ‘plug and play’ system means that no settings are altered or removed and the vehicle can’t operate outside of what the manufacture installed settings say is safe. It’s one the easiest and safest methods of enhancing the power, performance and fuel economy of any diesel engine.

But when does a diesel engine become appropriate for an Italian sports car? The answer here is when it is put into a high class luxury saloon!

Immediate pickup
Arguments that Maserati is diluting its brand by introducing a selection of diesel engines to its collection are easily dismissed when you actually sit behind the wheel and experience what an excellent job they’ve done to keep the Quattroporte feeling sharp and sporty.

The all new engine is one of this car’s more significant features. The torque it puts out carries the four-seat executive cruiser to incredible speeds on a huge wave of power. Adding more torque to the equation with a Tunit system only makes the experience better. Brake horsepower is enhanced from 271bhp to 333bhp but torque is what this car does best.

For any heavy luxury saloon car, torque is the feature component of the engine that helps carry the extra weight up to speed and make the whole car as responsive and fun as a sporty coupe. Tunit increased torque in the Quattroporte and significantly reduced flat spots and diesel lag, meaning the smallest push of the accelerator gives immediate pickup.

The Quattroporte becomes much more direct and keeps pushing out huge amounts of power beyond 6,000rpm where it would run out of power in standard settings, and can keep climbing another 1,000rpm before needing to change up. Tunit gives savage acceleration from 1,200rpm before a huge boost from the twin turbochargers keeps pushing right up to the top of the rev range. The enhancements made to how the power is delivered complements the already powerful and smooth nature of the car, and there is almost no compromise on performance – even with diesel.

The software on Tunit is continually updated to work with new engines. To get these great results, the first challenge for the company was to develop software to work in tandem with the VM Motori 3.0 litre bi-turbo V6. As well as new software, Tunit also brought its newest and most advanced hardware to bear in the Tunit Advantage 2 with RedBoard technology.

New RedBoard internal hardware is available as standard in all Tunit Advantage 2 systems. The updated board ensures compatibility and safe operation with engines manufactured from 2015 onwards and makes them able to process faster and more efficiently with improved reliability. This is the most advanced Tunit system to date and gives a great boost in performance and fuel economy.

Excellent fuel savings
When you can have a comparable performance to petrol models with Tunit, the focus then turns back to why Maserati offers a diesel engine in the first place. The answer is fuel economy.

Average miles-per gallon for the V6 is considerably higher than the 4.4 litre V8 petrol versions at around 45mpg. The diesel Quattroporte doesn’t feel like a mere business extension to the range but rather an alternative and modern approach to performance executive saloons that have a place in the real world. Having the highest fuel efficiency possible is more important than how quickly this car could theoretically go round a track.

Tunit manages electrical signals from the vehicle’s ECU and allows a more efficient approach to fuelling so it can add an average of 12% higher fuel economy to any engine. Most of the time the Quattroporte is a luxury saloon, but adding a plug-in engine tuning solution gives excellent fuel savings for everyday use and complements the massive power the car is capable of when exploring its top speed.

With the performance expected of a Maserati and the exhilaration of extra power and a respectable fuel economy with Tunit, a diesel engine becomes a perfect fit – even for a powerful Italian sports car!

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