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IBECAME aware of the idrive Throt­tle Tuner when my son fit­ted one to his Hilux, after his best mate fit­ted one to his Ford Ranger. Both were rav­ing about it and have been im­pressed with it around town, on the high­way, up in the Vic High Coun­try and out in the Simp­son.

I thought there had to be some­thing in this, so when we bought a V8 Cruiser dual-cab 79 Se­ries re­cently, one of the first things fit­ted was one of these units.

Like most throt­tle tuners on the mar­ket the idrive pro­vides new points of ref­er­ence for the ve­hi­cle’s throt­tle map­ping, but it still works within the stan­dard pa­ram­e­ters of the throt­tle set­tings. This means, de­pend­ing on the set­tings that you choose, it will give a sharper (or less sharp) throt­tle curve. The idrive brings the throt­tle in ear­lier in the pedal stroke and re­duces throt­tle lag in the pedal. It doesn’t re­cal­i­brate the ECU or in­crease power or torque; it just brings it on quicker.

The idrive model I’ve ap­plied is the EVC171, which is good for a range of ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing the V8 70 Se­ries, Land Cruiser Prado, Lexus and more.

The in­struc­tion sheet is brief and easy to un­der­stand and fit­ting the unit takes just a few min­utes in most cases. How­ever, I found it eas­ier to re­move the whole ac­cel­er­a­tor assem­bly from the ve­hi­cle, so that re­mov­ing and in­sert­ing the plugs was eas­ier.

You sim­ply un­plug the throt­tle wires from the ac­cel­er­a­tor assem­bly, plug the idrive into the ac­cel­er­a­tor plug, and then plug the orig­i­nal wiring back into the idrive. The big­gest de­ci­sion you have to make is where to mount the small con­trol unit – the unit is mounted with the supplied dou­ble-sided tape. Once it’s con­nected, turn on the ve­hi­cle’s ig­ni­tion and set the unit for man­ual or au­to­matic trans­mis­sion via the ‘mode’ but­ton.

The idrive has four modes and it’s easy to tog­gle be­tween them. Nor­mal (N) mode is a replica of the factory set­tings, while Econ­omy (E) mode has nine set­tings that re­duce the re­sponse from the throt­tle. Why would you want that? We dis­cov­ered it doesn’t im­prove fuel econ­omy, but on rocky bush tracks we found the higher Eco set­tings were a lit­tle eas­ier to con­trol ac­cel­er­a­tion and re­duce (or even stop) the ‘kan­ga­roo­ing’ many peo­ple have trou­ble con­trol­ling.

Ul­ti­mate Per­for­mance (U) mode also has nine set­tings: 1-3 are for ev­ery­day driv­ing with smooth ac­cel­er­a­tion; 4-6 are sportier with a more re­spon­sive feel and would suit most users; 7-9 are for more

ag­gres­sive ac­cel­er­a­tion and tow­ing.

Auto Con­trol (AC) mode makes the idrive unique. It’s a set-and-for­get func­tion – the unit de­ter­mines how hard you press the pedal and how far you press it. If you ac­cel­er­ate gen­tly the idrive will re­spond but with a lower level of per­for­mance, and if you ac­cel­er­ate hard the unit will re­spond more ag­gres­sively.

For most cir­cum­stances I’ve found I pre­fer a set­ting of around U4, while on rocky tracks I use E7-E9. When tow­ing I crank the U set­tings to 6-8, but while I’m re­vers­ing into a tricky spot I might change it to Eco mode to slow down the throt­tle re­sponse.

Most peo­ple will find it easy enough to in­stall at home. Plus it works a treat around town or in the scrub, de­liv­er­ing all it prom­ises to do. You can’t get bet­ter than that!

RATED AVAIL­ABLE FROM: www.idriveaus­tralia.com.au RRP: $299 WE SAY: Works a treat; easy to in­stall.

The small con­trol unit is mounted with dou­ble-sided tape.

Re­mov­ing the en­tire ac­cel­er­a­tor assem­bly made in­stal­la­tion eas­ier.

Easy-to-fol­low in­struc­tion sheet is pro­vided.

Un­plug the throt­tle wiring and plug the idrive in. Sim­ple!

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