OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER
Big bhp figures are one thing, but if your power delivery is rubbish your acceleration will still be poor. While most people think bad power delivery is simply an engine with a small powerband at high rpms, it can also work the other way too – if your car has more torque than the tyres can handle, you’ll spin the wheels and kill your acceleration.
BOOST BY GEAR
This is a clever trick used more and more on tuned turbo engines. This limits the cars boost pressure, and therefore power level, in lower gears. Doing so helps reduce wheelspin, but does mean you need an ECU that supports this function.
A typical manual gear change takes something like 0.5-0.8 seconds, and considering most cars will change gear three times just in a quartermile run, it means more than 1.5 seconds is wasted just by changing gear.
Quick shift kits can transform the speed you can change gear in many cars, but the ultimate upgrade is to fit a sequential gearbox, some of which change gear so fast you barely notice – literally 0.01 of a second!
A good nitrous kit can easily double the power of even the most un-tunable engine, and with some drag cars running many hundreds of bhp worth of nitrous, it’s proven to be hugely effective.
It can even be used as an anti-lag system on turbocharged cars; just a small hit of nitrous used correctly will help bring a big turbo to full boost very quickly.