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Just for Australians, without wanting to throw a further spanner in the works, technically (from a roadworthy inspection perspective) you can't increase the power of a stock vehicle by more than 20% without requiring an engineering certification from a qualified certifier. I'm just the messenger but back when I had a Polo in 2012 I never went ahead with a third party tune as it exceeded the limit. But there was one tuner aware of the limitations and I recall they deliberately increased the power by 19% but gave you a very nice fat midrange.

Perhaps this is something tuning providers could bear in mind. There is no rule about torque increases - just power increases ;) Nothing top stop you having a tuning option that gives you a nice torque increase in the low to midrange but then tapers it off so as to not add more than 19% additional maximum power output.

And yes, I know it is a stupid rule but on the other hand I guess you have to draw a line in the sand somewhere. You only have to compare a turbo car on a stinking hot and dry day in the middle of summer at altitude with one in very cold humid weather near sea level and you already have a substantial variation.

I am only mentioning this as it has nothing whatsoever to do with warranties but could potentially be an insurance snag because insurers require that your car is technically able to pass a roadworthy.

Other countries would have other laws so I only know the situation in Australia. In the case of the Picanto GT, that effectively limits any modification to producing around 90 Kw or 120 hp maximum.
 

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Whilst most insurers in Australia will allow you to insure a modification (by telling them specifically about it and paying extra if required), the vehicle still has to be road registerable. And that is where it falls down in Australia because of that 20% rule in terms of being to be legally registered. As I say, you can get around it perfectly legally by getting an engineering certifcation but unless you are talking about something so exotic (as in if you have to ask the price you can't afford it sort of vehicle), it just isn't worth the hassle or the money involved for an every day current model mass produced car. Keep it under 20% and you are fine (though you still have to tell the insurer about it).
 

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Rules vary considerably from state to state here in Australia, but either way this is easily solved, if anyone is concerned.
Just use setting C or D on the Bluespark unit and you will be under 20% horse power increase, but you can still enjoy the very significant boost on low RPM torque. Unit has 5 stages of adjustment.
Excellent. Thanks for pointing that out. I am very glad they have the option - that is not so clear just looking at the website.
 

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Edd,

I am curious about one thing. Do these Kia / Hyundai engines you work with adapt to the fuel octane they use? For example, they are all meant to run on (I think) either 91 or 95 octane here in Australia but I am curious if they advance the timing if they detect a higher octane fuel such as 98 (even without your re-maps).
 

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Wow. This is the first confirmation the 1.0 is both port and direct injected. We speculated about it but never could find anything definitive. Now I wish (as an Aussie living in a state with terrible roads) they would package this engine in models that were designed for comfort, not sportiness. I'd love the base model Picanto with its 14 inch wheels and "comfort" suspension to be offered with this engine mated to the 4 speed auto.
 

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Just sales patter. The only way to improve mpg is to drive slower.
Makers of road cars will always build in a "safety" margin to accomodate poor / variable fuel quality, octane ratings below spec, bad driving habits (too high a gear, etc) and lack of servicing. As a result, they tend to be fairly conservative with advance curves which in turn reduces torque and power.

So yes, with a professional tune, the engine can run more advance over stock which translates to lower throttle settings to achieve the same outcome - at the expense of the owner needing to be more vigilant about servicing and buying good quality fuel.

Even in the very old days of carburettors I took my Corolla to get the same sort of thing done back in 1986 and economy improved noticeably (I was told the car got 6 kW more on their dyno which was not bad for a 49 kW normally aspirated car with a single carb). Felt a heck of a lot better to drive as well.

I honestly wish modern car makers could add a function to their internal header unit interface whereby the owner can acknowledge an "agreement" to let the engine run at design limits rather than conservative ones (so has a warnign about servicing, oil changes and fuel quality / octane, etc). Sort of like the higher end graphics cards of today with stock factory "overclocks" which are 100% stable, no durability compromises and simply allow the silicon to work at its potential.
 

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One word "Emission's" that is why they will not.
True. In the Polish Picanto racing series a simple ECU modification, K&N intake and exhaust mod gave the 1.25 litre engine 74 kW instead of 62 kW. That is a lot with no actual mechanical modifications. But it obviously did not meet road going emission standards with those mods.
 

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To get that kind of increase on a N/A engine with only simple mods is going to need some serious ignition advance and that will require some special fuel to prevent the engine turning into a grenade.
I strongly suspect (though I have no proof) that Kia deliberately dull down the top end performance of their engines in the pursuit of official (and unofficial) fuel economy and emissions targets. Those Polish competition Kias are nothing special and they were certainly not even remotely hand grenades. The fuel was the same fuel sold for cars on the road. The stock engines are simply sealed and that is that. The power gain is simply because the engine is not throttled down in torque delivery above around 5,500 RPM unlike the road car. Those extra 12 kW come in during the last 1,000 RPM compared to the road legal engines. The torque curve up to around 5,500 was more or less comparable to the road car though slightly higher due to running very slightly more advance plus the intake and exhaust mods.
 
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