22nd May 2009 7:00 am
A mild chip for the Skoda Laura makes driving it that much more effortless. We like it.
Brilliant as it is, the Laura has one real problem — it’s got just 105bhp. I mean, you pay a packet, you buy a premium car and someone comes along and smokes you at the traffic light.
Well, there’s hope on the horizon for you Mr Laura and it comes in the form of a Tunit V-PD performance chip. It’s not too expensive, bumps up power to 120bhp, and improves the torque output.
This Tunit V-PD chip suits all Volkswagen and Audi’s Pumpe-Düse engines and can be interchanged between them. Imagine, plugging it into your Laura one day and then to your Fabia the next. Also, the chip has a nine-position rotary switch. Each position will provide a different power level, so it allows for the grease monkey in you to play around a bit. According to the company, fitting it takes under 20 minutes as the chip comes with the original plugs. It enhances diesel performance by modifying the fuel injection parameters. The turbo boost pressure is not directly altered by the Tunit and is only increased via the natural increase in exhaust gases provided by the increased performance.
That’s the theory, let’s see what it’s like in the real world. While this is no fire-breathing monster, you can feel a slightly greater sense of urgency as it runs through the gears of its DSG ’box. The Laura’s strong mid-range is enhanced and in the gearbox’s sport mode, our VBox shows that it gets to 100kph in 10.07 seconds, a lot quicker than the stock Laura’s 11.24sec. It also shows that it takes a little less time in those in-gear slogs, which means those quick bursts in the city will be faster too.
The extra power is addictive, so don’t expect to achieve the improved mileage that one can get with this new chip with a less throttle-happy driving style.
While this car certainly isn’t your out- and-out tyre-shredding drag racer, the definite improvement we noticed over the standard car’s performance justifies the Tunit chip’s cost at Rs 30,000. To achieve more serious performance gains, one would need to spend a lot more time and money, but for the price of a good stereo system, you will find yourself in the driver’s seat more often. And ahead at the traffic lights too.