Mercedes’ E-Class comes with the aura of being very docile and gentlemanly. Plugging in Carlsson’s C-Tronic III performance ECU into the E270 CDI is just like giving this German gentleman a shot of steroids.
Tuner Carlsson’s description of what it does is extremely precise and to the point ‘more power, more torque’, to which we add, more smiling owners (of the E270). Carlsson claims that use of the device leads up to a 20 percent increase in power.
To put this into perspective, a fresh-off-the-line E270 CDi churns out 172bhp and 42.6kgm; and Carlsson says the C-Tronic raises this to 208bhp and 49.8kgm at a slightly higher 2000rpm.
Using the device is simple. Open the hood, plug in the C-Tronic ECU to the standard ECU, shut the hood and drive. The C-Tronic uses two microprocessors to ensure optimum settings are maintained, while simultaneously taking precautions not to damage the engine by permitting additional performance only when the water temperature is between 65degC and 100degC. The boost is constantly monitored and the pressure adapted before reaching the maximum permitted boost pressure of the standard configuration. Also, in case any of the car’s systems malfunction, the C-Tronic reverts control to the regular ECU.
Basically, what the chip does is alters the fuel injection maps, wherein it squeezes out more power. This in turn results in a higher torque output that improves throttle responses by half a second (in the 20-80kph test). Also, as claimed by Carlsson, since the engine has to work less to keep the car moving, an improvement in fuel efficiency figures can be seen (when not driven flat-out). This claim is yet to be verified.
At Rs 1.3 lakh the chip costs more than a Tata Nano, but this tiny unit also adds more horses to your five-cylinder E270 CDI, giving it a fresh boost in life. Switch the ESP off, and you’ll love the long black strips of rubber that this car will lay down as it gets to 150kph a striking 2.5sec quicker than a regular E270 CDI. It charges off the line, the traction control working overtime to help put power down cleanly. Meanwhile, a factory fresh E270CDI takes a time of 9.3 seconds to get to 100kph. On the other hand, take a new E280 CDI that has six cylinders, 198bhp, 46.5kgm of torque and takes 8.7 seconds from 0-100kph. The Carlsson Benz E270CDI hits 100kph in 8.5sec (feel free to put those hands together and applaud). While refinement isn’t on par with a E280 CDI the performance is clearly ahead.