The Fiat Grande Punto is pretty well built and outshines most of the competition but the toughest competition comes from the Maruti Swift, which shares the same 1.3 Multijet diesel engine. When one compares the two cars, the Grande Punto is a wee bit sluggish when compared to the Swift and that is mainly attributed to the fact that the Punto is heavier and has taller gear ratios. Enter Petes Performance Products. Petes Performance send us the Digital Diesel Tuning box for the 1.3 Multijet and the Fiat Grande Punto was ready to take on the Maruti Swift one on one.
The Pete’s Tuning Box is actually a very simple device. All you have to do is to connect the pin (of the box) into the injector and the one from the injector into the tuning box. Once this is done, just tape up the box in a secure area in the engine compartment and you are ready to go. If the engine checklight flashes on the instrument panel after fitting the box, then there is something wrong and you probably haven’t installed it correctly. Go back to step one and you should be fine the second time.
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Installation is easy and it does not take more than about ten minutes. The engine cover has to be removed for the installation though. The tuning box enhances power by changing the engine map settings. Hence we are able to extract 90bhp of power and 215Nm of torque from the original 75bhp and 190Nm, neat isn’t it!! Needless to mention that the tuning box is absolutely safe for your car. The box has been tested for thousands of kilometres before being launched into the market by Petes Performance. No car manufacturer will support it though, and they normally have a tendency to void the existing warranty on vehicles running performance modifications but there is nothing to fear. Whenever your car goes for service, you can simply unplug the box and send the car for service in its original condition, the service guys will not have the slightest idea that your car was running the performance box. This is because the tuning box is not picked up by the ECU scan. The ECU scans will however pick up ECU remaps, which is not the case here.
So now, with the tuning box in place, how does the car feel?? Lets find out. Once the engine is cranked there seems to be a slight change in the engine note. The car does not seem obviously different through the first two gears and then the change is evident. In the third gear the car seems to be wanting to take off and the in gear acceleration times tumble by a significant margin. The engine note improves and the feeling of driving a petrol car seems to déjà vu through one’s mind. The harder you go on the accelerator, the engine sounds all the more sweet and you start moving faster.
It is evident that there is a marked difference in the performance of the Punto after installing the tuning box. So to see how exactly the Punto fared, we but it up against a stock Swift. In a drag race situation the Swift seems to accelerate out faster owing to the lighter weight but soon the Punto catches up. At 100kmph the Punto is marginally ahead and at about 120kmph the Punto has clearly outdone the Swift by a cars length. The box cuts 4 seconds off the Punto’s 0-100 time with a ton coming up in 13.5 seconds. In gear acceleration is faster and the car pulls massively in 5th gear. Infact the box is so addictive you would find yourself speeding on most occasions without any reason whatsoever.
At Rs. 28,000/- the Petes Tuning box is the best performance modification for your diesel car. Its a must have accessory for car enthusiasts and is also said to increase fuel efficiency slightly. Not only does it better the outright performance but also brings a marked change to the in gear acceleration. The box is available for a wide variety of diesel cars like the Linea, Octavia, Optra, Innova, Laura, C-Class, etc and you can checkout Petes Performance Products Official site here for more information.
It is clear that the Punto which lacked the punch, the Swift DDiS offered, is obviously the best package with the Petes Digital Tuning box. Performance, safety, comfort, mileage and the awesome looks make the Punto a superb buy for its price. But, as we mentioned that the same tuning box can be installed in the Swift too, primarily because it shares the same engine as the Punto, but thats a different story altogether.