Chiptuning "Alfa Romeo 4C "
In our introductory story, we usually tell something about the history of a particular model. Who was the ancestor, how the life course went about etc. etc. etc. However, at the 4C this is not possible. The Alfa 4C can rightly be called a special Alfa. In all its facets, the 4C is a completely different car from what we are used to from Alfa.
We can only tell you something about the name. Alfa has a rich history with the 6C, 8C and 12C models. A first derivative of this illustrious history is the 2008 Alpha 8C. In 2014 the 4C was published. Particular detail is that we already heard about a rear wheel driven car equipped with a TBi engine in 2009. A year before the 100th anniversary of Alfa Romeo. It should have been a gift to its own brand at the time. Most people know how that turned out.
Let us not look to the past anymore, but rather into the future. Is Alfa going to make more of this kind of spectacle than? Well, no. Not so far known. There is talk of the arrival of a “6C”. But then as a more luxurious coupe in the nature of the GTV’s of yesteryear.
The 4C is a one of a kind car. There are hardly any competitors to point out. Actually only 1, the Lotus Elise and all the following variants on it including the Exige. Also lightweight, very tight steering hardcore drivers car. Also hardly equipped with any luxury, because luxury makes heavy. The only luxuries are the electric windows, mirrors and air conditioning. The rest is all functional and as light as possible.
The 4C could be a car that engineers would build if the marketing department had no say. It’s a 100% driver’s car. Even the passenger has little to say. The driver has more space at his disposal than the passenger and the passenger seat, for example, is not adjustable. Also consultation between driver and passenger is hardly possible. This is thanks to the exhaust system that is heard and the fact that the 240 standard horses present just behind the back are eager to be encouraged. Because what a 4C only wants is to go faster, faster and faster. What the 1750 TBi Euro 6 engine was capable of we have already learned from the Giulietta QV TCT. We only had the hope that the more open (read undempted) exhaust would let the engine breathe more freely. Nothing could be further from the truth. Both the standard result and the tuned result were exactly identical. But a 4C brings roughly 350 kg less into the scale. What that does to the driving characteristics of a car is almost unseeded. Everyone has their own frame of reference. The 4C will make you feel like you have to redefine it. Accelerate, brake, steer, the experience is everything in a 4C.
What can we do to improve to a 4C?
Well, in terms of torque and powerl gains it was quickly pretty clear. An improvement of about 40 Nm has quite an impact on a car of 900 kg. The power gain of 24 hp is also neat. Especially if one understands how it is realized. Only increasing the turbo pressure is not going to give the maximum power at a 4C. More needs to be done. The software is equipped with many calculation models for the exhaust gas temperature. When it reaches a certain value, the mixture is made considerably richer. As a result, lower power. In practice, this limit is already reached when you pull away from zero fully loaded and reach 5000 RPM in 4th gear. In 5th and 6th this will even happen earlier in the RM range.. On a rolling road, it depends on how it is measured. A quick measurement (les then 10 sec.) is quite OK. With a slower measurement it’s not. Stock the limit is set at arounfd 800 degrees exhaust gas temperature. Every tuner knows that a turbo can easily handle 950 degrees. Because this is a calculation model, we keep some margin, just to be save. When the strategy becomes active under really tough conditions, the enrichment we apply is less strong than the factory does. If less good fuel is used, the system will detect pinging and retard the ignition. The calculation model is provided for this. If the ignition is corrected regularly, the exhaust gas temperature is calculated higher. In short, a beautiful model that you have to use as a tuner, provided you understand how and why.
Some other tricks
Another trick to generate more reliable power is to affect the operation of the electronic thermostat. Stock it is set in such a way that the engine settles around 92 degrees when driving slowly. That’s done purely for the emissions. Nice, but when one suddenly wants to accelerate fast, this happens with a rather hot engine. We have modified the strategy so that the desired engine temperature is around 80 degrees. In this way, the engine temperature is lower when you want to accelerate full throttle. Therefore it will generate more instant power compared to a hot engine
We are convinced that there is a lot of tuning software that is not equipped with such well thought trough modifications. We also know that there are promises of very wild power gains. However, we are sure that they will not last. Every turbo knows its limit. For example we know for a fact that the catalytic convertor is a big restrictor in the exhaust system. Without it the power increases about 20 bhp.This means there a pretty high back pressure already. Pushing it further is therefor is not OK.
A short performance test on a rolling road is something completly different compared to much longer full throttle situations on the open road.
It’s a matter of finding the right balance between turbo pressure and the desired level of pre-ignition. Too much pressure gives a more retarded ignition timing and therefore less power instead of more. Too much retarded ignition also increases the exhaust temperature. There may even be some mis-firing.
The next chapter is the 4C’s drivability. Even a car like the 4C should be easy to maneuver through a village. On the open road it can be loose and on a mountain pass or circuit it has to excel. In case of rain and snow, however, it must be severely restrained. That’s possible, that’s why Alfa came up with the DNA+R system.
Unfortunately the Alfa engineers made no effort at all to vary the torque and power between the DNA+R modes. They are all the same 350 Nm/240 hp. We think it’s pretty irresponsible to drive with 350 Nm and 240 hp in the All weather “rain and snow” mode. The Alfa engineers did make different throttle responses in all DNA+R modes. But again not very well thought through. We have made them differently. Much more logical end therefor much better to handle.
Below is a table where it all can be clearly seen.
A, N, D and Race mode
We downtuned the All Weather mode a lot. 250 Nm and 190 hp is still enough to drive reasonably. But the throttle reaction isn’t that explosive anymore. You could almost call it lazy. But in really bad weather conditions, that’s kind a nice.
We have also de-tuned the Normal mode a little in terms of torque and power. 300 Nm and 220 hp in combination with a fine direct throttle reaction. Slightly less wild than standard but therefore much more finely dosable. Superb for “normal”driving.
The real tuned torque and power is present in Dynamic and Race mode. The Race mode is the same as the Dynamic mode in terms of throttle response. The power and torque is also maximum. 390 Nm and 264 hp. Full potential in the Dynamic mode but still with an electronic safety net of the ESP/ABS etc. In the Race mode, all electronic safety nets are switched off. Stock, the situation was such that the engine was already full of torque and power at 60% gas paddle position. That’s not the case anymore after tuning. The 390 Nm’s and 264 hp’s are distributed over almost the full stroke of the gas paddle.
The all result in a more better dosability light weight road racer. The Alfa 4C Squadra stile.
- Developed for usage of RON98 fuel.
- Higher idle speed
- Smoother throttle response in all mode.
- Modified exhaust gas temperature strategy (limit)
- Modified thermostat control
Price and request
Squadra Chiptuning Alfa 4C
€ 590 ,-
Having driven several thousand km's in my 4C spider, I can wholeheartedly confirm that the promises of Squadra Tuning are the full truth.
Really FANTASTIC what the tuning has improved compared to the original adjustment !!
Here are the advantages:
Clear difference in DNA positions compared to original.
Power is plentiy in every touring area.
Absolutely NO nervous behavior of the engine during switching/throttle.
Significantly lower fuel consumption.
With this tuning you really feel like you have a SUPERCAR under your ass!!
TIP: I do the fuel myself, Liqui-Moly Octane-plus, works great.
Did a tour trip in Sauerland last weekend, and on the highway there I passed several fast cars like Porsche 911 or boxter,Mercedes AMG, Audi R8, and even a Lamborghini that liked to take a battle ;), Well I can say one thing, the 4C stands its own !! Truly FANTASTIC what this car can do. Also in the hills it is a pleasure to steer, both in car mode and manually switching.
SQUADRA tuning,thanks for this tuning,an Alfa Romeo 4C is already a dream car, but WITH tuning tuning a SUPERcar !!!!
On the way home I found the one thing and the other somewhat disappointing at first, but then I saw that I still had the DNA switch on ' normal' and that that made sense.
Once in the D position I became very happy: the accelerator pedal is much more precise and gives more chance to 'steer' with power, as far as I am concerned a must when it comes to these kind of light cars with a relatively short wheelbase.
The second thing that struck me was the fact that the car also above 5000 revs just does something. In the original engine settings, the engine is - it seems - somewhat asthmatic at these speeds and that is now completely gone. This fits very well with the car and also makes the switch points a lot clearer.
We talked during the tuning about that much with higher power being marketed and that not always those promises are fulfilled and even if the promise is fulfilled you have to ask yourself what the mechanical limitations are and also what the restriction of the car as such is going to be. With the Squadra tuning I find the car exactly in balance when it comes to power, weight and the possibilities offered. In short, I am happy and thank you!
Now back and the 4C has already driven some 4500 kilometers since tuning..
I had indeed come home well, it was busy on the track so that once pushed through there was hardly any. On Saturday the car still was roasted and the Sunday morning then left for Tuscany.
The tuning is perfect, the difference in power is strongly felt. In fact, on the highway in 6th to 2500 revs it is almost necessary to switch back if I want to accelerate, the torque is so strong that it gets up to speed very smoothly. Top speed I have not been able to test (in that 4500km...) either it was too busy on the track or the track was not ideal. And also the girlfriend found it around 230 already more than fast enough ;-)
What I also like is the difference in power now between the DNA positions. On the way back through Switzerland it rained very brightly at one point, when the combination of a smooth road surface and winding bridge decks with ridges in the road surface the allweather stand was pleasantly quiet. And when I put it back in dynamic later I feel how fast the 4C is. Furthermore, the accelerator reaction in any position is fine.
What you told about the TCT automatic on mountain passes, there are no real ascent mountains in Tuscany but I have had quite a few short hairpin bends uphill. And then the TCT is indeed really a dream, actually it always succeeded in 2nd, probably because the 4C is so light and at the bottom of the revs is already very strong. But when switching back to 1st this just goes without problems and smoothly.
I can also say about the consumption that I notice that it is more economical, it is obviously not an official test but on the way I had to drive quietly throughout Switzerland and then I was at 6.5 liters. Something I had never done before, I could suddenly do more than 600km with 1 tank. With constant fast driving I think the consumption will be about the same.