Back in the good old days - the task of timing the ignition spark was performed by the distributor. The greater the RPM, the more the timing would advance. This did a reasonable job but for the most effective power you would need to vary the timing to a greater degree than a fixed ratio advance curve. The electronic ignition was born.

Most modern vehicles use a computer (ECU) to manage, run and protect your engine. The data within this computer is usually stored in a microchip usually referred to as an 'EPROM'. This data or 'Firmware' is a written set of instructions for the computer to monitor and control the operation of the engine and its components. These instructions also enable the computer (ECU) to adapt (learn) based on the vehicles input sensors. This data is made up of many fields or (maps) controlling injection duty (fuel input), RPM limits, turbo pressure, ignition timing and so on. By altering these settings ('Remapping') based on the mechanical allowance provided by the manufacturer a vehicles performance can be increased without the reliability being affected.

Each car that leaves the production line is also unique. Some achieve 10bhp less and others can be 10bhp more on standard specs, depending on how well the components are machined and put together. So rather than put each car through a unique assessment and a bespoke timing map, manufacturers adopt a standard "one map fits all" philosophy. It is also a fact that manufacturers use the remap to produce different power versions of the same engine and get lower insurance cover ratings and better fuel consumption. You can now start to see the fantastic scope for improvements.

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