Following up on our SEMA coverage, another booth we spent quite a bit of time at this year was Vi-PEC engine management systems. There have been some significant feature improvements/additions over the last sevearl months, and we are very happy with the V44 and V88 ECU lineup. These ECUs already are very good sellers at Apex, and represent some of the best values in the ECU world.
I had the opportunity to spend time with Phillip Royds, the CEO of Link Elecrosystems, who took over Vi-PEC sales after Ray Hall’s retirement earlier this year. Ray is an amazing guy who built an amazing brand, and the current line of products have us very excited.
Our Vi-PEC History
Apex is not new to Vi-PEC at all, having used them in some demanding, high-end andcustom applications. One of our first customers was Formula 1, Indycar and NASCAR legend Dan Gurney, who used one to control his personal Alligator motorcycle. We then used one for a beautiful 1970 Dodge Challenger resto-mod featuring a 6.1L Dodge Hemi, not the crate motor but one with drive-by-wire throttle and the variable-current alternator setup. We did a 6 cylinder, 2-stroke Mercury Marine Outboard, and a 800+hp Porsche 964 turbocharged flat-6. The latter was for Synergy Racing and a very historic car; it was the last air-cooled Porsche to podium in the 24 Hours of Daytona. Apex has done quite a few S14 four cylinder and S54 6 cylinder engines, the latter featuring both drive-by-wire and VANOS variable cam control. Our Vi-PEC Plug & Play Porsche 968 turbo kit was featured in the October 2011 issue of GT Porsche Magazine. The fact that we’ve done everything from a high-compression 700cc single to a complex variable cam motor with the same ECU speaks to the sophistication and flexibility of the Vi-PEC line.
New for 2011
This year, Vi-PEC released a number of features that really solidify their lead at the entry level ECU price point – a lead they get by the fact that they bring high-end reliability and features to an ECU costing 50% less than similar offerings. Some of the items of interest include:
- Advanced closed-loop boost control with a 3-stage strategy. Vi-PEC’s implementation of boost control simply outclasses ECUs in this field.
- % Slip calculation to allow for detailed, user-defined traction control. Vi-PEC’s powerful software allows multiple traction control strategies to be developed – allowing you to build simultaneous ignition retard, cut and even E-Throttle reduction.
- Vi-PEC’s new Digital Knock Interface which brings digital knock control with knock windowing and band-pass filtering to V44 & V88 ECUs.
- User-defined Bi-Directional CAN capabilities. There’s simply no other ECU in the class that offers this. The CAN implementation allows you to use 3rd party channel models, oxygen sensors, EGTs and more.
In addition to all of these, there are improvements and refinements to the data logging and user interface, plus numerous small strategy improvements.
We at Apex have been fans of the Vi-PEC V44 and V88 ECUs for some time, and the 2011 improvements make them even better. Simply put, there is nothing in this price class that we have tested that can beat these for features and power. The V44 ECU, which is fully sequential for 4 cylinders starts at less than $1700, the V88 with more inputs and outputs starts under $2500. The prices are approximate as Vi-PEC doesn’t allow us to post pricing online.