The Silver Steed
My ride is a 2012 Suzuki Ritz VDi-ABS
. Had there been a ZDi variant when I booked the car, I would've picked it, but the pre-facelift Ritz-D came only in a VDi-ABS
variant. I had received a lot of "advice" from very "informed" people that ABS
was not needed, and I could use the money I save for a music system, etc. However, I had already set my priorities and thus the Ritz VDi-ABS
came home in July 2012. The FIAT designed 1.3 DDiS engine is a driver's delight. The car, though a tall boy, is stable on highways. The first and second gears are not really great, but the other three are good. Added 195/60R15 Bridgestone MY-01 tyres on Neowheel alloys, this improved the road grip immensely, at the same time lowering the FE by 1-1.5kmpl. Prologue
On a quiet evening in November, I was left with some free time and nothing to do. Earlier in the day, I had picked up my H11 HID burners. The itch began to fit them inside the fogs myself. Started taking note of my available resources and the required equipment. There it was, a big void. Since I didn't know any service centres or workshops that would be able to do it properly, I started wondering if there's anyone who can be of help. Scrolled through the contacts in my phone, and one of them suddenly brought a smile. I sent a WhatsApp message asking if Bay-6 workshop could help me out. Got the green signal. In an hour's time, my Silver Steed was in front of the Bay-6 garage. After exchanging pleasantries, we started getting our hands dirty. Though a trivial job, it took us a couple of hours to get the HIDs installed in the fogs, thanks to the many concealed mounting clips and screws for the bumper. Biting the Bullet
Now that the job is done, we all were wondering what to do next. The odo was close to 25k. 5k overdue.Very soon, the dreaded remapping equipment was out of the bag. The Bay6 arena got hotter now. I was asked a few questions - what's my usual driving style, how fast do I drive on the highways, do I lug the engine often, etc. In a few minutes, the first map was on. The tuners were next seen zooming out. They were back soon. Something didn't seem right to them. Some changes in the map followed. The car goes out. I quipped that I don't want my car to love frequent fueling stops, nor is it a track machine ;-) Got the assurance that the map will be tailored to my needs. A few more iterations ensued. At last, they were somewhat satisfied with the map. Initial Impressions
I was asked to drive the car. The instruction was to shift to Second quickly and then "test" the car. If it were the original, factory map, the car would take a while to pick up speed in second. To my surprise, it was pulling effortlessly from as low as 10kmph or so. There was a speedbreaker ahead, and I slowed down considerably. Usually, I have to shift down to First or else the engine might even stall at such low speeds in Second. At the same moment, I noticed a boy-racer in his Alto trying to nose his way from my left. Just to avoid getting scratched, I wanted to move a little forward and then make way for him. I just depressed the A-pedal without shifting down to First. To my amazement, the car pulled cleanly from crawling speeds. In the IRVM, I saw some smoke rising, and I experienced an aggressive yet linear acceleration. This was the best example of smoking a 'ricer boy' It had power all through 4000 rpm. I was back to Bay-6 in a few minutes, grinning ear to ear. The next run was with me riding shotgun and one of them tuners behind the wheel. He confirmed that there aren't any flat spot while the other two guys checked the smoke levels, which was assessed to be satisfactory.
The best part of this remap is the linear torque delivery. In city driving, the sudden deceleration when we release the A-pedal is now gone. With the stock map, in the First and Second gears, on easing off the A-pedal, the car used to behave as though it hit a pool of water. This is of great importance as it improved the city driveability and reduced gear shifts. In the Bay-6 terms, this is a mild remap. More miles, more Smiles
The fuel gauge was below the quarter mark when I went to Bay6. A refill was in order in a few days, which I did. To my surprise, despite the city runs and more importantly the very very aggressive test runs for tuning, the car returned an FE of 15.xx, which is almost the same as what I get usually, with AC on and bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Took the car to the highway after a couple of weeks. Since the torque delivery is more linear, the ride is smooth. But I miss the pressing onto the seat when the turbo starts spooling. Save this trivial part, the driveability has improved by leaps and bounds. Earlier, the car would run out of breath beyond 3400-3500rpm. Now, there's enough torque and power even at 4000rpm. The car would hit high speeds, but staying there wasn't easy with the stock map. With the remap, picking up good speeds as well as cruising there is a lot easier.
Last night, I was driving to Kerala from Bangalore. I could keep up with a Ssangyong Rexton RX7 driven aggressively on NH-7. With a similar, aggressive drive, I could squeeze out only 15-ish kmpl on the stock map. However, despite the higher average speed and more high-speed bursts, the FE stands at 16.xx kmpl. I would attribute this to the lesser number of downshifts to overtake. There's always torque on demand for that quick passing on 2-lane highways.
Now the "dark" side :
Lugging and heavy acceleration results in a brief moment of soot emanating from the tail pipe. The pic above was taken after a long, fast drive. PS:
Bay6 is located on Hosa Road, opposite to SJR Verity apartments. PM me for the contact numbers, as I don't want to post cell numbers in an open forum. PPS:
I have no business interests
in Bay6 Motorworks, and the remap and/or review is NOT
sponsored by Bay6.