View Full Version : Customer Review of a Chipbox for Alfa Romeo Quadrafolio

Robert Zecca
06-04-2018, 11:09 PM
Alright, for reasons unknown to me, I decided I wanted to bump up the HP on my QV. There are a few companies that have put out ECM tunes for the QV now, but I wanted a less permanent, less expensive solution. I'm sure most of you have seen the thread by now, but I decided to go with the Seletron Chipbox. It's a piggyback system that hijacks the data from sensors under the hood, alters that data, and then lies to the ECUs to increase fuel and boost pressure (from my limited understanding). The Seletron site reports a total of 570 hp and 494 ft lbs of torque after install, and I paid about $950 for the two Chipboxes (one for each turbo). Install was simple- just had to remove the engine cover and airbox assembly, then disconnect a total of 8 wire harnesses to plug into the Chipbox connectors. A few zip ties here and there, put the airbox and engine cover back in, and done. There was one sensor, the passenger side fuel rail sensor, that was a @#$% to get to, but the rest were a piece of cake. All of the Chipbox connectors were high quality and fit perfectly, and the wires all were more than long enough and have protective covers around them. And when it comes time for service, I can uninstall the whole system in about half an hour.

I fired up the QV and took it for a gentle late night spin. Zero warning lights, woo hoo. Seletron says to drive normally with a few pulls here and there for the first 50 miles, then the full performance should be unlocked and ready to go. As an aside, when I installed the Chipboxes, I kind of wondered how much of a difference it would make, and if I'd be able to feel it enough to justify the expense. I live in a rural area with a lot of empty roads, and I take every opportunity to drive 'spiritedly'. As strange as it may sound, I had kind of gotten used to the speed. But when I put my foot down on those same backroads after the Chipboxes were installed, the same way I have countless times over the past 8 months, it honestly took me by surprise. Now I want to give a disclaimer here that my previous car was a 10 year old Mazda 3. My first time on a track was 2 days ago. I put a few mods on my Civic in high school and liked to pretend it was fast, but the QV is my first REAL car. I'm a pretty young guy, and I'm not experienced enough to say things like "It feels about 10% more powerful from 2-3k RPMs than it did before, but not as much from 3-5k, and the low end torque is greater, but etc etc etc" or compare it to some race car I used to track all the time in the '80s...

BUT I can say that it feels so much faster now. I'm sure it's not THAT much faster, but it sure feels like it. It pulls like crazy through the whole rev range, and slams me back into my seat even more than before. I went to pass someone on a two lane road the day after installing it, and when I downshifted and mashed the throttle, I got a ton of rear wheel spin. That was definitely new. On those empty country roads, I like to come to full stop and practice launches late at night every once in a while. Now when I rev it up to 2k rpm and then release the brake pedal and go go go, the rear end is all over the place. It was tough to keep the rear end from breaking loose when launching it before, but now it's darn near impossible. Over the past week, I've learned to drive a bit differently. Throttle response is improved, as is turbo lag. I don't have to give as much throttle input now, so I've been learning to keep my foot out of it a bit so I don't get arrested. That initial hesitation when accelerating from a dead stop is still there, but doesn't seem as pronounced. Oh and one member asked about the 'pops and bangs' or barks from the exhaust- I rolled my windows down and really paid attention to the exhaust sound, and the upshift barks are definitely louder. I wouldn't say there are more of them, or that they're easier to induce, but they're louder for sure. This is getting lengthy so one more thought/question- does anyone know if these piggyback systems affect shift points? I swear my QV is holding gears just a tad longer now. I'm almost always in dynamic mode, and I've noticed that when I expect an upshift, it waits just a hair longer. That may be my imagination, but I hadn't been expecting it to affect the shift points, so it caught my attention when the upshift I was expecting didn't happen on time.

So, in summary, two thumbs up from me. I don't have any 1/4 mile, 0-60, or dyno numbers to back any of this up, but this sucker is quick(er). Pulls pulls pulls. More rear wheel spin under heavy throttle, and tons of fun. If you want some more umph and don't mind forgoing the more advance high tech ECU tunes for the dumb Chipbox, I'd highly recommend it.