Technical Information Measuring Power

Measuring Power

Hondata does not determine the maximum power of engines. Honda does. Tuning cannot overcome mechanical limitations like you might find in the head design of the base model RSX. Go back and read K series Tech. We tune engines to the best of our abilities, and no-one knows Honda tuning better than us except Honda. Tuning is done by adding and removing fuel, advancing and retarding ignition and advancing and retarding the camshaft until maximum torque and power is reached.

For some people selecting a HP improvement is based on peak HP per $. Simple and easy to calculate but somewhat simplistic. Peak HP tells very little of the story. The most important factor is power gain over the entire operating rev range. It is quite possible with some modifications to get a higher peak HP and lower average HP resulting in a slower car.

Vehicle RPM operating range

Think you operate close to peak HP all the time? Wrong. Even in circuit racing you would be pressed to spend greater than 5% of your time in the last 1000 rpm of your tacho. In daily driving your car probably spends 99.9 percent of the time in the 1500-5000 rpm rev range.

This is the rev range Hondata makes a significant improvement - real world driving.

Average HP

Lets look at some very important numbers. Average HP (Ask your dyno operator for this). We are going to compare the average percentage HP gains with Hondata tuning on the base model compared to the Type S.

These numbers are averaged over the operating range of the engine: 2000-6800 rpm on the base and 2000-8000rpm on the Type S.

Base Model Tuned Stock % improvement
Torque (ft/lb at the wheels) 120 110.7 8.4%
Power (hp at the wheels) 97.8 91.4 7.0%
Type S      
Torque (ft/lb at the wheels) 121.2 110.9 9.3%
Power(hp at the wheels) 116.0 106.4 9.0%

Given what Hondata had to start with (the base model) the percentage improvements are very close to those gained with the Type S.

Lets compare this to a CAI - and this is by no means intended to denigrate a CAI. We thoroughly recommend a CAI.

Base Model CAI Stock % improvement
Torque (ft/lb at the wheels) 116 110.7 4.8%
Power (hp at the wheels) 95.5 91.4 4.5%

Graph of base RSX with a CAI or Hondata program

So while a CAI has more peak power - 7.6hp vs 4.8hp for the Hondata program, the Hondata tune has over 50 percent more average power gain over the entire rev range (6.4 hp vs 4.1hp). A quick way to determine this is to visually look at the area under the curves.

So when calculating the average HP/$ ratio you need to consider how you drive the car and include average power as a significant factor. Peak HP does not tell the whole story.