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After buying the Racechip GTS Black for my 530i, I very much appreciated that bit of schnell it provided but still was unhappy with the delayed response from the engine. Anyone who has driven one of these will note that there is a significant delay when taking off from a standstill and at other times when you decide to stomp on the pedal. Most will attribute this to the transmission delaying kickdown, but after experimenting between manual mode, sport mode, and comfort mode, all show the same notable delay. I don't think it's turbo lag because the delay is just total non-response, if it was the turbo, I'd still see some power and it would roll in as I accelerated.

So, I purchased the Racechip XLR, albeit skeptically. The XLR is a module that you plug in line with your throttle pedal output and stash away under the dash. The device fits very cleanly under there and the manual controller can be unobtrusively mounted on the trans tunnel. My skepticism was down to me not seeing how altering that pedal output would get the car to respond faster to a full throttle input, but their customer service insisted that it would. All of their materials tout improved throttle response, so I bought it assuming there must be something left in the tap the factory input had left out. As it turns out, my skepticism was well founded. The XLR does absolutely nothing at all about the delay I was concerned with. I contacted customer service and they blamed it on the transmission delay, but again, I tested it in manual mode, forcing the car in the correct gear before hitting the throttle, and from a first gear start. Both of these tests showed the significant delay was totally unchanged no matter how you set the XLR.

Does this mean the XLR has no use? Not exactly. What it does is change pedal sensitivity. In essence, it changes how much you need to press the pedal for a given response. If you like a very touchy throttle, you can set it to the sportiest setting and the car will only need a big toe to get most of the available power, given the car what some would call a sportier demeanor. If you like a very lazy feel to the car, the eco+ setting dims the throttle response so that meaningful thrust requires using most of the pedal travel before you get it, ensuring that tooling around town is almost always guaranteed to be smooth. All of this can be accomplished with a well tuned right foot, but not everyone has that!

There are those who will appreciate how this device changes their driving experience, most definitely. But do not believe the advertising that it improves throttle response, because it most definitely does not. That's taking misleading liberties with the English language that are likely just barely legally not false advertising. Throttle response has always been about how quickly and how precisely the engine responds to your input. Reducing the amount of travel your foot has to do for a given response is not improving that throttle response. I must admit being irritated that I was misinformed by the Racechip sales team after I very clearly and explicitly asked about my concerns. I do not believe this was intentional, I just think the sales team isn't likely mechanically inclined and did not understand the distinction.

They do honor their money back guarantee with no fuss at all, but they do not pay return shipping like most companies do. I chalk it up to being comparable to restocking fees, so it's not really a big deal but it is something to be aware of. The return process took a couple weeks, so entirely reasonable, and it was pretty painless to initiate.

So, it's a safe product that's tremendously easy to install. It does what it does very well and is well made. Just be aware that the advertising is misleading, it does NOT improve throttle response. If you go in knowing that and all you want to do be able to adjust how much pedal you need for a given response, it performs that function perfectly and the settings provide a good spread of options for you that will subtly change your driving experience.

I hope some of you considering the product find this of use. I would note that Racechip is not the only one claiming improved throttle response, all pedal boxes seem to, and based on my experience here, I can't see how any of them possibly could. I think the issue is in the programming for the throttle body, that BMW delays the response on purpose because this is the version of the car least likely to be bought by an enthusiast and such a delay smooths out the driving experience. If you want to see the delay quantified, look at the difference between the 0-60 and the 5-60 test done by reviewers. The 5-60 is by far the number most reflective of the performance you can expect day to day.
 

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Thanks for the review, very useful information.
 
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