Tornado Power Chips and EFI Upgrades Classic & P38

Tornado chipsetIntroduction
Tornado Power Chip Overview
Technical Details
Contact & Ordering Information
Other Tornado Products

Photo at Right: Typical Tornado chipset for Range Rovers


The Classic Range Rover was quite powerful and spritely for its time when it came out in 1970, and the advertising claimed it had the acceleration and performance of a sports car. While that claim was almost plausible in 1970, the continued use of the same basic Rover V8 through the years to 2002 (while the vehicle's weight kept increasing) inevitably resulted in the Range Rover being left far behind by competitors in terms of raw power to weight ratio, acceleration, hill climbing and towing performance. The frankly anemic performance of the later model years relative to some of the competition inevitably led to frustrations on the part of owners.


Fortunately, Rover V8 enthusiast Mark Adams recognized the problem and began developing "rechipping" solutions to reprogram the engine's EFI system and produce not only more power and torque, but better fuel economy. From small beginnings, Tornado Systems has become a 'One Stop Shop' with an extensive range of performance enhancing products for the Rover V8 -- including, most famously, the Tornado chips used by the main Range Rover performance tuners such as RPI Engineering. 

The company is in the process of establishing a global network of distributors covering North America, the Middle East and Australasia.  Lowered emissions and improved fuel economy are side benefits that make the Tornado range of products attractive anywhere in the world. For special discounted prices to customers in North America, see Contact & Ordering Information below.

graph of performanceTornado Power Chip Overview
The Lucas 14CUX systems used on fuel-injected Classics and the Range Rover P38 models through 1998 responds exceptionally well to a software upgrade, The stock software can be compared to the annoyingly unintelligent ECU controlling the air suspension system. In the case of the P38, because the GEMS system has two computers in the ECU, the upgrade is carried in a pair of EPROM chips to replace the existing ones. In either case, the Tornado chipset is a thorough treatment of the entire set of operating characteristics that goes far beyond the simple ignition and fuelling adjustments addressed by traditional aftermarket chips. The upgrades are fully compatible with the standard vehicle diagnostic and security systems, and are undetectable to Land Rover TestBook. Both 4.0 and 4.6 engines gain approximately 10-15 horsepower, and the engine will rev much more smoothly and eagerly. Improvements in fuel economy of 10-15% should also be seen, along with elimination of the usual flat spot between 1750 and 3250RPM. In stock tune, most of the available response is seen on the first and last 25% of the throttle pedal travel, whilst the 50% in the middle doesn't make much difference -- this characteristic is eliminated as well. Many other operating characteristics are addressed, including idle speed, idle stability, shift patterns, cold starting, cranking fuelling, rev limit, etc, resulting in a much better driving experience.

Technical Details
The Tornado software upgrade chips take advantage of the fact that the basic Rover ECU was programmed by the same deep thinkers that made the air suspension ECU "level" itself by successively lowering it to the bump stops -- on the principle of the famous monkey and cheese parable. The engine ECU programming is very conservative to allow for countries where poor quality fuel is common. Its less intelligent features include focusing on rapid warm up of the catalytic converters by using a part-load ignition advance and a corresponding efficiency loss that carries over to warm running. Correct programming can improve this with only a marginal increase in catalyst warm-up time, and no effect on warm operation. Similarly, in spite of the presence of knock sensors, the stock programming goes overboard in preventing knocks by retarding the ignition timing and drowning the engine with fuel.  Another example is airflow meter scaling , which determines when the top of the fuel map is reached. On the Rover V8 engines, which are bigger than the Lucas program was designed for, the top of the map is reached too soon. This leads to over fuelling at part throttle, and under fuelling at full throttle.  Reprogramming  with a more uniform progression to a richer mixture under full load, and the appropriate amount of ignition advance, gives a much more linear throttle response and a big improvement in fuel consumption -- in addition to more power. The reprogramming includes the following features:

Contact & Ordering Information




Mark Adams, founder and brains behind the Tornado Chips

Tracy Lankester, Worldwide Marketing Director

Mark Adams, founder of Tornado Systems, has over 16 years of Rover V8 EFI experience, after a history of aerospace technology. He is the ultimate specialist in fuel injected Rover V8 Engine Management. Marketing director Tracy Lankester is in charge of marketing Tornado products worldwide, and will respond to your inquiry within 24 hours. You can also phone Tracy -- in the UK call 01694 720144, or 07798 582390 (mobile/cell phone). From the US, dial 011-44 and leave out the "0" at the beginning of the numbers. Tornado is in the process of appointing distributors around the world -- in the meantime call or Email Tracy -- or visit the Tornado EBay store. Customers who mention will get a special discount (see below) so please tell them you saw their information on!

Please note there are two families of Lucas 14CUX ECUs, so please contact Tornado first to make sure you get the right one for your vehicle and market (UK, North America, etc). Not all ECUs have "plug-in" chips; in some cases it is necessary to have a socket fitted to receive the new chip. Tornado can arrange this for you at a small cost. customers receive special treatment and discounted prices from Tornado systems. For example, due to the current strength of the pound they are able to offer North American customers an additional discount for the GEMS chip, making it £580 (about US$1107 at November 2006 exchange rates), plus shipping and any applicable local taxes. The discounted prices apply to customers only, so please mention you came from this site when you contact them!  All orders are easily processed over the phone or online by credit card for  North American and worldwide customers.

Other Tornado Products
Although Tornado is most famous for its power enhancing chipsets, which are now used by the leading names in performance tuning such as RPI, they also  provide premium and upgraded components for the Rover EFI system. For older Range Rovers, these include coils, rotor arms, ignition amplifiers, and more. For all models, there are throttle position sensors, fuel injectors, fuel pressure regulators, idle stepper motors, and much more.




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Page revised February 1, 2012