#Increase the performance on the MG ZS 1.0 T-GDI with chip tuning

06 / March 2023
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Increase the performance on the MG ZS 1.0 T-GDI with chip tuning

Seletron Performance

How to increase the performance of MG ZS 1.0 T-GDI without remapping the ECU?


Let's talk for a moment about the MG ZS 1.0 T-GDI. It's a newcomer to the market, which is already appreciated for its attractive design, moderate price, and that nice 7-year (or 150,000 km) warranty that makes it extra appealing. In short, it is a car that is making inroads into the automotive market, and it is propelled by a 3-cylinder turbo gasoline engine that we will devote a few words to since it is the very subject of this article. Before answering the question "How to increase MG ZS 1.0 T-GDI performance without ECU remapping?" we will briefly discuss the standard MG ZS 1.0 T-GDI performance.


How does the stock 111-horsepower MG ZS 1.0 T-GDI perform?


Let's start with the mass as we have done before. This 432-centimeter long 162 centimeters high car weighs about 1250 kilograms. The mass itself is not very high, but we have to put it in relation to the power and especially the engine torque of the supercharged 3-cylinder. We say this because while not everyone is interested in absolute performance (and this is normal, especially on this type of car), almost everyone is interested in the dynamic qualities in normal use, namely the ability to pick up speed, the accelerator with a standing start, the ability to climb hills ( even with a full load), and in general, agility. Here we have some limitations, as while the 111 horsepower may be acceptable, the maximum torque has a value that is a tad underwhelming in relation to its mass. Indeed, we are talking about 160 Nm starting at about 1,800 rpm. This results in a car capable of a maximum speed of 180 km/h with a 0-100 acceleration in a time that takes more than 11 seconds. This engine, which has 4-valve-per-cylinder distribution, has a turbocharger, gasoline injection, and a 6-speed mechanical transmission.


How to increase the performance of the MG ZS 1.0 T-GDI without remapping the ECU?


Here we can finally get to the crux of this article and explain precisely how it is possible to increase the power, torque, and thus performance of the 3-cylinder MG ZS without remapping the engine ECU (with its accompanying complications). The answer is through the simple installation of a kit consisting of a dedicated chip-tuning additional unit that can be installed and removed in a matter of minutes, without leaving any evidence, without irreversible tampering, and without voiding the warranty. Putting this kit together was not easy; it never is, even for other models, but the 3-cylinder turbocharged engine in the MG ZS 1.0 T-GDI is quite unique. To satisfy the technically curious, we'll give some specific explanations. If you're not among the curious, skip this part and get right to where we talk about the achievable power and torque gains.


In order to increase the performance of the MG ZS 1.0 T-GDI, we had to intervene in various parameters of the engine management, and this is the norm. Like on other engines, our chip tuning module interfaces with the pressure sensors located on the intake manifold and downstream of the intercooler. However, on this specific turbocharged tri-cylinder, we also had to actively intervene on the modulator that manages the wastegate of the turbo itself. As you may know, turbochargers can have different boost pressure control systems, and all diesels now have "hot" coils equipped with a variable geometry system that can control the impact of the exhaust gas on the turbine. On this turbo-gasoline, instead, there is a classic wastegate valve, the one that acts as an exhaust gas by-pass when the boost pressure set in the ECU is reached.


The wastegate acts precisely as a by-pass to control the maximum value of the turbo pressure, and on modern engines (such as this one), it is controlled by an electric pressure modulator controlled by the ECU and which acts on a type of mechanical piston (Pierburg) that affects the wastegate itself by passing a portion of the combustion gases directly to the hot coil outlet without hitting the turbine (and thus without playing an active role in supercharging management).


To increase the torque and power of this engine, we needed to increase the boost pressure by 0.2 to 0.3 bar over the stock value. To achieve this "boost," we had to develop a special chip tuner capable not only of managing the gasoline injection system but also of driving the Pierburg pressure modulator to generate the desired turbo pressure increase. Tuning this kit took a long time and a lot of dyno testing, but the results were excellent in terms of drivability! The maximum power increase value at the highest revs is +10 horsepower, but in normal use revs (intermediate), the test bench recorded peaks of even +30 horsepower, a consequence of the maximum torque value that increases a lot with its +40Nm (remember that we are talking about a small 3-cylinder with a 999 cc cubic capacity) bringing the maximum value to a good 200 Nm, that makes driving much more dynamic and pleasant!


MG ZS 1.0 T-GDI Electronic Tuning by SELETRON


We have just detailed the difficulties we encountered in tuning MG's small 3-cylinder turbo-gasoline engine and how we found technical solutions capable of increasing power and especially maximum torque while optimizing gasoline consumption with careful driving! But we did not stop there. On the ZSs we had available, the ones we used to perfect the tuning kit, we also installed the much-appreciated PEDALBOOSTER chip tuning module, which eliminates the delay in engine response to accelerator pedal commands. Engine response becomes much more responsive, making the car feel much lighter, greatly increasing driving enjoyment. The kit is an excellent match for the CHIPBOX enhancement kit we discussed before.


Advantages of tuning your MG ZS 1.0 T-GDI with a SELETRON Chip Tuning Unit


The main advantages are related to the ability to significantly improve the performance of your car without having to intervene in an invasive and irreversible way on the stock ECU or other parts of the engine. In a nutshell, here is what you will instantly get with the CHIPBOX and PEDALBOOSTER kits


Maximum power increases to 121 hp

Torque increases to 200 Nm

Increased acceleration

Increased recovery

Increased speed

Improved hill-climbing capability

Optimized gasoline consumption

Improved driving experience

Very prompt engine response

Do-it-yourself assembly and disassembly

No mechanical modifications

No irreversible modifications

No loss of engine warranty


Remember that all SELETRON kits are designed and manufactured in Italy with the best automotive components. They come complete with wiring harnesses with genuine connectors and complete instructions with specific photos of the engine on which they will be installed. All kits are covered by the official SELETRON warranty and have the important TUV Austria Certification, a further guarantee of the quality of the available kits!