Going electric: tuning electric cars is a new trend

Electric vehicles might not be the most sexy or inspiring type of cars out there. A economy car like a Toyota Prius is not exactly the first car you might think about when pondering which car would be the most interesting to work with. But don’t be surprised if things are about to change in the next couple of years. Electric cars are the future, and there actually a lot of options when it comes to tuning them. So, what will the future of car tuning look like? Read on to get a sneak peek into the possibilities and advantages of electric car tuning.

The exciting possibilities: electronic performers
Let’s face it: not all electric cars are candidates for tuning. But in the sea of unexciting, slow and durable cars, there have already been some more interesting hybrid and electronic models released over the years. Despite the poor impression you might have of these cars, they are actually hugely attractive if you have tuning in mind. Besides the obvious environmental advantages, electric cars sport a very high amount of torque, and can jump to maximum performance instantly. With a bit of work, these cars can perform a lot better than their retail performance might suggest.

Toyota GT 86 Electric

Working with electric engines
Like regular cars, electric cars come out of the factory a bit tamed. Most drivers prefer a smooth power delivery over an instant, explosive amount of power. But the electric engine can actually produce a shocking amount of power right from the gates. Tuning fanatics that dream of sticky, smoky tires can in fact remap the engine of an electric car quite easily. Enabling a quicker surge in power has never been easier – and the results are promising to be a lot more drastic than we are used to with conventional cars.

Futuristic turbo’s, superchargers and batteries
One of the beautiful things about electric cars is that developments are happening fast, and improvements are continually being made. One concrete example of what we can expect for the near future is the electrically assisted turbo, which has only been used in F1 cars, but is probably hitting the market in the next couple of years. The electric engine in the turbo basically allows you to run much larger turbos on smaller engines while keeping performance and handling high. Electrified superchargers and new innovative batteries are other areas where the electric car will continue to develop. In other words, it might be time to reassess the image of the electric car – the possibilities for car tuning are endless.

Chip tuning: the pro’s and con’s

One of the most popular ways of tuning an engine is chip tuning. By changing the settings in the engine chip, the car’s performance can change drastically. But besides the obvious improvements one can achieve with this kind of tuning, there are also a couple of risks attached to chip tuning. What is chip tuning exactly? And what are the advantages, but also the disadvantages of changing the chip settings on car? Read on to find out.

What is chip tuning exactly?
Modern turbo-engines are powered by a ECU (Electronic Control Unit). Car tuners can adjust the settings in the software of this ECU which regulate the amount of fuel, turbo pressure, and injection. By changing the way the engine performs, engines can gain up to 30 percent of their original performance. Besides gaining quite sizeable amount of power, the engine can also run more efficiently (up to 10 percent), although this is often negated by faster driving.

Different kinds of chip tuning
There are two main ways of actually achieving chip tuning. The most popular way is to read and adjust the software on the ECU by so called ‘ODB tuning’. Using the ODB-interface is quite easy, and does not require a lot of work: new settings are simply ‘flashed’ into the ECU. In some modern ECU’s, however, using the ODB-portal is disabled. In that case, BDM tuning is used to crack the ECU and allow for software adjusting – a more risky and labor-intensive process.

The dangers of chip tuning
As can be expected, chip tuning comes with a set of risks. This type of tuning is basically putting more stress on the engine than the producer of the car feels is safe. That means that in extreme circumstances, there is a higher risk of damage to the car, or even of engine failure. The higher fuel injection and engine power puts more stress on other parts of the car as well, such as the wheels and the gears. And remember – tuning a car foregoes the factory guarantee, so problems with the engine or the car might become more expensive to solve.

Bilstein: the best damping technology

As the car industry keeps developing new, better and more efficient cars, it becomes more and more important to use parts of the highest quality. For anyone interested in the best damping technology currently being produced, Bilstein is the brand to go to. For more than half a century, Bilstein has been at the forefront of the automobile industry, coming up with innovative ways to improve safety and driving experience. The design of their shock absorbers is widely recognized as among the best available. Read more about this amazing brand here.

A company with an impressive history

Bilstein has a lot of experience producing car parts. The company was founded in 1873 by August Bilstein, and has been focused on developing improved shock absorption for almost a century. From a small business, it has grown to be one of the influential car part producers in our times. Throughout the years, Bilstein has always been focused on innovation. Constantly inventing newer and better shock absorption parts has made Bilstein synonymous with quality and innovation.

Quality products by Bilstein

Bilstein has a great name when it comes to production. Using only the best raw materials and German quality steel, the engineers at Bilstein are relentlessly looking to improve design and quality of the products they put on the market. That means that you, as a costumer, are guaranteed the best parts for the best price. No wonder then, that Bilstein has been an F1 supplier for McLaren for years, and is used by Porsche to fit their factory models.

Improve the shock absorption on your car

If you are looking to improve your personal driving experience, you should look no further. Bilstein is the leading producer of shock absorbers in the world, with solutions for nearly every type of car. Bilstein is most famous for its monotube shock absorbers, which are being sold in combination with the best springs (by Eibach). The award-winning B12 Pro and B12 Sportline kits allow for a lowering of up to 40mm.

This does not only improve the look of the car, but also creates a sporty experience, with improved comfort, safety, and handling in even the most extreme of situations.

Eibach: leading car engineering

Every car enthusiast knows that the springs are crucial elements in a car. To a large extent, the quality of the spring determines the handling and performance of your ride. No wonder then, that many car owners only want the very best. Eibach is a revered company, and the industry standard when it comes to shock absorption springs. Are you looking to replace your standard springs with a more adventurous model, then Eibach should be your first stop. Want to know more? Below, you can find a lot more information about the brand’s unique history and its many products.

A unique company history
One of the things that makes Eibach so special, is that it has a very long history. The company was founded back in 1951 by Heinrich Eibach. Although Eibach is now a globally active brand, the German roots of the company are still very notable. The relentless search for improvement of spring suspension systems, as well as the use of the best quality materials available, makes that Eibach is always at the forefront of technological innovation.

The highest quality guaranteed

Eibach has a “will to win”, as their official slogan proudly proclaims. And history shows that this attitude can take a company the absolute top. With a product philosophy that is based on reliability and precision, you as a costumer can be assured that the Eibach products are of the highest possible production quality. The German quality management is unparalleled, and Eibach uses the best and most experienced engineers in the world in order to deliver the best springs possible. The aggressive looks and the quality of the products make Eibach the best choice for every car owner looking to take his vehicle to the next level.

Unique suspension products
Eibach springs are used in a wide variety of cars – from street cars to F1 racing cars. The many different performance springs are unique, because they allow a lowering of vehicles of up to 40mm. By lowering the center of gravity, the car will respond and handle better under extreme circumstances. The legendary Eibach products, as found in the Pro-Kit and Sport-Kit, combine with Bilstein shock absorbers to drastically improve traction and performance handling – all the while ensuring comfort and safety for the driver. The combination of improved performance and sporty looks are the dream of every car enthusiast

Reducing pollution: ‘eco-tuning’

A lot of the news about car tuning focuses on the newest models, the newest powerful engines, and the best ways to get more performance from regular street cars. But the idea of the car enthusiast as a diesel-guzzling speed freak needs to be radically updated. Slowly but surely, the concept of car tuning is getting a greener hue. As threat of climate change is growing more serious by the day, the idea of ‘eco-tuning’ is becoming more popular. The interest in tuning electric cars is quickly growing as well, creating a whole new car tuning niche. What are the newest trends when it comes to green tuning? Read on to find out.

Environmentally friendly tuning
To the general public, car tuning might still evoke images straight from the “Fast and Furious”-movies, but the car world is slowly changing. The best example of this is the new trend of ‘eco-tuning’, which is not so much about speed or power as it is about using car tuning techniques to make the car use less fuel, emit less CO2, and drive smarter. Factory cars are becoming less and less polluting, and car tuning can be used to help this trend. Making a car lighter by removing unnecessary weight, and improving engine mapping to make it more efficient, can go a long way to make these cars even more eco-friendly. A perfectly tuned car is a much more efficient machine – and by improving longevity and fuel economy, the environment takes a lot less stress.

Enhancing fuel efficiency

Electronic car tuning: the future of cars
Although electric cars have a bad image, it is clear that the most exciting stuff that is happening in the car world, takes place in the realm of electric cars. With the latest Tesla model, a new generation of electric cars are now available for the wider public. For car tuners, electric cars are actually an exciting new area as well. Tuning these cars for speed and performance can drastically improve their handling, actually making them compete with normal cars when it comes to speed and handling. In doing so, car tuners can also create excitement about the electric car and promote its image as an environmentally friendly alternative. That way, car tuning can indirectly improve the environment – a win-win-situation

How “Custom” is a Custom Van Conversion from Carisma?

When your strapline is “Limited only by your imagination”, you’d better be able to deliver because, believe me, some of our clients imaginations, quite literally, have no-limits!

Read on to discover some of the more exotic customisations we’ve completed and list some of the “more standard” customisations we build into our vehicle conversions on a weekly basis. We will also explain the client specification process.

The Consultation Process

A project starts with a client consultation, either in person or over the phone. This results in a custom specification document which will then be reviewed and priced accordingly before being sent back to the client in the form or a written quotation.

A custom specification is tailored with the following options:

Vehicle Choice

The client usually has a good idea of which vehicle marque and model they’d like converted. If the customer opts for Carisma’s signature Mercedes Viano, we, as authorised Mercedes Benz partners for export markets, will purchase and supply the vehicle that are country specific, unless the client already owns the vehicle. In the UK we will introduce you to our local Mercedes Benz dealer for the best deal when purchasing a UK specification model. Alternatively, to accelerate the delivery timeline, we can also supply pre-owned vehicles if required.

At this point the client will select their choice of exterior paint colour. Whilst we offer a range of over 10 different colours we find most clients choose black or silver, due to their discreet nature.

Armouring

In some countries, additional security for our customers may be an important consideration. We offer partial or full armouring on all our conversions, from bullet-proof glass and light vehicle armour, designed to withstand handgun fire, through to B7 level armouring.

Floor Plan Layout

The next step is to understand the client’s floor plan layout. This is governed by the number of people the vehicle is required to carry.

Leather and Carpets

At Carisma Auto Design we offer over 400 colours of the highest quality leather hide, used in prestige vehicles such as Rolls Royce and Bentley. The leather is sourced from all corners of the globe.

You can also select a complementary shade of leather for center panels, piping and seat belts to completely personalise the look.

A standard 4 seat Mercedes Viano conversions requires around 75 square meters of leather to complete; every inch hand-crafted to your requirements.

If you’re serious about a Carisma conversion we encourage you to get in touch and we’ll happily send you a swatch of our leathers, giving you the freedom to peruse the full range of colours at your convenience prior to a consultation.

The most popular coloured leathers range from creams through to mid-tans, although we have completed custom conversions in vibrant French Sea Blue, seen here, and others in pure white leather with black carpet, seat belts and piano black piping for a chain of London based Casinos.

We also offer over 50 different colours of carpet to choose from.

Audio and Multimedia

As we bring our bespoke conversions to life, the visual/audio multimedia system is the heartbeat of the vehicle. A standard Mercedes Viano conversion utilises over 1km of additional wiring, terminated with over 600 electrical connections.

The standard multimedia system comprises of CD, DVD and radio, a 32” HD LCD TV (or 2 x 19” HD LCD screens, for forward and rear facing 4 seat configurations).

The audiophile quality, dual amplified, 8-speaker system, with option of additional speakers and sub-woofer, delivers an impressive 800 watts of power.

For unparalleled quality we offer an upgraded Bang & Olufsen system.

On a two seat conversion you can also upgrade to a 40” HD SMART LED TV on request.

Other custom options include integration of a games console and/or Apple Mac Mini system with in-car 4G Wi-Fi, integrated wireless keyboard and mouse.

Luxury Enhancements

Ultimately our conversions are a product of your imagination, so we encourage your input to design and craft your dream vehicle.

Here’s a selection of customer enhancements we’ve built into our vehicle conversions over the past 12 months.

  • HD Satellite Receiver
  • Antique brass fixtures
  • Mobile device charging drawer
  • Illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Cosmetics drawer
  • Complete Mont Blanc pen set with ink in concealed drawer
  • Illuminated Versace Ashtray

We’re always open to new ideas; after all – we’re here to make it happen.

Interested in our price list? Contact us today to find out more.