Reducing engine displacement, while bolting on one or two turbocharges to compensate for the loss of available power, has resulted in a nasty side-effect – throttle lag. In an Aussie context, this is most evident in diesel-powered utes (and the majority today are just that). Car builders are pressured by regulations around emissions, combined with rising fuel prices. For drivers, this means they lose on feedback when pressing on the accelerator, and actual acceleration. An inexpensive remedy for the issue comes in the form of a throttle controller.

What are Throttle Controllers?

Throttle controllers are small electronic devices that hook up between the car’s ECU and acceleration pedal sensors to modify the signal sent to the ECU once you put your foot down. They increase the voltage sent to the ECU generated from the sensors to manipulate how the car accelerates. It also speeds up the whole process, while eliminating the built-in delay the car makers use all in the name of safety and linear acceleration. Without a throttle controller, no matter how far your foot is slammed to the floor, you won’t get the corresponding throttle response, precisely for this reason. The delay lasts only a couple of seconds but is long enough to irritate most drivers.

evc idrive

Optimal and instant throttle response is the purpose of installing a throttle controller, The unit, once installed, manipulates readings from the acceleration pedal and accompanying transducer, as well as sensors along the throttle body, without tampering with the stock mapping in the ECU. It, therefore, doesn’t increase or add horsepower, just makes the most of it.

All Good, But Where Can I Get One?

There are renowned Aussie brands that have gained global recognition. You can get a controller from any car throttle shop, or purchase them online from dozens of retailers. Throttle controllers are available for most cars driven on Aussie roads today, providing they have a drive-by-wire throttle setup. Each controller is fine-tuned for the specific vehicle.

What are the Benefits of Throttle Controllers?

The obvious reason to get a throttle controller is to minimise the frustration of throttle lag. This in itself can prove dangerous in a number of situations. With the car hesitant to accelerate, you can find yourself in a not too envious position while overtaking, particularly on single carriageway roads. Similarly, when merging onto freeways from side roads, you’ll want your car to have a decent pick up of speed. Most cars with forced induction need time to build up the revs until the turbo kicks in. With a throttle controller, this is non-existent. You get instant throttle response every time.

evc controller in car

Can Throttle Controllers be Adjusted to The Way I Drive?

Certainly. There are several built-in modes in every throttle controller that let drivers adjust how responsive the throttle and acceleration will be. For instance, the performance or ultimate mode lets you get more push when you need it. And this can be felt behind the wheel. Incremental settings, usually with up to 10 levels of adjustment, allow you to fine-tune pedal reaction times. Dial in 1 for a slight increase in throttle, or all the way to 10 to get all the available power of the engine in a single burst. If you’re towing, or have the vehicle loaded to the brim, a moderate setting here will provide just enough acceleration when leaving the driveway or the lights.

The advantages don’t end here. Controllers don’t just ramp up the throttle response, they can also scale it down. With the change to eco or economy modes, you can get less throttle than standard. This is useful when off-roading, in situations like sand dunes or beaches, when too much throttle can get you into trouble. Like the performance mode, this too is adjustable, so the reduction can be set according to the road conditions. Eco mode is also useful in bigger cars that use a lot of fuel. A throttle controller helps cut down on fuel wasted in heavy traffic, like bumper-to-bumper congestion in rush hour.

If you’re more about relaxed driving, but still want adequate acceleration when you put your foot down, dial the controller into auto mode. The benefit here is once this is done, you can forget it and leave the controller to do its thing. It adjusts to your driving habits, by taking input on how hard you are on the pedal, and changes throttle input accordingly. Also, for new or drivers unaccustomed to the changes a throttle controller brings, this setting allows for a quick and easy learning curve.

evc throttle controller

Are Throttle Controllers Legal?

Yes. Throttle controllers don’t increase horsepower, so no increased rego fees or additional paperwork are involved.

How are Throttle Controllers Installed?

You can get your throttle controller installed by a pro at a car throttle shop, or do the work yourself. This takes only a few minutes. First, locate the factory-fitted fly by wire plug near the top of the accelerator plug assembly, then unplug it. Insert the throttle controller into the top of the pedal assembly and plug the fly by wire plug into the other end of the throttle controller. Lastly, find a secure place for the control unit, so you can easily change settings while driving.