Is the G-TECH/Pro SS the World’s Ultimate Gauge?
That’s the claim, but the question is whether or not the G-Tech/Pro actually fits the bill. In an effort to determine this, we reached out to to demo a unit. Jovo Majstorovic, inventor/founder of the G-Tech, was nice enough not only to accept our request but also to sit down with me for a long chat to discuss current and possible future products.
There are a variety of performance meters on the market, running the gambit in price and features from the $12.99 app for the iPhone to the professional $10,000+ dynamic vehicle testing system. The more expensive systems can measure slip, pitch and roll angle and are able to connect to a car’s internal systems like ABS sensors. There are even application specific units such as the $750 from VBOX with both built-in GPS and the ability to measure drift angle. But at the end of the day, if you are a typical auto enthusiast and weekend warrior, you want a device that’s accurate, inexpensive and gives you the essential metrics that you require. In other words, you want the G-Tech/Pro.
For $199, with a 30 day money back guarantee and a 1 yr limited warranty, you get a device with which 95% of gear-heads can comfortably apply check marks across the features and functionality they require. First and foremost, the measures horsepower and torque and gives both numerical and graphical feedback. This is great for figuring out before-and-after increases (or decreases if you like to slap on those can exhausts).
The 60 feet time is a rather new performance mark which determines how effectively the car is hooking up. Let’s say you make some engine modifications, adjust the front and rear suspension to tweak the weight transfer or experiment with slicker tires. The G-Tech will evaluate those efforts. Of course, the stalwarts of performance metrics are available as well — 1/8th and 1/4 mile measurements and 0-60 mph and 0-100 mph times.
One of the coolest features of the G-Tech is that it can pick up RPMs from the cigarette lighter and flash bright red LEDs at the most effective shift points. Whether you are dragging or racing on a track, the G’s that you are pulling are always visible with a directional indicator. With all this data available, it’s easy to loose track of where you were and where you are now. Luckily, the G-Tech/Pro provides an internal record of the last 30 runs which can be easily accessed by maneuvering through rows of boxes on the screen.
Getting set up couldn’t be easier. All that is required is unpacking the unit, inserting the power cord, placing the other end in the cigarette lighter, slipping it into the holding bracket and sticking the suction cup to the window. As reported by others, we did have some problems with the unit staying in place. But as with any high tech device, it is always the low tech piece that causes the most problems. The nice thing is that this was quickly resolved by being a little proactive, cleaning off the windshield with rubbing alcohol and placing a tiny bit of water around the rim. Pressing down on top of the red button above the cigarette adapter activates the unit. Once it powers up, only a Menu and OK button need to be operated alongside the Navigation toggle. Calibration is performed by entering the time and date, choosing the car’s redline, selecting the appropriate weight and setting the pitch (if needed). And that’s it! Unfortunately, if you switch between cars, this has to be performed each time you swap. However, the more expensive does save calibration for 2 vehicles.
So what’s the bottom line? We were able to test out the G-Tech/Pro SS on a couple of different vehicles and found the performance meter feedback to be a welcome addition to the driving experience. From a casual driving perspective, even when not in the mindset of pushing the car, it was cool to get G ratings as well as have the red LEDs flash at the appropriate shift points. When it was time to get down to business and really test out our vehicle’s performance chops, the G-Tech did a great job of giving us all the information we required. There was no need to test the accuracy of these units, as they have been reviewed over the years by many folks who have evaluated the G-Tech against both traditional dynos and other devices costing 50 times as much. They have always performed well with an +/- .02 mph variance for 0 to 60 mph, +/- .01 sec time variance for the quarter mile and +/- 1% for horsepower.
Lately there have been some reviewers who have pitted the Dynolicious app against the G-Tech, painting the latter in a negative light. Garage 419 did a scathing review that questioned the accuracy and efficacy of their G-Tech unit. When there is a strong reaction on either side of an issue, the truth can usually be found somewhere in the middle.
The G-Tech unit has much more advanced electronics associated with its accelerometers that allow it to function consistently across a variety of temperature ranges for which the Dynolicious app cannot possibly duplicate. In order to be effective, calibration has to be performed at the same temperature as the measurements are taken. The G-Tech handles this robotically as opposed to the Dynolicious app which requires the user to perform this action each and every time with the hope that they will get it close. In addition, the G-Tech performs pitch correction which is required for accurate measurement. Dynolicious leaves this out of the equation.
All this is not to suggest that the Dynolicious app is not solid, because it’s very close to being a real contender. With an informed user vigilent enough to take the time to perform a proper calibration before each run, it can be pretty accurate. And with upgrades as simple as downloading the latest version it can only get better and better.
What I will say is that the success of the Dynolicious app does serve to highlight the age of the G-Tech/Pro SS which was first released in 2004. Technology has progressed a long way since then and Jovo assured me that there is something in the works that will tip the scales decidedly back in its favor (although the G-Tech is still more than holding its own).
My advice is as follows. If you currently have an iPhone and have sunk your piggy bank into that, grab the Dynolicious app (see our review) and hold off on the G-Tech/Pro until the upcoming unit is available. If you don’t have an iPhone (and even if you do but need real world accuracy), the G-Tech/Pro SS is the best unit on the market for the money. We’ll wait with baited breath until G-Tech’s new gizmo is released. Check back then as we will definitely put it through its paces including some serious side-by-side comparisons to other units on the market such as the Mini.
Source: | Garage 419