• Aug 1, 2008
Click any image for a larger version.

Give us an iPhone application that relates to cars and we're all over it. Apparently, so is the crew at Motive. They took out an Audi S5, mounted a Racelogic V-Box onto the windshield and brought along a Dynolicious-equipped iPhone to see how it stacked up.

The V-Box uses both GPS and yaw sensor data to serve up 0-60 times, 1/4-mile trap speeds and lateral Gs, whereas the iPhone only makes use of yaw information to deliver the same numbers... along with estimated horsepower figures. While Motive wanted to find out how the Dynolicious would do with 0-60 times, we were interested in how close it would come to wheel horsepower given both an estimated weight and drivetrain loss. That meant hitting up the Dynojet at Modacar and strapping our own Project Track Slut onto the rollers.

Read on for both Motive's conclusions and our own.



For $12.99, the Dynolicious software seemed too good to be true, but we were willing to reserve judgment until testing proved otherwise. While we've played with a few Racelogic boxes before, and found the data acquisition and customization capabilities to be beyond reproach, the cost of an entry-level model – around $499 – may be a bit prohibitive for your average enthusiast.

Motive turned off the one-foot rollout setting on both units – interested in only 0-60 times and not quarter-mile runs -- and performed ten seperate sprints to 60. You can check out Motive's screen shots of the results here, but the results showed the Dynolicious software was anywhere between 0.24 to 0.65 seconds behind the V-Box, which kept very consistent times throughout the test.



With our 1992 BMW 318is mounted onto a Dynojet on a 90-degree day, it put down a respectable, if not particularly powerful, 122 hp to the rear wheels. The graph above shows the last two runs (red and green) were within one horsepower of one another, while the first run (in blue), was done with the A/C on... whoops.

After unstrapping the Slut, we double-checked our tire pressures (38 psi all around for daily driving), inputted our estimated weight (2,900 pounds, with 1/4 tank of fuel and a monkey in the driver's seat), estimated drivetrain loss (17 percent) and set off to make a few passes. We ran to 60 six separate times, with semi-consistent launches (although we weren't clutch dropping for the quickest time) and recorded output figures ranging from 125 to 141 hp. Excluding the outliers, our average "Peak Horsepower" rating was 129 hp. Dynolicious' website says that its software provides both wheel horsepower and engine horsepower figures, but the only information displayed (see right) is the "Peak Horsepower" calculation. If that's supposed to be power to the wheels, its close, but far from exact.

Is it worth it? For $12.99 there are worse things you can spend on your ride (see: LED windshield washer nozzles), but we're not ready to give up our dreams of V-Box ownership yet. And with detailed horsepower and torque curves (not to mention AFR), a traditional dyno is still the best means of getting accurate figures at the wheels. Neither are cheap, but price and precision are rarely mutually exclusive.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 29 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      curb weight of a 92 BMW 318is is 2866, plus the 1/4 is 25lbs. then to add the driver (say 180lbs) would be around 3070lbs. Also to get a wheel horsepower rating, set the drivetrain loss to 0%. (it tells you this when you enter it).

      I say to be fair you need the correct information to be punched into the phone. not saying it can truely stand up to a $500 one but give it a chance by doing it correctly.
      • 6 Years Ago
      if you can find me something works better for $13 ill buy one.

      I enjoy the g-force meter myself.
      Carlos
      • 6 Years Ago
      LOL 122 RWHP!
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Carlos
        lol. 122 hp is soo badass...it's almost as much as a 1.8L corolla!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Project 318is! What's been happening with that? More updates, please!

      Oh, and I'll never stop harping about the necessity of getting beefed-up E46 M3 'vert shock tower mounts for that car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think for $12.99 that is plenty close enough. I bought the app the second I saw it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      quick question-is there a way to factor in hp robbed by altitude? At 7000ft significant hp is lost due to altitude-even in turbo and blown vehicles.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I can't seem to get to the calibration complete. I get stuck on the last box pointing up. Any idea how to fix it?

      Any idea how to clear the results?
      • 6 Years Ago
      $12.99 and about $150 worth of fun. Totally worth it!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Dithermaster may be onto something. The ferocity of the gearshift and
      the bumpiness of the ride all seem to skew the figures.
      I have an auto with a nice creamy ride. I get fantastically
      consistent figures with D-licious. They may be inaccurate, they may
      be inaccurate - I don't know. They are always very close though.

      Best money I've spent in a long time, and if all you want is a
      'general' idea it makes far better sense and FAR better value than
      the G-Tech or a Vbox.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Pretty much my conclusions... Is it a true tool no, is it worth 12.99 and the ability to compare car to car and car vs car after mod then yes.
      david solinger
      • 6 Years Ago
      to get the wheel hp set the drivetrain loss to 0
      • 6 Years Ago
      Its 12.99--pretty good for 12.99 and just an iPhone/Touch. I would like to see some more 0-60 test to see if the lag is consistent. If it is, then you can just subtract it to get the rough real 0-60.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Here a stupid question, if it's not using the GPS, how does it know when it got to 60?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Tankdog, given a certain acceleration multiplied by time (constant and known), you can deduce both speed and distance.

        Of course, acceleration varies in each gear and between shifts, but the accelerometer in the iPhone would detect that and the software would have to take that into account to calculate useful times.
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