Why Don't Manufacturers Fully Tune Their Cars
October 31, 2022

Why Don't Manufacturers Fully Tune Their Cars

If you are a car enthusiast, you probably asked why don’t manufacturers tune every car to the limits. This is an interesting question. Why not, indeed. Well, as it turns out, there are some good, some bad, and some very ugly reasons why they don’t push their creations to the limits, and we’ll explain it all! If you want to learn more, keep reading!

Automotive Regulations

Manufacturing a vehicle is hard work. The automotive industry is highly regulated. Also, the regulations change depending on the country or even the state you live in. Manufacturers must meet certain standards on fuel efficiency, emissions, and design to make their vehicles legal in as many parts of the world as possible. This is one of the reasons why most manufacturers can’t tune their vehicles to their full potential. 

One of the most infamous examples of a vehicle detuned to meet specific regulations is the 1980 “305” Chevrolet Corvette dubbed “California.” While 1980 Corvettes were available with a 350 cu.-in V8 in 49 states, California’s emission regulations made it impossible for Chevrolet to use that engine. So, they used a 305 cu.-in V8 that produced 180 horsepower and mated it to a 3-speed automatic to make it easier to pass the emission regulations. Those were the dark days!

Cost Cutting

The automotive market is pretty wild, and profit margins are usually low. Most companies have to count pennies. That’s another reason manufacturers don’t tune their vehicles to their full potential. 

Manufacturers usually use the same parts in more than one vehicle. Sharing parts reduces costs drastically and is generally seen as a good thing. However, some parts can’t handle all the power some engines produce. So, manufacturers detune the engines to make their cars work with those parts. 

Cost-cutting is also one of the main reasons why flashing your ECU can result in catastrophic failure. While remapping your ECU will give you more power, some parts of your engine or other drivetrain components might not be able to handle all that load. 


Manufacturers won’t tune every car they make to produce peak power because that would make some cars undrivable. Not every car has what it takes to be a sports car. So, that’s an important reason they won’t push every vehicle to its limits. 

Also, not everyone is an automotive enthusiast. In fact, we only make a small percentage of car buyers. Manufacturers want to sell as many cars as possible. That’s why they want to make their cars as drivable as possible, so they detune power and make their cars predictable.


Manufacturers also have to comply with several safety standards. A predictable and easy-to-drive car is also safer for the general public. Also, most people won’t compromise safety for better performance, so that’s a win-win for both buyers and manufacturers. 


Performance-oriented vehicles need more love and care. Most high-performance cars have high-revving engines running hot. That’s what they are designed to do. They still need frequent fluid changes and further maintenance with shorter intervals, and they are not reliable. 

Now, some engines can definitely take on a beating. Ask any JDM fan about 2JZ or a K-series engine, and they’ll tell stories about 1000+horsepower monsters. Unluckily, not every engine is created equally, and manufacturers slightly detune cars to increase reliability. 

Business Model

Performance-oriented cars have bigger profit margins than economy vehicles. Manufacturers know this and reserve better tunes and engines for more expensive trims and vehicles. You must pay extra money if you want extra horsepower or a more sporty drive. While it is ugly, manufacturers have to maximize their profits. 

How Can Pedal Commander Help You?

Throttle response is an underrated part of the performance puzzle. Even if you have all the horsepower, if you can’t use it all when you want it, it won’t do you any good. Most manufacturers use a stock curve in most of their vehicles, which might make your car feel a little slower. 

Thankfully, you can improve your car’s throttle response quite easily with Pedal Commander! Installing Pedal Commander is as easy as charging your smartphone, and it should only take about 15 minutes. Once you install Pedal Commander, you can customize your throttle response the way you want, when you want it! If you want to learn more about Pedal Commander and how it will help your car, click this link and select your vehicle!