Ordinary auto dashboards have screens, gauges and/or readouts that indicate mundane information like speed, oil pressure, fuel level and battery condition. For the ordinary motorist nothing more is needed. Motor sports aficionados, however, are a breed apart, and they seek to quantify everything a vehicle does. So, when drivers buy Racelogic PerformanceBox technology they’re also sending a message that they aren’t Sunday drivers content to be tootling along country lanes. The performance calculator is a serious piece of technology that spits out an amazing amount of data. Need your 0-60mph time? The PerformanceBox delivers. Quarter-mile elapsed time? PerformanceBox has it. Lateral G-forces, performance levels, braking and acceleration? It’s all here, in a compact package that should make auto-performance geeks happy.
The PerformanceBox is a slightly simplified (and less expensive) version of Racelogic’s DriftBox performance calculator. The PerformanceBox doesn’t record vehicle angles as does the DriftBox, but it is a very desirable tool for calibrating, tweaking and comparing performance levels. Simple to use, the GPS-based PerformanceBox plugs in to the cigarette lighter. Readouts are logged to an SP card ten times each second, which allows for easy comparison to prior testing.
Racelogic touts the accuracy of its predictive lap timing feature, a valuable racing tool that compares a driver’s real time lap with an overlay of previously recorded lap times. And, since the PerformanceBox uses GPS calculations rather than distance measurement it can still give accurate data no matter what line a driver takes on the track. The box has multiple screens, an internal GPS antenna, and multi-modal displays for acceleration and braking distance, and even shows wheel horsepower and flywheel horsepower.
Prices and quality levels vary significantly with performance measuring equipment, from company to company as well as within companies. Drivers must determine the data that is best related to their style of driving. For example, if drifting is part of the driving mix and vehicle angle measurements are important, then the DriftBox could trump the PerformanceBox. Research and comparison will benefit the savvy consumer.
Mounting the PerformanceBox is easy; just press on the windshield with the suction cups. The display is back lit, a nice touch in certain lighting conditions. Though the unit is fairly compact, the windshield mounting may be a distraction for some drivers, particularly in vehicles that have small windshields.
Geared to a serious car audience, the global data base of the PerformanceBox references more than 400 race circuits, from the Red Bull Ring in Austria to the Barbagallo Raceway in Australia, and it includes dozens in Great Britain, France and the United States. Map overlays enable precise measurements of previous lap times and lines, important both for assessing equipment and driving strategy. Consumer reviews of the PerformanceBox have been generally favorable, especially regarding the quantity and quality of data.