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After 10 months of complaining, battling almost fighting with the Alfa Romeo importer in The Netherlands (Fiat Auto Nederland bv), the offical owner of my Sportwagon, lease company "xyz" stepped in.
They encountered the same attitude I experienced all those months.
No attempt whatsoever by F.A.N. to just listen to the complaint, no cooperation to find a solution. No, everything is o.k.

The lease company did understand that you should keep your customer satisfied and offered to tune the SW; hopefully that would lead to the situation that the extra HP's would result in an acceptable performance.

After consultation with me they contacted Leo van der Maden of Madeno Racing in Oude-Tonge, an, or better THE, Alfa Romeo (tuning) specialist in The Netherlands (

From my many internet and newsgroup discussions about my top speed problem, Leo was very interrested in solving this special case.

On this and the following pages I will describe what Madeno Racing did to tackle my (or better Alfa Romeo's!!!!) problem.

I arrived at 08:00 in Oude-Tonge after a 165km drive frome my home town Doesburg. I was welcomed by "whizz-kid" Ivo Schooltink who put my SW on the Dynojet 248C dynamometer (a "single roll" type power/torque measuring test bed).
By the way, Ivo was relitivaly new at Madeno Racing and successor of Rob; during the day it appeared that this job was also Ivo's "masterpiece" to conclude his period of learning under Rob's guidance.
My SW couldn't get better attention!!!!

As a rule, every test run Madeno Racing does, consists of 3 stages; one on partial load (approx. 50%) in 4th gear, one on full load in 4th gear and one on full load "through the gears" 2, 3, 4 and 5.
The first run showed that the engine power was within limits (as earlier tests showed too), that the influence of the variable cam shaft as well as the variable inlet manifold was quite fierce and that when shifting gears from max. rpm, the drop in rpm's was such that the next gear suffered not only from the lower power due to the lower rpm's but that it also fell into the "dip" caused by the switching the variable inlet manifold from "long" to "short".

They started out by exchanging the standard air filter cartridge by a K&N one (p.n. E-9228) and taking out the "horn" that is normally placed in the center of the cartridge. Then they disassembled the front bumper and took out the complete air filter inlet duct (see picture) and exchanged this for a special "pipe" (see picture). Accidentally, this pipe is standard on the diesel versions!!!!!!!
They clame the duct has far too much internal resistance!
Thus I have the same configuration as used in the Dutch 156 Cup racers.
It showed that with the engine hood open you could hear a bit more air suction sound, but with hood closed no difference to be heard.

Inlet duct taken out

Special ("Cup") inlet system

After this Madeno Racing loaded their "Basis", "Basis-" and "Basis+" software into the ECU-chip in 3 seperate actions. Every setting was followed by the triple test run as decribed above.
The "Basis" setting compared to the standard setting from the factory changes the ignition timing (earlier) and the fuel quantity (more) as well as changed parameters based on Madeno Racings experience to improve power AND drivability. Due to the new ignition setting I MUST use 98RON fuel!!
"-" and "+" settings are the same, only with less and more fuel wheras "less" is still more than "standard".
It appeared that my SW would need the "Basis" setting at partial load and the "Basis-" at full load. Well that's simple; just copy and paste in the software program, load this new version into the chip and run the triple test again.

But that's not all; read further on the next page