FT700 and the Future of Racing
When it comes to the racing and high-performance world, he who has the fanciest machine often has the best power. For years now Lund Motors has chased the dream of more horsepower, of greater performance. This quest for power has seen us work with many brands such as ProCharger, Holley, and FuelTech, experimenting with any number of turbos, ECUs, EFI systems and everything under the sun.
This year FuelTech has our attention with the announcement of their Vision FT project and the new FT700. First announced on December 8th, this new ECU has our techs practically salivating with everything that it promises. Built off the FT600, the FT700 and FT700 Plus offer a treasure trove of new features allowing for greater precision and real-time tuning. Their goal was to build an electronic control unit (ECU) with the greatest data output and control possible on an affordable platform. They aimed to take their existing electronic control unit and turn it into a more complete vehicle control unit (VCU). They wanted to make a truly next generation control unit that paves the way for racing.
Starting with its amazing compatibility features, the new devices are built off the FT600 using the same main connector but also offering three new ones of additional capabilities. Since it uses the same wiring harness as previous models, you will only need to add wiring for the new connectors. You can also choose to forgo those new connections and use the new software right away, though you may be sacrificing some of the greater data recording and features by doing so. This set stands to save the user time and money since they do not need to rewire the entire vehicle to use the new system.
The FT700 is also compatible with internal combustion, hybrid power plant, and electric vehicle engines allowing for use with a variety of vehicles. Just imagine someone trying to put one of these on a Tesla. FuelTech designed the VCU with built-in inverter controls, battery and charger management systems and electric motor controls. This gives you the ability to make adjustments to electric and hybrid vehicles the same way you would with an internal combustion engine.
Moving on to recording features, the FT700 uses 36 analog, digital, and frequency inputs along with eight high-speed channels to capture as much internal data as possible. The more you can view and control the greater the performance you can get out of your car. This information is captured and updated to the VCU screen in real-time. You will then be able to use virtual channels to simulate your changes and analyze their effects. This will prevent extra wear and tear on your engine while you make adjustments and fine tune the vehicle. We at Lund Motors look forward to this since it will let us prolong the life of the engine while zeroing it in.
With 64Gb of memory you will have plenty of space for numerous tunes and data logs. You can program an entire season’s worth of tunes for drag racing or event multiple tunes for 24-hour endurance races. This helps cut down on needing to switch out USB drives and tunes, letting you keep a large number of files and data maps on the VCU. The VCU does come with a USB-C port if you want to use a thumb drive to transfer or save files.
GPS mapping gives users the ability to set tunes and programs to automatically adjust to predetermined positions on a course or race track. This would be extremely useful for rally courses or long endurance races. It would also help with drag racing since you could set tunes based on which track on which you are racing.
Customizable input channels, display screen names, and logs, allowing you to mix and match data from multiple sources at the same time as conveniently as possible. The user-defined protocols allow users to make multiple custom builds that are easy to navigate. You can set it up with 3D data mapping from various inputs on one side of the screen while being able to edit them on the other.
The data mapping and recording and customizing is a key feature for the new 700 series, but the ability to interface with almost any laptop, tablet, smartphone, or computer gives the user even greater flexibility. The new ECU is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capable and able to pair with IOS, Android, Apple and Windows devices meaning you don’t have to be in the car to monitor the system. This addition gives crew chiefs the ability to watch and adjust tunes in real-time while the driver focuses on the race. A passenger can have their own dash to make adjustments. The FT700 also offers video and radio communication options for easier communication between the crew and driver. The VCU allows you to take all the information from your car and make real-time adjustments. No longer will you need to wait to make dyno pulls or multiple runs on a track to fine tune the system. You or a crew chief can make changes while you are going down the track, giving you every advantage possible.
FuelTech did not forget about system security. They use specially designed end-to-end encryption and unique user information and logins so that only authorized devices and people can remotely access the system. Security for the VCU is of utmost concern with the increased computerization of high-performance systems and remote access abilities. The convenience of using your phone or laptop to wireless connect to your VCU is great, but you would not want to risk an unknown or unwanted party messing with your tunes.
You can get your own FT700 starting sometime in mid-2023. The base model is priced at $3,999.00 offering the options discussed above on a 7-inch LCD screen. Priced at $4,999.00, the FT700 Plus offers all of the aforementioned options but on a 12.3-inch LCD screen. The larger screen makes navigating and comparing multiple charts and data sets easier. The pricing may seem steep, but considering how much you can invest into building a high-performance vehicle it is a reasonable price. The new features make the FT700 a promising upgrade for any race car. We are eyeing it for the rebuild of our car, Code Red, or possibly another project we have in development. We plan on keeping a close eye on the new FuelTech line and can’t wait to see what it does for the hobby.
Check out the announcement video and articles from FuelTech below and let us know what you think of the Vision FT.