Adding forced induction is fun especially if you feel your naturally-aspirated engine is still a tad short of power. But don't you just hate it when turbo lag prevents you from delivering that power right away? Fortunately for adrenaline junkies like us (that includes you), aftermarket manufacturers devised a way to manage the boost for better throttle response. For this segment, we are testing the AEM Tru-Boost Gauge Type Controller in our 1993 Toyota MR2 Turbo track car.
- A standalone boost controller and full-face gauge combined
- Interchangeable bezel, pin guide, and faceplate with diffuser and anti-glare shield
- Two selectable boost settings with peak boost memory
- Scramble boost setting for momentary boost level changes
- Applicable only to vehicles with turbochargers or superchargers
- We felt the throttle become more responsive after installing the AEM boost controller. Eliminating that split-second torque shortage caused by the turbo lag made flooring the gas pedal much more gratifying. And we also made better time in the drag strip.
- The engine runs more consistently with the boost controller. We made better shifts after clipping the apex, and we nailed the track with much control than before.
- The interface and bezel of the AEM boost controller blended well with the dash gauges of the MR2. Although it doesn't look stock, the subtle design cues combined with the hint of sportiness made it an interesting piece to include in the car. But a word of caution: you must be creative enough to integrate the gauge with the entire dashboard ensemble so it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb.
- If you're thinking of installing it in your daily driver, we have to burst your bubble. The AEM boost controller is not street legal. We don't suggest installing it to your ride unless you want to enjoy it on the drag strip or track only.
- You should have had enough elbow grease acquired from your garage to install this component. Otherwise, we advise you to take your race car to an expert and have the AEM boost controller installed there.
- We searched for other boost controller alternatives and found out that there are inexpensive brands out there that can be capable of delivering the same result. The discovery is quite a letdown for us since we were at the brink of being completely sold to the AEM boost controller.
The AEM Tru-Boost Gauge Type Controller is an effective tool for your turbocharged weekend warrior. The price is at par with boost controllers from Auto Meter and Turbosmart. But for those on a tight racing budget, you may opt to check simpler components from Mac and AC Delco. Also, keep in mind that using this outside the race facilities is illegal and can get you sanctioned. Don't say we didn't warn you.