A Closer Look at the OPTIMA Batteries Power Pack Nation Ford Excursion - Edge Products
The OPTIMA Batteries Power Pack Nation Ford Excursion has traveled more than 10,000 miles over the past year, making appearances at events like the Hot Rod magazine Power Tour, the Sandhills Open Road Challenge, NHRA races, the Heidt's Performance Car Challenge, and of course, the 2011 OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational (OUSCI). Not all of those miles were straight highway miles, as the PPN Excursion was used to haul Mark Stielow's Red Devil Camaro out to California for the filming of a new OPTIMA TV commercial and then to Las Vegas for the SEMA Show and 2011 OUSCI, before returning it safely to Michigan.
That trip provided a great opportunity to compare and contrast the difference between using a tune from Edge Products and running the truck in a stock configuration. The stock tune was in place for the trip out and as it had throughout it's first 195,000 miles, it performed flawlessly. However, once past Denver, it did show it's limitations in the mountains.
When towing up steep grades, the Excursion could maintain speed, but when it came up on slower moving trucks, it did not have the power to safely pull out and pass, without the risk of creating a hazard for faster-moving cars. When we arrived at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Jared Venz from Edge Performance Products programmed our Edge Evolution CTS Diesel for performance level two, which modified shift points and increased horsepower output by 60 and improved torque output by 100 lb-ft. The Evolution CTS Diesel is capable of increasing horsepower on this engine by 100 and torque by 200 lb.-ft, simply by programming at the dashboard!
The crisper shift points were immediately noticeable, but the modifications really showed their merit on the way home. Not only were we hauling Mark Stielow's Camaro back, but we had also added several hundred additional pounds worth of other equipment, tires and displays from SEMA. The difference in towing was night and day, as the Excursion got up to speed quickly on on-ramps, as if there wasn't even a load behind it and it really shined in the mountains.
Where we were once trapped behind slow-moving semi trucks, we could now safely pull out and pass these vehicles with confidence, knowing we would easily be able to maintain 70 mph, even on steep mountain grades. The Edge Evolution CTS Diesel also gave us an accurate, re-calibrated speed based on our new tire and wheels size, to ensure that we knew exactly how fast we were going. We now also monitor exhaust gas temperatures, engine coolant temperatures and transmission temperatures with great accuracy and precision. The "CTS" in the Edge Evolution CTS stands for color touch screen, which also allows us to change the parameters we monitor on the fly.
When Jared programmed our Excursion, he also initiated the turbo timer, which keeps the truck running for a prespecified period of time or until a specific temperature is reached in order to automatically execute the cool-down period required to prevent premature turbo wear and failure. This also allows the lubricating oil from the engine to circulate properly so the turbine won't burn the lubricating oil that would otherwise be trapped within the charger with the turbine rotating at high speed.
We didn't notice any improvement in fuel economy, but with so much additional power on tap and a Magnaflow exhaust system rumbling underneath us, it was difficult to keep our foot off the pedal- just the way we like it! See more details about the Power Pack Nation Ford Excursion here.