I have a 2001 Ferrari 360 with the Bosch Motronic M7 system. Lots of opportunities abound for changing the ECU mapping and all that. I wouldn't touch the ECU program with a ten meter cattle prod. The car is best left stock.
That said, there are lots of other opportunities to at least return a car to original specs without resorting to damning the ECU to eternal hell with a ECU tune. Bosch components have a lot of leeway between new condition and throwing trouble codes, in which time they can cause all sorts of havoc with power and smoothness. For common cars, it's a good idea to replace EVERY electrical box on the car when they reach about 15 years of age. For cars like the Ferrari 360, replacing a single box like a throttle body can cost as much as every single one on a Corvette or Porsche so the alternative to gang replacement is to test components to see what their state is.
I've been working on a testing suite for the 360 that can characterize the Bosch components and determine where they are on the failure curve. By replacing only the components that show degraded performance, returning the car to original specs can be a lot less expensive.
Here's a video I made a while ago of gen 0 of the tester for Bosch throttle bodies.
@TG Not following your analogy. You could burn copies of CD’s all day long on most any Desk Top. I can buy, copy and share 20 songs cheaper than I could buy a LP back in the day...and half those LP songs I probably didn’t like, but had to take in order to get the ones I DID like. And it’s all perfectly legal.
As for digital “favors”, with EFI I get more power out of WAY less displacement, the components last WAY longer. and I get WAY better economy. I’m not a tree hugger and given there’s no emissions testing in my state, a stand-alone ECU also allowed me to remove those trouble-prone emissions components without staring at CELs on my dash. And all the while that particular car is still cleaner for the environment than most any carb’d car with points, and condensors, and distributor weights, and high lift/duration cams, and high octane fuels, and ignition amplification, and bigger carburetors with jet replacements.
Now...do I dislike the old stuff? No! Each has their own place and charm. I love tinkering with my 50’s straight six.
But what some prefer has nothing to do with an article about how EFI works.
It’s like seeing an article about the amenities at a Caribbean beach resort and using it as an opportunity to share that you’re afraid of the water because you never learned to swim...and don’t like sand anyway.
Granted my rant was a little off-topic.. but...
I suspect that what gives you more out of less with modern engines these days has more to do with tuned intakes, freer flowing exhausts, and engines that can tolerate 6000+ rpms sustained without splattering motor oil up your windshield, multi-speed overdrive transmissions - and yes to a certain extent the EFI
But on the other side of the coin, mu buddy bought a pretty wild tuner engine for his truck and was going on about what kind of tuning he would need to do to his computer to make it all work. My response was that if this were one of my older cars, all i would need is a bigger set of jets. exaggerated, but not by much
maybe my 74 isn't exactly the cleanest, most efficient car in the world, but i am not commuting 60 miles a day in it. i have a fairly modern fuel injected car for that task. but for having fun, tinkering, and modifying to some extent, older carbureted cars are lot easier to deal with... and as much as i rant about EFI, three out of five of mine are injected.