Remember the tools and supplies that were needed to supertune your Pontiac in the old days? Timing light, carburetor jets, colder spark plugs, and high performance wires and points? Well, things sure have changed. Now, all you need to do to get a hot tune into your Pontiac is plug in the Superchips Flashpaq handheld programmer and let the computer do all the work.

But what exactly is a handheld tuner/programmer? How easy is one to use? Do you need computer knowledge to operate one? What kind of hidden power will it unleash from your engine? How safe is it? Even if you're not confident in your ability to digitally tune your Pontiac, is the Superchips Flashpaq smart enough to prevent you from causing damage to your engine?

To answer these questions, we traveled to Superchips' testing center in Sanford, Florida, where the company invited us to see how easy it is to inject some extra horsepower into the new Pontiac G8 GT.

Dyno Results
All numbers are SAE corrected.

STOCK G8 GT: Inlet air temperature, 83.20 degrees F; barometer, 30.45 in-hg; humidity, 28%; SAE correction factor, 0.97

Here is a comparison of before and after pulls. Note that the tuned G8 GT made more horsepower and torque throughout the power band. Due to the dyno software data export, there are very slight variances in the fractional performance figures in this graph compared to the numbers on the chart.

Stock Tuned
RPM HP ft-lb HP ft-lb
2,500 128.70 270.49 130.71 274.71
2,600 133.34 269.51 135.41 273.67
2,700 138.89 270.31 140.74 273.85
2,800 145.33 272.72 147.49 276.73
2,900 152.21 275.76 154.38 279.7
3,000 159.41 279.2 160.68 281.42
3,100 165.90 281.19 167.58 284.03
3,200 172.98 284.04 173.98 285.67
3,300 179.00 285.01 180.91 288.05
3,400 185.62 286.85 187.85 290.3