1. FIRST IMPRESSIONS                                                                                     UPDATED 13-12-11         








INTRODUCTION:                                                                                                       OUR 2007 X-TYPE 2.0D S ESTATE

What is the most likely choice for an owner who has decided to change his car and either does not want or cannot find another Rover 75 or MG ZT of the right spec and price? There aren't that many comparable vehicles to choose from in my view: Alfa Romeo 156, Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Jaguar X-type, Lexus IS, Mercedes C Class, Saab 9-3, & Volvo S40 spring to mind. 

Personally I'd be looking for a pleasant 75 like interior environment - not some dark and depressing black hole with acres of charcoal plastic (or leather) no matter how good the quality. Out of that selection only the Alfa & X-type would make it onto my shortlist, but as I'd also want to buy British if possible, that  leaves only the Jaguar. 

Of Jaguars vehicle range, the X-type is most closely comparable to the 75 and ZT, with the advantage of all wheel drive on the 2.5 and 3litre petrol engined models. (Pity its not even an option on any of the diesels).  For ZT owners, 'Sport' versions of the X-type exist, having firmer suspension and more 'sporting' interiors. Used prices are not much more than the equivalent 75 or ZTs, starting from under 7K for the petrol models and 8K for the diesel (Autotrader prices)


In my case, it would have to be a diesel and there are now two options - the Ford 2L TDCi based engine and the recent introduction of the 2.2TDCi. Both are based on the chain driven DOHC engine Ford developed for the Transit, (& not as I thought, the Peugeot joint ventrue engine that is used in the Focus) with the 2L engine developing 128bhp at 3800rpm and 244lbs ft torque at 1800rpm and emitting 149g/Km of CO2. The 2.2L engined models develop 152bhp @ 3500rpm and 270lbs ft torque at 1800rpm, with a 10second over boost to 297lbs ft and a six speed gearbox as standard (159g/km of CO2).  Jaguar have improved the engine installation over the Mondeo resulting in very refined and smooth power delivery. 

There are many more 2L engine X-Type in existence than the 2.2L ones, so my  next questions are

What will our tuning module do for these power and torque figures and can the 2L engine be 'upgraded' to offer similar performance to the 2.2L engine or the 2.2L tuned even further? 

Yes they can and for just £164 or £189 for a Synergy 2a

NB As the mk3 Mondeo's use the same engines, the tuning info also applies to them.



The car arrived on the 1st of March, having been driven the 136miles  from the supplying dealers in Kendal, Cumbria,. The Glacier Blue paint looked better 'in the flesh' than in the photos, whereas the 'Champagne' interior trim with half leather seats looked lighter.

After a brief familiarisation with the controls I took the delivery driver to the railway station 16 miles away, noticing immediately how much lighter the clutch pedal was than on the 75.

The engine was as smooth and quiet as the BMW engined 75 and the accelerator needed much less movement to produce a lively response from the Duratorq engine. I also noticed that the turbo could be felt coming in from about 1250rpm.

The drivers seat was firmer but had much better lateral supports and although adjustment of the seat height and backrest was electric, no lumbar adjustment at all was provided on this model. 

The ride was firmer than our 75's, though this was 3.5 years and 106k miles old, so no doubt was soggier than when new.

I noted some roar from the 17" Pirelli Pzero tyres (225x45) no doubt emphasised by the almost inaudible engine and lack of wind noise. 

Around town the sensitive throttle and low down punch from the turbo gave a very lively feel, marred a little by torque steer when pulling out to overtake a tractor in 2nd gear. At higher speed, approaching 70mph, the performance was less than I am used to from our 150bhp Rover, but with only 200miles on the odometer, the engine would still be 'tight'.

A tuned Rover 75 diesel is a hard act to follow but I'm pleased to say, so far, the X-type does not disappoint.

I would have liked:  Lighter faced instrument dials - like the 75's, lumbar adjustment for the drivers seat, softer seats, cruise control instead of the power folding mirrors (they are part of the optional Convenience pack, which is not good value - £900 for folding mirrors, rear parking sensors & metallic paint!)

I'm not keen on: Torque steer in 2nd gear. Tyre noise. Toyo Proxes T1Rs are quieter and offer improved grip and feel.

I like: Engines willingness especially  from as low as 1250 & sensitive accelerator action. Tauter handling.

UPDATE 6-3-07

I drove a round trip of 600 miles in 11 hours on Sunday and arrived back with no aches or pains, and feeling neither stressed nor particularly tired so long distance comfort is certainly on a par with my 75. The performance was 'adequate' (for a Jaguar!) but not exactly exciting but the overall fuel consumption was a bit worse than expected - about 41mpg. As the engine loosens up, I've no doubt this will improve. Tyre roar at speed was not too unobtrusive, however at lower speeds (below 50) it was. The coarse roar seems to be constant regardless of speed. I am considering replacing the tyres with Toyo Proxes. is a good site for other drivers opinions of tyres and these Toyos have been doing very well, particularly on noise compared to the Pirelli P Zeros. An alternative would be Hankook K105 Ventus Primes that I have on my 75. However these may not have the outright grip of the Toyos. They do have supple sidewalls, giving a good ride and low noise - less of a roar, more of a swishing noise. The steering wheel is tacky and not pleasant to hold and due for replacement as well if I can get hold of a leather / wood rimmed one like that on my 75!

UPDATE 13-03-07 

I discovered one reason for the knobbly ride - the dealer had not adjusted the tyres to the correct pressures. I let the fronts down from 34psi to 31 and the rears from 33 to 30 and this has taken the harsh edge off the ride. 

The engine continues to impress with its quietness and eagerness and part from a 'rough' patch around 1200rpm is as good as the BMW engine. There is, however, quite a loud diesel knock audible when it is cold and briefly audible even when warmed up when the throttle is first opened. I will try some of the new Millers Diesel Sport 4 additive in due course. I recommend this for all tuned engines anyway and the cost is minimal, with one bottle treating 500litres. I.e. it adds about £1.20 to a full tank of fuel if bought in 500ml bottles and just over half this if bought in 5L cans.


After 8months and 7k miles, the ride has improved significantly as has the handling due no doubt to the softening of the suspensions bushes and settling of the springs. 


The tyres were replaced with the Toyo Proxes T1Rs previously mentioned and these offer much better grip, slightly less tyre noise and similar ride comfort. The cost was £330 a set of four fitted from my local Toyo dealer, who matched price. However, tyre noise remains the least attractive feature of the car, though liveable with. Perhaps being an estate and not having the load bay cover in fitted, the noise is worse than would be in a saloon or with the cover in place.


I recently upgraded the front brakes to EBC Redstuff ceramic pads from ebcdirect. These are superb and cured  the  'adequate but unimpressive' brakes criticism. Stopping power, weight  and feel when cold is the same as the oem ones, but once warmed up slightly  the increased 'bite' is powerful & confidence inspiring, less pedal pressure is needed and fade is reduced. Definitely worth the money (~ £65 for the front set)


This is a friction reducing additive that does not contain PTFE nor Molybdenum disulphide and was developed for the North Sea Oil Industry. It is the only additive I have come across that has a NATO stock number and that is also used by F1 racing teams. It can be added to the engine, gearbox (manual & auto), coolant, power steering and fuel. I noticed an immediate 'loose and free revving feel with instant starting hot or cold, and a slicker gearchange. Performance and economy were improved too. I have had  the same results with my 14year old camper and 12 year old Mitsubishi FTO.


This is still very impressive thanks to the Synergy 1 and a friend who drove the car back from Lancashire in August commented how quick it was up to 90mph. Overtaking is quick and safe and the EBC pads mean slowing down again is equally impressive.

Mechanically, the car has been fault free and economy is about 38-40-mpg on a daily basis - short 4-6mile trips on narrow winding country lanes. On longer runs it improves quickly to mid forties. Overall, its comparable to my 150bhp Rover 75CDT

For the ultimate in performance you need a Synergy 1, remap, decat & for pre 2004 cars (euro3) an egr bypass. Ideally a better intercooler would help as well. This lot should take the 2L to about 170 and the 2.2 to almost 200bhp.

From Nov 2011, a Synergy 2A is available. A Synergy 2b or Digibooster DGB1 could be fitted, but access to the map sensor on the intercooler is not easy.


FROM NOV 2011, SYNERGY 2A NOW AVAILABLE FOR THE 2 & 2.2L MONDEO / X-TYPE ENGINE.  100% plug in using oem connectors. NO wiring mods needed. Just £189 inc vat + £5.95 p&p   Compensates for maf sensor deterioration for even better performance.

The X-Type and Mondeo share the same 2 and 2.2L diesel engines so this section applies to both Ford and X-Type.


 I modified the firmware of our Synergy 1  tuning module and gave it a test today using only the medium settings. In view of the low miles, the first two weeks will be spent looking for side effects - hesitation, jerkiness, flat spots, excessive noise. None encountered so far, and no fault codes have been logged.

The next step was to turn up the module to an abnormally high setting to see what happens if I exceeded the safe limit. In the case of the Rover 75 & MG ZT, the ecu turns on the engine management warning light (MIL) and actually stops the engine. This is not good if you are overtaking so I was very careful to ensure the Synergy NEVER cause this to happen. Which they don't. Normal operation is restored by simply re starting the engine and the MIL goes out.

With the X-type, the Delphi ecu does not stop the engine, it reduces power to about 50% and flashes the glow plug warning light about once per second -  a much safer system called Limited Operating Strategy or simply LOS. However, you must keep your foot on the floor - the more you lift off the less power you will have and its a one-way process until the engine stops when you lift off completely. This condition is reset and normal power restored by switching off the ignition for a few seconds. The glow plug warning light then stops flashing as well. 

After trying a few more settings, and logging the readings with my data logger I determined the safe maximum and am continuing to test it. I must say the improvement in performance is very impressive with a much bigger push in the back from 1500rpm and noticeably more response at 70mph in top gear. In fact, 70-90mph is very quick. The engine continues to sound remarkably unstressed.


After taking into account comments and suggestions from Mondeo and X-Type drivers who have been good enough to try a Synergy on their vehicles, I can now publish the results obtained on a 2005 2.2L Mondeo ST TDCi.

Brand new settings 9 and 10 were used, with 10 producing slightly less than 9. These new settings will be available in all modules from 25th August 2007. 

The engine did not go into LOS mode, glow plug did not flash during testing on either setting and there was no smoke produced.

The left hand chart shows the effect of the Tu3 (red lines) compared to the standard engine (blue lines) and the right hand chart shows the effect with a Bfin fitted (blue lines) and with the Tu3 switched on as well (red lines). the results have been summarised by the owner in the charts below.



STANDARD 314 / 425 152 / 114
 TU3 ONLY 350* / 475 170 / 127
BFIN 320 / 434  171 / 128
BFIN + TU3 350* / 475 189 / 141



Gain BHP


2000 19
2500 14
3000 20
3500 26
4000 20


2000 -3
2500 4
3000 18
3500 28
4000 38


2000 15
2500 20
3000 32
3500 47
4000 52

The Synergy alone is more effective at all rpms below 3500.

BLUEFIN IS A SUPERCHIPS PRODUCT For diy remapping of the ecu via the diagnostic port. Trade Mark acknowledged.








*NB The retail version will have the torque limited to 350lbs ft unless otherwise requested.

On my 2L X-Type, the improvement is  proportionate, with a superb shove in the back from 1600 to 3500rpm. Above 3500rpm, the increase tails off, just as it does on the 2.2L chart, but the improvement is well worth £159.  I hope to find time for dyno testing my X-Type in due course, though it will not be on the same dyno. 

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS: (added Aug'10, updated Dec '11)

If you just want a good improvement in torque from about 1500-3000rpm, reduced turbo lag and better driveability with less gearchanging, then a Synergy 1 will work very well and is a very cost effective add-on for any car. If your car has clocked up over about 75k miles, I'd opt for a Synergy 2a instead of a Synergy 1.

Taking things to the next level, then you need a Synergy 1 or 2A and a remap. I will put money on the Synergy 1 being more impressive than the remap alone, but they complement each other to give tremendous performance.

For the ultimate jaw dropping performance you need a Synergy 1, remap, decat & for pre 2004 cars (euro3) an egr bypass, ideally a better intercooler as well & a DGB1. This lot should take the 2L to over 175 and the 2.2 to over 210bhp. Do bear in mind the increased strain on clutch and transmission if you go for substantial increases.

Before parting with my X-Type for an Audi A3tdi-pd, I also remapped it. The performance was staggering - the Synergy works at low to mid range and the remap works from mid to top end. This is exactly what occurred with the 2.2 engine featured above with a Bluefin remap as you can see from the figures.

Each complements the other to give massive torque and very smooth power delivery which you have to experience to believe possible from a 2L diesel. Only our tuned Vectra 1.9cdti, which produced an incredible 458nm (350lbs ft) of torque would beat it.


Thanks to recent availability of the maf connectors, the Synergy 2a is now available for the 2 and 2.2L engines.

The 2channel Synergy 2a incorporates a Synergy 1 common rail tuning module and a digital maf compensator in one neat module. It takes seconds to connect to the fuel rail and maf sensors using oem connectors. It is particularly effective on older higher mileage cars, where some maf sensor deterioration is to be expected.

There is more info on the Synergy 2a here:

Recent Synergy 2a feedback (Dec 12th 2011).

"Just to let you know I have had the unit fitted for a few weeks now. All is well.

On a long run (200 MILES) Motorway driving at 80mph I have returned 55mpg, previously this was around 45mpg previously.

The funny thing is that it seems more efficient to run the motor at 80mph than 70mph.

On the short trips (10 miles from cold) it averages 43mpg now - up from 40mpg and yes the car is zippier, no adverse side affects and I can stay in lower gears longer. 6th on the M'way is now a pleasure to stay in, with enough power available to safely overtake without changing down." many thanks Tony, Ron



"I decided to try your Synergy 1 on my 2006 X-type 2.0D and boy, am I glad I did. You've given it the performance a Jaguar deserves diesel or not and the much improved torque and driveability makes up for the lack of an auto gearbox. Nice one Ron!"


"Just a quick line to say many thanks for a tremendous product. Does everything it says on the box. The construction is well engineered within the price range of these things, in fact it is better engineered than some boxes costing twice as much. Installation took minutes, thanks to the multitude of cable ties and excellent instructions.

 Over many years I have had the majority of my company cars (Diesel) chipped or remapped believing that this was a better method. At times I have been disappointed and sometimes lost them due to dealer ECU upgrades which are annoying. A few months ago we acquired a late Mondeo 2.0ltr TDCi with 60k miles on it. I was grateful to a friend who has a tuning box (make known, but not disclosed here) who allowed me to try it on the Ford. The performance was good but under large throttle openings it would smoke quite heavily. It had a modicum of adjustment but it seemed to be missing the adjustment I needed.

 I then came across your box, having had a Rover 75 Touring remapped, which we lost the map several times, knew the pitfalls of having a car remapped or chipped, and thought why not lets try a box.

 The rest is history. Because itís adjustable with a full range of settings, over the last 1000 miles Iíve tried the top setting, No 10 and found this very responsive, but from low rpm to boost on large throttle openings it creates smoke. On the No 8 setting again I had smoke but not as bad, but No 5 is ideal. Iíve lost a little low down get up and go, but once on boost and above 2000 rpm the increase in power is there. What has surprised me is that the fuel consumption has not suffered; in fact if it wasnít for my enthusiastic driving I dare say there might be an improvement.

 To prospective buyers I can only say the cheap cost does not reflect the quality and effectiveness of the product. You will not be disappointed. If I had one gripe, and for me itís not that much of a problem, I lost the adjuster knob probably because of continually resetting and repositioning the unit. But as per your instructions I am still able to adjust the settings if required. Perhaps this little adjuster could be fixed differently I donít know. Like  I said itís a small gripe.

 Once again Ron many thanks for a great product, and the web page looks great and is full of excellent info."


"I bought one of your synergy 1 units from E-bay last week and just wanted to drop you a quick line to say how impressed I am.
I fitted the unit (Mondeo 2.0tdci) earlier today, which took all of 5 minutes, and have to say that the difference is nothing short of amazing! At present I only have the box set to 6 but the car drives so much better than standard. The biggest difference is at lower revs where the pick up is much smoother, which makes the car far easier to drive round town, as the "on boost" "off boost" change is almost not there at all! I'll definitely recommend you to other diesel drivers". Alex H 


I recently acquired a Performance Box from here:

It uses a high speed (10 updates per second) GPS engine to calculate speed and acceleration so only one connection is needed - to the cig lighter socket for power. It comes with a USB cable and mains power supply so you can connect it to a PC to download the data from the 256meg SD card into the supplied software. (You could just plug the SD card into a reader)




It can be programmed by the buttons to record acceleration to any speed you choose, as well as over any two increments of your choice, shown opposite as 30-50 and 50-70. The instantaneous mph (or kph) is displayed and showed the car's speedo to over read by only 2-3mph.

The times are continuously updated - so that for example, if you let your speed drop to 25mph, it will start timing again automatically as soon as it reaches 30mph and update the 30-50 display when you reach 50mph. 

In other words, its completely hands free - no need for start or stop buttons. Standing start timing commences as soon as the car starts moving.  By pressing the down/up buttons you have access to other screens, showing 0-10, 0-20, 0-30 etc times, the 'best' times achieved since setting off, as well as longitudinal and lateral G forces. It does the usual 1/4 mile, 0-60, 0-100-0 times but these can all be altered to whatever you want.

A quick test with an early Synergy fitted gave these times: (top = 5th)

The S-type 2.7twin turbo does 30-70 in top in 8.6secs according to Autocar. I found it was best to change up at 3500 from 2nd & at 3250 from 3rd. It was slower if revved to 3800-4000 due to the peak torque being at 1800rpm and the fact that these engine are not revvy diesels - there's not much of an increase in bhp once 3500rpm has been reached, i.e. the torque starts to fall quite sharply.

Settings 6 & 7 were also designed to improve economy on part throttle though I've no figures for this as yet.

I have also reviewed the OBD ScanGauge fro - more here:



Left - the engine cover can be removed without the use of toole - nice touch!


Right,  the variable geometery turbo with its actuator.






<< The air mass meter aka MAF. Out of spec ones can now be boosted with a Synergy 2a, to restore lost performance and economy.




Left,  the Maf sensor . It can be removed using a torx driver to undo the two screws and carefully lifted out. The fine sensor element is visible in the photo. (there are two)

These can be cleaned using a non residue cleaning solvent spray - do NOT touch the sensor elements, they are very fragile. Cleaning usually only gives a temporary improvement,

You can read more about the impact the maf sensor has on performance, fuel economy and smoke here:




Right, the egr valve



The Exhaust Gas Recirculation valve feeds cooled exhaust gas into the inlet manifold on light throttle and steady speed conditions. This reduces NOx emissions, reduces particulates and minimises fuel consumption.

On this Euro IV emissions compliant engine, the ecu uses the  lambda sensor signal to control it The valve is operated by vacuum from the brake servo line  and the ecu modulates this via a solenoid valve to regulate the amount of exhaust gas being drawn in.

When the throttle is opened it closes and so in theory it should not affect power delivery. 


The egr valve can cause performance problems such as poor fuel consumption, bad idle, rough running, smoke from the exhaust, and hesitations though many of these can also be caused by the maf sensor (partly because it is used by the ecu to control the egr valve)

Its worth changing the maf sensor if the mileage is over about 50k or fitting a Synergy 2a if any of the above symptoms are present and also try disabling the egr valve by disconnecting the vacuum pipe to it.(ideally fit an egr bypass). NB On euro 4 cars the engine warning light (mil) will come on if the egr valve is disabled but it will go off after a day or two once it is reactivated. Performance isn't affected. You can also buy egr blanking plates and ones with a hole in often work well on the euro4 engine without bringing on the warning light.

To be continued....


Car Mechanics magazine March issue covers servicing and buying - used one start at under £5000.


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