For all you movie buffs out there it's more than likely you've watched the Matrix trilogy at least once or - you might hate to admit it - that you've watched another Keanu Reeves movie more than once. In the Matrix, Neo (Keanu) was The One, the one chosen to bring down the Matrix - that faade of a cyber world created by artificially intelligent computers. As you all know, in the movie the Matrix was developed so the AI could farm humans for energy (fuel). His destiny was to destroy the Matrix and bring humanity back into the real world.
And what does the Matrix have to do with a fuel computer developed by A'PEXi? Surprisingly, there are several parallels between "The Matrix" and the new A'PEXi AFC Neo. First off, there were three Matrix movies, (Matrix, Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolution). There were also three incarnations of the AFC, (Original AFC, AFC-II and now AFC Neo). (Okay, there were four but the VAFC was the same as the AFC-II with the exception of the VTEC function.) Secondly, throughout the movie Neo would be sporting black, just like the AFC Neo - apparently black is always in. Thirdly, Agent Smith, Keanu's movie nemesis, would get stronger and stronger as the trilogy progressed. The parallel to this is that today's vehicle electronics are becoming harder and harder to control without the help of non-evil AI. Fourthly, in the movie Keanu Reeves' Neo character is the savior of the real world. Similarly, the A'PEXi AFC Neo also sets out to be a savior by heroically tackling the latest advancements in engine control modules (ECM). One could say that the A'PEXi AFC Neo's destiny is to destroy the evil Matrix-like confusion of ECM's and bring peace to humanity (or at least to import tuners).
Movie metaphors aside, the A'PEXi Neo is the latest generation of the extremely popular AFC computer and it's loaded (or even reloaded) with many more capabilities than the previous models. A number of improvements saturate this gadget including: faster speed, more tuning points, cool design, color screen and various trick features. From the exterior, the AFC Neo is slightly slimmer than the AFC-II and VAFC. But what it lost in thickness it made up in length, as the AFC Neo is longer than the AFC-II/VAFC. We don't know if we like the new size, but the sleek black exterior is pretty fresh. One thing we hated in the AFC-II was the control knob of the unit. Trying to maneuver through the different screens was a pain. Fortunately, the AFC Neo went back to the button style - making it harder to make mistakes and go to unwanted screens. The most appealing difference in the two models of the AFC is the Neo's obvious color FED (field emission display). Now that it's in color, images on the unit are more vibrant and substantially more detailed than before. The FED screen is also inverted to lessen glare from the sun.
Besides its good looks, the AFC Neo's tuning capabilities have increased to 32-points of tuning (16 low and 16 high) - eight more than the AFC-II. Although not often effectively utilized, the 16 low and 16 high tuning points are extremely crucial to fuel economy. For example, many tuners forget to tune the vehicle at part throttle and full throttle. If a vehicle runs lean at full throttle it might be running rich at part throttle. So if you richen up the fuel curve in both the low and high setting of the AFC, you might not only be wasting fuel - which is at a premium these days - you might also be wasting some of the performance your engine has to offer. By tuning both low and high throttle points, your vehicle will generate more power and will also be more fuel-efficient. Additionally, the AFC Neo incorporates both AFC-II and VAFC functions into one unit. The VTEC engagement function - crucial in Honda/Acura vehicles running larger performance camshaft(s) - allows the tuner/user to advance or delay VTEC engagement.
One of the new features of the AFC Neo is the option of tuning the unit in either air map or air map graph. In the AFC-II, the only way to tune the map was using a graph; and in order to see the low and high setting you would have to toggle between the two screens. Now the AFC Neo allows you to tune like the AFC-II using either a graph or a numerical table. The numerical table includes both the low and high setting in one screen - speeding up the tuning process. There is also an option to tune either in easy or pro modes - the easy offering 8 low and 8 high tuning points, and the pro offering a finer resolution with 16 low and 16 high tuning points.
Monitoring functions of the AFC Neo are nearly identical to the AFC-II - with the exception of the better graphics. The color FED display panel really brings the graphics to life. One option we will miss is the knock monitor found in the AFC-II. The Neo unit can monitor up to six sensors at once (analog mode), and up to two in the digital mode. When in the monitor mode the AFC Neo can be displayed in a multi-function mode (both meter and analog at once).
Lucky for us the new Neo is only $30 more than the old unit. The new graphics and display are more than worth that thirty bones difference. If Keanu can save the human race then certainly this Neo can better "enlighten" your ride.