I'd like to post my experience and POV on owning both versions. Standalone race ECU vs. remapped stock ECU on my 4C.
Remapped stock ECU
- Works flawlessly like stock ECU but with more HP
- Limited tunability
- Less powerful than standalone ECU with base map
Remapped stock ECU
- Full of minor issues that can be sorted out
- Full tunability
- Will require a lot of time for research and developement to improve
- Works good on the track
- It feels a bit rough and underdeveloped on the street
- Not all the auxiliary functions available at the moment (turbo cooling, cruise cotnrol, launch control, boring sound,...)
Having a stock or lightly modded engine (air filter, exhaust with cat) there is no need for standalone ECU. Remapped stock ecu is the way to go. All the auxiliary functions work (fuel consumption BC, cruise control, additional turbo cooling, etc...). ECU that Alfa Romeo 4C is running is highly sophisticated and has tuned in much more variabiles than standalone ecu, making it far more reliable and capable for wide range of use. Cruising, track use cold weather, hot weather, good gas, bad gas, etc... Standalone ECU will never be as detailed as the stock ECU because no tuner will be willing to spend countless hours polishing the details.
Pushing the engine mods further where you actually start to benefit and can expect bigger gains (cams, turbo, high flow exhaust, bigger bore, higher rpm, etc...) standalone ECU is a must. If you are into this territory of engine moding, thant you probably don't care much about daily driving and track performance or straight line acceleration is main focus, than this is the way to go. You can bring out every last HP depending on your mods, fuel and weather, etc. I would suggest it for track focused and other hardcore users. The biggest challenge will be to get a decent tuner. The amateurs are cheap but unreliable and proper tuners cost a fortune if you want to bring the very best out of your mods, so get ready to spend big bucks on detaling out your standalone ECU.