It's official, late Friday night I achieved 'tuner' status by flashing the FR-S with a Stage 2 tune. "Warning: Danger to Manifold" soon to appear followed by the failure of a useless sheet metal panel loosely bolted to the chassis (note - watch The Fast & The Furious if this comment makes no sense…).

My parents will tell you this transformation happened overnight, however those close to me see it as no surprise. I entered the treacherous fold of the tuner scene in early 2013, picking up a few seemingly innocuous TRD parts. The exhaust and intake were OEM parts, covered by factory warranty I told myself. Little did I know, these would prove to be but a gateway drug…

Things were good. For a while I enjoyed the minute change in exhaust tone and peppier engine, yet a more voracious hunger was growing deep down inside. I needed another taste... Click. UEL headers ordered. A 12 week backorder, good, that'll keep my demons at bay.

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Soon enough the headers were installed and I blasted through the canyons, albeit to a much more raucous and rumbly tone than before. Life was good, I finally felt I had achieved (read: ordered enough parts) modified status amongst the sea of Honda Civics and Toyota Prius/Prii?.

A couple weeks later I found the hunger fighting its way towards my wallet again. Inconceivable, I just installed new headers and a suspension package! I called my friend up, he said "focus on driving the car bro, I know what you need...track day". Track day, bro?

Track day. I couldn't run a track day on the stock 17x7.5 Prius summer tires could I? enter new wider and lighter wheels, wrapped in expensive summer performance tires. So it was I completed my first track day, and it was the most thrilling driving experience of my life to date.

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Like all addicts though, my addiction had left some scars that would no doubt resurface again. A Check Engine Light appeared while driving home on a cold tuesday night, my heart sank. 31,000 miles and the factory warranty coming to its end, I feared the worst. I took it to the dealer and offered up my wallet as penance. Low and behold it was only a P0420, code name for you modified the exhaust/CAT didn't you, bro? "Welcome to modified life," chimed my friend. A few weeks went by, and bam it popped up again and again… and again. Fine, i'll tune the car (which I planned all along fyi) and submit myself to the likes of internet forums to find the best option.

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And so folks, enter the Open Flash Tablet and a Stage 2, 91 pump UEL header tune. Night and Day, having a blast driving the car now. Torque and HP is slightly improved, more noticeable is the lack of torque dip between 3500-5000 rpm and improved throttle response.