Zytek engine management systems have had a long history, being used in both motorsport and roadcars since 1984. Initially, the systems were used exclusively in motorsport, in series as diverse as Formula 1, Formula 3000, A1GP, Indycar, Champcars, LMS/WEC sportscars and BTCC amongst others.

As the systems became more mature with the rapid pace of development offered by the many ongoing motorsport applications, derivatives of the systems were developed for roadcars with additional controls and software necessary to comply with the different applications and legislation. 

These systems were adopted for use in niche high-performance luxury cars and sportscars from manufacturers such as:

  • Jaguar
  • Bentley
  • Aston Martin
  • Rolls Royce


The rapid growth of Zytek engine control units through the late 1980s and 1990s was due to 3 factors:

  1. Early adopters who wished to use the latest micro-controlled platforms to enhance engine performance and improve driveability.
  2. For customers whose engine strategy was rapidly evolving and required new hardware drivers and the associated software control in a very reactionary environment to enable a fast NPL process.
  3. The high volume of independent manufacturers whose powertrain strategy was not forced to align with that of a mainstream OEM, and hence did not have cost-effective access to high volume engine management control products.

At the end of the 1990s and early 2000s, the automotive industry underwent an era of consolidation, where small independent manufacturers became members of larger groups to allow greater degrees of platform sharing.

This severely limited the opportunities for specialist, niche, low-volume road car manufacturers to pursue their own strategies.

Motorola Partnership

This consolidation meant that an alternative method of continuing with system development was needed, and hence Zytek signed an agreement with Motorola to commence development of an all new platform using Zytek software and newly developed generic hardware. 

This platform eventually yielded its first customer, the sportscar platform within the Chrysler group, the Dodge Viper. This still relied on the specialist engine control skills of Zytek, due to the unique engine configuration utilised – the uneven-firing V10.

Motorsport EMS

Despite the change in market conditions in the roadcar segment, Zytek continued manufacturing engine management systems for motorsport customers. These systems remain in use today, offering customers a safe, reliable and well-integrated system for use in their intended applications. 

Many of the original Zytek systems from the cars (motorsport and roadcars) are still in use today, a testament to the engineering undertaken and the robustness of the final product.