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VCM PERFORMANCE IN FOCUS

The brainchild of Mario Pancione, VCM Performance is a business that has been built on a passion for performance, quality and innovation.


From designing an OTR that became the yardstick against which air intake excellence is measured to developing one of the most comprehensive tuning software programs on the market with HP Tuners, Mario and his talented team have proven that with a bit of Aussie ingenuity, a healthy dose of elbow grease and a never say die attitude, that anything is possible.


“I’ve always been a car guy,” said Mario. “I was born and raised on a farm. We just didn’t have enough money to pay other people, so growing up, I was always working on farm equipment, and I must admit, I loved every minute I found myself with a spanner in my hand.”

Mario admitted that by age 10, he already knew he was going to leave the farm and do something mechanical, and in 1991 he opened Auto Technique and has never looked back.


“We started out specialising in Brock Commodores, and we built some pretty stout show cars back in the day that lifted our profile,” Mario explained.


Mario took his builds to shows all over Australia, growing his reputation as a gun builder and tuner and in 2001, a chance meeting with Chris Piastri, who is now the owner of HP Tuners, set the business on a new course.



“One day Chris walked into the workshop and said, hey, I've purchased one of these new Monaros, and I was thinking about tuning it. Are you able to help us out,” said Mario. “And I'm like, yeah, I can put it on the dyno and give you some power figures and see if it's running rich or lean, or if it's pinging or what have you. But in terms of tuning, I don't have any software.”


This was the point at which Mario and Chris started using LS One edit, but together they found lacking, and the duo started developing their own software tuning software.


In 2004 Mario changed the name of the business VCM Performance and launched the new tuning software branded VCM Suite in Australasia and HP Tuners for the rest of the world.


“The launch of the LS engine in the Holden Commodore was a watershed moment for the industry,” said Mario. “It breathed new life into the performance and tuning market, and we were there riding the crest of that wave.


The year when the VY Commodore was released, Holden approximated 10,000 LS-powered variants, many of which ended up in the hands of tuners using the VCM Suite.


“The VY was such a good vehicle to modify,” Mario explained. “Holden had left so much power on that table, and even with just a new intake and a tune, the increase in performance was impressive.”


Of course, VCM Performance was not the only one with a workshop full of new Commodores. Harrop, PWR and the likes were all busy adding their own demon tweaks to LS-powered, but no matter which workshop you visited during that period, you were sure to find a tuner using VCM Suite to unlock the engine's potential.


“There was a bunch of people modifying and tuning LS Engines around that time, but they all needed our software,” Mario explained. “You could say that we had the key to the kingdom in terms of people needed to tune these vehicles, so it was a right place, right time type of thing.”


To put the success of VCM Suite into perspective, Chris and Mario were invited to the GM proving ground to help the engineering department tune the iconic EFFIGY concept car because it was running HP Tuners.


Following the VCM Suite's success, Mario realised it was time to shift gears again and take on the big boys at their own game by manufacturing their range of performance parts.


Starting with an OTR intake, the VCM Performance range grew quickly, and today it includes induction, valve train and supercharger products.


“We’ll always have a soft spot for the Holden Commodore and the LS engine, but I believe that if you’re standing still, you’re going backwards, so we’re broadening our horizons,” said Mario. “At the moment, we’re starting to focus on other US based product like Jeeps, Silverados and RAMs, and the Euro market, more specifically, VW, BMW, Mercedes and Audi.”


VCM is now the official distributor of Magnuson Superchargers in Australia, providing the team at VCM with products for Jeep and Mercedes-Benz. Two brands have proved highly successful in the Australian new car market.


In addition, VCM also stocks a wide variety of quality performance products from iconic brands such as K&N, AEM, DeatschWerks, Improved Racing, PSI Performance and PWR.

“We have a passion for the industry. We've been in the car game a long time, and I reckon we know what our customers want,” Mario explained. “We live and breathe, and when it comes down to it, that’s really what’s at the heart of our success,” he added.


To find out more about VCM Performance:


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