An electronic throttle is a DC servo drive which provides precise, drive-by-wire positioning of the throttle plate. This paper presents an electronic throttle control strategy consisting of a PID controller, and nonlinear friction and limp-home compensators. The emphasis is on the development of an adaptive control strategy, which is aimed to enhance the control strategy robustness with respect to process parameter variations, caused by production deviations, variations of external conditions, and aging. The adaptive strategy consists of auto-tuning and self-tuning algorithms. The auto-tuner provides automatic tuning of the control strategy parameters during vehicle assembly, or uses specific drive modes during normal use (e.g. each time the engine is turned off). The self-tuning algorithms are based on the permanent, on-line estimation of those process parameters which can vary within a single engine run (e.g. the DC motor armature resistance). The presented adaptive control strategy has been verified experimentally.