In the early 2000's we saw the void for customized engine calibrations on standard street setups to built engines with varied air flow characteristics, fuel injection components, exhausts and other modifications. Back in 2006-2008 we had to make a choice, either supply our customers with a full, turn-key vehicle package or just stay in the hardware/service realm. So we chose the former and made a deep dive into the electronic throttle (drive-by-wire) vehicles running a version of Bosch Motronic engine management called ME7. This is where we ramped up quickly on many Audi 5 valves-per-cylinder vehicles (1.8T, 2.7T, 4.2). Our bread and butter specialties were the turbocharged motors (because even in 2008-2009, we were hitting 200chp/litre of displacement. We also supported the normally aspirated engines and were striving to hit 100chp/litre.
Keeping up with the times, we quickly jumped into the direct cylinder fuel injection Bosch MED9 and MED17 ECUs in the 2.0TFSI, 4.2FSI engines (i.e. Audi A4, S4, RS4, R8, etc.) and the 3.0T supercharged Simos 8.X engine computers(i.e. Audi A6, S4, S5, Q5, Q7). Our philosophy has always been creating a unique customer tune, not a cookie-cutter file that some of the bigger box retailers will sell you. We assign customer names to every tune we create and it's always based on a true deep dive into their engine computer's binary. We understand your power goals and driving needs and we get you there the smoothest and most responsive and refined way possible. Imagine anyone (another tuner) can throw a bowling ball down the alley to hit some pins(another tuner may have access to some limited mapping), but we want to do that with some finesse and get you that smooth strike. OEMs spend millions of dollars trying to hit goals on their computer calibrations and obviously when we are paid thousands of dollars to do something like that, the pressure we have vs. the dollar mount is pretty large. We were able to develop a lower volume and refined process where the customer and VAST all win and we are motivated to refine what we've worked on and invest into new platforms (B9 3.0T turbo, hint, hint).
How we typically go about this is either a bench mode tune or a port flash OBD tune. Here's a more rare example. Let's say you have a 2015 McLaren. First we'll have the ECU out on the bench because we know there are no OBD port flash tuning protocols readily available for us. We'd then do a backup/read of the computer's binary coding, analyze it/define all the address mappings and perform the necessary parameter changes for turbocharger pressure requirements, ignition timing advance and safety, fuel enrichment and torque/load level limitations. This bench tuning has been a big challenge over the years because we are sometimes at the mercy of the information readily available and how new the vehicle is. Typically the newer vehicles. more complex engine computers and lower volume cars all drive tuning costs up. On the flip side, we love the ability to get to the root of everything on the bench and at times it's just a great reliable and fast way to develop something on say a chassis dyno or where port flashing integrity could be unreliable.
Now, there's your OBD port flashing tuning, which is an absolute relief at times. Let's take a 2015 BMW X5 3.0 turbocharged N55 engine, for example. We've invested heavily in the N55 and B58 replacement generation of tuning with updates in the modified miller cycle, electronic waste gate control of the turbocharger, variable valve lift, etc. This would be a port flashing setup, luckily, since they like to put the engine computer on the intake manifold as a sealed unit. Regardless, a typical port flash only takes a few minutes and you can go from 300hp to 360hp in a heartbeat. Many of the BMW N55/S55 & N63/S63 (4.4 turbocharged) vehicles are OBD port flash. Some versions we need to bench flash, but we can still cover the entire range of these engines. We have even expanded into the N26 & B48 4-cylinder 2.0 turbo engines.
This is a very short introduction on the methods of our tuning. Just picture many drive by wire German vehicles, mainly Audi, VW, BMW, McLaren, Maserati, Mercedes and Porsche and we will have you covered. Depending on the model, we could take a single day to a week or two to turn something around for you, but it is well worth the relationship with us to do so. Thank you for reading and we hope we can help reach your goals!