In the early 2000's there was a lack of support for customized engine calibrations from standard street setups to built engines with varied air flow characteristics, fuel injection components, exhausts and other modifications. In 2006 we finally had to make a choice, either continue our service and hardware business as usual or supply our customers with a fully tuned, turn-key vehicle package. So we chose the latter 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 main specialties were the turbocharged motors and in 2008-2009, we were hitting over 200 crank horsepower per litre of displacement. We also supported the normally aspirated engines and started to approach 100chp/litre and surpassing it in some cases (e.g. Audi RS4 4.2 FSI).
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 and 16.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 and then not address the environment or specifics of operation with your vehicle. We assign customer names to every tune created and they're always based on a true deep dive into the engine computer's binary representation for map parameters. We understand your power goals and driving needs and strive to get you there in the smoothest, most responsive and refined way possible. OEMs spend millions of dollars trying to hit a wide range of goals on their calibrations but they either leave items on the table for power or even come with drivability concerns. We are able to develop a lower volume process where the customer and VAST all win and we are motivated to refine what we've worked on and invest into new platforms (e.g. we already released our B9 2.9T & 3.0T turbo tuning in 2020). There is no sacrifice for development and we have continued to build upon our portfolio year after year.
How we typically go about this process for you is either a bench mode tune or an OBD port flash tune. Here's a more rare example to discuss: bench mode tuning. Let's say we'll have the engine control unit removed from the vehicle because we know there are no OBD port flash tuning protocols readily available for us, such as a 2015 McLaren 650s. We'd then do a readout 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 demands and 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 with newer vehicles, the 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. This mode is how we started in the very beginning and also allows us to recover, clone a computer into a new unit, delete immobilizers, etc.
Now, there's your OBD port flashing tuning. The big difference is we do not have to physically touch the computer in your vehicle. Let's take a 2015 BMW X5, 3.0 litre, in-line 6 cylinder, turbocharged N55 engine. Since BMW chose to install the engine computer on the intake manifold as a sealed unit, we've invested heavily into port flashing so as not to have to remove the intake manifold every time we sell a tune. We have built a tuning foundation on the N55/S55 and B58 replacement generation of tuning with updates in the modified miller cycle, electronic waste gate control of the turbocharger, variable valve lift, etc. in order to port flash the vehicle over OBD. 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/B58 (3.0 i6 turbocharged) & N63/S63 (4.4 v8 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 N20, 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 or possibly a week 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!