The automotive industry’s widespread shift to turbocharging should be very good news indeed for engine tuners. With nothing more than an ECU remap the likes of DMS can achieve massive power and torque gains, but they’re locked in a tug-of-war with manufacturers who are trying to protect their carefully aligned model hierarchies.
The OEMs have long been trying to safeguard their ECUs with passwords and access codes, but these have a habit of slipping out the back door. In response, manufacturers have taken to locating the ECU somewhere that makes it near impossible to access.
“The ECU on a Mercedes-AMG C63 is hidden between the engine and the lower subframe,” says DMS founder Rob Young. “It’s tucked right back. With the car on a ramp you can get to two of the fixing bolts, but not the other two. It means you have to take out the charge coolers, remove the radiator fan and take off a few others brackets. There’s two separate coolant circuits — one for the charge coolers, one for the radiators — and both need to be drained. Then you can access the ECU. A remap is a 10-hour job.”
This DMS upgrade lifts the C63’s peak power to 465kW at 680Orpm and peak torque to 790Nm at 410Orpm, improvements over the standard C63’S of 90kW and 9ONm. The cost of the remap is around $6500 and DMS will reapply the uprated map free of charge if a dealer flashes a car back to the factory map. The new software can be uploaded to any new AMG that uses the 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8, including the GT.
“Once we had developed the process of reading and writing to the ECU we sourced a car to carry out test and development work. Although it’s a new engine, the structure of the ECU mapping has many similarities to Mercedes’ 2.0-litre turbo engine and the old 5.5-litre biturbo V8.
“With our remap we also delimit the top speed. We’ve seen over 290km/h in testing and I believe the car should be able to pass 320km/h.”
In its standard form the 4.0-litre V8, with its ‘hot vee’ turbo arrangement, is a seriously impressive engine, with strong power and torque and very sharp low-down throttle response. Along with Ferrari’s new twin-turbo V8 and the similar 4.0-litre unit found in Audi’s RS6, it’s among the best turbocharged performance engines in the world. This modified version retains the immediacy and response of the standard engine, pulling hard from 200Orpm, but with appreciably more muscle throughout the rev range. It also pulls with real energy all the way to the redline.
The remap lifts the C63 S into a whole new performance category. It feels spectacularly quick. Impressively, however, the chassis is unfazed by the newfound power and torque, the rear axle coping with full throttle from third gear onwards remarkably well. In fact, this particular C63 actually has better traction than a standard BMW M3.
Naturally, if you want to provoke the car with your right foot you can do so at will, making this uprated model even more playful and throttle adjustable than the standard car. The prospect of a 465kW C63 S Coupe — which has an even better resolved chassis than the sedan —is a very appealing one indeed.
DMS AMG C63 S